Diamond Brand Gear has been making their gear in the Carolina mountains since 1881. Wow. These guys make packs, tents, and more for the Boy Scouts and the military, so you know that they know how to make quality products. They’re introducing a new updated daypack this spring, and it is a remake of a bag they produced back in the 1980’s. The Diamond Brand Gear Belay Bag cruised through testing and proved itself to be a versatile stylish backpack.
Construction and materials
The Diamond Brand Gear Belay Bag uses 1000D nylon and 70D upcycled polyurethane coated canvas scraps in its construction. The upcycled materials for some parts of the bag is left over material from making their tents. Metal hardware is used to attach and adjust the removable shoulder straps. The bag has a tough, quality feel to it and it should take tons of abuse.
The shoulder straps are removable with using a metal snap at the bottom and an easy to detach interlocking metal buckle at the top. This means that you can carry the bag like a traditional backpack using both straps, or you can remove one. You can also run a shoulder strap across the chest in a diagonal fashion to carry the bag more like a messenger bag. A chest strap and waist belt are available for purchase as accessories, so the carry options are wide open.
Pockets and storage
Like many modern packs, the Diamond Brand Gear Belay bag has a main zippered compartment with a laptop sleeve at the back. It is easy to lay the bag wide open and get to your stuff. A good sized zippered pocket is attached to the top and makes a handy spot to carry small items like calculators, USB drives, sunglasses, or even toiletries for weekend trips.
The two front pockets are big enough to hold a 32 ounce growler or other similarly sized bottle. A daisy chain of webbing separates the two front pockets. This makes a good place to clip on something like a dirty clothes bag, or an extra pair of shoes. Pretty much anything that doesn’t need to go inside the bag. Long zippers on either side give access to the two front pockets. Each front pocket has a smaller internal pocket sewn into the bottom for organization.
Total capacity on the Diamond Brand Gear Belay Bag is 22 liters, so there’s plenty of room. You can use the bag for a weekend trip, as a book bag, or to carry a picnic along for a day hike.
Comfort and final thoughts on the Diamond Brand Gear Belay Bag
The back panel of the Diamond Brand Gear Belay Bag uses a 3D spacer mesh to provide airflow. The padding is firm and comfortable. The shoulder strap padding is firm as well and strikes a good balance on thickness. Daisy chains up the shoulder straps give space to clip on water bottles, a GPS unit, or a pocket for a cell phone. The shoulder straps are available in regular and tall sizes to accommodate a wide range of people, and for $10 you can buy the sternum strap and hip belt. If you don’t think you’ll need those, just save the money. Who wants to pay for features you don’t use?
The Belay Bag is available in 5 colorways and it sells for $139.00 on the Diamond Brand Gear website. For that price tag, you get a super tough, quality, made in the USA piece of gear. The old saying, “You get what you pay for” applies here, and you get a top notch pack. Click HERE to visit the Diamond Brand Gear website and check them out.
Thanks to Diamond Brand Gear for sending out the Belay Bag for test and review. We at Industry Outsider have budgets too and hopefully honest reviews help in your purchasing process.