Black Diamond's biggest backpacking bag is built for rough trails, big-mileage days and maximum comfort over the long haul. Its sleek exterior and duffel-bag-style access also makes it one of our top picks for semesters abroad, backpacking Europe, and adventure travel in general.
While other big packs try to wow you with straps and pockets galore, the Mercury 75 keeps its cards close to its chest - the features only appear when you need them, and tuck away when they aren't in use. Take the clever trekking pole attachment, for instance; its presence is betrated only by a little embroidered tab that says "poles" on it. When you tug on the tab, the elasticized holder comes out to grab your poles, then snaps back into place. Meanwhile, three mesh organizer pockets for your small items are hidden inside of the pack body, built into the reverse of the flaps that open the large front pocket and the duffel-style main compartment access. This pack is more organizationally adept than its minimalist exterior suggests.
The Mercury 75 uses Black Diamond's ergoACTIV suspension system, which incorporates a pivoting hipbelt and "SwingArm" shoulder straps to keep the pack from swinging out of balance as you scramble up the steep parts of your route. The pivoting hipbelt allows you to pick your knees up good and high to reach that next step, and the shoulder straps are connected together by a steel cable so that you can reach up and grab a hold without unbalancing the load.
Average Stock Weight : [M] 2,180 g (4 lb 12 oz); [L] 2,200 g (4 lb 13 oz)
Materials : 400D polyester twill, 420D nylon
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.
|Average Stock Weight:||4 lbs 13 oz / 2.22 kg|
|Bottom Width:||10 1⁄2 in|
|Hydration Bladder Included:||no|
|Ice Axe Loops:||yes|
|Material:||Nylon / Polyester|
|Middle Width:||11 1⁄2 in|
|Number of Pockets:||4|
|Primary Access:||Top & Front Panel Access|
|Ski / Snowboard Carrier:||no|
|Sleeping Bag Compartment:||yes|
|Strap Drop:||17 in|
|Strap Length:||39 1⁄2 in|
|Top Width:||12 in|
|Trekking Pole Loops:||yes|
|Volume:||4.699 cubic inches / 77 liter|
|•LG:||4699 cu in / 77 L.|
|•MD:||4577 cu in / 75 L.|
This is a phenomenal pack. From top to bottom Black Diamond got every detail right. I just spent some time backpacking in the Sawatch Range in Colorado with the 75 liter version and this is what I took away from the trip.
-The suspension system does everything BD says it should. I was carrying 50-60 lbs and the entire load was distributed comfortably into my hips with no chafing or squeezing. The back panel grants great air flow and the hip belt and shoulder straps are both well padded and anatomically shaped. The freedom of movement the pack allows made walking feel much more natural; I could hardly tell I was wearing a framed pack. It also made using poles much easier on my shoulders since the straps would extend with each swing of my arm.
-The organizational features are well thought out; It's essentially a single compartment pack, but the extra pockets BD included are useful for small items that would otherwise float around in the main body of the pack. The lid is spacious and has a pocket on its top and bottom. The interior mesh pockets are also easily accessible and sized just large enough to fit a shell or several pieces of small gear.
-The pack is built tough. The fabric is very wear resistant and the zippers and buckles all operate easily and are solid enough to really pull on when you're cinching down the pack.
-The pack also sizes down very well. I used it as a summit pack with only my ten essentials and extra water and it was able to tighten down without seeming awkward or bulky
I would highly recommend this pack to anyone who is looking for a piece of gear that handle anything from day trips to extended backpacking trips comfortably and elegantly.
So far I've used this pack on 3 different backpacking trips and it is great. The suspension system is unbelievably comfortable. When the straps are done correctly, you can barely tell you're wearing it. The bottom buckle is connected to the main pack using a ball-and-socket type swivel. This allows the main pack to move freely from the hip belt. There is also the ability to lock the swivel so the pack doesn't move independently from the hip belt, if you want. The material is pretty heavy duty, but you don't feel it in the weight of the pack. I'm not sure how water-resistant the material is, I've purchased a rain cover just to be safe. The pack also has a zippered on the front that allows access to the main compartment which is really handy when packing and unpacking. The main compartment also has a few small zippered pockets which are great for keeping your smaller items organized. All in all, this pack is fantastic!