Black Diamond Cirque 22 Ski Touring Backpack | Review

The Black Diamond Cirque 22 has been designed to keep you moving fast in the mountains

Why we chose the Black Diamond Cirque 22 Ski Vest: Lightweight, durable, streamlined 

Weight: 690g
Price: £140 / 150€ / $180


If you know anything about Black Diamond, you’ll know that they’re a ski mountaineering and alpinism brand to the core. They’ve been churning out innovative climbing and skiing kit at home in Utah since 1957.

“They’ve been churning out innovative climbing and skiing kit… since 1957”

This heritage and experience is exactly why we’ve selected the Cirque 22 Ski Vest to feature in our Ski 100 product guide. It’s an extremely well thought out ski touring backpack designed for fast and light assaults in the mountains. There’s a lot of features to talk about with this product, so let’s jump straight into it.

Black Diamond Cirque 22 Features

First thing to talk about with the features is the carry system. Borrowing a thing or two from their trail running packs, the Cirque 22 Ski Vest features running vest style shoulder straps. These straps have been built wide to spread the load and come with hydration flask and energy bar holders for on the go fuelling.

“A fit that’s able to move with you as you cover ground in the mountains”

It’s important to get the fit right on a pack that’s sporting a vest-like carry system. The fit can be dialled in through adjustable compression straps that sit near your hips on either side of the pack. These straps have been elasticated to provide a fit that’s able to move with you as you cover ground in the mountains.

There’s just one ski carry system on this pack – a diagonal ski carry – and that makes sense. There’s no need (or space) to attach an A-Frame carry system as speed and efficiency is the name of the game.

The diagonal ski carry can be used even with the back on. All you need to do is pop the tails through the green loop and attach the tips with the elasticated cord found on the right shoulder strap. This type of carry system is nothing new for ski touring packs, but its simplicity and efficiency is what’s made it so popular. The carry system can be fully removed or switched to either side, depending on your preferences.

“Impressive stuff for a touring backpack that’s got enough features to keep you moving swiftly through the mountains”

Looking at the bottom of the pack, you’ve got a pocket that offers easy access to your ski touring skins, or boot crampons. This pocket can be reached even when you’re wearing the pack – a feature that’ll help you stay balanced when you’re looking to attach your boot crampons on an icy and steep slope.

Finally, there’s the main compartment. This can be fitted with an optional internal divider for better organisation, although we’ve never found this to be necessary. The most important thing that’s kept away from the main compartment is the separate avalanche equipment storage pocket, which features sleeves for your shovel blade, handle and probe.

Black Diamond Cirque 22 Build

The whole pack is wrapped up in a pretty durable ripstop dynex construction (this is the fabric that gives the pack its ‘grid’ look). Although durability has been boosted with this external fabric, this hasn’t been at the expense of weight – the Cirque 22 barely tips the scales at 680 grams – impressive stuff for a touring backpack that’s got enough features to keep you moving swiftly through the mountains.

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