New backpack Osprey Manta 20

I listed my TAD Gear FAST Pack Litespeed backpack a few days ago on eBay and it sold nicely as expected. Before I did this I was looking at a bunch of different packs not really knowing what to get but at every online store I visited I clicked every interesting pack into a new tab and after I went through the whole backpack section I looked at the tabs I had opened. Every single time I had a bunch of Osprey packs in the different tabs so with that background I started to go on YouTube and watching different reviews and I really liked what I heard and saw. So, I got myself a Osprey Manta 20! And so far I’m not regretting selling my TAD Gear pack, at all…

Click for larger picture

Click for larger picture
Osprey Manta 20
Arc’Teryx Drac jacket
TAD Gear Force 10 pants
TAD Gear Preatorian Hoodie
Mechanix gloves and Mystery Ranch merino beanie

The most compact of the Manta series, this pack has an added zip front pocket with mesh organizer and works best for day long adventures.

Manta 20 Features

  • Built-in Raincover
  • Dual Side Compression Straps
  • ErgoPull™ Hipbelt
  • Front Pocket
  • Helmet Attachment
  • Hydration System
  • Panel Load
  • Stow-on-the-Go™
  • Top Slash Pocket

The reason I sold the Litespeed was because I wanted a sturdier internal frame, this one wasn’t too good, folding over itself especially if you had something heavy in the bottom of the pack. I had some issues with the waist belt coming of while walking, really annoying! I contacted TAD Gear about this and the had never heard about that one before… It didn’t matter if I had a little or a bunch of extra webbing coming out of the loop rings attaching it
ospreyreservoirtowards the back of the pack. I’d also liked a different and better organizational pocket on the outside and a lot less straps!

The price here in Sweden for a Manta 20 is about 900 SEK and the European and Asian versions comes with out the (awesome) Osprey Hydraulic Reservoir so I’ll need to get that too. It’s about 300 SEK extra but well worth it because it integrates with the pack.

So with this the pack, complete, the price would be about 1200 SEK which is close to what it’s bigger cousin the Kestrel 38 costs.

505611-stowonthegoThe feature list is just as on anything else you buy, cramped with stuff. But the thing worth mentioning are the Stow-on-the-Go system which gives you the possibility to carry trekking poles on the side of the pack. It attaches on the left side of the pack.

One thing that I would like to be different is on the hip belt. There are two great pockets there, one on each side that are big enough to carry a larger point-and-shoot camera, GPS, snacks or basically whatever in that size. But, they could have added some thin foam on the inside for some extra comfort. If you have something with a not so nice pointy edge or like a GPS antenna that could build a pressure point over time if you’re running with this pack. Also a warning about the hip belt. If you’re a very skinny dude you could run in to some problems not being able to set it as tight as you want to. I’m 180, 68kg and if I were a little skinnier I could get som problems with this, especially in the summer time when you don’t wear thick sweaters and jackets (in the first picture I haven’t tighten everything properly).

IMG_1534One of the best features of the pack is the frame, Airspeed. It gives a lot of ventilation and is ergonomically made so it sits really nice on your back.

Here are a picture when I had a coffee break when I was out walking today and also a picture of what I had in my pack at that time.

IMG_0462 IMG_1527With this stuff the pack was quite full but I could put some extra things in there if I wanted to but that would have had the fabric really stretched.

To sum things up – I’m really pleased with the pack so far, lightweight and feels very sturdy. I hope it’ll give me some good years of service!

If you want more info about this backpack or any other of their packs just go on YouTube and you’ll find tons of reviews and unboxing-type videos. Good Luck! 🙂

 

 

Arc’Teryx DRAC Jacket & Tactician AR Glove in the rain

Was out walking with my kids yesterday and when I left home I had a good feeling it would start to rain but we went anyways. Planed time for the walk, 1 hour. I didn’t bring any rain gear for me or my older son and as for my daughter she’s got all the rain protection she need sleeping in the stroller. I did this because I wanted to try how much rain my Arc’Teryx clothes and gloves would take before getting soaked and the same for my sons soft-shell jacket.

I was wearing a Arc’Teryx DRAC Jacket and a pair of Arc’Teryx Tactician AR Gloves. Under this I had my trustworthy Patagonia Nano Puff Down Jacket and a Helly Hansen base layer. Waist down, TAD Gear Force 10 Cargo Pants and a pair of Haglöfs Vertigo shoes.

After like 10 minutes it started to drizzle and I put the rain cover over the stroller. Another 10 minutes passes by and the rain starts to intensify, nothing much by now. The Arc’Teryx jacket looks good, filled with water drops that stays on top of fabric of the jacket. If you pull the fabric all the drops will fall of the fabric – all good! The Tactician AR Gloves are starting to get a little dark around the knuckles.

