While Ergon packs have been known for their innovative Flink ball joint and semi-rigid exoskeleton support structure, this BX2 Backpack goes without in both cases. In designing the BX2, Ergon endeavored to make an ubAArlight, yet fully adjustable backpack with a focus on fit and performance.The BX2 is the lightest Ergon backpack and is just what we've been seeking, for those of us that live by the adage, "less is more". That said, it's not a minimalist design; you'll still get a fully featured pack bag. The heart and soul of the BX2 is the 4-position adjustable shoulder harness. Ergon designed it this way to offer enough vertical adjustment to accommodate a variety of torso lengths, providing a perfect fit for any rider. One neat detail is the self-adjusting shoulder strap attachment design. As you might guess, as torso length increases, so may shoulder width. For this, the BX2 Backpack relies on a sturdy Hypalon strap attached to a nylon D-ring. This system allows the shoulder straps to swivel freely through a certain range, enough to position the straps just where you want them for the best comfort.The sternum strap is length and height adjustable so you can position it to your liking. Ergon includes a hose clip on one shoulder strap. It's designed to be removable/interchangeable if you prefer your drinking hose to lay over one shoulder or the other. One of the most notable design details is that the bottom of the shoulder straps are anchored to a trapeze panel that runs underneath the lowest portion of the pack bag. When you snug the straps in place, you effectively center and compress the load inside the bag. A secure load means no jiggling, a boon for the off-road rider. Ergon hits the mark again with the pockets on the hip belt. There is one on each side. Zippered for security, they can each accept gel packets, a map, or a phone. They're easy to reach when you need something fast.The bag is divided into two main compartments.
The BX2 is the epitome of this ergonomic thinking, and it’s exceptionally comfortable, ventilates well, carries its load balanced and close to the back and hips, and has vertical adjustment for different torso lengths, and uses a unique free floating shoulder strap. The Ergon BX2 pack is available in two sizes (regular and large) and two colors (Black or Team Edition Green), and has a storage capacity of 8 liters, with an expansion to 9.5. Continue reading →
Strengths: First this review is for the BX3. My pack says 16+3 Liter on it, while the Ergon website lists 14+2...don't know why the discrepancy. I am 5'9" and 150lbs for reference. I ride anywhere from 1 to 5 hours, 10 to 50+ miles with 1,000 to 6,000+ feet of climbing in Switzerland so it works well to carry additional gear. I have used this pack on approximately 20 rides ~ a few hundred miles.
Strengths: I bought this pack firstly for the back adjustment system. I just never felt the packs were sitting right on my back. Backcountry ski packs on the other hand are typically longer and I find they fit better. This Ergon system lets you drop the pack so that it sits on your waist more, which I find more comfortable and stable. Plenty of organization with all the pockets in the pack and the waist pockets are spot on. The back pad system breathes fairly well and the padding itself is of high quality like the rest of the pack.
Weaknesses: I don't buy into the "'Adaptive Carrier System". Supposedly the load is compressed and kept close to the body and stable by means of attaching the bottom of the shoulder straps to a panel that runs under the bottom of the pack. This panel is also the helmet carry system and compression system. I think its not worth a dime. I'd rather have a pack away helmet carry and a nice set of top and bottom, both sides of the pack, compression straps.
I went back and forth between the Ergon BX3 and the Deuter Compact EXP 12. I liked the Deuter better with the exception of the Ergons back adjustment system. A combination of the two would be optimal, of course this is just my opinion. The BX3 is slightly heavy, but I won't discount Flamin' Chilis as I don't race anymore and don't count grams so much. The BX3 is not cheap so that combined with my personal preference for a pack away helmet carry and separate compression straps brought the value rating down to 3, but overall this is quite a nice pack.