I just arrived at Wye Creek, home to some of the best sport climbing near Queenstown, New Zealand. It’s about a 45 minute approach and a relentless uphill battle. We’re half way up to the crag and my climbing partners are now sweating like crazy, trying to grab a drink of water, a snack and some different pants because it’s kind of hot to finish the approach. The only problem? They have no idea where they packed the goods and they can’t see everything inside their bag. Out comes the rope, their harness, their rain shell and then finally, the snacks, at the bottom of the bag. For moments like these, the Black Diamond Demon Duffel is a lifesaver.
The Demon Duffel is the answer to your crag pack dreams. With a full length zipper, everything in the pack is accessible. There’s no problems with digging out tons and tons of gear to find the one thing you’re looking for. A foam back panel and padded shoulders keeps the pack ultra comfortable. A waist strap helps keep load off your shoulders and onto your hips. In duffel or travel mode, the shoulder and waist straps can be tucked out of the way. Fully loaded, the dimensions are approximately 9 x 13.5 x 26 inches. Empty, the pack weighs 2.8 pounds. A zippered internal pocket keeps your keys and phone tucked away and safe. The pack also comes with a tarp to keep your rope out of the dirt.
I acquired the Demon Duffel for Christmas last year and I haven’t looked back! When I need to grab something I have 100% easy access to it! The fits my 60 meter, 9.8mm rope along with my harness, 12 quickdraws, chalk bag, 2 pairs of climbing shoes, snacks aka a jar of peanut butter, 2 beers and my Nalgene. Though it’s not the intended purpose, I used it as a true pack for the first time while backpacking the Routeburn Track in New Zealand. It changes backpacking in the sense that’s it’s incredibly easy and fast to gain access to your things!
The only downside is the straps for your waist aren’t meant for the long backpacking trip, they are meant for the short approach. Change the straps to something a bit thicker and I’d love taking on every trip in the backcountry! Another con for the pack is lack of hydration bladder compatibility. I got away with using just my Nalgene on this trip because it’s safe to drink all of the water from New Zealand water without filtration. I’d love to fill a 3 liter bladder inside for use when I’m guiding in the Southwest.
The Black Diamond Demon Duffel isn’t just for crags. It’s proved its versatility as a functional backpack for easy backpacking trips too. Unzip and access all your items right away while you laugh at your friends slowly emptying their packs.