Montane 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 840grams - we like it.
The Trailblazer® 30 is designed for rapid, 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 an ample 30-litre storage capacity and a multitude of pockets, it offers easy access to hydration, food and essential kit while on the move.
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A quick look at the weight versus capacity of Montane's Trailblazer 30 Litre Rucksack might suggest its fairly unremarkable - there are certainly lighter 30 Litre packs out there, but when you look at design, carry and what you get feature-wise the pack really stands out. 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.
For some people with the right kit and mentality 30Litres is enough for a few days backpacking 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 design. 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.
Unlike the 44 Litre Trailblazer this pack doesn't have the aluminium frame, but it does have a plastic stiffened back panel with a foam panel separating you from the contents of the rucksack. It also has the adjustable back length enabling you to achieve a fine tuned fit.
The Trailblazer 30 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
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