Black Diamond Mercury 75 & Onyx 65 Women's Packs


Today we're looking at the Black Diamond Mercury 75 and the women's-specific Onyx 65, slightly smaller version of this pack. These are really interesting balances of classic backpacking features, great access points, load-bearing suspension systems and also a sleek, modern look. The suspension system on here has some tweaks that make it unique from a lot of what else is out there. We've turned the Mercury around to take a closer look at the innovative, ergoACTIV XP suspension system. You'll see a nice channel, straight through the center here which gives you some nice breathability. Excellent padding here on the back, also perforated in a manner that allows air to flow to keep you cool. What you cannot see, in the interior of the pack, is a light wire aluminum frame. It gives this really nice support and stability, but also keeps things lightweight. It comes up around the top and there's also a lightweight center stay which adds further to the support and stability. The shoulder straps, nicely padded, contoured here to fit and on the women's model, you'll find that the contouring differs a bit. Gender-specific features throughout so that that's a better fit for women. A unique feature on these shoulder straps is they're actually connected by cabling, so they work together in tandem, mirroring your movement on the trail and really giving you excellent mobility on or off trail. At the base of the pack, we're looking at the ergoACTIV XP hipbelt. Nice padding, nice wrap, again contoured in a fashion to give you the best fit with a gender-specific construction on the women's models. There is a unique ball joining attachment. It's hidden out of view here that really allows this to move with you, enhancing that freedom of movement without causing the top of the pack to become unstable or shift out of position. The ball joint attachment point which is unique compared to most of what's out there in the marketplace, does require connection and fine-tuning along the way. There's an Allen wrench included right here in the hipbelt pocket, so you've always got that ready should you need it. There's also a lock-out feature here on the hipbelt that allows you to cinch it down and take some of that movement out of the belt when you just want a stable carry. The Mercury and the Onyx have dual access features. Certainly a traditional top-loading aspect. You can see the adjustable storm collars that live beneath the lid. Those can come up or down as needed, depending on how much you're carrying. The lid itself can be raised or lowered in height to accommodate that and can come off entirely and be used as a minimalist hip pack. In addition to that top-loading access, you can also access the Mercury and the Onyx through a front panel. Nice, weather-resistant zippers used throughout the pack give this nice all-weather performance. Peel back that face and you can see right into the main storage compartment. You can see all the gear we have in here. A couple of nice organizational pockets, zippered so they separate things nicely. Just out of sight here is a panel that can be used to separate the compartment into two, separate compartments. We're not using it that way at the moment. A nice pocket on the front of that panel, it gives you even more options for storing. Another zippered pocket there. You've got the trekking pole attachment loops integrated right into the pack and those tuck away when not in use. Stretch water bottle pockets on either side, hipbelt pockets for further storage. A really nice feature set on these packs that makes them great options for multi-day or extended backpacking trips.


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