Montane is based out of the UK and is most well-known for their garments. However, they recently entered the pack market and the Grand Tour 55 is their largest pack. For its size, the Grand Tour is extremely light, tipping the scales at a svelte 2 pounds 12.1 ounces! Despite its lightweight design, the pack is not lacking in durability. I crammed it full of ropes, serrated shovels, crampons and ice axes on a recent mountain rescue training operation. The pack was heavily abused while fully loaded as I slid it along ice and snow and dragged it through thick brush. It still looks brand new!
The pack features two pockets in the top lid and the inside pocket has a key retainer clip. There are two outer zippered pockets comprised of stretchy mesh that are big enough for a pair of climbing shoes or a water bottle. There is no separate sleeping bag compartment and there is no side access zipper to the main compartment. The main compartment features a double bellow closure with an adjustable strap to secure a rope under the top lid. The buckles are of a different design. They are intuitive, but not what I am used to. The sternum strap took a second or two to figure out how to work.
- The pack is lined with a bright green (almost neon) interior fabric, which makes it very easy to see items inside the pack. This is a nice feature that I wish all pack makers utilized
- The hip belt and shoulder straps are quite comfortable, even fully loaded. This pack is quite a joy to carry, with no annoying hotspots
- The Grand Tour is exceptionally light especially considering it is spec’d at 55 liters or 3,355 cubic inches
- The pack features two ice axe loops. However, securely fastening the ice axe was less than straightforward. I resorted to using the top compression strap to secure the ice axe shaft, but even when I let the top compression strap out all the way I was barely able to get it over the top of my relatively short 70 cm mountaineering ice axe. If your ice axe is any longer than this, you will not be able to utilize the compression strap and will have to rig an alternate solution with some cord or a carabiner. Even so, the ice axe retaining loops are too far off the side of the pack, leaving the pick dangerously exposed instead of resting against the side of the pack
- The pack comes with a pouch for a water bladder, but it is far too small. You might be able to fit a 40 oz water bladder into it (maybe). My 70 oz bladder was left hanging out of the top. This is odd, as you should be able to easily fit a 3L bladder into the pack given its large size; not sure why Montane did this
- Great colors
- Ice axe attachment needs some work
- Water bladder pouch is way too small
- No external attachment points for a sleeping pad
The Montane Grand Tour is a very comfortable, form fitting, ultralight multi-night pack. If you typically carry your water in bottles than this may be just the pack for you.
Date available: Currently available
Manufacturer’s Website: Montane Grand Tour 55
Listed Weight: 2lb 6oz (manufacturer states this is a stripped weight. I could never figure how to strip any “extra” features off this pack.)
Actual Weight: 2lbs 12oz
Materials: CONTACT Mesh 100% Polyester mesh, HALO 100% Nylon, & RAPTOR ZERO 100% Nylon micro filament
Warranty info: All Montane products are guaranteed against faults in workmanship and materials for the reasonable lifetime of the item.