Osprey Manta 25

, October 2, 2011

Colorado-based Osprey have been designing packs for the outdoors since 1974.  Maintaining a strong commitment to the environment, they support a number of North American conservation organization and even sew the 7 principles of the ‘Leave No Trace‘ outdoor ethics into their larger bags.  All their products come with an ‘All Mighty Guarantee‘, which covers material defects for the lifetime of the pack.

The Manta 25 is a 25 litre day bag that can be used for hiking, skiing or any activity that requires a moderate amount of storage.  The bag has many great features, but one stands above the rest; the magnetic sternum strap buckle. This ingenious piece of design is a triumph of functionality.

With most hydration packs, the bite valve either hangs loose, which is very annoying when running, or is attached with a clip.  The magnetic attachment on the Manta 25 means there is no weak plastic buckle to break and no reason for the bite valve to ever slap against your chest and spill fluids down your front.  It is simply a revelation and almost justifies the purchase of the bag alone.

But there are other features worthy of note.  The HydraForm reservoir, with its large cap, makes filling and cleaning easy. Once secured in the Hydralock compartment, the reservoir is under pressure, meaning you don’t need to waste precious breath sucking fluids from the bottom of the pack.  The pockets are of a good size with the non-scratch top pocket proving ideal for sunglasses and mobile phones.

The pack sits comfortable in the small of the back with the taut mesh stopping a build-up of sweat.  A testament to the functionality and usability of the bag is that I wore it continuously for almost 13 hours whilst cycling, kayaking and fell running in the recent Scotland Coast to Coast race.  It contained all my food, clothing and first aid kit and proved comfortable and accessible.

Useful information

  • RRP £95
  • Available from Ellis Brigham.
  • Available in blue, black or red.