If you’re the sort of person who beats little cousin Ricky at board games by robbing the bank when Ricky’s in the kitchen getting another ginger ale, you’re probably also into expedition-style climbing, where you pay someone else to do all the work while you get a sweet summit photo. If you prefer to whip Ricky the old-fashioned way by using your cunning, savvy, and ruthless exploitation of community chest cards, you’re probably more of an alpine-style climber, and you need a fast and light backpack like the Black Diamond Speed 40 to get you up in a hurry. Weight becomes the central focus if you’re lugging all your own gear, so Black Diamond put the Speed on a serious diet, including only the features you’re sure to need, like Micro PickPockets for your ice tools, removable crampon straps, and a three-point haul system. You can trim it way down by removing the floating top pocket and padded hip-belt, but you’ll still be able to carry your rope in the tuck-away rope strap, and stay hydrated thanks to the bladder-compatible design. Best of all, the Speed has a reActiv hip belt that pivots and flexes with you as you move, and floating SwingArm shoulder straps that connect via an internal cord, allowing them to shift position without unbalancing your load and tipping you over.
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