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Ray Mears Leaf Cutter Rucksack

Ray Mears Bushcraft

Ray Mears Leaf Cutter Rucksack


Weight: 1820 g         35 reviews
The Ray Mears Leaf Cutter Rucksack is the first ever rucksack to have been designed and tested by the British Bushcraft and survival expert Ray Mears. The end result is a dedicated outdoor pack that is spacious and tough, yet surprisingly light in weight. Each pack has been crafted from start to finish right here in the UK, courtesy of Scottish Mountain Gear - a company with whom Ray has had ties since as far back as his Bushcraft Survival days. Indeed, the Leaf Cutter was developed from a custom jungle rucksack, made for Ray by Scottish Mountain Gear many years ago.

When first setting out to design this rucksack, Ray's primary goal was to create "a pack that you can live out of." With its focus on roomy, easy-access compartments, along with strong fabrics and fittings, this is a pack that does away with the unnecessary gimmicks and instead provides a reliable and durable companion for your adventures.

With a main compartment volume of 58 litres, the pack provides ample space for your equipment, clothing and food, making it perfect for week-long forays or even longer trips into the wilderness. Despite this large capacity, the pack weighs in at just 1.8 kg; a surprisingly low figure for such a spacious rucksack made from strong fabrics. It is thanks to this that the rucksack's name was born, after the supremely strong yet agile leaf cutter ant.

The fixed side pockets provide an additional packing volume of 20 litres, helping you to organise your gear while keeping important items close to hand. An external pocket on the front of the pack provides plenty of room for your first aid kit, while two internal sleeves in the main compartment provide the perfect storage space for a pair of SAM splints.

  • Volume of main compartment: 58 litres
  • Volume of side pockets: 10 litres each
  • Total volume (including all pockets): 90 litres
  • Weight: 1.82 kg
  • Back height (from the shoulder straps down): 50 cm
  • Fabric: Waterproof 1,000 denier Cordura Nylon
  • Colour: Olive Drab
  • A bespoke item, produced in small numbers
  • Designed by Ray Mears
  • Exclusive to Woodlore
  • Made in Great Britain
  • Large main compartment with PU Nylon snow valance and drawcord closure
  • Spacious lid with elastic trim and buckle closures
  • 2 x fixed side pockets with buckle closures
  • External front pocket with lockable zip closure
  • External, slim-profile pocket on lid with lockable zip closure
  • Concealed, slim-profile pocket on underside of lid with zip closure
  • Drain holes fitted in the main compartment and side pockets
  • Heavy-duty YKK zips used throughout
  • Contoured and padded shoulder straps with adjustable top-tension buckles
  • Adjustable, heavy-duty waist and chest strap with extended padding on hip area
  • Lightweight internal metal frame with protective caps, housed in fabric sleeves
  • Breathable and padded mesh-lined back panel, for improved comfort and air flow
  • Sturdy grab handle
  • 2 x full-length internal storage sleeves on back lining, perfect for SAM splints (not included)
  • Velcro loops for tidying away excess shoulder strap webbing
  • Embroidered Ray Mears Bushcraft logo on front pocket


  Delivery in 1-2 days within the United Kingdom
  UK Orders placed before 2PM GMT will be dispatched the same working day
  Overseas delivery times will vary depending on the destination

Please note that our offices are closed at weekends, so any orders placed after 2PM GMT on a Friday will not be dispatched until the following Monday.

Orders with a total value over £300.00 will be dispatched free via a next day delivery service within the UK at no extra cost.

Please note that in some instances, orders for heavy items may take an extra day to arrive.

  Overseas deliveries
For overseas deliveries, please refer to the following estimated delivery times:

  • Europe: 3 - 5 working days
  • Rest of the world: 5 - 7 working days


A full refund or exchange will be given provided that the items have not been worn or used, and are returned to us within 30 days of purchase, together with all relative labels and packaging. You are responsible for the cost of returning items.

Please ensure that you include a copy of your invoice, along with an explanation of why you have returned your goods. If you wish to return your goods for any reason, please do so to the following address:

Woodlore Limited
PO Box 3
East Sussex
TN19 7ZE
United Kingdom

Product Reviews

Ray Mears Leaf Cutter Rucksack is rated 5/5 based on 35 customer reviews.

All of our product reviews are from customers with verified purchases.

