New

Montane Trailblazer 44 Litre Rucksack

44 Litres / Internal Frame / Hydration Compatible
Weighs 990g
Code: SS19686
  • Now £91.99
  • (FREE UK & EU Delivery)
+ In Stock Now | Usually dispatched within 24 hours
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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.

Montane says:

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.

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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

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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.

Help and advice:Choosing a rucksack at Ultralight Outdoor Gear
  • Customisable, body-hugging COVALENT harness 
  • Structured, easily adjustable ZephyrAD back system 
  • Pre-curved, lightweight, central aluminium frame 
  • Two off-centre Montane Click and Go chest harness straps 
  • Two harness pockets with security zips 
  • Accessible, wrap-around wand pockets with security zips
  • Front zipped pocket and stretch pocket external storage 
  • ‘Z’ shaped side compression straps 
  • Front daisy chain with reflective detailing
  • Front and under arm pole carry system
  • Weight: 990g
  • One size: Adjustable
  • Capacity: 44 Litres
  • Maximum dimensions (cm): 57 (H) / 30 (W) / 26 (D)

Materials

  • RAPTOR Cross Lite 70 Denier fabric 
  • RAPTOR Resistance 210 Denier base panels 
  • CONTACT Air Mesh Plus on harness
  • CONTACT Open Mesh back panel
  • HALO lining
Showing our 1 review for Montane Trailblazer 44 Litre Rucksack. Write a review ›
Review Summary - 5 out of 5 based on 1 rating.
April 21, 2019 | Bearded Bimbler
Great pack, could be greater... Still a Trailblazer...

