Black Diamond Mercury 75
Suspension is not a gimmick.
- Well built - construction and materials
- Super suspension
- Space is all useable
- Poor design to accommodate head looking up when scrambling
Just a few comments on this as still not a great deal written about this pack.
Firstly, the suspension. The main feature is the pivoting hipbelt and connected shoulder straps. Black Diamond didn't invent this but neither did Apple invent GUI. I think BD have nailed it with this setup and will go down as the guys that brought active suspension to the market because they have made it work.
I was concerned buying this that I was falling for a gimmick. Thankfully in practice it is no gimmick and improves comfort. For me, it also improves stability walking and scrambling over rocks. Whilst the fit and contouring of the pack is not quite as refined in practice as, say, an Osprey (at least for me) the active suspension more than makes up for it.
The construction of the pack is excellent, materials appear a tad more durable/heavy duty than the average and neat, high quality stitching. Bar tacks abound on every possible critical point so I doubt this thing will unravel in a lifetime. The experience of BD with harnesses shows in the types and stitching of the foams. There are a couple of non-functional design features (e.g. a fringe over the front pocket zip) but overall it is a simple design. A large number of pockets throughout is a luxury I appreciate and the two hipbelt pockets are very useful for a few items on the go.
I don't care for the waterproof zippers as I would never trust a pack to keep gear dry the needs to be dry (that is for drybags). Also, I am not a fan of a J-zipper — topload is fine enough. But that is a matter of perspective, not a problem with the pack pe se.
The hipbelt is a reverse pull which is a much improved system. The straps are thin but not uncomfortable. The padding on the belt and shoulders is thick and solid.
All of the straps on the pack except the shoulder straps are a very soft, pliable webbing. It feels great and I am sure more than durable enough but it can twist as it goes through a buckle and and need a bit of fiddling to get the twist back through the buckle. The arm straps are the traditional stiff webbing and don't have this issue.
No pack will be perfect and whilst there are a number of features I don't care for, they have been executed well if you consider the design brief.
The one real issue with the pack is something I expected Black Diamond with their climbing heritage not to fail on. There is a contoured, hard plastic 'skull divert' in the pack to enable you to tilt your head pack when climbing to see your next handhold. It is next to useless. The lid of the pocket comes down over most of the divert whether loaded with gear or not and inhibits your ability to look up. Osprey packs have a much better way of keeping this area clear so your head is free.
But, overall it is a very good pack. The suspension alone makes it worth having, but most other features of the pack are very well done. I expect it to last a long time. I can put up with the soft webbing. I am surprised and disappointed with the poor functionality of the head divert design — Black Diamond please sort this out for the next model because otherwise you have a real winner.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
Black Diamond designed the Mercury 75 Backpack for multi-day backpackers that won't compromise on quality any more than they'll stay inside on a sunny weekend. The cutting-edge ergoActiv XP suspension system shoulders heavy loads and utilizes SwingArm shoulder straps and an unrestricted hip belt to keep you comfortable over long distances. A contoured frame optimizes load transfer so you can spend your time taking in incredible mountain vistas rather than popping painkillers for your wrenched back.
Free Shipping. Black Diamond Mercury 75 Pack DECENT FEATURES of the Black Diamond Mercury 75 Pack Ergo active XP suspension with OpenAir back panel Top-loading with floating top pocket, Plus front zippered access Waterproof taping on top and bottom Compartment divider, Side and hip belt pockets, Front and internal organizer pockets Retractable trekking pole/ice axe loop, Sleeping pad straps, Hydration compatible Also available as women's-specific Onyx The SPECS of the Black Diamond Mercury 75 Pack 400D polyester twill + 420D nylon twill The SPECS for Medium Volume: 4.577 cubic inches / 75 liter Average Stock Weight: 4 lbs 12 oz / 2.18 kg The SPECS for Large Volume: 4.699 cubic inches / 77 liter Average Stock Weight: 4 lbs 13 oz / 2.22 kg
For your longer trips, Black Diamond provides the Mercury 75. A full-featured multi-day pack with lots of storage space. This top loader has a full front zippered access panel so you can access the heart of your pack without having to pull everything out first. Waterproof taping on the top and bottom of the pack give extra protection against the elements. The ergoACTIV XP frame moves with you using a ball and socket joint, creating a free rotating waist belt to give you complete freedom of movement.
- Mountain Gear
The Mecury 75 Pack from Black Diamond features their ergoACTIV XP suspension system using a custom, 3D pivoting hipbelt and SwingArm shoulder straps for increased stability and dynamic load transfer. Built for rough trails, big-mileage days and maximum comfort over the long haul; combines classic backpacking features with sleek, modern designs and unparalleled freedom of movement. The front zippered panel gives you full access to the inside, while multiple pockets, dividers and straps help secure and organize your gear during extended trips.