A quick additional look at the 2012 packs due out from Montane... with more pics. And some clothes.
Probably the biggest surprise of the recent OutDoor trade show was that Montane released a range of packs due out next spring and they looked ace, like something you'd expect from a pack brand rather than one that's always specialised in clothing.
There's something neat and contoured and together about them. The colours match Montane's clothing and the detailing looks spot on as well - zipper garages, carefully thought out pockets and fasteners and ice tool holders. Paul at Montane calls them 'wearable packs' and says they've been designed to work well with clothing as well, hence non-abrasive, shell-fabric friendly harness fabric - something I've been banging on about for ages.
They seem light too, not ridiculously light - the 32-litre Medusa 'something you'd put a monster's head in' - what? - is a claimed 960g, which isn't featherlight but is light for a proper mountain pack. Montane says 500D fabric with the ruggedness of 1000D polyamide/Nylon fabric with the strength coming from the weave of the fabric, erm, 'disrupted dobby pattern' or something. Harry Potter?
Back systems are moulded with sweat channels and designed not soak up sweat or stick to snow. Buckles are reversible. The lid has stretch fabric around it for a good fit. The main lid pocket faces outwards so your mate can fish things out for you on the move, which is nice. The zips have storm flaps, like clothing.
The Medusa 32 is going to retail for 80 quid, but there's also the Cobra 25, 819g and a capacity of 25 litres and the Anaconda 18, which are zip accessed, though the 25 still has a neat 'lid pocket', which is a neat touch. Handy things, lid pockets.
And then, last but not least there's a bum-bag/lumbar/pack/fanny-pack which has two bottle holders stretch panels and er...
The packs took centre stage, but there's new clothing as well. There's a new version of the waterproof Atomic jacket made from Pertex Shield, with a full mountain hood, two big vented pockets and a long-ish cut. Montane says it's 'the most featured jacket on the market at the price'.
For legs, the Minimus Pant is a 125g, tiny packing waterproof trouser with a hydrostatic head of 20,000mm with a breathability of 25,000 and, er, that's enough for now. I'm off on holiday.
Lots of photos on the right, more downstairs.