Montane Yarara 32 (2016)

Features

Some will love the innovative features on this 32 litre pack but others might find them a little faffy. One is the main compartment’s pull cord, located on the side rather than the front, and featuring two plastic handles for quick access – it works. There’s an extra buckle over the mouth for more security too. The gear loops are housed in their own pocket and twist to hold poles or ice axe. 4/5

Fit

The moulded back panel allows the pack to sit close to your body with a degree of airflow; despite this I found it a little unstable at the mid-back when scrambling. The fit is good for the narrow-shouldered, though; the hipbelt and shoulder straps are both lightly padded; plus there are top tensioning straps to adjust loading. The chest harness is moveable but it unclips easily if yanked hard. 4/5

Comfort

The foam-padded back panel is fairly flexible and sits close to the torso, so you must pack carefully to avoid discomfort from lumpy gear. Airflow is provided by channels: good with waterproofs but decreasing a little when worn against soft clothing like fleece. Low weight is the thing here along with well-shaped hip and shoulder pads, which are comfy with only thin padding. 4/5

In use

All the straps, including the upper tension one, are easy to adjust on the go and the side pockets are readily accessible. The hip pocket zips are operable with gloves too. The single-buckle lid makes getting the pack on and off quick and with a meshy extension it’s easy to protect kit even when over-packing; but a front pocket for quick, easy stashing would be welcome. 4/5

Value

Competitive and reasonable for what you get, which is a well-featured pack that’s lightweight yet still relatively robust. 5/5

Verdict

Lightweight and robust with nifty features that some will love but others might find overly fussy. It won Trail’s ‘Best Value’ award. 4.2/5

 

Review by Sarah Ryan
First published in Trail magazine March 2016