The Ergon BC1 is a 14-litre backpack with an external frame, motion system and ergonomic fit. Waterproof zippers conceal a large main compartment, a small sleeve for a bladder, tool pocket, and external pocket located by your ribs (which is accessible while you’ve got the backpack on), a waterproof cover and cinch straps on the outside.
The flexible frame system means body movement is unhindered by the pack. It’s designed to be worn low and tight, carrying 80 per cent of the load on your hips – Ergon claim this is better for your back than more conventional systems. The semi-rigid frame allows the pack to stand up on the floor – great when you’re packing it or looking for tools in it, but less so when travelling with the pack.
While riding, it’s comfy, with a light airy feel, although you do get sweaty under the thick shoulder straps. It feels like a bucket seat when fitted properly and doesn’t move at all, but if you just throw it on and ride it’ll wiggle all over the place. The hydration system costs extra and fitting it is fiddly – the hose retention system feels like an afterthought. On the plus side, its construction is bombproof so it should last for years.
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine.