Hiking Fort Barton with the Black Diamond Bullet 16 Backpack

The Monthly Gear Report [Adventurous August 2015 Edition]

I’m a huge outdoor buff and a huge outdoor gear buff to boot. So, to celebrate Kevin Jorgeson’s epic free climb of El Capitan (which, unless you’ve been hibernating for the summer, you no doubt heard about), we’ve partnered with Duracell to share some of his latest outdoor gear essentials. This month’s Gear Report features three pieces of kit that one of the world’s greatest free climbers swears by.

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If you’re heading outdoors this fall, you’ll definitely want to take a second look at …

Black Diamond Bullet 16 Backpack

Black Diamond Bullet 16 Backpack

I have a borderline obsession with backpacks, so imagine my surprise when I learned that I did, in fact, have a need for a new one. The Black Diamond Bullet 16 is the most well-made, streamlined, minimalist daypack I’ve ever tested. It’s billed as “tough enough to be hauled through chimneys” (in case that’s your thing …).

Hiking Fort Barton with the Black Diamond Bullet 16 Backpack
Hiking Fort Barton with the Black Diamond Bullet 16 Backpack © Mike Richard

At 16L, it’s just large enough to carry your most essential hiking kit: water, granola bars, maybe a headlamp, and a handful of other small items. And that’s really the point: carry exactly what you need and not a shred more. A single external zippered pocket and another internal mesh zippered pocket provide just the right division of space. The bag weighs just a pound and a quarter and packs down nearly flat, so it’s ideal to toss into your carry-on bag, no matter where you’re headed.

Black Diamond Icon Headlamp

There are three items that are first into my pack, no matter the trip: my passport, peanut butter, and a headlamp (or, at the very least, some form of light). Even if I’m not heading off into the woods or on a free climb of El Capitan, I find that I inevitably need a small, portable, and reliable light source.

Black Diamond Icon Headlamp (320 lumens)

The Black Diamond Icon Headlamp provides 320 lumens of brilliant LED light courtesy of one QuadPower LED spotlight, two SinglePower white LEDs, and two SinglePower red LEDs.

At roughly 2.5″ cubic inches and a hair over half-a-pound, it’s infinitely portable. It’s almost an afterthought to throw in your pack just in case. The pint-sized form factor houses quite a few features (especially for a headlamp), including:

  • Red night-vision mode has proximity and strobe settings and activates without cycling through the white mode
  • Settings include full strength (in proximity and distance modes), dimming, strobe, red night vision and lock mode
  • Three-level power meter shows remaining battery life for three seconds after switching on headlamp
  • Protected against water immersion down to 1 m (3.3 ft) for 30 minutes (IPX 7)

Duracell Quantum Batteries

… and, of course, great lighting needs a great power source. Duracell’s latest Quantum batteries promise to last longer in 99% of devices compared to the next leading brand.


  • The Duracell Quantum Hi-Density Core stores more power for more performance
  • Duracell Quantum is the only battery brand with PowerCheck on the cell for accurate reading of remaining power
  • Duracell DURALOCK technology locks in power for up to 10 years in storage

There isn’t much more to say about these batteries other than: they just plain work! And, being able to score a 20-pack of AA/AAA’s for less than $20 USD doesn’t hurt either.

Stay tuned next week when we’ll be giving away a prize pack containing all of the above items!

Founding Editor

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