15 minutes later the sky really opens up, it’s now poring down. The jacket is still doing it’s job after 20 minutes into this heavy rain, no dark spots on the fabric telling me that I’m not gonna get wet anytime soon. The gloves however is now really dark on the back of my hands and I can feel that the tips of my fingers are getting a little damp from holding the stroller. My TAD Gear pants are now soaked on the front of my thighs and on the back of my calfs.

Another 5 minutes later my gloves are getting damp all over but I’m not wet. The jacket shows some dark spots on the most exposed parts, the shoulders. Pants are still soaked… I should have treated them with some of that special fabric stuff that you put in the washing machine, lesson learned.

Coming up on the hour after pausing in a small bus shelter when the rain was the most intense I finally arrives at the store where my fiancé is picking us up. The gloves are damp on the top of my hand, the palm shows nothing but the leather is still darkened. The tips of my fingers are now wet. The jacket is now darker on the shoulders and on the arms but no worries here. The inside of the jacket is a little moist/damp but nothing of this shows on my Patagonia down jacket which normally shows if it’s the slightest of rain outside buy getting darker quite fast.

Here are a few pictures that I took when arriving at the store.

All in all I’m once again very impressed with the quality of the Arc’Teryx DRAC Jacket. I’ve had it now for over a year wearing it out in the woods whole weekends in the cold winter and in the summer etc. It’s a very versatile jacket and it has replaced my cold weather issued GoreTex jacket (US Army) as it has proven it’s weather resistance time and time again and a important fact, it’s much smaller than your standard cold weather jacket. The soft-shell really closes out the elements and at the same time you have good ventilations through the front pockets with mesh inside and pit sips.

The Tactician AR Gloves I bought primarily as a part of my cold weather kit but I must say that they are more at home than with me. I often carry them to/from work in the colder months, driving my car. I had hope them to be warmer but when it starts getting close to 0 degrees Celsius they aren’t really up for the task (Note, I always get my hands cold when I’m out and about and I’ve struggled to find good gloves). But in the fall/spring they’re great. I would just like to get a tip what to treat them with to get better weather resistance.

So if you’re in the market for a new soft-shell jacket the Arc’Teryx DRAC Jacket is definitely the way to go!

Triple Aught Design and the founder Patrick Ma goes different ways….

I’m disheartened to hear the news today of Patrick Ma separating from Triple Aught Design, the company he founded in 1997. The press release states the reason for the break as “unresolved disputes with the two remaining managers… Brett Eisenberg and David Cahill,” who along with Patrick, formed the entity known as Triple Aught Design, LLC in August of 2010.

Read more at ITS Tactical.

Well, lets see what the future brings for TAD Gear then. I personally feel like they were more “hot” a year or so ago and now all they do is produce knifes and almost never keep any of the other softer stuff in stock like clothing and backpacks… To be honest, I’m very happy with all my Triple Aught Design things that I’ve bought. Everything from t-shirts to my Fastpack Litespeed so I hope that they’ll keep producing that stuff.

More photos from my latest trip

Here’s the last batch of photos…

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Stretching it out?

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Need… coffee… now….!

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Zebra horse?

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

We’ve found water! Fjällräven Vidda Pro pants.

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Out and about with my Mystery Ranch pack and TAD Gear pants.

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Took this one right after we’ve filled up our Nalgenes with water.

More photos from my latest trip

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Good morning. Great view!

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Me waiting for the water to boil. My watch, Suunto Ambit HR, says 08:04.

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Jon is having some morning brew.

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Perfect breakfast. Two year old freeze dried, Real Field Meal, porridge. It still tasted great 🙂

More photos from my latest trip

Mooaaar photos!

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Boiling water for our freeze dried food with my Primus OmniLite Ti. In the back you can see my Mystery Ranch NICE Frame Wolf Alpha.

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Triple Aught Design (TAD Gear) Force 10 Cargo Pants are being dried.

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

My home away from home.

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Nalgene bottles. They are the best!

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

Where we swum on the last day of our little adventure.

Vandring Franciscusleden med start i Borghamn, Omberg.

It’s dangerous in the Swedish backwoods….

More photos from my latest trip

My friend Jon took these pictures with his phone – I think they deserve their own post.

relaxing

At our camp after the first day. Relaxing. At the back you can see my Fjällräven Abisko Lightweight 2 tent. Mystery Ranch packs on the ground, SATL & Wolf Alpha.

swim

Swimming on the last day. Was nice since it was like 30 degrees outside.