The BX1 has an aluminium brace in the back and four chunky pads. This set alarm bells ringing – another over-engineered backpack with too much weight and not enough comfort? – but the BX1 is a winner. It comes up fairly light at 515g, and the weight is well distributed.
The four pads keep the bag hovering above your sweaty back, and the extra airflow is welcome. The brace stops the whole thing collapsing, so it can be worn comfortably even with little in it.
Ergon are known for their investment in finding the perfect fit, so it’s no surprise that these bags come in two sizes. The small is spot on for a slight rider at 171cm tall.
Despite this, the central feature is the ‘adaptive carrier system’ – a sling of ripstop fabric attached to the shoulder straps and running under the bag, holding it close for stability. Separate waist straps prevent swinging, and while it looks complex, it’s intuitive and very sensible in use.
With just 7L carrying capacity it isn’t for epic days out, but the internal pockets are roomy and uncomplicated, while the zipped mesh section proves useful for keys. The lack of hip pockets is a shame though.
If you like bladder hydration there’s all the routing but no bladder (Ergon sell them separately), though a full length zip makes fitting very easy. Do watch that tools don’t fall out and disappear, however!
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.