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Ray Mears Leaf Cutter Rucksack

Ray Mears Bushcraft

Ray Mears Leaf Cutter Rucksack


Brand: Ray Mears Bushcraft
Weight: 1820 g         25 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

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UK 1-2 Day Delivery possible

  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 14 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 25 customer reviews.

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

Overall Rating:


  1 of 25

  It was not too difficult to choose this item, I needed a larger rucksack that had some large external pockets and still had a generous main body for bulkier items, every part of this has a purpose, there are no extra straps or webbing to add weight or become a nuisance. The side pouches are generous and easy to access with just the clips and strap, and the external main central pouch is large enough for any items you want to get in a hurry with the addition of lockable zips. Keeping it a simple one piece unit is a great idea and really keeps the weight down. I especially like the internal long pockets for an axe or a Boreal 21 inch saw. The material cloth and make up of the bag have been seriously thought out and the quality shows. This may be the last rucksack you will ever need, I know that every time I take this out it will not let me down, even with the weather here in the west of Scotland.  

  Drew Baxter
30th October, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  2 of 25

  This pack is perfect for my needs. Plenty of room for winter gear but equally adaptable to summer use. Construction is good with no frivolous bells and whistles. Its been comfortable to wear both for short and long outings.  

  Cristy M Pennington
26th October, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  3 of 25

  Excellent piece of kit. A must-have item.  

  Alex Hermans
16th October, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  4 of 25

  The very solid construction, superior materials and surprising number of smaller, hidden pockets on this rucksack have me just itching to get outside and use it.  

  Joseph L Le May
4th October, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  5 of 25

  I was in the market for a decent durable pack to use during my 1-2+ week long canoe expeditions requiring significant portages. I'm not an ultra light backpacker and prefer the 'traditional' style of pack so requirements were straight forward. The Rucksack is of good, tough build quality, built to be handled in/out of boats and onto rocks, forests floors etc. On receiving the pack I was impressed how well put together it felt. The stitching is perfect throughout, the material is durable,cleanable and the straps are good also. I really can't fault it for build quality. My expectations of durability will be good too. It must carry well enough at normal base load weight and with additional trip weight. I'm 6ft 1 and more a rugby player build than 'hiking racing snake' so the fit can be an issue. This bothered me, I could try other options but not this one. Woodlore assured me I could try it and return it if it didn't work. The rucksack carries my base load of around 12 to 15 kg (including pack) with ease transferring weight well. Shoulder straps sit perfectly. Compared with the other options (smaller volume packs) a good with a half kilo under the closest overall competitor for me (the Sabre/PCLE 75l) at around 2.4kgs. I have lighter trail packs like the Exped Lightning at around 1kg but I wouldn't think that will stand up to what this one can (and it is only a 45l pack) so weight is actually pretty good. It is in part achieved by stripping off all the unnecessary stuff like zips or bungee straps. It has Plenty of volume. I hate stuffing things back into tiny sacks each morning. At 90L overall, this is way more than the other options and while I don't actually need all the volume, the additional space means I have flexibility for little weight penalty. There are Enough pocket options to allow for my version of organisation. The pockets work well for me. The side pockets are around 5L smaller than the PCLE pockets but that isn't an issue for me and I can get around a weeks worth of food, brew kit and a cook rig into the pair of them. The top pocket has plenty of space for the things I need to hand without opening the pack up and the additional pocket on the front is perfect for med kit and random items. The SAM splint pockets inside the pack have been used so far for my axe and Destrude Bow saw. Overall, I had read the early reviews and then ended up trying this pack out with a degree of worry but there is no way I was returning this one once I'd got it and loaded it. At 90L, you need to ensure you don't over pack your fears and end up unable to lift it but the volume is damn handy and it is also fine with a 45L load. Price wise it is marginally more than the equivalent Sabre/PCLE option but I felt it was a better overall package. Finally, the service from Woodlore. I sent a load of odd questions including measurements to them more than once before actually ordering to try it and was probably a real pain but they were helpful and responsive throughout - couldn't fault them.  

