Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

Review: Montane Women’s Trailblazer 24L Backpack

Written by Fiona

January 19 2023

I have been testing the Montane Women’s Trailblazer 24L Backpack, which is described as “close-fitting, lightweight and great for fast-paced activities”.

Features include:

  • RAPTOR Cross Lite 70 Denier fabric
  • RAPTOR Resistance 210 Denier base panels
  • Air Mesh Plus on harness
  • Open Mesh back panel
  • Articulated women’s specific shoulder straps with body curve design
  • Adjustable women’s ZephyrAD back system
  • Two off-centre Montane Click and Go chest harness straps
  • Two harness pockets with security zips
  • Wrap-around wand pockets with security zips
  • Single clip top opening with quick release adjustment
  • Side compression
  • Front daisy chain with reflective detailing
  • Multiple pole attachment points.
  • Colourways: Green or black
  • Weight: 720 g
  • Price: £90
  • See Montane Women’s Trailblazer® 24L Backpack.

My thoughts: Montane Women’s Trailblazer® 24L Backpack

The Montane Women’s Trailblazer 24L Backpack sits between the lightweight, minimalistic Montane Trailblazer LT 20l pack and the heavier Montane Women’s Azote 24l pack with a more sophisticated mesh back system. 

It’s the sort of pack that works well for lightweight hiking, running and fast-packing. The pack weighs 708g on my sales, so it’s a bit lighter than advertised by Montane. 

The back system is lightly padded and sits against the back. This will cause sweat if you are working hard and it’s hot weather. However, it’s a lightweight padded mesh and many fast-packing rucksacks have similar. Basically, the pack saves weight by not having a mesh supported back system, such as with the Azote. 

The pack length can be adjusted with a velcro system. This is really useful and it will be welcomed by women who are smaller and taller.

The shoulder straps and hip-belt are also lightly padded. I’d say the padding is just about sufficient for carrying the pack fully packed. The shoulder straps also sit around the chest so the pack is comfortable if you have larger breasts.

There are plenty of pockets and compartments. The main area is accessed through a top lid, which has one clip, and an elastic cinch. I prefer a top zip into the main compartment for ease, but the lid does have the advantage of adding some weather protection to the inside of the pack.

The top lid also has a zipped pocket on top. This is made of mesh so it is not weather protected. If you put anything in this pocket you’ll need to place it in a waterproof bag first if you think it will be wet weather.

There are two large mesh hip pockets. They are accessed via a zip or an open top. The pockets are meant to be easily accessible but I didn’t find them easy to reach when the pack is on unless because I am not very flexible. However, they are large and useful places to stash kit you need to get to quickly.

There are also two useful pockets on the shoulder straps. These are great for stashing snacks, small items of kit and a car key, for example. 

The hydration sleeve is internal, which you’ll either like or dislike. The advantage of an internal hydration sleeve is it keeps the water away from being directly against your back so there is less sloshing noise from the water. However, when you want to refill the bladder you need to rummage around the inside of the pack, which might be full of kit, to access it and then refill, before shoving it back in. There is a useful hanger loop for the bladder. 

There are two sternum straps and they have the same rather annoying clips that the Azote has. They are fine if your hands are warm, but when trying to clip this system with cold hands or hands in gloves, it becomes a bit of a chore. 

Other clips are traditional and easy to use. Note that this is a lightweight pack and so the clip are also lightweight. Take care not to tread on them when the pack is lying on the floor because I expect they will be quite easy to break. 

Conclusion: This is a great pack for day hikes and fast-packing. Montane’s Women’s Trailblazer 24L Backpack is a cross between a heavier, more standard walking pack and a running vest pack. There are plenty of pockets and the comfort when walking all day is good. 

More Like This

Run

Runner Imo Boddy sets new UK’s Three Peaks Challenge record

Adventure

Runner aims for record JOGLE3Peaks – and raises funds for Keep Me Breathing

Adventure

Lagganlia: A great destination for a weekend break with friends

Adventure

Walker Lorraine McCall tackles toughest Scottish mountains challenge yet

Adventure

Gamekeeper turned runner to take on Cape Wrath Ultra 2024

Adventure

Review: Gregory Alpaca gear organisers