Free Softflask

Montane Trailblazer® 44

Close-fitting, lightweight multi-day trekking essential
980g Weight (approx)
Code: PTB44
  • $135.00

Description

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.

Loading...

CONSTRUCTION

  • 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

FEATURES

  • 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

CONSTRUCTION

  • RAPTOR Cross Lite 70 Denier fabric in the main body is tough and lightweight
  • RAPTOR Resistance 210 Denier base panels provide excellent durability
  • CONTACT Air Mesh Plus on the harness for added breathability and reduced weight
  • Durable HALO lining

FEATURES

  • Customisable, body-hugging Montane® COVALENT harness designed for a superior fit and extended comfort, adjusted via the duel direction under arm pull.
  • The easily adjustable ZephyrAD back system allows the wearer to quickly adjust the back length to their exact requirements with additional core body ventilation from the CONTACT Open Mesh back panel
  • Pre-curved, lightweight, central aluminium frame for load carrying support
  • ‘Z’ side compression system allows for quick stabilisation of the load on the move
  • Quick release pole carry system on the front of the pack
  • Two off-centre Montane Click and Go chest harness straps for added stability on the go
  • Two harness pockets with security zip for easy to reach storage
  • Accessible, wrap-around wand pockets with locking security zip for extra storage options
  • Fast access bivi opening with glove compatible Cord Lord quick release system
  • Large front zipped pocket with quick access stretch pocket for storage of wet fly sheet or jacket
  • Front of pack daisy chain with reflective detailing for added safety in the mountains
Showing 2 of our total 3 reviews, with an average rating of 5 stars. Read all 3 reviews for Montane Trailblazer® 44.
Write a review ›
Review Summary - 5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings.
  • Overall Performance
  • Quality
  • Value for Money
  • Review Date - 21st April 2019
  • Product Reviewing? - Colour: CHARCOAL, Size: ONE SIZE / ADJUST
  • Would you recommend this product? - Yes
  • Gender - Male

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. 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 the shoulder season type kit.
With 1.5L of water each, my pack weighed a heavy 12.6kg, my wife carried a total of 8.4kg.

They filled out well and carried effortlessly for the weights..
There was some gentle bobbing, when loaded.
The wand pockets swallowed my windshirt, 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, there is only this elastic on one side of the harness. A point lost there. Would be greater to have one available on each side... Not just for use as I did... but for choice of either side for attachment.
Perhaps 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.... 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 the need to unclip.
I would have liked to have seen a whistle attached to one of the chest clips for emergency use after a fall etc whilst wearing the pack. Another point lost.

The vest adjustment pulls work great, but lose a point if fastening poles in whilst jogging, 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 its self, works very well and is very comfortable and secure considering its low bulk and profile.
The hip belt, again works ver well, easy adjustment, secure fit when backing the load off the shoulders while descending or to let some cool air through. The tempreture 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 wether the luminium 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....
With 8kg (Inc. 2L of water) I hiked with the waist belt un fastened. I was amazed at how comfortable it still was. Its a shame the waistbelt isn't removable to give more freedom when fast packing.
As the wand pockets are nearly Independant 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 shoulder season)
I had no difficulty with reaching the zip pulls.
As for the small side pockets on the main pack. They will comfortably take an 850ml smart bottle but if the pack is. Loaded out and the wand pockets, a nalgene size bottle would be almost impossible to insert on the fly, as a smart 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 however great as 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 and secured my small sitmat rolled up. I will confidently add a synch cord for stretching between the loops to secure the top opening of the mesh. Or to attach an ultralight foam. Sleep pad?
The supplied pole, 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, start too high up the pack and allows the base of the pack to balloon outwards, which becomes annoying if squeezing through ancient passageways in walls or narrow kissing gates. It can also be a hinderence 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. Fortunately the lightest of contact and no damage.
This could have been alot 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 deceivingky spacious. A great place for keeping secure items that you don't want to be exposed.
The base of the pack is 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 a competitors fastpack that is narrow at the top.
The webbing around the top to make the roll top is great and I'm glad Montane didn't add velcro, as this is a real pain for snagging on sleeves or fleeces etc.
The rooltop 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 your 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?
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, 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 alot 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.
P's. I could have wrote more but I've written this on a phone.... I have done a review on YouTube for folks to see.

April 21, 2019
Bearded Bimbler
  • Overall Performance
  • Quality
  • Value for Money
  • Review Date - 26th March 2019
  • Product Reviewing? - Colour: ELECTRIC BLUE, Size: ONE SIZE / ADJUST
  • Would you recommend this product? - Yes
  • Gender - Male

Was originally impressed with the 30L version in terms of weight and features so investigated and bought 44L version. Required for long mountain days, carrying group/ML kit, winter mountain days or lightweight overnighters.
Features that attracted me were ample pockets easily accessible so that I can reach/stow essential items on the go and/or without having to take the pack off - compass etc fits perfectly in the shoulder strap pockets (perhaps phone in the other strap pocket on a dry day). I can stow a folded map & case easily in the hipbelt pocket, the other is great for stowing lgoves or a hat on the move (although I may add to the zip pulls on these pockets to make them more easily located by a gloved hand). The traditional side pockets seem fine for a water bottle and are adequate for my 1L nalgene bottle (although perhaps I'd prefer a deeper pocket for that purpose).
I thought I'd miss the more usual lid pockets but the zipped front pocket ( behind the usual stretchy mesh panel) more than makes up for these and the inner zipped pocket near the top at the rear of the bag gives an extra secure storage option.
The fit of the bag is comfortable, feels secure (no wobble on walking, no bouncing up and down) and so far it seems to have adequate airflow on my back (and I get run hot and sweaty when out so it has to do a good job here).
Construction seems solid with the materials far sturdier than perhaps suggested by the packs light weight.
Overall I've found this a well-designed, well thought-out, well-constructed pack that's enjoyable to use.

March 26, 2019
Gavin
Showing 2 of our total 3 reviews, with an average rating of 5 stars. Read all 3 reviews for Montane Trailblazer® 44.
Write a review ›
Top