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Review: Montane Trailblazer LT 20L pack

Written by Fiona

October 19 2022

I have been testing the Montane Trailblazer LT 20L Backpack when running and walking. Montane state: “This is the ultimate fast and light day pack with the benefit of a body-hugging design.”

Features of the Montane Trailblazer LT 20L Backpack:

  • “COVALENT” harness system, with customisable body-hugging design and accessible pocket configuration
  • Fully taped waterproof construction
  • Low weight: 300g
  • Roll top opening: Fully taped roll top opening and when folded 3 times seals the opening keeping it watertight
  • Chest straps: Two off-centre Montane Click-and-Go chest harness straps for better weight distribution
  • External Storage bungee: Integrated bungee for external storage or compression, for quick access and extra storage
  • Wrap-around pockets: Wrap-around wand pockets with security zips for storage and quick accessibility.
  • Construction: RAPTOR Fly Lite 40 denier siliconised nylon ripstop fabric with a TPU coating
  • Pole attachments
  • Underarm pole carry system
  • Waist harness
  • Two harness pockets with security zips
  • Hydration bladder compatibility
  • Hydration bladder pocket is external to the main watertight compartment.
  • Pack dimensions: 45cm (H) x 26cm (W) x 14cm (D)
  • Price: £100
  • Unisex design and one size only
  • See: Montane Trailblazer LT 20L Backpack.
  • There is a 28l alternative.

My thoughts: Montane Trailblazer LT 20L pack

Firstly, this is a very lightweight pack and at first I thought it felt too flimsy but it turned out to be a great pack when filled with lots of items. No one wants to have extra weight in the actual pack, so it is a bonus to find a pack that is very lightweight from the outset.

I wanted a pack that would offer enough space for longer day trail runs and my other packs hold up to only 10l of kit. The 20l space allows me to carry enough items for day runs and walks in both summer and winter.

The fabric is very light but also seems durable enough. It is also waterproof, which is a great bonus.

Montane say the body hugging fit is customisable and fine for use by men and women. I think that larger chested women might struggle to get a secure enough fit to stop the pack bouncing about. Ideally, you’ll want the two chest straps to be secured above and below the chest.

The waist strap is a bit of a weak design area in my opinion. I prefer a slightly wider strap and one that is located a bit higher up my torso. Better still make it a wider strap that is secured by velcro for comfort and easy adjustment, such as with the Montane VIA Snap pack.

I find I need the waist strap to be pulled quite tightly to stop the pack bouncing about. I guess there is a compromise to be had because my other running packs are smaller in size and so the securing straps are naturally located higher up my torso.

Also because this is a one-size-fits-all pack and for both men and women, it’s really a bit over-sized for me. I am a slim female and I need to have all the straps tightened, which means there is a lot of excess strap flapping about.

However, to be fair, when walking and running with the pack it does do a good job of being back-hugging, despite my doubts. I just wish there could be a female fit and a male fit for this pack.

There are plenty of places to carry items of kit and bits and pieces. The main compartment is roomy and I like the roll top. This means you can roll the pack down to suit the kit you have inside.

There is also a useful external bungee that allows you to increase or decrease the size of the pack, again depending on how much kit you are carrying.

There are plenty of pockets, both open-top stretch pockets and zipped pockets. I like to be able to carry my larger size iPhone in a zipped pocket and this pack has several options.

Some people might like more options of pockets on the shoulder straps. The Montane Trailblazer LT 20L Backpack has just one zipped pocket on each side.

The waistband pockets are also zipped and really useful.

As you would expect there is a useful pole carrying system. Many walkers and runners now use poles but sometimes you want to carry them rather than use them.

Conclusion: The Montane Trailblazer LT 20L Backpack is a very lightweight running or walking pack that carries 20 litres of kit. This is enough for a day of running or hiking.

There are many other pros, including the waterproof fabric, body-hugging design, pockets and useful features, such as a pole carrying system.

The cons of this pack are that it is one-size-fits-all and quite large for a small female. I managed to get it to fit by pulling all the straps together but that left a lot of excess strapping to flap around. The pack is quite long for me. I would also prefer a wider waist strap.

The price is comparable to other brands, apart from, for example, Harrier. It’s worth considering the Montane Trailblazer LT 20L Backpack for day runs or walks.

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