October 18, 2013
Expensive but very versatile bag for adventures. Don’t let the ‘enduro’ label put you off.
I’ve found previous iterations of Ergon’s packs to be comfy enough, if a little overbuilt (and over-engineered) for my tastes. Its current range features less of the structural scaffolding that used to feature heavily, trimming weight and bulk.
The BA3 is Ergon’s ‘super enduro’ pack – presumably this refers to its armour-carrying potential, but as many riders carry pads through habit, it’s just as relevant for folk who are mostly ‘just’ trail riding.
Stability and fit is excellent, with a choice of three back lengths, in each of two sizes. Large lumbar and lateral pads keep the body of the pack away from your back, and the velcro/buckle waist belt is similar to EVOC’s ‘cummerbund’ design, albeit narrower and a little less obtrusive. Tightened snugly in conjunction with the limpet-like harness that wraps around the outside of the pack and scoops it against your back, there is not a hint of waggle in use. Lovely.
There’s room for a full day’s worth of kit, plus an expansion gusset if you need more than one round of sandwiches. There are lots of pockets within pockets, too – sufferers of B(ag)OCD are going to be very happy, while the chronically disorganised will be frequently frustrated because they can’t remember where exactly they packed the tyre levers… It’s nice to have the option, though.
A sticking point is undoubtedly the fact that there’s no bladder included. That said, a similar-capacity pack with reservoir from some other brands now comes in at, or over, the £100 mark, so it still compares favourably; more so if you already have a bladder.
Lastly, a word on rain covers: they might look spoddy but they’re dead useful. To hell with aesthetics – every pack should have one, and this one does.
Overall: Expensive but very versatile bag for adventures. Don’t let the ‘enduro’ label put you off.