Built for guides or mountain masters, the BMG hauls all.
You have a lot of gear to haul over a great big mountain, and the beefy Mountain Hardwear BMG 105 Backpack prevents backbone-buckling on the third morning of your trek. For that, you can thank the Alpine Suspension and smart compression straps that transfer your heavy load from your shoulders to your hips and allow you to carry this extendable, guide-worthy pack over countless ridge lines.
- Two hollow stays add the structure you need to carry 70-pound loads and can be removed for lighter alpine quests
- Removable HardWave framesheet keeps the pack flat on your back for a comfortable and predictable carry over goat paths and crevasse crossings
- A large, stowable front strap condenses the main compartment when you’re carrying a smaller, low-bulk load
- Low-bulk FitLock waist belt redistributes the majority of the load to your powerhouse legs
- The removable top lid features a rope strap for alpine climbing trips and utilizes glove-friendly compression straps to shrink the load on the go
- FlapTop design means that the pack remains weather-resistant with or without the top lid attached
- Pack extends to provide up to 625 cubic inches (10L) of extra space during expeditions
- A front daisy chain, sleeping pad straps, and ice axe straps provide a variety of external carry options
- Item #MHW1770
- Q & A
Good pack / small tweaks for perfection
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
First off, I'm 5'10" x 165 lbs and purchased the S/M in this pack. In general I would say this was the correct size for me. This pack was purchased for longer trips in my nearby Cascades and Denali. I believe for my desired purposes this was probably the best option to fit my needs. I wanted a large 80L + pack that was as minimalist as possible but still provided lots of options for carrying items especially as I look to Denali. Overall I think MH did a great job making the pack as light as possible yet still leaving some features to allow you flexibility if you get in a pinch. Fabric in pretty much all areas is very durable and has taken general abrasion with no issues. Throw in the fact that this pack is made of a waterproof fabric and I really think this is the best "big pack" out there right now. Yes, there are packs that would probably carry a little bit better due to larger amounts of padding, etc. but get ready to add another 3-4 lbs to your back.
As to the features on the pack, some people have made comments about the massive # of straps, but I wouldn't call them a negative, in a pinch i think they do a great job of providing flexibility. Crampon pocket in the front is a little unnecessary but I used it with no issues. Just make sure to load your crampons in it before you stuff your pack full, otherwise fitting them in could be a little tough. Personally, if i was designing this pack, I'd ditch that crampon pocket and just put a stretchy shock cord here, but that's just my preference. There is a front pocket also behind the crampon pouch. While I didn't use this a lot, I did find it as a nice quick way to stash gloves and a few other things to keep them in an easy to access spot on my pack. Normally i would scoff at an extra pocket like this but in this case I was alright with it. The brain of the pack was also nice, large cavernous pocket of a thing, I normally just fill it and throw it inside the top sleeve of the pack once it is fully packed, like a purse ;) All in all i think most of the features on this pack were great and I would really only make small tweaks to make it perfect, but that's really just based off of other features i like on other more minimalist packs from First Ascent or Black Diamond.
So now for "how this thing carries". Here in lies MH's greatest opportunity to make some changes for the next iteration. First off, I've read a lot of reviews and heard a lot of people say that the difference in size between the S/M & the M/L is just too large. I could definitely understand this as it seemed people who have had/used this pack either really like it or hate it and my assumption a lot of that has to do with how it's sized. For me, the S/M actually worked pretty well for my torso length of 18. There is not a ton of wiggle room in changing the sizing on the pack but there was enough that I was able to get the shoulder straps where i needed them. My real challenge was with the hip belt and lumbar support in the pack. The hip belt that came with the pack is just tooooo small. If I would put any weight in the pack it felt like i had to crank the waist belt down to the point that i believe digestive systems were getting blocked. Luckily i figured this out early in testing out the pack and was able to look around on the internet and find another more substantial MH hip belt that was compatible with my pack. Upon changing out the hip belt I loved how the pack carried. In fact, even with around a ~60 lb load i found myself thinking, "this carries way better than i thought"! The last critique is lumbar support, I had to do some crazy bending of the aluminum stay and brace in the pack to make it sit better on my back, again once i dialed this, the carry of this thing was incredible! So all in all, I would absolutely recommend this pack, and hopefully MH takes the feedback here on backcountry to make small tweaks and I think they'll have the minimalist big pack market cornered!
Newest Model couldn't hold up
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Over the past couple months, I put this pack to the test, completing many week-plus long hiking and ski touring expeditions. I willing to try this pack out since I am a fan of other MH gear.
On the plus side, the material used is definitely durable. I have used crampons, ice axes, and skis butting up against it and very little sign of wear and tear. Through the rain storms and snow fall, my gear stored inside the pack has stayed relatively dry. In other words, the basics of an expedition pack were met.
