Looking for a lightweight and practical waist pack for your mountain runs? The Trailblazer 3 from Montane could be the perfect choice for you.
In this review, I’ll share my experience using this waist pack, including its features, pros, and cons.
With a capacity of just 3 liters, the Trailblazer 3 might not be the ideal choice if you need to carry a lot of gear.
It’s perfect for carrying your essentials, such as a wind shell, snacks, and a phone, without adding any unnecessary weight. I found that you can also fit a hat and gloves if needed.
The pack has one main rear pocket with inner sleeves, a key clip, two mesh hip pockets, and a bungee system for external storage.
Although it doesn’t have an outside sleeve to hold a bottle, you can fit a small soft bottle inside. Montane’s Soft Flasks are also a good option, and the 250ml version can fit in either of the side pockets.
However, the 500ml Soft Flask will have to go in the main pocket, which can limit space for a jacket or other gear. If you need more capacity, you could consider the Trailblazer 8, a rucksack from the same brand.
One of the Trailblazer 3’s standout features is its fit and comfort. The waist belt is a single webbing strap, which might initially seem concerning.
However, the pack’s broad body-hugging hip fins keep it close to your body, and the mesh padding is soft, comfy, and highly breathable.
I found that there’s a minimal bounce or shifting around, even when you’re running. The waist belt fastens with a single central plastic buckle, and the spare ends of webbing can be secured under plastic clips on the belt.
Although there’s loads of excess tail on the belt, I might consider cutting it short even on me. The webbing can sometimes pull out of these plastic clips, which could be improved with sewn elastic retainers.
Weighing around 180g, the Trailblazer 3 is slightly heavier than other waist packs of similar size. However, it’s not significant enough to be a deal-breaker, and its 70D fabric feels tough enough for mountain use.
Montane seems to have balanced weight and durability, ensuring that the pack will last for many adventures.
The Trailblazer 3 has three separate zipped pockets for storage, including a roomy main rear pocket, which can hold a thin windproof or softshell jacket, a little spare, and a key clip. An internal sleeve is also secure enough to keep your smartphone or compact camera. Two smaller zipped pockets are located on each side of the hip belt, and these can have a fair amount of gear thanks to their slightly stretchy mesh.
Montane has added a couple of tiny external daisy chains for additional storage and a bungee arrangement, which is both for compression and another place to carry things.
You can even fit a rolled-up jacket or folding poles in this space.
As a runner who’s always looking for ways to reduce the amount of gear I have to carry, the Trailblazer 3 has become an essential piece of kit for me.
Its close-fitting design, breathable mesh padding, and multiple pockets make it an ideal waist pack for shorter runs or hikes.
While its limited storage capacity may not suit everyone’s needs, the Trailblazer 3 is a great option for runners looking to carry a few essential items without compromising on comfort or stability.
If you’re looking for a versatile, lightweight, and durable waist pack, the Trailblazer 3 might fit you.
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