Item # 845339
The REI Member Dividend
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Only active members receive annual dividend notices. To maintain your active status as an REI member, you need to make net merchandise or shipping purchases of at least $10 per year, unless you joined that year. Member numbers are issued in one name and only that person receives the member refund. Your number can be used by others in your family, but it cannot be transferred to someone else.
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Please note: Black Diamond products can only be shipped to U.S. addresses.
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Reviewed by 1 customer
Displaying review 1
Comments about Black Diamond Sonar Pack:
1. I was looking for a pack primarily for my urban-day
2: Typical commute = subway to work (40 min), subway to training (10 min), subway home (30 min). Most of it standing. Often in tight subway cars. So, pack needed to be light, with good weight-distribution, and shaped so it could be easily maneuvered in packed subway.
3. Capacity: breakfast, lunch, snack, coffee mug, training clothes, a magazine for reading on the train, and a laptop in a 15" case. So, pack needed to allow 3-4 tupperware containers to stand upright(lower risk of spillage), really open up (not top loading), so I can easily pack/re-pack, as the day progresses, and have some level of rigid padding to protect the laptop. I also wanted couple of external pockets for wallet, phone, keys, etc.
4: Aspirational: I wanted a good looking pack, which I could use for 'off-road' adventures, or vacation travel. Finally, I wanted a well-made pack (craftsmanship).
I looked at products from arcteryx, mountain hardwear, mountainsmith, gregory, thule, and several others. Online, and in stores. I looked for the right pack for over 4 months, because I wanted the perfect pack, for my needs.
Fits the bill perfectly. I was a bit reluctant because of the red padding, which makes it slightly less 'corporate-appropriate' than I would like.
Why 9.5 (and not perfect 10):
Construction quality: The construction is good, but not as good as top-of-line arcteryx or black diamond. My hypothesis is that they make some packs in the US/CA, with the most cutting edge machines (see the 700 dollar Naos for super construction). However, decent for this price-point. By construction, I mean the stitching, material choice, etc. For instance, the main zipper snags a little bit when it encounters certain turns (so you need two hands to manage).
Design: Good, but again, not perfect. For instance, there are three zipper sets on pack: one for a fleece lined small pocket, one for another small pocket, and one for main compartment. Fleece lined one is highlit in red so it is visually distinguishable (good design). The other two, however, look identical. So, most of the time, it is trial and error to find the right one.
Finally, for primarily urban users such as myself, it would be great if we could find a way to nicely stash the waist-strap, if not needed. For instance, if the waist-straps were a bit longer, we could wrap then around opposite side of pack and close the fastener, so the two waist-straps were not always dangling around.
Should black-diamond ever read this review, and modify the sonar pack, I hope they send me an upgrade!
Note: After I received this pack, I found it for USD20 cheaper online, but bc REI is a co-op, returns dividends, and supports in-store returns, chose to keep pack.
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