However, my experience with this pack was overall negative. The buckles have a severe habit of breaking. Everytime in the field, I have broken the waist buckle it at least once. The waist belt seems cheaply made compared to other expedition packs, and doesn't perform as well as other models. The pockets on the front and sides are nearly useless when the pack is near capacity. Because the pack has not flex in the material, attempting to put water bottle in the sides is impossible. The front pocket loses most of its space when the pack starts bulging. Another pick at it is the sleeping pad straps force your sleeping pad under the pack instead of placing it out front, which is more a preference to keep the pad out of the snow and dirt, and better balance when you set the pack down.
Many in my group have tried this pack as well and Im not alone in my angst. Out of the 6 or 7 of us who have tried it, only one likes the pack and plans to keep it.
In the end, this pack will be staying back for my next and future expeditions.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: I think it is excellent for the weight. I am a former Marine, we know how to ruck with the best of them. I will sacrifice comfort for weight any day. If adjusted correctly.... the load bearing will be mostly on your hips with some on your shoulders. That was with 120lbs of stones I put in it for training. Yeah, I did.
Durability: Fantastic. I take good care of my stuff, so I really do not foresee any tears. Another guy posted about the belt. I think it is just fine. I don't cinch mine down. With that amount of weight, I did not lose any circulation or experience numbness.
Loading: Excellent. There are some inconvenient pocket locations, but this is not for packing in for a couple of miles. I bought this bag so I could put as much as I could tolerate weight wise in it. It does well with compression, so you could possibly use it as a big day pack if you want to lug it around.
Summary: I am 6'2" and weigh 270, this backpack was made for me. If you are looking for Cadillac comfort, you will not find it here. That was not the intent of the product. I have not tried the outdry capabilities....... I wouldn't just throw it in the lake to try it out.
Toy Like Waist Belt
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Not sure how anybody can be carrying 60lb+ loads with this waist belt. It is extremely flimsy and laughable for a pack labeled "Big Mountain Guide"
The features of this pack are perfect, and I really wanted to love this pack, but with a suspension system that can barely carry 50lbs let alone 80lbs+ its tough to give this pack a recommendation.
Here is a comparison between my two expedition backpacks. The one of the left being a Lowe Alpine Kanga Himal 100+15 SE.
Note the lack of lumbar support on the BMG.
Fit and waterproofness of the new OutDry
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
If you purchased a BMG OutDry backpack in 2013 or 2014 and it does not fit right, it might be that you got one of a shipment of these backpacks that has the stays reversed. See photo and comment under the South Col 70 backpack. This is easy to correct by simply taking out the stays and reversing them (actually one stay bent in the shape of a U). Mountain Hardwear corrected this but there may be some backpacks still in use with the stays reversed (My new BMG arrived with the stays reversed). If you are curious about how waterproof the OutDry fabric is, see the results of home tests under the South Col OutDry. The construction of the two backpacks is very similar and both were tested. The results are quite positive. Note: my rating is of the OutDry fabric (you cannot post here without giving a rating). I will wait until I have had more opportunity to test the BMG backpack before rating it. So far so good.
A lot of you have asked...
How the heck do I secure my ice axes?
(leaving the the packaging on the ax is optional)
Size chart Size Chart
So for those of you who have noticed that S/M and M/L are not sizes in the size chart link... here you go. This is a snap of the hangtag on the bag I took today. Measure your torso and compare it to this.
Great rugged pack
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Just purchased this pack and it is built tough. Loaded it with 80 lbs+ and did some testing to deternine the durability of the shoulder straps, sternum strap, and general material being used, and found that it far surpasses any of the other popular name brand packs. I have no concern with straps breaking on a climb with this pack (a possible expedition ruiner if you are carrying a lot of weight). Not overly impressed with the hip belt and find that it sits funny and seems overly large, even for a large pack. I would still highly recommend this pack to anyone. Plenty of capacity, and despite what the previous review said, it does pack up fairly small (remember this is still a 100+ L pack) when carrying smaller loads.
Purchased to use for ski-boat-mountaineering trip in Southeast Ak. After taking it on a 4 day trip I have to admit I'm not impressed. Pack seems to advertise as being a big pack that can be shrunk back into a small pack when not needed. All this seems to do is make a bad big pack, and a sloppy small pack. The stowable side compression straps have sloppy fittings which get tangled in the crampon pouch on the front of the pack. They also tend to slip. The crampon pouch is build into the pack so when you have your gear in the bag you really can't remove or stow crampons. This means when you hit the icy part of the glacier you have to pull 1/2 your gear out of the bag and keep it from sliding into nothingness so you can pull your crampons out and put them on, really bad design here. The bottom compression straps are too small to attach a tent or sleeping pad too. I like that the pack brain is removable but was annoyed with the lightweight compression strip deal. It doesn't stow when not in use, and tends to just flap around on your head. Lastly the bag is just kinda funky. I feel that I can stow as much gear in my 70L Gregory as I can in this 100+L bag.
On a positive note this bag can haul a 90Lb load up a glacier and still be pretty comfy. It is also far more economical than its competitors. I feel that M.H is close here, but needs to rethink a few aspects of the product.