Overall Rating:


  1 of 35

  As usual Woodlore’s customer service is second to none. Ordered one day and it arrived the next. I was initially concerned over the size (being too small), however, the external pockets are a great size. The main compartment easily carries; sleeping bag, sleeping mat (lightweight Thermarest), clothing and shelter (DD Hammocks 3x3 m fly). The external compartments the rest; waterproof jacket, cooking equipment, food, first aid kit and hunting specific items (ammo, cleaning kit, poly bags and knife). The pack itself is lightweight for the size and as it is well made. I think the price is pretty good. I like the simplicity of the design. I haven’t had chance to use it on anything over a short walk but it feels as if it will be comfortable carrying 30+ lb.  

  David Halsall
19th August, 2019

Rated: 5/5

  2 of 35

  I have had this rucksack for two years now, and I can now safely say that it has been one of those instances when a purchased product pretty much exactly met my expectations. First of all I think there is no such thing as a 'perfect rucksack', as we can have different criteria when choosing an optimal pack to meet our needs. If you are NOT looking for a pack that has multiple outside attachment systems, numerous compartments, and for example, an additional bottom opening accessing the main compartment then this rucksack does exactly what the description says, and a little more. This is a no nonsense, sturdy, spacious, and as much important, very comfortable to wear rucksack. The back straps are very well designed and don't at all cut into my shoulder. I have been pleasantly surprised that the pack is very water resistant, mainly thanks to the fabric used. I would guess that an additional dry cover would, if ever, only be needed in some extreme and rare scenarios. The sturdiness and a well thought design of the pack is striking. It is made to be used and last, without being bulky.  

  Francis Mazij
14th June, 2019

Rated: 5/5

  3 of 35

  I had a concern that this rucksack would be too small for me, but I emailed and spoke to the WL Team who alleviated my concerns. I was pleased to receive this personal touch from the Team - Thanks Paul. I am 6ft 4inches tall and the rucksack fits me very well and is comfortable in use. I have long regarded the British Army's PLCE Bergen as a tough, hardwearing and adaptable bergen but outside military use it is too large for civilian needs. The Leaf Cutter bridges this gap with a very robust and cleverly designed pack based on the well proven PLCE system. The Leaf Cutter oozes quality, from the material used, the best lockable zippers, the breathable/comfortable back, sculpted harness and pocked arrangement. Every detail has been considered to ensure the pack delivers what is needed for single or multi-day expeditions. I like the side pockets, which easily take: A Nalgene 1l water bottle and 2 x 750ml camelback drinking bottles. The other is the ideal size for a Jetboil or MSR stove, spare gas and a good supply of rations. The front pocket is surprising in its capacity - It will take a lightweight waterproof, small fleece (or Patagonia Nano insulate jacket), small bino's (Nikon 10x30) and a small first aid kit. The cavernous main compartment takes all I need for a multi-day trip. Tent, sleeping bag, ground mat, spare clothes, further rations, etc. The top lid pockets (over and under the flap) again are surprisingly large and will easily cope with head torches, spare batteries, hat and gloves, notebook and pencil, pocket knife, etc. Importantly the harness is really comfortable. A loaded heavy pack, once on my back allows the load to be evenly spread and I barely notice the weight. The clips and adjustment are all quality items and I like the chest strap. The shoulder straps will allow carabiners to be attached if you want to add additional items or to fix gloves when not in use. A neat touch is the velcro mechanism to lock down long straps to the chest and waist to stop the wind whipping them around. The overall pack weight is low considering my experience of military bergen's and cordura type material. The material used, sheds water easily and there are rivets to the main compartment and side pockets to allow any water to escape. I am not sure this is really necessary for the main compartment, but definitely for the side pockets. The rivets are brass so won't rust. The manufacture is excellent, made in Scotland, home of rugged well tested equipment and I feel that any breakages/damage could be easily fixed by the manufacturer. Scottish Mountain Gear have a great reputation for the manufacture of hill walking and mountaineering rucksacks. The cost of the pack is quite reasonable too. Overall, I am delighted with my new pack. Great size, fits superbly, well thought out features and I know it will last forever! Ray I am sure you are so proud of this product and rightly so. I and many others will enjoy using this brilliant pack for years.  

