Initial use of Terra Nova Laser 20L pack

Terra Nova 20 L on a day hike in the Lincolnshire Wolds

This 20 litre pack was neither purchased or given to me, but was won by me in a raffle in support of the Kinder Mountain Rescue Team at the Monsal Social Meet back in August and kindly donated by Terra Nova – thanks to them !

I have used this pack on several day trips including my  trip to Stanage Edge & Bamford Moor .

These are just my initial thoughts, but it has been used and this is not a “just out of the box” review.


Weight  328g manufacturer stated weight (320g or 11oz as weighed by me).

Pockets – 2 x hip with water resistant zips, 4 x mesh and 1 accessory pocket with water resistant zip

Adjustable chest strap with whistle.

Full length water resistant zip(front of pack)

Hydration pocket inside pack

Compression straps on front of pack

Front view of Terra Nova 20L pack

This is a well made and designed pack and the weight is excellent at 320g (11oz).  It looks if the pack is made from a light weight silnylon and is available in black ( the version I have) as well as florescent yellow and black.

Side view of Terra Nova Laser 20 L pack

How the pack performs

For such as light weight it has so many features as detailed  above.  The zipped  pockets and the front zip are water resistant, but I always use a Podsac dry bag with the pack, as I don’t believe that this type of zip will keep out heavy rain.

The pack is extremely comfortable to wear and I have added further comfort by slipping my over- trousers into the hydration pocket providing extra padding in the back area.  To save weight   there is little or no padding on the shoulder straps, but so far with the weights I carry, this is not an issue for me.

Back view of Terra Nova Laser 20L pack

The two pockets which are used for water bottles will take a ordinary 500ml spring water bottle as well as the larger and more bulky 750ml Travel Tap bottle and are positioned far enough forward to access the bottles on the move without dislocating your shoulders !

Initially, I thought the zipped hip pockets would be too small to be useful.  I was able however to get a compass, two snack bars  and set of spare batteries easily in one of the pockets.

The mesh pockets are ideal for slipping in pieces  of clothing such as the Montane Lite Speed wind shirt, gloves and a lightweight waterproof jacket.  There is a zipped “solid” pocket, handy for keys, mobile phone and other similar valuables.

I like the full front zip, as it is easy to find stuff  throughout the pack compared to a top loading one.

I am not sure that I would try and use this for a fast and light overnight as I think my gear would be rather crammed in and probably uncomfortable, if I could actually fit it all in. I think I would go for the bigger brother the 35 litre pack which weighs another 150g (5oz).

The pack sits high on me, higher than it would normally with day packs I have used in past.  This I feel creates a comfortable wear and I hardly notice the pack most of the time.

I was able to adapt my OMM Trio pouch to fit on the front and that gave me extra room and easy access to maps, camera and phone.


Whilst I have only used this pack for a few trip,this is a great little pack for day hikes. The low weight and comfort means you hardly notice the pack on your back.

Overall rating :  4.5/5

Price:  £60 RRP  – can be found for £49.99 on- line

Longest trip so far – 15 km (9.5 miles)

What I like: very low weight,comfort,loads of pockets, front zip & access to water bottles

What I don’t like: Nothing I can think of.

What I would recommend it for: Ideal  for 3 seasons day hikes. Could be used for winter day hikes where you were not having to carry gear such as crampons and ice axe.

Fast and light overnights would be possible if you had the right UL gear (need to be  pretty minimalist) otherwise I would consider the larger 35L pack for this at an extra 150g (5oz)

I will provide a further review in the future.

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10 Responses to Initial use of Terra Nova Laser 20L pack

  1. Love the handy bottle placement on these packs. Can’t believe how hard it can be to access bottles in side pockets on the move on normal packs, and can’t believe I’ve never pulled a back muscle doing so. I had an OMM pack with similar bottle placements. Unfortunately my sweaty back doesn’t match well with packs without venting otherwise I would have given this a go myself.

    • Jamie, the pockets are great. I have not used this pack in hot weather and the sweaty back issues with this type may come to the fore. All the packs I currently have don’t have venting and you do get a bit sweaty, but I like the weight advantage with these packs!

    • korpijaakko says:

      Nice review, Mark!

      “Love the handy bottle placement on these packs. Can’t believe how hard it can be to access bottles in side pockets on the move on normal packs, and can’t believe I’ve never pulled a back muscle doing so.”

      +1 on this. I’m still waiting my Laser 20L to arrive but I believe it will solve my water bottle pocket problem. Not so much of a problem if hiking and you can stop to take the pack off from your back but for competetive things the hassle is too much.

      • Hi Jaakko. Thanks for your remarks. I really like this pack and the pockets are easy to access I think because this is really an adventure racing pack, but still good for day hikes. I was out with it just locally yesterday, only 12 km, but it is very comfortable. As the weight is light it is easy to carry on one shoulder as well if you should get a sweaty back from the pack at any point.

  2. terrybnd says:

    Nice one, Mark. Kind of with Jamie on the sweat front. Even so, the pack looks great for the weight. Like you for overnighters I’d need a 30ltr to be honest. Well, I would if I weren’t filming or owt.

    Same here with using a drysac. I do with all my packs. Fail safe at the end of the day.

    Really pleased you won the pack. Got a good home! 🙂

    • Thanks Terry. I will seriously look at the 35L for overnighter’s Such a comfortable pack to wear. I support the MRT with an annual payment to them, so it was good to win the pack in a raffle raising funds for the organisation!

      • terrybnd says:

        I had to smile mate when you won. Yeah, 32ltr is about my limit when it comes to personal kit choice in the summer etc. I’ve been offered to try out the new TN packs – and as much as I’d like to, I just wouldn’t use them. My camera kit is the killer you see. If I didn’t have that, then I would love to try em out.

  3. nice review, also like the easy access pouches, something I wish my exped 20ltr sack had.

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