The smaller sibling of the popular Axis 33 pack, the Black Diamond Axis 24 is a simple, lightweight, ‘guide’ style daypack designed for vertical adventures whether that be on rock, snow or ice. We’ve been testing the Axis 24 around Chamonix, from summer hiking, to alpine peaks and multi-pitch rock climbs to see how it performed.
Comfort & Fit
The fit of the Axis 24 is very much an ‘alpine’ style fit, i.e. no-thrills with minimal extra weight – in terms of comfort it’s completely fine to wear with a t-shirt but is more at home under a more traditional alpine layering. That said, the removable webbing waist belt and Black Diamonds ‘reACTIV’ suspension system does provide good support when the pack is fully loaded.
The thermoformed back panel has adequate padding, however the breathability is generally quite poor and you do end up with a sweaty back in hotter weather – but again, the design here is aimed more towards cooler climates.
In terms of build quality, Black Diamond have used very rugged (but not overly heavy materials) and the result is a pack that’s certainly build to last – from squeezing through chimneys, to generally being man handled around the crag, the Axis 24 shrugs off the abuse.
What’s immediately noticeable on the Axis 24 is it’s climbing specific build, it has a slim profile which we really liked which stays right out of the way when climbing. Naturally there are attachment points on the face for both ice axes and crampons (which double up quite nicely for holding hiking poles).
Looking inside the top-loading zipper enclosure, the features continue with a tuck-away rope strap and hydration pocket. The pack also features a smaller top loading pocket which helps when separating smaller bits of gear and under this compartment there’s an even smaller zip pocket – great for storing your phone.
As the openings face your neck, your kit can be easily accessed by spinning the pack around or directly when it’s clipped to a belay by the grab handle. The Axis also has a good range of compression straps (also handy for stashing gear), coupled with the top grab handle, zipper loops (great for opening the pack with gloves on) and waist belt gear loops the Axis is one of these simple looking packs that keeps giving!
Minimalist kit often compromises on features, but somehow Black Diamond have managed to create a simple, specialist, climbing pack that performs very well in vertical endeavours, and to some degree hiking and touring (in cooler temperatures!). All-in-all a fantastic rugged daypack.