/ Black Diamond Speed v Black Diamond Axis v Marmot Centaur

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Tom Stoddart - on 08 Jan 2013
Following the demise of my trusty Crux AK30 I've decided it's time to treat myself to a new rucksack. This will be used for cragging, Scottish winter and Alpine summer - a fairly standard set of requirements. The Crux was very basic, this time I want a few more bells and whistles - a pocket, for a start! Roughly 30 litres, not too heavy but some durability, some comfort but no bulky waist belt, etc.

Does anybody have experience of either of these models: BD Speed 30 or BD Axis 33 or Marmot Centaur 30?

Thanks in advance
soularch on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Tom Stoddart: I have a BD Axis for sale, at a bargain price.. see my post in for sale/wanted...
TobyA on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Tom Stoddart: I've only used the Centaur but liked it: A decent, light-ish, straighforward sort of pack.
saintlade - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Tom Stoddart: How did you find the AK30? Not tempted by an RK30? I've been looking at a few packs for Scottish Winter Day routes myself, current contenders are BD Speed 30, Osprey Mutant 28 and Crux RK30. The Blue Ice Warthog was a contender but lacks compression straps and shoulder load transfer straps. Out of the three the BD speed looks the most adaptable with more extension and with the lid off, though a touch heavier stripped than the other packs.

Has anybody any feedback on the swingarm shoulder straps? Do they work well for climbing?
Styx - on 08 Jan 2013
I've been using an Axis 33 for almost a year now and overall I'm very happy with it. I believe its slightly heavier than the BD Speed 30 but it's made from absolutely bomb proof materials, despite getting a hammering and being used for absolutely everything it still looks like new.

The prime reason I went with the Axis over the Speed is the zipper access, I was sick to the back teeth of having to f*ck around with a million different clips/draw cords when trying to find something in my pack half way up a big route.

The swivel hip belt thingy is excellent too, it's a very comfortable pack to climb/scramble with as a result.

My only complaint would be that the zipper pulls aren't big enough for use with chunky gloves (bit fiddly but manageable), which is pretty minor really.
soularch on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Styx: I'd agree. I had a Speed 30 before the Axis, and the Axis is tougher and more featured. I wouldn't sell mine if it wasn't for the fact it doesn't fit me that great, but then I've yet to find a climbing pack that does.
Tom Stoddart - on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to saintlade:
I love the AK30, and Crux have said they will replace it with a new RK30 under warranty, but unfortunately they don't have any in stock and don't anticipate having any until May. Still, excellent customer service regardless.

However, I need something sooner than that, and in some ways would prefer a few more features. I'd like a pocket, and one criticism of the AK30 is that the side compression cords tend to compress the top of the pack rather than compressing evenly all the way up - so everything sits at the bottom like a big bumbag when it is half loaded.
Punter S Thompson on 08 Jan 2013
In reply to Tom Stoddart:

You might want to consider the Blue Ice warthog...
Tom Stoddart - on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to Punter S Thompson:
I did, and was more taken by the Blue Ice 30L. But in the end opted for the BD Speed after trying one on. Seems a good balance between weight, durability and features.

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