The Black Diamond Stone Duffel is one of the least expensive ($90) yet most well-made and functional sport-climbing packs on the market. The feature set on this crag-hauler are pretty simple: It’s a 42-liter duffel that splits open right down the middle, and offers a convenient way to access your gear for single-pitch cragging, and shuffle your gear from one route to the next without having to pack everything up completely.
There are two interior pouches within the pack that I find to be both necessary and awesome in terms of alleviating my O.C.D. organizational tendencies. I fit all the loose non-essentials in one of these two pouches: tape, brushes, liquid chalk, knee pads, Ibuprofen, energy bars, sunglasses, car keys, iPhone. The other pouch is usually where I store things like snacks. Lots of fucking snacks, too, cause I’m so fucking hungry! Good-ass snacks, too. Real good.
The one feature in the Stone Duffel that threw me for a loop was the inclusion of a built-in rope tarp that spills out of the pack’s mouth like a giant, blue, square tongue. At first, the tarp always seems like it’s a little bit in the way, kind of like a square of toilet paper stuck to your shoe. Fortunately, the rope-tarp is only attached via velcro, making it easy to remove it, and use it in a different location from your pack. That’s what I did, and that’s what I suggest you do, too.
The 42-liter volume pack is spacious enough to pack a water bottle, rack of draws and cams, shoes, harness, belay device, belay jacket, and a lighter/smaller rope—but barely. Often times, I found it was too much effort to reverse-Jenga all of my shit back into the Stone Duffel, especially the rope, so I often carried my rope, coiled, on the outside of the pack by simply draping it over the top. If I had to change one thing about this pack, I’d make it a tiny bit bigger. Just a tiny bit, though.
For just $90, this thing seems like a steal to me. Check it out!