Also Backcountry doesn't honor their free shipping to Alaska. Bummer here. Rei does honor their shipping deals.
Big Massive GINORMOUS
This pack has served me well over the last 2 years. Has stood up to everything i have thrown at it.
The fit is great right out of the box. The hip belt takes a couple of miles to adjust to. (most packs i have used need a little breaking in)
I have had 70+ lbs in this pack and it carried well. I can fit my 4 season North Face tent along with a -30 sleeping bag, food for a week, Emergency gear, and all my clothing and gear for sub 0 degree weather.
The pack doubles great for hauling climbing gear during the summer and I find myself using it for shorter summer treks just for the ease of use and option to carry that extra bit of gear to make life more enjoyable on the trail.
The expandable top section compresses nicely for shorter trips.
And like mentioned the pack does have a hydration pouch. With a loop for clipping on compatible bladders.
And if you have not worked with Mountain Hardwear on warranties they are amazing. Sent in an old tent with broken poles and a destroyed rain fly and was given new poles and fly and all i payed was shipping.
Great company to work with and always amazing products.
Designed for Denali!
I used this pack for Denali as well as multiple winter climbs in Colorado and the Dacks. I tested both Osprey and Gregory. This pack out performed all others. If your pulling a sled (Pulk) this is also the pack for you. Pricey but worth every penny!
um, dont clasp the top to the bottom
ok, if you happen to be playing around with this bag, looking to compress it a bit, and you decide (why i dont know) to connect the clasp from the top portion to the clasp from the sleeping bag compartment, be preppared to bust out pliars to get it undone. if you do this on the climb, you better hope somone has a leatherman tool. otherwise, its legit.
Is this bag the outdrive version because it doesn't show it in a description?
Question about the sizing. I see a S/M and M/L size available, but I'm not quite sure where I'd fit. I wear a 34 inch waist on everyday wear, but I'm unsure if I need to account for all the layers I'll be wearing on a week-long alpine trip. Since the S/M and M/L sizes appear to sit right on the 34-35 inch waist, do I go for the big size or small size?
I can relate to your sizing. I'm a 33" waist and went with the M/L and pleased with the fit. This allows for my layers to fit properly under the waist belt and the torso length is much better for my height of 6' with 21" torso. Talking with the Mountain Hardwear rep helped me out a bit when choosing the right size.
When you receive your pack save all the wrapping and leave the tags attached. Try it on with your layers, if it fits, bingo, if not return it for a proper size. BC has a great return policy on new return and exchange.
Meanwhile I hope you enjoy your upcoming week-long alpine trip!
Does anyone know if this pack has a method...
Does anyone know if this pack has a method for adjusting shoulder strap height?
Has anybody got a response to this question? I too would be interested before I decide to buy a new bag.
Jon, gilp-- The BMG 105 has fixed shoulder straps. Torso adjustment (i.e. moving shoulder straps up/down) is a great feature but it does add weight and increases possible failure points.
There are Mountain Hardwear packs with this feature - see Shaka/Lani series. However, the BMG (Big Mountain Guide) was purpose built for professional guides and opts for the lighter and longer term durability construction and multiple sizes still allow for a great fit.
hi guys! I was just about to buy this...
I was just about to buy this pack, but then I noticed it's only available in size S;
when do you think you'll get the medium again?
or is small all you sell?
Backcountry.com strives to keep as up-to-date of an inventory as possible with multiple selections of products/sizes to choose from. At this moment, we currently have small, medium, and large packs available. If we don't have an item available I would highly suggest checking once a week as the inventory can change quickly!
A concern I have with larger packs is the...
A concern I have with larger packs is the ability to look up while wearing a helmet- does this pack have a little "scooped" out section to help create space when you tip your head back? (or similar solution). For example the Gregory Palisade 80 is shaped slightly to allow this but not quite enough in my opinion. Any help appreciated, thanks!
Mountain hardwear does not have a "scooped section like that. The only packs that I've used that have an intentional section like that for being able to look up while wearing a helmet would be Osprey packs. And if you are gonna go with a pack this large(6400cu in), Id go with Osprey(or Gregory) anyways because they seem to have better packs when it comes to large capacity. Mountain hardwear is better with mid sized to small technical packs. Hope that answers your question.
I was wondering how well this pack compresses...
I was wondering how well this pack compresses down when carrying a smaller load?
I will be using it as an all purpose mountaineering pack, but also for warmer rock climbing trips where I want to walk in with all my sleeping/camping gear plus a sizeable rack and rope and be able to dump the camping gear at a site and still be able to go cragging with this pack.
Also, not a necessity, but if it works I would also like to use this for days out ice climbing.
It compresses down quite well. Also,I have used mine on day ice trips with no problems.
alo. It compresses down well but if you want the most versatile pack in our line I would check out the South Col. It is a bit smaller at 70 L but is lightweight and compresses down amazingly well. I hope this info helps!