Reviews

1

Osprey's Manta 28 is the perfect day hiking pack to…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150

Summary

Osprey's Manta 28 is the perfect day hiking pack to carry layers, water, and a snack. With Osprey's Anti-Gravity back panel ventilation and foam shoulder straps, this pack sets you up for a cool smooth hike. The free rain cover and water bladder complement the many other features this pack has to offer.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Fantastic ventilation on the back and the shoulder straps
  • Rain cover
  • Trekking pole stash
  • Water bladder
  • A lot of good pockets

Cons

  • Small range of fit
  • Water bladder issues

My use:

I got this pack 3.5 years ago for day hikes and have been using it ever since. I normally hike around 10 miles on day hikes in the New Hampshire Whites or the Green Mountains in Vermont. I have also used this pack for many things ranging from ultimate Frisbee tournaments to cross-country skiing to groceries.  

The hip belt pockets are the perfect size for a Clif bar but can be difficult to adjust. The pack has buckles so that the strap on the hip belt is out of the way when it is tightened but makes it difficult to accommodate a waist size smaller than a 30 (I have a size 30 waist). I have always hiked with the straps fully tightened yet the pack still tends to ride up and I often find myself pulling it down as I hike. Thankfully, this is not too much of a problem as I am not carrying much weight.  

The rest of the pack fits very well due to the foam shoulder straps and chest strap. The most unique feature of this pack is the ventilation. Osprey uses a sort of mesh trampoline method to keep the pack about two inches of your back. It looks like a fragile structure but even after three years it is still in perfect condition. I sweat far less and feel a lot more comfortable.

It does however, present some issues. The pack has a very rigid curved frame so that the mesh back panel can be flat against your back and so that there is room for airflow. The frame makes it hard to get gear out of the bottom of the back as there is prominent curve in the main compartment.

As well, when using a water bladder, the mesh structure no longer functions properly. There is an individual pocket for a water bladder that is in between the frame and the mesh back panel. When the pack is holding a full three-liter bladder, it bulges out and touches your back. This makes hiking uncomfortable but does give an incentive to hydrate!

One benefit of the pack is that it comes with both its own water bladder and rain cover. The water bladder is three liters (Osprey brand) and has performed better than any Camelbak that I have owned.  The most unique feature is the rotating and magnetic nozzle. Along the chest strap there is a small metal circle to which the hose of the water bladder sticks to making hydration incredibly easy while hiking.

Before getting this pack, I had normally just used water bottles. Once I started using it however, I found myself being a lot more hydrated and faster as I didn’t have to stop to get a bottle out of my pack and bladder use was a lot more fluid. As I would expect of Osprey, the rain cover works well and even comes in its own pocket at the bottom of the pack.  

Another unique feature about this pack is the trekking pole stash, which is a loop at the base of the pack and an elastic on one of the shoulder straps. It keeps poles sort of under one arm but miraculously out of the way when hiking. I only use it on the flat sections at the end of a hike.  

The rest of the pack is well equipped with small pockets such as a stretch mesh pocket on the front to hold other necessities.  

I love this pack as it is perfect for day hikes. For anything more strenuous however, I recommend checking out the Osprey Talon 33 or Kestrel 32.  

Here are some pictures:

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Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, Graham! Thanks for sharing a helpful review of your Osprey. If you have some pictures of yours in use, those would be great to see in your review too.


8 months ago
300winmag

Good review of a great day pack. VERY few daypacks have a frame but Osprey's trampoline frame makes it far better at carrying a load and transferring some of the weight to your hips. It looks like the 28 is the largest size in the Manta line. Looks like it would be a great backcountry skiing pack as well.


8 months ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for the pictures, Graham!


8 months ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

300winmag, there is also a Manta AG 36: http://www.trailspace.com/gear/osprey/manta-ag-36/


8 months ago

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