Bought two packs, one for the wife and one for myself. I've been using another brand of fastpack and saw these. We figured the 44L would be ideal for a 10 day trek in Norway. We're familiar with vest style harnesses and have respect for Montane gear through experience. 1st impression was 'fantastic' and we set about packing for a two day hike with a camp. The 44L seems conservative but these packs swallow gear. We usually travel with ultralight gear, but this time we loaded our packs out, similar to what we expect to carry in Norway. We couldn't find a recommended load weight... so we just packed them with three season type kit. With 1.5L of water each, my pack weighed a heavy 12.6kg and my wife carried a total of 8.4kg. They filled out well and carried effortlessly for the weight. There was some gentle bobbing, when loaded and on the move.
The wand pockets swallowed my wind shirt, water/sterilising kit, midge net, spare running cap, gloves and ultralight compact phone/camera tripod. The harness pockets carried my large mobile p30 pro phone, so would also carry a phone as large as a Samsung S10+ etc. I fitted a 500ml soft flask (not provided by point of sale) to one of the pockets. I used the front harness bungee as a securing feature, as found on running vests. Sadly, this elastic is only on one side of the harness. A point lost there. Would be better to have one available on each side, not just for use as I did... but for the choice of either side for attachments. Perhaps the pack would benefit from slightly more volume, of these two pockets and perhaps a small pocket sewn on the lower external material for small items, like salt tablets, small head torch, whistle etc... or perhaps a larger mesh external pocket for a compass to be quick when blazing the trail?
The chest straps work very well, and the clip system is great. Sometimes the cord pulls get in the way, but it's a minor detail. The lock is secure and the elastic gives freedom of movement when breathing hard, or the need to unzip a layer, without having to unclip. I would have liked to have seen a whistle attached to one of the chest clips for emergency use for incidents whilst wearing the pack. Another point lost. The vest adjustment pulls work great, but loses a point for problems fastening poles in whilst running. This is due to the web loops being able to move to freely and allow the pole (mine are folding type) to work free. Perhaps a better kind of system can be found? The harness itself, works very well and is very comfortable and secure considering the low bulk and profile. The hip belt, again works very well, with easy adjustment, secure fit when backing the load off the shoulders while descending or to let some cool air through. The temperature this weekend we're very high in the Lakes and the padding on both the shoulders and waist never felt sweaty. The load lifters work well and we found them easy to adjust on the fly. The adjustable back sizing is easy and quick to adjust until that 'sweet spot' is found. It's difficult to say whether the aluminium brace helps with comfort or not. As a gram weenie I will be trying it without this when my base weight is around 6kgs or less.
The day after our camping hike, we used them as day packs. I again packed heavier than normal, to see how the Trailblazer handled it with 8kg (inc. 2L of water). I hiked with the waist belt unfastened. I was amazed at how comfortable it still was. It's a shame the waist belt isn't removable to give more freedom when fast packing. As the wand pockets are nearly independent of the waist strap, they would work well without the padded wings. (I may cut mine off if I buy a spare to trim weight off for weight saving when fastpacking with my ultralight kit (sub 5kg base for summer season). I had no difficulty with reaching the zip pulls or the small side pockets on the main pack. They will comfortably take an 850ml soft bottle but if the pack is loaded out as well as the wand pockets, a Nalgene size bottle would be almost impossible to insert on the fly, as a soft bottle can take some inserting when full.
Onto the rear... the mesh... oh the mesh. I'm a big fan of stretch mesh on packs, and have it on three of my other packs. On the description page, it mentions using the mesh for a tent fly or coat. I put some soft items inside, 1st aid kit, foil blanket, etc but rightly or wrongly, inserted a folded OS map inside as I wanted my wife to be able to access it easily as we moved. Wrongly, I inserted it between my soft kit and the mesh.... This resulted in a small hole being torn by the corner of the laminated map... NOT a good experience. My other packs have endured more testing items than this! It doesn't bode well. The daisy chain tape is  great and it will be very durable even though it should have very light items attached. Another brand uses a thin cord and have had durability and craftsmanship issues, Montane won't have these problems. I attached some thin bungee cord and secured my small sit-mat, rolled up. I will confidently add a cinch cord for stretching between the loops to secure the top opening of the mesh or to attach an ultralight foam sleep pad, poles or walking axe. Cords are EXCELLENT, very easy to use, adjustable, secure and glove friendly. I wish I had two more. The rear bottom pole/walking axe holders, sadly have no adjustment ability, and again can loosen with bounce and allow poles to slip. They are however quite easy to reach whilst wearing the pack if it's not loaded with too much bulk at the bottom. Which brings me to what I see as another area for IMPROVEMENT. The side compression webs which start too high up the pack and allow the base of the pack to balloon outwards. This becomes annoying if squeezing through ancient passageways in walls or narrow kissing gates. It can also be a hindrance when turning round to close a gate next to a fence. My wife turned the wrong way and scuffed a barbed fence with the rear of her pack when closing the gate. Fortunately it was a light scuff, and her mistake, thankfully the lightest of contact and no damage. This could have been a lot worse. How her mesh didn't tear on the fence when mine did with a map is a mystery. The 'bivi pocket' between the body is a great feature and deceivingly spacious. A great place for keeping secure items that you don't want to be exposed.
The base of the pack is made with more robust material and should survive a few good skirmishes with rock, gravel etc. The main body is FANTASTIC it will swallow kit and is a pleasure to use. The top opening appears to be slightly wider than the trunk and makes adding and removing kit a real pleasure compared to the usual competitors fastpacks which are narrow at the top. The webbing around the top to makes the roll top great and I'm glad Montane didn't add Velcro, as this is a real pain for snagging on sleeves or fleeces etc. The roll-top fastening is fantastic as it allows you to either attach to the lower webbing buckles or leave fastened across the top. This works well when you're going in and out of the bag at camp. This brings me to the grab loop... Very well made, perhaps too well made depending on how the bag sits. It can occasionally rub on the back of a bare neck. Not so good. Perhaps marginally smaller or softer tape would be better?
Inside the main pouch, the valuables type pocket is great, but perhaps overkill on the material and weight could have been saved with lighter material and zip. The bladder pouch is a good size and as I don't use a bladder, it is handy for keeping certain kit items separate and easy to access without opening your pack Liner. I do recommend using a liner as even though the seams are solidly constructed, there is plenty of opportunity for prolonged exposure to driving rain, for moisture to track inside. I have yet to get the pack soaked through, but will expose it to prolonged soaking with a bathroom shower to see how long it takes for signs of ingress.
Overall, after 3 days use we are very happy with the Trailblazer and look forward to racking the miles up with it. The quoted weight on the site is 980g mine weighs in at 1002g. A bit of a disappointment as on the label it states approximately 800g!!! Which is what the Trailblazer 30 is reputed to be. If it was nearer to the 800g mark, it would knock a lot of the ultralight fastpacks into the dust thanks to its excellent comfort and great features. I'm looking forward to trying it with minimum overnight kit and blazing some trails. I'm that happy, I'm seriously considering a third pack in the form of the 30L to strip back a bit and tweak where I can for fast and light flight. Thanks Montane... Further Faster we will go.
PS. I could have written more but I've done this on a phone... I have also done a review on YouTube for folks to see.

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