Ergon BX3 Water Carrier


Ergon BX3 Backpack Large

Check out this mid-sized mountain bike pack from Ergon. Using the innovative 'Adaptive Carrier System' the load is compressed and kept close to the body and stable. The self adjusting system is available in two sizes, small and large and the 4 position back length adjustment ensures every rider can find the perfect fit. The pack can be expanded from 16 to 19 liters using the zippered expansion facility and features main compartment, bladder compartment, rain cover, helmet retainer, front and side pockets, and organization compartments. The volume and functional compartment mix make this an ideal pack for long days in the saddle, or even the daily commute. For added visibility the pack has HiLumen reflectors.

  • Material: Nylon, Polyester
  • Capacity / Max. load: 16 + 3 liters / Recommended up to 20 pounds
  • Hydration reservoir not included


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[Nov 12, 2015]
Travis Bickle


First off I love the height adjustment as it allows me to have the pack sit low where it belongs. The hip belt is over my hips unlike a lot of other packs where it is uselessly around the belly. It's easy to adjust and secure. It has more than enough organization for me. The pump is held securely and out of the way, while still being easily accessible. The small pouch on the back holds my energy bars, quick links and small odds and ends. The main bag is bigger than it looks and is expandable. It easily holds my rain jacket, spare clothes, with still room for my POC pads. The helmet can either go under the stash flap or attach to the straps. I carry a multi-tool in one hip pouch and glasses/case in the other. I don't have an issue wth things flopping around.


None so far.

A great pack if you need room to carry quite a bit of gear, that still works well when lightly loaded.

Similar Products Used:

Various older Camelbaks, Ultimate-Directions, and a MEC pack.

[Sep 14, 2014]


Height adjustment system is a great feature if you're vertically advantaged.


Fit, organization, build quality, ridiculous price tag for a pack without a reservoir.

I was really hoping to like this pack, but it's turned out to be one of the most disappointing products I've used in quite a while. I'm well over 6 foot, which means that most hydration packs are just a lousy fit. I was really excited to receive this pack as a gift about 18 months ago, but it's been a drag every time I've ridden with it.

The major culprit IMO is that the pack lacks much internal structure, and it has so much volume that gear just flops around inside unless you stuff it totally full. Most larger packs on the market have some kind of compression system to take up slack when the volume isn't needed, but on the BX3 the two tiny compression straps are connected to the outer helmet flap, which in turn is connected to the shoulder straps. This means that by trying to crank down on your gear to keep it from moving around you're changing the fit of the pack. And even when stuffed to bursting with winter gear, lunch and tools, it's necessary to keep adjusting the straps as you drain the reservoir. On most rides, I'm lucky if I can go an hour without pulling over and F'ing with the fit of my BX3. Most of the time this is just severely annoying, but on sketchy terrain it can get almost dangerous when the weight in your pack shifts without warning.

And as to the height adjustment system I was so excited about, it basically consists of several Velcro attachment points for the shoulder yoke. It's not a terrible system per se, and is more or less similar to the adjustments on mountaineering packs, but it's almost impossible to get the shoulder yoke lined up correctly with the hip belt. This seems to me to have to do with the generally poor build quality of this pack...there's a small strip of aluminum above the hip belt that's meant to be bent and adjusted for fit, but on my pack the aluminum strip is visibly mis-aligned with the hip belt. So basically, no matter what you do with the BX3 it will sit crooked on your back.

Aside from fit, the general layout and design of the pack leaves a lot to be desired as well. The pump sleeve and the mesh phone/key/wallet pocket are located in between the reservoir and the back panel, which means they're almost impossible to get at in a hurry. Other than these useless features the huge main compartment has no organization whatsoever, and although you can easily stuff it with a winter jacket, leg warmers and other bulky items, there's no way to quickly get to something you specifically need without pulling everything else out first. There are two mesh zipper pockets inside the secondary compartment, but unless the main compartment is completely full anything in these pockets just flops around with nothing to stabilize it. Accessing either compartment requires undoing one of the outer compression straps, and if your load shifts at all as you're digging in vain for a cliff bar or multi-tool you're stuck re-adjusting the pack again. And once you're finally on the go, the pack still manages to add insult to injury by having no option for securing the yards of extra shoulder and compression straps, which will flap in the wind behind you like streamers on a little kid's Schwinn. Given that Camelbak, Osprey and the rest long ago figured out how to make packs full of thoughtful features for storage and organization, I have to wonder what Ergon was thinking when they designed this thing.

Finally, the pack just hasn't held up well to regular use. The stitching on the inside seams of my BX3 has come undone in several places, leaving wads of nylon fiber floating around the inside of my pack. The technology to build a durable outdoor backpack has existed for a long time...I own a Kelty mountain pack that I've had since high school, not to mention a vintage Camelbak MULE from days gone by, and neither have shown the kind of wear I was noticing on the BX3 after 6 months of active duty. For a pack that costs significantly more than the competition and doesn't include a reservoir, this is just unacceptable.

Bottom line is, for a technical all-day pack just about any option would be better than the BX3. At best, it's a major annoyance in technical riding due to the fit issues. And despite it's volume, it doesn't offer enough internal organization to usefully carry enough gear for a 4+ hour ride.

Ergon clearly didn't do their homework when they designed this pack. I've finally ditched mine for one of the new Camelbak LR packs, which offers much better design and quality and half-decent fit for my tall self at a much lower price point than the BX3.

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