DMM Flight Pack Review

flight_green_bc11grThe DMM Flight fills two roles for the traveling climber: while flying to your destination, it’s an airline-friendly carry-on, and when you’re ready to climb, load it up with a day’s worth of sports action gear and head to the crag.

When preparing to take the Flight to Red Rock, a quick measurement showed it fit well within my airline’s carry-on size guidelines. And with two sets of luggage-style hand grips, the pack proved easy to hoist into the overhead bin. The designers at DMM also make negotiating the madness of security lines a little bit easier thanks to the pack’s sleek shape and the trick external gear straps that can be tucked into their own secret compartment, greatly reduced the likelihood of mistakenly snagging something or someone.

When gearing up for my first day out, I found that the Flight’s 45 liter compartment fit one pair of shoes, harness, chalk bag, 16 quickdraws, water bottle, jacket, guidebook, snacks and a 70meter 9.5mm rope packed in a simple rope bag. Even with this much loot it was possible to cram a little more inside, but when overloaded, I had difficulty zipping the pack closed. If your partner will be carrying the draws and you the rope, or vice versa, you’ll have plenty of room to spare for that bottle of wine and loaf of bread. (Also know that DMM includes a tarp (3’10” x 4’7”) with the Flight so you can carry your rope loose in the pack or rolled up in the tarp, eliminating the need to carry a separate rope bag). Strapping a jacked to the outside of the pack via the hidden straps or tucking it under the helmet caddy, if you’re not carrying a lid, would be another way to save internal space. But, if you’re simply going sport climbing, the Flight should be big enough no matter how you pack it.

Flight_backOnce at the crag, the zippered clam shell design makes it easy to crack the Flight open and quickly find what you need. A small internal pocket was a great place to stash rental car keys and my wallet, while a much larger, padded pocket easily held snacks, sunglasses, tape, etc. or, you could fill it with an I-pad.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Flight. It is thoughtfully designed, sturdy, comfortable and easy to use. I would recommend the Fight to anyone looking for a sport climbing pack that works just as well as an airline carry on. Or, one could buy the Flight to fill just one of these roles and be very satisfied. I plan to continue to use the Flight during local sport climbing outings and for trips to the rock gym.

Retail is $129.95, more info on the DMM website.

Dave Sheldon has been writing tech pieces and equipment reviews for the outdoor industry for over 15 years. When he’s not climbing around Boulder or burning valuable resources commuting to Rifle Mountain Park, he’s hard at work in his Rolfing practice. Dave can be reached through his website. This is his first piece for

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