Dan Allen was the lucky winner of our recent competition to win a Montane Jaws 10 pack. Here’s what he thinks…
I was lucky enough to win this pack in a competition run by Facewest. I had heard a few positive things regarding the pack, so was excited to take it out for a test run over the Peak District fells.
Upon first glances, the pack has a vest fitting design which fits and hugs the body. There are two water bottles situated on the shoulder straps with a peculiar way of attachment. The bottles are slightly curved to better fit the body shape and they have a clip which slides into a reinforced pocket on the shoulder straps and each bottle is held in place with two elastic bungees. Initially this took some getting used to, but as with all things practice helps.
Adjusting the fit of the pack is done using two straps. The first is an adjustable strap across the sternum; this has the ability to be moved up and down to accommodate different chest sizes. The second is an elasticated belt which sits just under the rib cage; I found this method a much better fit than clips and allowed for expansion while wearing without the need to retighten, like I have found in the past with clips.
It was now time for the fun part, the testing! I thought about what I would need on a longer off road run and packed it in the Jaws 10: Waterproof top and trousers, map, compass, first aid kit, spare hat, gloves and buff. The pack comes with a small whistle attached; therefore there I did not need to carry another. I had no problems fitting all of the gear in the bag and there was still room to spare if I wanted to carry extra kit or food. On the side of the pack, there is a loop which enables you to carry poles if you so wished.
The rear of the pack has three separate compartments: a large pocket at the back which can be used for a bladder (loops are situated on the right hand side) or storage, in the middle a slightly smaller waterproof pocket made of RAPTOR Hydroseal fabric with a YKK zip and at the front a small zipped mesh pocket.
One downside I did notice was the lack of available, easy accessible pockets and pouches on the front of the pack. On the left hand side there is a small open ended stretch mesh pocket and on the right a larger zip pocket with a smaller mesh pocket on top. I got around this problem by filling one of the water bottles with gels and spare tabs because I wouldn’t need two bottles of water.
While out running I found the pack itself to be very comfortable with very little movement, sadly I could not say the same for the bottles. Although they didn’t swing around, I found that they bounced too much for my liking. I later tried the pack with a bladder and found this option much more comfortable and easier on the shoulders. The pack is lightweight and I found it to be very breathable, which made it much easier to run in. The Montane Jaws 10 is a good pack and I would recommend it.