20th September, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  6 of 25

  The pack is excellent and it works for me and my intended purposes. I am familiar with the Bergen design from the Snugpak Bergen and I find it practical. While it bears some resemblance to the military Bergens, it is not, and does not look like a military pack. This can be an advantage for those traveling in foreign countries. The Leaf Cutter is extremely well made- material, straps, buckles, and zippers are first class. The price is in line with similar small batch pack companies. To date, I have only used the pack on loaded day outings in the mountains of Northern Arizona. I enjoy the simplicity of the pack, a minimal amount of straps combined with functional pockets. This also helps keep the weight of the pack down. While the side (rocket) pockets do not have zippers, I turned the pack up-side-down and nothing fell out of the pockets. I am approximately 5'08 with a 17' torso and this pack fits my body size. I find the yoke and waist belt very comfortable, keep in mind I do not intend to use the pack as a large volume, winter, expedition pack. There are no ice axe loops, crampon attachment points, or sleeves for skis. Some reviews complain about the excess material on the waist straps. OK, there is plenty of material there, but it is easily tucked away with the retention loops attached to the belt. I enjoy the fact that I can wear a brimmed hat and not have the pack smash against my head. Depending on the environment and season, there is plenty of room for outings of up to one week. At some point, I may consider adding a daisy chain so I can attach snow shoes or a fly tod to the outside of the pack. In summary, the Leaf Cutter is a comfortable, simple design (an excellent feature), constructed of top notch materials, that will be in my family for a long time.  

  Charles P Simpson Jr
1st June, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  7 of 25

  Leaf Cutter Rucksack. I have used this rucksack a couple of times now, it feels really comfortable and well balanced on my back. The capacity of the bag is enormous and having the side pockets permanently attached is a big plus for me as it means I can't lose or misplace them. Zips are nice and chunky so no fiddling about when you have cold hands. The bag is really well finished, strong and robust enough to stand up to many years of abuse. I am very happy with the Leaf Cutter and can not find any fault with it. Thank you Woodlore.  

  Tom Clyne
2nd May, 2017

Rated: 5/5

  8 of 25

  Brilliant. Best rucksack I have ever had. Thank you.  

  Darius Andziulis
24th December, 2016

Rated: 5/5

  9 of 25

  I would say that in my opinion, this is a purpose designed rucksack for bushcraft. Many hiking or military rucksacks just don't seem to work out that well, sometimes there is not enough pocket organisation for those small bits and at times the pockets are barely visible. Some are simply just not big enough. With others you can not secure the contents or they have straps everywhere which snag. With the Leaf Cutter, there are no extra straps or gear points on the rucksack. For example some have external sleeping bag fastenings, sleep mat attachments, crampon loops and ice axe holders all of which snag branches when I move through thick woods. It is very clean and the side pockets seem to tuck out the way in use. That all said I do have to figure out how to carry my tripod for landscape photography, so it might not be for everyone, but I will find a way. I would like to clear up some negative points raised in previous comments on the latest (August 2016) batch which may no longer apply: The waist straps now have a hook and loop style (very nifty micro hooks and loops) strap so they don't hang down by your legs. The back has a type of air mesh padding with a central channel for airflow not oxford cotton, this gives a less sweaty back. The Leaf Cutter itself is of high-quality craftsmanship that I can not fault, it features quick release clips which are all high-grade materials and of durable construction. The lockable top and lower pocket are good for carrying cutting tools in transit to comply with local laws etc. The main compartment is roomy and an ideal size for winter use ( in summer just pack less gear!). The side pockets take the 58 pattern water bottle and mug with ease these are about the same size as PLCE side pockets for reference. At the top of the main compartment is a single draw cord to close, some people may prefer a second as commonly found on other rucksacks. I find that if I want the pack open, I don't want to have to slide yet another cord lock if the single system works. Perhaps the only downside to the bag is the lack of room under the lid for 'over packing' despite there being plenty of length on the straps to do so. You can still slide a tarp, waterproof or hammock under the lid. As for carrying a load over distance (8 miles daily) with my current winter setup and weight (30 lbs base weight, 36lbs with food and water) for a weekend, I didn't find the need to lean forward to counter the weight, unlike some military rucksacks and no pressure points have been felt. There are still some unknowns for me at the moment. It hasn't been rained on and it is still looks new, but it is probably the best rucksack I have ever had, I have had some costing three times more than the Leaf Cutter for a similar size. I think this is going to be a favourite too. I have even found it fits on my lap when using public transport it also fits in the boot of a small car easily, which essentially means it is likely to be going everywhere with me. The delivery service from Woodlore was excellent.  

16th September, 2016

Rated: 5/5

  10 of 25

  Only used this pack for a few days so far but it's performed really well. The shoulder straps have good padding as does the waist belt. There's plenty of room in the side pockets and lid pockets. The main compartment is a good size. Overall it's a good daysack or multi day pack.  

  Jason P Nock
20th May, 2016

Rated: 5/5

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