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…
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
- 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
towards 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.
The 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).
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.
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! 🙂