Black Diamond Burn Pack Review

Finding a quality day pack for day hikes and other activities isn’t hard to do these days with a number of brands making quality products. After you’re able to sort out the not so great packs, you really have to figure out what it is you are using a pack for so you pick the right one for you.  I’ve been testing out the Black Diamond Burn pack over the last few months on adventures including hiking up Colorado 14’ers, local day hikes in and around Denver/Boulder, and longer hikes in the high country.
While hiking on a longer trip or where cold weather can be a factor, I like to have a pack that can carry a good sized load.  The BD Burn pack has 26 Liters for a size medium and 28 liters for a size large.  This translates into 1587 cubic inches for a medium and 1700 cubic inches for a size large.  I tested out a large and found the pack to carry all my gear on all my hikes without extra shirts, hats, etc.  exploding from my pack. The shape of the BD Burn is fairly narrow, meaning it fits more skinny and tall verses short and wide.  With this shape, it gives you a sense that you are wearing less of a pack and surprising to me allows for a good distribution of weight.

The shoulder straps on the Black Diamond Burn are made of a mesh and foam fabric allowing for comfort and breathability.  To get the best fit on the shoulders and back, BD added load lifters to the pack which helps form the straps to your shoulders allowing for you to get the best weight distribution.  This also lets you distribute the weight in different areas if your shoulders or back start to get sore.   On each shoulder strap, there is loop to put your reservoir hose through so it doesn’t go flapping around as you walk.  There is also an adjustable sternum strap on the shoulder straps which keeps the Burn pack more secure on your body and keeps it from going from side to side.  For safety, there is a whistle connected to the sternum strap buckle.  Something that is easy and inexpensive for manufactures to do, but you would be surprised at the number of packs that don’t have that little whistle.

To get a good weight distribution on the hips, the Burn has a good sized hip belt with cinch straps to pull the pack closer into your back once you have it on.  When I get a lower sore back on a long hike, I like to give these straps a tug and let them out at times.  The back of the BD Burn pack has a breathable mesh surface with a small amount of padding for comfort.  And while this mesh helps with breathability, I have never found the breathable mesh back panels to completely work.  Unfortunately, it is the nature of the beast for the time being in packs.

The Black Diamond Burn is top loading which some people like while others don’t.  I personally like both top loaders and normal style openings.  On the top, there is an outside pocket that is big enough for a little food, cell phone, camera and other small items you want to have easily accessible.  There is also a pocket on the inside of this flap that is smaller, good for keys and items you want to keep more secure.  There are two bladder sized pockets on the inside of the pack where you can store water or other items you want to keep separate from the rest of your gear.  For storage on the outside of the pack, there is a bungee style cord that can be cinched in if you run out of room or want to keep a jacket on the outside for quick access. One thing I would like to see is for the string to be elastic.  The model I tested had a non springy style string which doesn’t always keep the items snug against the pack.  If you hike with trekking poles or ice axes, there are two loops on the outside bottom of the pack for storage.  There are also two stretch mesh pockets for water bottles and other things you want to keep accessible.  I pick up trash on the trails when I hike, so usually trash goes in these pockets for me. There is also a small hip belt pocket which stores a cell phone, point and shoot camera, or energy bar.

In the end, this pack doesn’t have a million features that you don’t need, it seems to only have the features that you really need and use. For more information on the Black Diamond Burn pack, please visit

Kevin Fonger

If there's an activity or sport, I'll generally try it at least once. My main activities include running, hiking, skiing, cycling, camping, backpacking, and pretty much anything else you can think of. I love writing product reviews as I like helping people find the right gear so they will enjoy their activity that much more.

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