UOG TOP PICK - Montane's Trailblazer 44 Rucksack - A fast and light pack with a high capacity - We've singled out Montane's Trailblazer 44 Litre Rucksack as one of our top recommendations because it's very lightweight, offers a really good capacity making it ideal for multiday fast and light trips. With a comfortable vest pack style harness and loads of great features which at this weight is a bonus.
Those clever Montane people have combined a vest harness and hip belt to produce a mountain marathon or ultralight backpacking rucksack that teems with features yet boasts an adjustable back, stiffened framesheet and weighs in at just 990grams - we like it.
When self-sufficiency is key, the Trailblazer® 44 allows you to move fast and light over long-distance mountain trails, where low-weight, stability and quick access to your kit is essential. The innovative Montane® COVALENT harness delivers a customisable, body-hugging fit without restricting movement. With a plentiful 44-litre storage capacity and a multitude of pockets, it offers easy access to hydration, food and essential kit while on the move.
A quick look at the weight versus capacity of Montane's Trailblazer 44 Litre Rucksack might suggest its fairly unremarkable - there are certainly lighter 44 Litre packs out there, but when you look at design, carry and what you get feature-wise the pack stands out like a beacon. Montane have combined a vest style carry harness with a padded hipbelt to produce what is surely one of the most stable packs available - ideal for runners, mountain marathoners and fastpackers.
44 Litres is enough for a backpacking load if you like fast and light and have the gear to support it and Montane have paid particular attention to accessibility of gear, so there are two zipped strap pockets and two very generous zipped mesh pockets on the hipbelt that continue round onto the sides of the main compartment - in a great piece of desiggn. There's a further external pocket on the main bag for wet tent, waterproofs or anything else you want out side of the main compartment. There are further zipped pockets inside and out although useability may be compromised by how full the main compartment is.
In addition to all these carrying options there's a supportive aluminium stave in the back panel and you can even adjust the back length to suit. A plastic framesheet and foam panel completes the harness system and keeps the load supported and off your back.
The Trailblazer 44 is aimed at mountain marathon type of activity but would be equally suitable for ultralight backpacking providing the overall weight is within sensible limits. The fact that the load is spread between the shoulders and hips suggests it wouldn't be suitable to carry heavy loads for long distances - but for the activity its aimed at its brilliant.
- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear
Is the quoted 44L volume the main compartment only, or does it include the side pockets?
The quoted 44L is for the main internal compartment only - the volume of the mesh side pockets is hard to calculate, and is therefore extra.
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