BD Mission 75 pack
- reACTIV XP suspension with fixed shoulder straps and
- thermoformed backpanel
- Top-loading, with removable, floating top pocket, skirt closure &
- tuck-away rope strap
- Ice-tool PickPockets, three-point haul system, & ladder-lock
- crampon straps
- Removable, padded hipbelt with fixed webbing belt
- Hydration compatible
- Small: volume – 73 L; weight – 1.61 kg (3 lb 8 oz); waist – 27-32”; torso – 15.5-18.5”
- Medium: volume – 75 L; weight – 1.63 kg (3 lb 9 oz); waist – 29-34”; torso – 17.5-20.5”
- Large: volume – 77 L; weight – 1.65 kg (3 lb 10 oz); waist – 34-39”; torso – 19.5-23.5”
Reviewer: Waist – 29”; Torso length – 18”
Days Tested: 40
Test Locations: Sangre de Cristo Mountains & Sawatch Range, CO
The Mission 75 pack is essentially a scaled-up and beefed-up version of Black Diamond’s excellent Speed series of lightweight packs (see our review of the Speed 30 pack)
The Mission 75 is a lightweight, 75L-capacity pack and shares the streamlined, strippable, minimalist feature set of the Speed 30, but comes with a stronger suspension system, thicker padding on the waistbelt and shoulder straps, and several more pockets and zippers.
Black Diamond calls the suspension system on the Mission 75 the “reACTIV XP”. Unlike the reACTIV suspension on the Speed series that allows the shoulder straps to float, the reACTIV XP uses fixed shoulder straps and a thermoformed back panel, along with a removable waist belt.
The fixed straps on the Mission 75 do not allow as much freedom of movement when scrambling with the pack on, but they also keep heavy loads more centered than the movable straps on the Speed 30.
I admit that this next comparison isn’t entirely fair since the Mission 75 is a larger pack, but I would say that the reACTIV XP suspension of the Mission 75 carried heavy loads relative to the pack size better than the reACTIV system. I carried up to about sixty pounds in the Mission 75 including multiple days of 6+ miles of steep bushwhacking, and although my shoulders and hips came to hurt from carrying the sheer weight of that load for twelve days, I never felt like the suspension was collapsing under the load.
That said, the padding and suspension on the Mission 75 is not as plush or beefy as on packs like the MHM Fifty-Two 80, or the Dana Designs Astralplane. But that is a reflection of the intended purpose of the pack. Packs like the MHM and the Dana Designs are intended for carrying large loads in comfort. The Mission 75 is designed to be a lighter pack that offers greater versatility, while still allowing for large loads to be carried in relative comfort.
Compared to other large alpine expedition packs, the Mission 75 is significantly lighter; the size medium Mission weighs 3lbs 9oz, compared to the Gregory Denali 75 at 6lbs 6oz, or the Cilo Gear 75L Worksack at 4lbs 12oz.
The only well-regarded, large alpine pack that I’m aware of that equals the Mission 75 in weight is the Wild Things Andinista, at 3lbs 8oz. However, the Andinista requires very specific packing to carry heavy loads comfortably due to its lack of a rigid framesheet. The Mission 75, with aluminum stays and a plastic framesheet carried loads exceptionally well, with no special packing required.
I tested the Mission 75 in a size medium, same as the Speed 30 I reviewed. The Mission 75 also comes in size Small (73L capacity) and size Large (77L capacity).
I found the size Medium fit me just about perfectly. The waist belt was small enough to cinch down over just a t-shirt, but large enough to fit comfortably over a puffy on extremely cold mornings.
The back length was also just right. The waist belt sat snug on my hips, and the shoulder straps were at the right height on my back. The pack does not have any adjustability in the back length like the MHM Fifty-Two 80 or the Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 70, so make sure to get the right size.
NEXT: Features, Performance, Etc.