The Creek 50 from Black Diamond was one of those pieces of gear I just had to check out. Since I climb in Indian Creek more than any other place, a gear review of this pack for The Zine seemed essential.
So, for the fall season in Indian Creek I took the Creek 50 to every crag I visited, for a total of well, approximately 50 days. So I guess this review could be called 50 days of the Creek 50 in The Creek.
I knew right away I liked the concept of a haul bag style backpack with the suspension of a normal pack. I reviewed the Deuter Haul 50 last year, and liked the concept, but felt like it fell short in a few key areas. I was hoping the Creek 50 would be a superior pack to the Deuter version.
The interior of the pack was extremely thought out and tested, and works really well for the digging around to find what you’re looking for. There are two compartments in the interior: a small one in the front with two additional pockets, plus the main compartment where you’ll keep most of your gear. Both of these two compartments are easily accessible with a zipper that runs alongside the pack.
The exterior of the pack is very much “haul-bag style”, as is the bottom. After a few months of fully loaded use (often times a full rack, rope, and bolt drilling kit) my Creek 50 has no signs of visible wear. The top of the pack has a strap for securing the rope, but nothing on the side to secure it. Some friends noted they didn’t like the pack because it didn’t have side straps for the rope, but personally it didn’t bother me. There’s also a stowable rain hood that doubles as a helmet or rope holder. That was the only feature of the pack that I didn’t feel was necessary, and I never used it.
All in all this is my new favorite climbing pack, especially for The Creek. The main room for improvement, in my mind is the shoulder straps. When this pack gets really heavy those straps seem a bit thin and uncomfortable.
The hybrid haul bag-day pack is a concept that works really well, especially for places that require a ton of hardware. The Creek 50 isn’t perfect, but in my mind it’s the best offering of its kind yet.
About us: The Climbing Zine was started in 2010 by Al Smith III and Luke Mehall. It continues to the day with the mission of representing the true essence of climbing. Our crown jewel is our printed version, but we also do the interweb thing, and Kindle.
We have also published five books: Graduating From College Me, American Climber, The Great American Dirtbags , Climbing Out of Bed, and Squeak Goes Climbing In Yosemite National Park (a climbing children’s book) .