Montane Medusa 32

Montane Medusa 32

When I fist clapped eyes on the new pack range from Montane I was really looking forward to trying one out, I’ve had plenty of Montane gear over the years and have never been disappointed with any of it whether it was my Terra Convert Trousers or the Superfly XT (which I just sold as it’s now too big) or even the my Air Pants which are without doubt the best waterproof trousers I’ve ever owned.

The Medusa 32 is no let down either, when I first picked it up in the shop It felt really solid but at the same time surprisingly light, I just hoped that it fit as I’ve always had a problem getting smaller sacks with a long enough back so that I can use the hip belt. Luckily it was just about right, maybe an inch too short but even when loaded up it still felt comfy and unobtrusive.  The back pad is comfy and not too sweaty, it also doesn’t intrude on space in the sack like some other back systems.

It’s made from Raptor UTL fabric which means absolutely nothing to me but it’s light, stretchy and feels reasonably tough, it seems to be reinforced in all of the right places too so time will tell just how hard wearing it is and if the stretchy bits end up going baggy. It beads water reasonably well and dries out pretty quickly too so if your out walking for a few days you won’t be left with a wet sack. There’s even a choice of colours but I just had to have the blue and orange combo.

The material on the inside of the straps is also nice and soft which should mean it doesn’t rub on your outer-layer so much, which has certainly been a problem for me in the past with other rucksacks.

There’s one main gear compartment which has a nifty little opening device, which you can see in action here and the single clip opening means you can get to your gear quickly and easily even with gloves on, it also comes in handy for quickly storing your jacket/jumper under when things get hot on ascents.

There are plenty of places to attach gear and the sack even comes with some extra bungee cord to attach to the front should you feel the need. The little pocket on the hip belt isn’t anything new but it does come in handy and the stretch material means you can cram a little bit extra in there. The gear loop on the other side is perfect for hanging my camera off which is something I’ve struggled with in the past.  The belt it’s self is well padded, adjusts easily and is flexible enough so that when you need to stash the sack in your tent it doesn’t protrude taking up valuable space.

My only criticism on the gear storage  would be that it would be nice to have somewhere on one of the shoulder straps, maybe where the hydration tube clip is, to clip my GPS, that would mean it wouldn’t swing around on the chest strap. (UPDATE: I got a new clip for my gps which fits on the strap)

The pack has lots of nice little touches to it like the buddy pocket on the top so that your walking companion can open it without you having to crouch over or take your sack off, the pocket also has a stiffened lip to stop stuff rolling straight out when the zip is opened…genius.

If you’ve got ice axes the the there’s a nifty way of storing them, I’ve not got any so not tried it but the space can easily be used for attaching rope or other bits of equipment.

It would also be nice if there was a whistle built into the chest strap like on so many other rucksacks, not that i’ve ever used it but you never know.

The stretchy side pockets are easily big enough for widemouth bottles which fit nice and snug without falling out and the straps above the pockets come in handy for skinnier, taller bottles or walking poles.

All in all I’m over the moon with the pack and can see it being a constant companion for the foreseeable,  at around £70 (RRP £80)  it’s keenly priced especially with the amount of thought that’s obviously gone into it

On our way up lattrigg

On our way up lattrigg

 

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