Montane Rock Up 20 Rucksack | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Montane Rock Up 20 Rucksack | Review

Into your climbing? Into peat bogs as well? You’ll like this pack then. Read on...

Why We Chose The Montane Rock Up 20 Rucksack: Great collaboration, tough and portable rock climbing pack, helps a good cause as well

Montane’s three-year-old partnership with the British Mountaineering Council has already produced some quality outdoor kit, including the Terra Ridge trousers which the team here at OM liked enough to include in our Outdoor 100 last year. For 2020, the partnership brings us a huge new collection of kit, all designed with climbers who aspire to spend every second of every day at the crag very much in mind. This, the Montane Rock Up 20 is our favourite item in it, though there’s also some apparel that’s worth a look at as well.

Who Is The Montane Rock Up 20 Rucksack For?

In short… climbers. This thing should certainly appeal to anyone who walks (or cycles) to their climbs, be that outdoors or indoors. It’s actually been designed so that it’s convenient to climb with as well.

Materials and Designs

First of all, this thing is durable – durable enough, we’d say, to withstand years of gristone abuse. Its nylon fabric is 300D in strength. To put that into perspective, Osprey’s Stratos, which is by no means flimsy, uses a 210D fabric. The stitching is all super solid as well, with solid bar tacking throughout.

The back panel is comfortable enough thanks to its foam padding and there’s a tiny bit of airflow thanks to the ‘Contact Air Mesh Plus mesh which is also present on the slightly padded and ergonomically shaped shoulder straps. The harness, including a removable hipbelt, is basic but it does its job well, holding the bag in place comfortably and effectively, even while climbing.

“Montane will be donating 5% of the proceeds to ‘Moors For The Future’.”

Rather than a normal buckle on the sternum strap, Montane have opted for their ‘Click And Go’ design. With this, one side has a secure hook that can be height adjusted when necessary and the other side is a little tab that fixes onto a bar that it slides up and down. Releasing it is quick and easy, even with gloves on, as you simply pull on the little orange tag. Fastening it is also quick and easy – but not so much when you’re wearing gloves.

The overall shape of the Rock Up 20 is narrow enough that it won’t stick out beyond your own silhouette. It also won’t infringe upon your harness or get in the way of a chalk bag that’s attached to it.

The Rock Up 20 is part of Montane's ongoing collaboration with the BMC Photo: Mike Brindley
Its nylon fabric is 300D in strength. Photo: Mike Brindley
The top features a drawcord closure and ‘bivi flap’. Photo: Mike Brindley


The top features a drawcord closure and ‘bivi flap’ which not only provides good, secure coverage for the inner contents, but it also doubles as a strap for say, your climbing rope. Inside there’s an internal daisy chain gear loop to help you organise your gear while outside there are plenty of gear clip loops and external attachment points to cater for your carabiners, helmet and even two ice axes.

In terms of pockets, there’s one small zipped one for valuables on the inside, along with a sleeve for a hydration bladder but that’s it. Should Montane have added some stretch pockets on the outside? We’d normally say so but that might’ve ruined the simple functionality of this thing when it comes to climbing.

Moors For The Future

Here’s another good thing about this bag. For every one of them that’s sold, Montane will be donating 5% of the proceeds to the BMC’s Access and Conservation Trust’s ‘Moors For The Future’ project which is helping to recover Britain’s moors through peat bog restoration.

“Montane will be donating 5% of the proceeds to the BMC’s Access and Conservation Trust’s ‘Moors For The Future’ project”

Peat bogs, in case you didn’t know, are an important factor in the fight against climate change as they provide the right habitat for a plant called sphagnum moss which takes carbon out of the atmosphere. Amazingly, when it’s grown healthily, a sphagnum filled moorland can take more carbon out of the atmosphere than a tropical rainforest of the same scale. So, long story short, buy one of these bags and you’re doing a bit of good for the environment.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“I like how simple but well made this is. It’s definitely built to last, it serves its purpose well and it won’t get in the way when you don’t want it to. The back system isn’t anything fancy but I found it did its job, even when I tried it with a heavy load. The harness also fitted me comfortably with the straps distributing weight well and never digging in. With the amount of adjustment potential, most notably that sliding sternum strap, I’d say it would fit most men and women fine.

One thing I liked in particular about this is that it packs down nice and flat when it’s empty, so if you wanted to you could pack it away into a duffel or suitcase when you’re travelling.

Montane Rock Up 20 Rucksack

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