You hardly feel Octane XCT is on your back, exactly what you want on longer runs which necessitate taking some gear with you. At 350g it feels very light but the 5-litre storage capacity means you can fit a surprising amount of gear inside. It has six pockets, meaning you can choose how to organise your items in the right places for quick access and easy stowing. There are three zip pulls for the different types of pocket all of which were easy to use, even with one hand, although the hip belt pockets need two hands to close them. The shoulder straps and hip belt are constructed from padded mesh which is very breathable, reducing any sweaty patches and rubbing. The straps are all easily adjustable which means you can tweak it on the move to fit your body shape perfectly. The back compartment contains the 2-litre water reservoir. It has a handle to help with filling and a lever to help prevent drips. A clip on the shoulder strap keeps the tube stowed out of your way. I managed to get a small rip in it from a rock but the Ripstop fabric meant it didn’t spread and it comes with a lifetime guarantee too. Finally, it comes in some bright colours making you easily seen on the trail.
► Verdict: Comfortable and keeps a large amount of gear organised.
► Best for: Longer days when you need to carry more than you can fit in your pockets.
Review by Jen Roberts @jenroberts70