  Alan White
26th April, 2019

Rated: 5/5

  4 of 35

  The bag is very simple but well thought out, it is lightweight and tough it holds a lot of gear. I am 6 ft 1 inches and the bag fits me fine, the only change I would make to this bag is snow covers on the side pouches. You have to think out your kit before you buy this bag as I see a lot of people strapping extras to the side of packs, you cannot do that with this pack as it lacks any tie points. In all a great pack, which I would recommend.  

  Edward Donson
17th April, 2019

Rated: 5/5

  5 of 35

  I haven't owned this pack very long but, I have taken it on about 8 single day snowshoe trips in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. First, I want to start of by saying this pack is very light by itself. When loaded it is very well balanced and comfortable.There is plenty of room for all the bulky winter clothing and gear. Yesterday, it was put to the test and it passed. I was out snowshoeing for 9 hours with constant wet snowfall. I had no dry bag over it and the outside of the pack was soaked. All my gear and extra clothes remained dry inside. I had to change my middle layer cap and gloves once as well as throwing my wet tarp into the main compartment. After the trip I took all my soaked clothing out and the inside was pretty wet but it and the outside dried within a couple of hours. I do alot of winter trips and this bag is great for all the gear needed to stay safe and comfortable in the winter. I also travelled a total of 14.5 km in approximately 1.5 m of deep snow with a load of 18 kg and had no discomfort from the pack. My only complaint and it's more of a personal problem, I have a quite bulky sleeping bag (rated -30 F) and it is too big to fit in the main compartment I wish the pack had lashing points but I can easily modify it. Overall it is a very great and versatile pack I am extremely satisfied.  

  Jamison Hill
8th March, 2019

Rated: 5/5

  6 of 35

  This will be the last day sack I ever buy. British made, quality item. Perfect for the outdoors and bushcraft. Nice and lightweight, well constructed and the pockets in the right places. There are no unnecessary straps or loops on the bag. Buy one they're amazing and worth every penny.  

  Paul Isles
3rd August, 2018

Rated: 5/5

  7 of 35

  Used this first on an expedition leader course and I am very impressed. Very well made and not over complicated. Very comfortable to wear whilst carrying all my kit over 3 days. Love it! And it is made in UK.  

29th May, 2018

Rated: 5/5

  8 of 35

  Built to last, the main compartment is very spacious along with the the side pockets and front pocket. Love this backpack.  

  Filimon Undang
16th April, 2018

Rated: 5/5

  9 of 35

  I took a gamble when I purchased this rucksack and I'm happy to say I'm not disappointed. I live 15 minutes from a major high quality outdoors retailer with a well deserved, excellent reputation. They carry excellent packs with good reviews and decades of use. But my backpacking style is evolving so I wanted a more bush craft oriented pack and the Leaf Cutter's simple straight forward design fits the bill. The first thing that I noticed about the Leaf Cutter is how lightweight it is for it's size and robust construction. It weighs less than some modern packs that are popular with AT thru hikers. Next it fits well and is comfortable! I'm 6'3', 275lbs with a torso length of 20in and it adjusted to my frame easily. This pack could go on someone a little taller without a problem. I've only managed to get one overnight trip since getting the pack but it carried a 35 pound load out easily, (bulky winter gear) and can easily hold more than I should rationally carry. I'm used to an 80-110 liter pack for winter, but more modern gear and better bush craft skills have made that pack too large to be practical accept for longer trips. The Leaf Cutter holds plenty but an assortment of small bags and compression sacks to keep things organized came in handy. The only con is the lack of any external attachment points. I'm used to recreational packs and some military designs so this is a change. Also I don't sleep well in a hammock, I've tried, so I need a sleeping pad. They're very light but don't fit well inside the pack. Putting the pad under the pack lid is adequate but not as secure as I'd like. I'll keep working on it, worst case scenario is to go to the aforementioned retailer the next time they're having a sale and buy an inflatable pad. So it's not a serious problem. Besides, bush craft is about adapting. Suggestions welcome. Overall it's a well thought out design, rugged, comfortable and simple. I see the Leaf Cutter as my new 'go to' multi day pack and can't wait to take it out again.  

  Joseph H Harton
31st March, 2018

Rated: 5/5

  10 of 35

  I love this pack! The first day I got it I put 30 lbs in it and did 3 1/2 miles. Very comfortable and I can't believe how light it is. The material is nice and thick. Hope to have Grand kids enjoying this pack one day as it will probably last a lifetime .  

  Steven Mullinax
3rd February, 2018

Rated: 5/5

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