A good daypack is an essential piece of gear for any outdoor traveler but it isn’t always easy to take one along with us. Most daypacks made for the trail typically don’t make good carry-on bags, or vice versa, and that means we have to make compromises in performance along the way. Matador is looking to change that with the Beast28, which was designed to go anywhere.
Matador launched in 2014 when its founders noticed people sitting on their coats or carrying bulky blankets with them everywhere. They then came up with the idea of a packable groundsheet that could be easily transported, and the Matador Pocket Blanket was born. Since then, the company has gone on to create a number of travel bags designed to deliver a product that can be packed down to a fraction of its normal size.
The Beast28 is the latest extension of that idea, but with one big difference. While most of Matador’s other bags offered few frills beyond their small size, the Beast28 has a host of features for use on the trail. For instance, it is hydration-compatible and can accommodate water bladders from almost any manufacturer. The pack even comes with built-in hose routing loops to make it as easy as possible to stay hydrated while on the move.
The bag is water-resistant, offers 28 liters of carrying capacity, and weighs less than 20 ounces. In addition to its main pocket, the pack also includes storage in the lid and a stash compartment in the back. A third pocket, found along the bottom, can be used to hold additional gear, as well as the Beast28’s included stuff sack. There are even gear loops and tethers along the outside of the backpack that can accommodate additional equipment such as trekking poles or a small solar panel.
Of course, the most impressive feature of the Beast28 may be its ability to pack down to such a small size. When emptied of its gear and placed inside its compression sack, the bag takes up little space inside your luggage. This, of course, makes it an ideal travel companion for hikers who need a technical daypack but may be limited in what they can carry with them.
The Beast28 is available from the Matador website for $90.