Black Diamond Mission 35L Backpack
Black DiamondMission 35L Backpack

For the long haul to the crag.

The long and steep approach to the high alpine granite you plan to climb requires a pack that will not just get your gear there, but will keep your back and shoulders in good enough shape to actually climb the route once you arrive. Black Diamond designed its Mission 35 Backpack for days like these by incorporating its Active suspension technology. Active suspension consists of Black Diamond's ReActive hip belt and SwingArm shoulder straps, which work in concert to keep your body moving naturally and comfortably, while also keeping the load of the pack balanced and evenly distributed, so you stay more comfortable longer.

The Mission 35 is fairly minimalist in design, but it maintains all of the necessary components that are needed whether you're climbing summery cliffs or mid-winter ice. The top lid can be removed to shave some serious weight from the pack, and the main compartment has a drawcord skirt closure to keep gear dry from snow and light summer rains. The strippable design means the hip belt and framesheet can be removed from the pack when you're wearing it on the wall, and the hydration-compatible sleeve allows you to throw in a reservoir when you don't feel like messing with space-consuming water bottles.

  • SwingArm shoulder straps
  • ReActiv hip belt
  • Thermoformed back panel
  • Top loading
  • Removable lid with drawcord skirt closure
  • Ice tool PickPockets and crampon pouch
  • Removable hip belt and framesheet
  • Hydration compatible
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

Great pack for alpine activities

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've used this pack for the past two months for both alpine climbing and splitboard mountaineering and it has performed very well. I really like having the ability to remove the lid, hip belt, and frame to lighten it up for climbing, as well having an external crampon pouch to save room in the pack and allow for easy access to crampons during transitions. The pack carries a splitboard well in A-frame mode and balances nicely even with two ice tools and crampons on the outside. The gear loops and ice clipper slots on the hip belt are great for racking ice screws and carabiners during glacier travel.

The material used on the pack has proven to be durable so far even with splitboard edges rubbing against it for long periods of time, although it does contribute to the pack's higher weight especially with the padded bottom. The side length zipper seems like a nice idea but adds weight and could be an issue with long term durability. I don't seem to use it either. Overall I've been pleased with the pack's performance but for the price others may want to check out what Cilogear has to offer.

The Pack Dreams are Made of

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love this pack and have wanted one for years since my brother purchased an earlier version. I have been dealing with neck and upper back injuries and have found very few packs that take the pressure off of my shoulders in a manageable way for my injuries. This pack has been the answer to my pain and has made hiking/climbing/backpacking a dream. The swing arm technology really allows for full movement and flexibility without pressure or pinching. I also love the construction of the pack with the simple, large main compartment. The ice axe pockets and crampon pouch make this pack my go to for mountaineering as well as climbing and other longer day hikes. This pack is perfect and I already know I'll be buying the next version when this one wears out.