Packing a rucksack is an art, and one that it took me some time to master, through sheer trial and error. I don’t know how many times I sent back gear and clothes and even my entire first rucksack, because it was too small, or I had too many items, or because it was exceedingly uncomfortable. I wasted money and time, and I know now after years of an improved approach to travel that there is a better way to do things. One of those ways is to search out and test gear that will fit your needs and your own personal style of travel. Something that I’ve only recently found is a daypack/backpack that can collapse into a small and manageable size. Matador is a company that specializes in unique and versatile outdoors packs, and their Beast28 is perhaps their most dynamic.
Matador promotes the Beast28 as ‘the most capable packable backpack ever,’ and after some time testing and using the pack, I am inclined to agree. Why? Because it’s ultra-light (20oz/560g), very well thought out and designed, and it compresses beautifully into a tiny pack, which can be packed inside a backpacking rucksack without issue. The Beast28 is large enough to accommodate most needs as a daypack, but also versatile enough to become so much more than that depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing. With a 28 Liter capacity, it’s big enough to be a main pack for a one night hike and camp, though it likely won’t suite for holding everything you need (i.e. tent, sleeping bag, large tools), it is capable of doing a lot.
The Beast28 is hydration compatible, and features breathable straps, hip belt, sternum strap, as well as additional stash pockets and gear loops. The material is PU Coasted Nylon, which provides a water resistent layer between your precious items and the elements, striking a nice balance between structure and packability as Matador says. Overall, I came away very impressed with Matador’s craftsmanship and creativity, as the Beast28 has worked its way into my travel gear, because it’s lightweight and versatile, so much so that I can pack lighter overall and can be more comfortable when I’m backpacking across the world.
If you’re interested in learning more about Matador, click here.