That’s right Ray Mears fans. He has designed and released a backpack. It is called the Leaf Cutter Rucksack, and is being offered in limited numbers.
The pack has some interesting details, and certainly looks like the packs Ray Mears likes to carry on his shows. It seems very similar to offerings by Snugpack and Karrimor.
- Volume: 90 Litters
- Weight: 4.0 lb (1.8 kg)
- Fabric: 1,000 Danier Cordura Nylon
- Frame: Internal Frame
- Cost: $253.00 in today’s conversion rates
For starters, the pack is huge! It’s been a long time since I have carried a 90 L pack. Honestly, for anything short of extremely cold weather, unless I am out in the woods without resupply for over a month, I have no idea what I would put in it. That being said, I’m sure it will suit some people. For such a large pack, made of thick material, it is surprisingly light at 4 lb. It is hard to explain how that is possible, unless the weight has been sacrificed when it comes to the frame. Similar size packs by companies like Gregory weigh in at about 7 lb, but they have elaborate weight bearing systems. That would be a must in my book for such a large pack. There is little detail offered about the suspension system on the Leaf Cutter pack. From the pictures at least, there doesn’t seem to be any adjustment mechanism for the shoulder straps and hip belt like you would see on other commercial packs.
The design itself is a bit strange. Again, seems very similar to products such as the Snugpack Rocket Pack, which have their own following, but are rare to see on the general market. The almost square design of the pack results from the huge side pockets, and there appears to be a strangely designed front zipper pocket.
While the front pocket would serve well for crampons, I have no idea where one would attach snowshoes for example, an ice axe, or a rifle. Personally, I also like my packs tall and narrow, so that I have freedom of movement in my arms. Over tough terrain, I find that to be essential. The side pockets are not removable, so little can be done to alter the square shape of the pack, nor do there seem to be effective compression straps to accommodate varying loads.
It is hard to say much more than just general preliminary observations, but I think that if you like Ray Mears, and his products, you will probably love the pack. It is exactly the type of pack you see him hauling around on his shows. If you are not a huge Ray Mears fan, it probably wouldn’t suit your needs. It offers huge volume for little weight, although probably at the expense of a robust suspension system. The price is very competitive.
I’m not at all a fan of the design, so I would have to pass, but I am sure it will suit others’ needs perfectly. If it is something that you have been looking for, they are available now. Get them while they last. I’m sure they will be a collectable in the near future.