I was in the market for a while for a pack, a smaller one with a lid closure, and some other things in mind. This was a pack that I was picky about in the search process. When I found the bolt pack, it seemed to have everything I wanted; good size that could be a day hike pack or a cragging pack, lid closure which I feel gives more weather protection to the things inside as well as capable of overstuffing a bit, and BDs new reACTIV suspension was a bonus that I was eager to try.
This 24 Liter pack is build with many things in mind. The top loading aspect of this pack is a huge plus because it gives you basically a bucket to dump in sport climbing gear, layers, crampons, and food with no problem at all. The internal drawstring flap has about 4 or 5 inches of height if you need to overstuff. The lid however is fixed on the end which means there is no adjusting it to get it to fit on top of an overstuffed pack, and the lid closing strap is not long enough to accommodate a lid that isn’t closed all the way.
There is a slightly adjustable front stash pocket to throw a layer in once the heat of the day sets in. I was able to stuff my crampons in it on an alpine climb, but luckily I never ended up using them because it could have been tough to unpack/pack them into the front pocket while the pack was full. It does come with two ice axe/trekking pole loops at the bottom and a very nice feature up top to attach them. If you look at the side sinch straps, you’ll notice a little tab the strap runs through. Between that tab and the front stash pocket, the axe fits perfectly and stays put if you need to unbuckle or adjust that strap. The pack weight itself is a little more than you’d expect coming in at 2lbs. The back panel holds most of the weight and I have since taken it out to save weight. It’s kind of a pain in the butt to take out which is why I haven’t put it back in yet. It might be tougher.
This is a newer feature that is going into all BD packs now, or at least a good chuck of them. At least they should do all of them since their packs are ski and climbing specific, this feature is perfect for that clientele. What it is basically is a uniform strap connecting both shoulder straps at the bottom, and a connected hip belt, all that can move back and forth with you as you move. Overall I have been very impressed with this design and the pack really does conform to whatever movements you may be doing whether it be steep snow climbing, or general hiking, it moves with you.
I’ve used this pack for almost everything now. Sport climbing at a local crag, not super technical alpine climbing in the Tetons, day hiking around, and even bike commuting. (there is a little clip on the pack for a bike light to snap on to). Everything about this pack has impressed me. It manages weight very well and when loaded, the reACTIV system works its magic. I would highly recommend the pack!
The Bolt pack standing on top of Static Peak, 11,302 ft
This pack is great. It’s designed with multiple uses in mind and so far it exceeds expectations for all different uses.
The Black Diamond Bolt pack is priced well at $129, and comes in fun color varieties, buy it here
Reviewed by Ryan who was a big fan of the bright green and yellow combo.