Black Diamond Outlaw Pack Review - As told by a filthy knuckledragger
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Call it fate, fortune or whatever you will, but my Black Diamond Outlaw Backpack houses a six pack of beer like an absolute champ. It’s perfect, because nothing facilitates good decision making like crushing a casual sixer of ale on the slopes.
But really, who cares about good decision making? I’ve got an Avalung built into my pack! I can drunkenly wander into the backcountry without a care in the world, right?
The Avalung, like any backcountry protection device or system, doesn’t replace common sense. Sorry people, you still gotta be on it out there.
Up until reading this story here: http://www.telemarktips.com/TeleNews42.html , I wasn’t sure how effective it would actually be in the torrent of a violent avalanche. I know that if I were to get the thing in my mouth, it would buy me some serious time (up to an hour when used correctly). But if I were in the spin cycle of a life-threatening avalanche, would I actually have the presence of mind to get that little tube in my mouth?
In spite of my doubts, I asked for one for Christmas a few years back. And I’m not sure if any of you have ever experienced this, but generally if you ask your oft-worried family members for protective gear, they won’t think twice. True to that fact, my brother bought me one of the earlier models of the Avalung, the one that slips over your coat like a wine skin.
And yeah, even though I wasn’t sure about the system, that little tube was about as close to my mouth as it could get once I started questioning the stability in the backcountry. The only thing that got on my nerves with the sling, however, was that it was a nuisance when I was changing layers, etc. Also, I had to be careful that I wasn’t crushing it with the chest strap of my old backpack. Over time, like the lazy asshole I can occasionally be, I started “forgetting” the present that my loving brother had bought me for Christmas.
This is precisely the reason why I’m so jazzed about having it integrated into my pack. Laziness be damned, this little guy’s coming adventuring with me whether I like it or not.
She’s a 32 litre beaut and I wear her just about every time I strap into my snowboard. She’s perfect for slackcountry missions off the hill and can also house everything I need for single day touring missions (including a six pack, as mentioned earlier, if you’re into that kind of thing).
She’s got a lot of zippers, which makes me question her durability, this coming from the guy who rocked the same Dakine Poacher for ten years (stolen from my other loving brother). But hot damn do I ever love the way that she holds all of my gear. The zipper on the back makes it easy to give everything its own corner of the pack. I’m especially appreciative of this because my old pack sagged unevenly off my shoulders like a satchel of squirming kittens.
Knuckledraggers like me need to be careful when they’re buying packs because a surprising number of the ones on the market aren’t set up to carry snowboards. The Outlaw has a super tight vertical board carrying system that I’m actually super jazzed about. I think I can safely say that this is the best day-tripping pack that I’ve ever owned.
I’m especially jazzed that my Avalung comes with me wherever I go. I felt like I was tempting Murphy’s Law by using it sporadically. And I’d say it’s good policy that whenever someone buys you something in an effort to keep you that much safer, it’s downright rude to leave it at home.
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