ERGON BD2 BACKPACK REVIEW BY ANDREW CARNEY

Alright, so around a month ago, I got an Ergon BD2 pack, and since then I’ve ridden roughly 50-ish hours with it. Overall, I’m in love with the thing and sometimes even sleep with it on my back…ok not really, but it is THAT sweet. I’m sure with a little Google work, a person could find a much more detailed and eloquent review elsewhere on the interweb, but here’s my 2 pennies worth:

In your hands for the first time the pack it is noticeably heavier (empty weight) than other packs of similar volume (~ 1000 cubic in.), however before you weight freaks dismiss it, take a chance and throw it on your back. Only then can you see why the pack is so rockin’! Besides, what good is a pack that’s feather light if it is uncomfortable. When you put it on, don’t be embarrassed if you involuntarily blurt out: “Oooooo, me likey”, while jumping up and down, I did! As most people are aware, the departure from normal pack design is in the ball-link harness system thinger, which is technically named the FLink System (here’s the technical bits). The ball joint allows the shoulder harness to freely rotate and move with the movement of your body, and when I say it moves with you, I mean it MOOOOVES with you. It’s quite a new sensation compared to the traditional backpack feel because your shoulders can rotate and the hip belt doesn’t lift or shift around…. at all! The pack noticeably distributes more weight to your hips than other packs I’ve used and it take a bit to become accustomed to the additional weight on your hips, but in the long haul, less weight on the shoulders = good.

At first glance, the BD2 might not appear to have much in terms of internal or external gear organization, but that’s just pure crazy talk. I won’t list all the pockets here, but take my word that they are everywhere, there’s even a super secret ninja pocket inside another pocket! Gear organization within the pack certainly hasn’t been an issue for me and I can get quite picky about organizing my pack.

I don’t own a scale other than the one in my bathroom and even that’s way off, but I’d guesstimate that I’ve ridden with up to roughly 15-18 lbs in the pack. It seems that the more weight is in the pack, the better it feels, weird I know, but that’s just how the BD2 likes to roll. Even when cranking out of the saddle or being thrown around on a rough decent the pack stays put and moves with your body instead of hindering it.

Hidden all over the pack are little details like a non-slip coating on the hip belt, a integrated rain cover, pockets and organizers up the wazoo, a rescue whistle, and more details that I’m sure I haven’t even found yet. Overall, the attention to detail and quality is absolutely top notch. I have a habit of trashing and destroying any piece of gear I own, but I’m certain this pack will stand up to the abuse and come out swinging.

Lastly, there are a few small things that I’ve either noticed or heard others complain about. First, is setting the pack up correctly. I stand at a towering 5’9″ and have the pack set up in the middle hole. I prefer things lower on my hips so I’m actually considering trying the “tallest” setting just to see how it feels, but that’s just personal preference. One thing I had problems with initially was that since the pack is separated from your back it has a tendency to “drift” to one side while descending. Mine always fell to the left for some reason, but it’s easily remedied by tightening up the hip belt a bit…..another reason I like the hip belt to be low. Also, since the pack had a fairly robust hip belt system, your jersey pockets are not really accessible, although the large pocket on the “front” of the pack more than makes up for any loss of jersey space. Lastly, it doesn’t come with a hydration bladder, but really, who cares? Use whatever bladder works for you. Ergon does have bladders available in ’09 with longer hoses I believe for those interested.

Ok, so there ya go, my impressions of the Ergon BD2. In summary I’ll just say this: Anybody want to buy a hydration pack? I’m selling all my old ones!

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One Response to “ERGON BD2 BACKPACK REVIEW BY ANDREW CARNEY”

  1. BearSquirrel Says:

    Neither here nor there since the BD2 is discontinued in favor of the BC3. But here are my 2 cents.

    First the concept is brilliant. However, besides the helmet retention system, the external storage options are somewhat iffy. The shape and lack of taughtness in the elastic retaining bands makes the prospect of storing any really important bits there a tricky proposition.

    The internal pockets are great despite their having the long narrow profile. In one goes my tire pump which is good considering I’ve broken a pump but yanking it through the mass of stuff in my Hawg. In the other goes my shock pump. Then the internal pockets get a few tools and parts.

    The “big pocket” concept is brilliant. I can quickly gain access to the tubes at the bottom of the bag. Soft stuff gets stowed away cinched up in the internal cargo net.

    Here is what is lacking.
    1) At least one pocket wide enough to actually hold a pocket. The existing internal pockets are great, just add a few more.
    2) Make those elastic bands on the outside tighter. Change the shape of the “back” pocket so it doesn’t slope. Granola bars are about the only thing I would consider storing there.

    Thats it. I’ve pictures of the BC3 and I don’t approve. They look like Camelbaks with the Flink Harness (no offense to Camelbak they have great stuff). They have given the bladder it’s own pocket. But they abandon the center zip that makes gear organization such a cinch!!!

    They did have trouble getting most retailers to carry the bd packs. So perhaps the adoption of a more traditional design is an attempt to gain a wider distribution channel. I’m glad I got my BD-2 while they are still available. I’ll just sew my own cargo net into the think to complete the job.

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