The Osprey Manta 28 is a fantastic pack for the long haul. Too big for your typical trail run, this pack steers toward long trips and fastpacking.
If you do not plan on packing a lot of food or a sleeping bag, I wouldn’t consider this as part of my quiver. However, my recent 2 day fastpack over the Brazeau Lake Loop in Jasper National Park was the perfect test for this bag.
Simple design with a separate bladder pouch, 2 main pockets, 1 smaller pocket for small survival essentials, an outboard clip pocket and two roomy hip belt pockets was just enough to pack only the essentials. The side slip pockets were great for bear spray and poles. The built in rain cover proves handy when the weather turns. The airflow back design allows for some circulation and doesn’t jostle when moving quickly with a full pack.
Packing is simple and with the difference in size of pockets allows for easy sorting of gear. I for one am a proponent of the less is more philosophy. I am always pleased to see less, well thought out pockets rather than more pockets where I am left wondering what the use really is.
Once full, the pack fits secure. The shoulder straps seemed thin, but once cinched down, do their job and were surprisingly comfortable running 40km each day for 2 days. The hip belt was wide and comfortable, however I was unable to tighten any further; anyone with a 29 inch waist or less, beware. The side hip pockets were quite large and easily fit over 4 bars! This could have the potential to get in the way of one’s arm swing, but I didn’t have any issue. Some rubbing and chaffing did occur, but given the distance, speed and weight carried, I was pleased with overall comfort.
Design and use of the bladder was awesome. 2.5L capacity is more than enough. the clip in/clip off straw was also a nice touch and allowed for easy refilling on the trail. The rain cover did its job and kept the bag dry during a lengthy storm.
Overall I am quite pleased with the design and fit of this pack and would recommend it for anyone who wants to run longer multiday adventures.
These packs are available across Canada at all Osprey retailers.