Osprey Manta 28 Review: Great for Hikes and Bicycles

This review of the Osprey Manta 28 is meant for those who really love the comforts of a highly padded and optimized backpack. The Osprey Manta 28 is meant for those who are very active who love to ride bicycles. But even without a bicycle, hiking is made a breeze by the lightweight comfortable feel of a compressed main compartment.

Between a daypack and a day long hiking backpack

The volume capacity of the Osprey Manta 28 is closer to that of a daypack than a complete hiking backpack. Although we would go hiking with his backpack, we would not completely fill it with all of our gear for an entire day’s worth of tracking. This backpack stands somewhere between a day pack and a day-long hiking backpack.

Great for bicycling

The Osprey Manta 28 is highly optimized with the bicycle in mind. First of all, the harness system and compression straps make you feel like you don’t even have a backpack on you.

But it also comes with a helmet attachment at the top front. Due to its location, you can quickly stowaway your helmet or grab it while you are getting on a bicycle. You do not even need to take off the backpack.

For your safety, this comes with a blinker light attachment. The blinker light is not included, but you can get this at any outdoor sports store or order it on Amazon.

Highly optimized suspension system

Osprey Manta 28 Back View

The backpanel is made with an antigravity suspension system that really makes you feel like you are not even wearing a backpack when you are riding your bicycle. The Lightwire frame allows for the easy transfer of the gear weight from your shoulders to the hip belt.

The shoulder harness is made with Osprey’s Biostretch system. This means that the harness conforms to the contours of your body, making it feel super comfortable and eliminating weight on the pressure points. The entire suspension system is highly padded for your comfort.

The antigravity hip belt conforms to the contours of your body and provides a comfortable fit like no other.

A nice hydration option

Although the Osprey Manta 28 comes with two side pockets where you can store a water bottle, it also has a hydration pack sleeve. Not only that, it comes with a hydration pack included! Be included hydration pack is the Hydraulics LT 2.5 reservoir. If 2.5 liters of water is not enough for you, you can purchase another Osprey hydration pack for more volume.

This hydration pack, as well as any other of Osprey hydration pack, has a tube that sticks out and into your shoulder harness. Now, you don’t have to reach into your side pockets to grab a water bottle. Your next water swig is moments away.

External pockets and features

The Manta 28 has two mesh side pockets, as well as slash pockets where you can store your smaller items. Unlike some other Osprey daypacks, it does not have a sleeping bag compartment. Without this, your backpack is actually lighter. If you are looking for a backpack that you can go camping with at night, perhaps you would like a backpack with a bit more volume capacity and a sleeping bag compartment.

Stored underneath it, inside of a zippered compartment, is a raincover. Instead of purchasing the garbage bag to protect your gear against the rain, this comes built in with rain protection. In order to save weight and space, this raincover is completely removable.

The Manta 28 comes with a large stretch front pocket. This mesh pocket can carry larger items that you would not normally want to carry in the main compartment in order to save space. Throw in a towel or throw in dirty gear that you would not want touching any other year. Or how about an extra layer of warmth?

At the bottom of the backpack are trekking pole attachments. Osprey includes these trekking pole attachments in almost every one of its backpacks. Trekking has really taken off as a sport, perhaps you might be interested in it eventually.

Osprey Men's Manta 28 Hydration Pack, Radiant Red,...
  • Integrated raincover for all-weather protection

Osprey Manta 28 Specifications and Features

Weight: 2.6 pounds (s/m) and 2.69 pounds (m/l)

Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 12 inches (s/m) and 22 x 13 x 12 inches (m/l)

Volume capacity: 26 liters (s/m) and 28 liters (m/l)

Osprey Manta 28 Features:

  • Removable raincover
  • Hydraulics LT 2.5 reservoir included
  • Large front stretch mesh pocket
  • Trekking pole attachments
  • Upper and lower compression straps
  • Antigravity suspension system
  • Biostretch shoulder harness
  • Antigravity hip belt
  • Side mesh pockets
  • Helmet attachment loop
  • Blinker light attachment loop
  • Internal anti-scratch pockets

Osprey Manta 28 Pros

  • So comfortable you forget backpack is even on you
  • Optimize with the bicycler in mind
  • Also optimized for the active hiker
  • Comes with an Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir

Osprey Manta 28 Cons

  • Included hydration pack is on the smaller side. Not enough for a long hike. But you can purchase a larger hydration pack and insert it into the sleeve.

The Verdict

The Osprey Manta 28 is a fully-featured daypack. But unlike regular Osprey daypacks, it has more volume capacity and more options for your bicycling and hiking. Despite the fact that it also includes an Osprey hydration pack, the cost is comparable to other Osprey daypacks without the hydration pack.

That comes with almost every Osprey comfort feature for the backpanel. Customers have said that this backpack is so comfortable, they forget that they are wearing it.

Osprey also makes a very similar backpack called the Manta 36. The main difference between the two is that the Manta 36 holds more volume. If you are interested in seeing the differences, please see our Manta 28 vs Manta 36 review.

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