Black Diamond Dawn Patrol 32L ReviewDecember 15, 2015
- Comfortable, particularly when carrying lighter loads
- Accommodates Black Diamond’s AvaLung Element (optional)
- Less supportive under heavier loads
- Pack droops when empty, making loading items challenging at times
The Dawn Patrol 32 is a lightweight ski pack designed for short tours around mountain passes or shredding sidecountry stashes. Black Diamond has separated the AvaLung from the pack, so now you can choose to leave the extra weight at home depending on the type of day you have planned. This pack is for gram counters who want the added safety and peace of mind that come with an Avalung. Its lightweight-ness sacrifices some durability.
The Dawn Patrol 32 carries weight fairly well, but it can struggle to stay solid/supportive under heavier loads (lots of food/water and heavier skis for example). The pack was designed to be lightweight and also to carry lightweight items. The straps are padded adequately for a lighter load, but again, can become uncomfortable after several hours of carrying a heavy load.
The pack is set up to carry a snowboard as well as a pair of skis in either A-frame or diagonal position. Each carry system is straightforward and easy to use, though the diagonal carry system is what stands out thanks to a large, durable lower buckle and stowable upper buckle.
The Dawn Patrol boasts a variety of features including full back panel access, dual hip belt pockets, a dedicated goggle pocket, and a stowable helmet carry system. What stands out the most however is the option for integrating an AvaLung Element into the pack if the user feels one is warranted. In the past Black Diamond’s AvaLung hasn’t been removable, so this is a nice step for Black Diamond in creating a more versatile pack for users to be able to decide to pack or forgo the AvaLung.
Ease of Use
When empty the Dawn Patrol can be a tad difficult to load as it tends to want to flatten out. Both ski carry systems are straightforward and friendly to use.
The pack’s straps seem solid and durable enough to stand up under several years of use, but its exterior fabric may be vulnerable to scrapes and punctures from ski edges over time.