Gear editor Chris Townsend reviews the lightest rucksacks between 45 litres and 60 litres designed for backpacking. On test Montane Grand Tour 70 backpack

This is the heaviest pack tested but also one of the largest and so still lightweight. It’s one to choose if your gear is very bulky – a synthetic sleeping bag say – or you’ll be carrying many days supplies or going out for days in the middle of winter with all the extra gear that entails.

The Grand Tour 70 has a carrying system to match its capacity with a stiff frame that transfers weight to the big well-padded stiffened hipbelt well. 20kg is no problem for this pack. It’s stable as well as the frame flexes from side to side and so moves with you. The hourglass shaped ribbed back padding means it’s not as sweaty as some packs either. Montane says the material on the pad, the shoulder straps and the hipbelt prevents abrasion on clothing. It certainly feels soft.

The pack is as fully featured as traditional heavy packs and in many ways is half way between these and the really light more minimalist ones.  Access to the contents is excellent, important in a pack this big, with a lower compartment with a very long zip and side access through another long zip, here a watertight one. The pockets are very roomy too. The long mesh ones are part side and part front pockets. Unusually for stretch mesh pockets they have zips. Wet gear can be stuffed in them easily but even so I’d rather have one big front pocket. The big lid pocket opens away from the head so your companion can easily access items for you.

If you need the capacity this is a great pack. The price is good too. However if your loads aren’t usually well over 15kg a smaller pack will save some weight.