The Montane Jaws 10 is a versatile hydration running pack that rode smooth and comfortable in rough terrain and moonlighted on the mountain bike or hiking trail without issue. An organizer’s dream, the eight pockets make it easy to find a place for everything.
Unique to the Montane Jaws 10 is a 2-inch-wide belt. It runs low between the shoulder straps and creates most of the tension that holds the pack steady, even when we hopped off logs. An upper sternum strap hooked into multiple points to make it easy to adjust to just the right spot for your anatomy. It was nice to have the customization, but the strap tended to fall off when we were transporting the pack. Wide shoulder straps also help with stabilizing the Jaws 10.
The Montane Jaws 10 comes with two soft flasks that ride in mesh pockets on the shoulder straps. There’s room for a 2-liter bladder in the pocket down the spine of the pack and routing and retention points for the hose, but a bladder is not included with the pack. The Jaws 10 can carry a 2 liter bladder and two 500 ml flasks up front for a total of 3 liters or roughly 100 ounces.
Montane says there’s 10 liters of storage in the Jaws 10. It’s hard to tell because the storage is split into eight individual pockets. When it came to stuffing big items in here it felt similar in size to the 6 liter Opsrey Dura, rather than the large main pocket on the Klymit Dash 10. The upside to all the pockets is organization. In an adventure race I could organize my gear, gels, bars, water, and tools into dedicated areas of the pack.
As a hybrid between a vest and a pack the Montane Jaws 10 transitioned between trail running, mountain biking, and speed hiking with ease. Hunched over a bike the wide belt strap was less intrusive than others we’ve tested.
Wide straps in the shoulders and belt disperse the load nicely. Add soft, mesh fabric anywhere in touch with the body and the pack disappeared on the back and never drew attention to itself.
Ryan Stuart is freelance writer and jack of all sports—trail running, mountain biking, whitewater paddling, surfing, climbing, skiing and mountaineering—based on Vancouver Island. Follow his testing on Google+.