The Bottom Line: The Matador Beast 28L is a lightweight packable adventure backpack that can easily fit into a compression bag the size of a large grapefruit. Its sleek design makes this backpack great for everyday use or long backpacking trips as a day pack
I use this backpack everyday. It is my school backpack as well as my go to backpack for day hikes and adventures. This pack can carry everything from my laptop to my jacket and water bottle. It has a total of five pockets. Two are small and tight compression pockets on the side for wallets, keys, and other smaller pieces. The main pouch has a section for a water reservoir or laptop and plenty of room for more gear. There is also a smaller zip-up pocket for smaller items like keys and phones. My favorite part of this backpack is the external stash: Anything I put in the external stash I have quick access to. In the past, I have put items like wet flips flops here so that they can drive and stay separate from the rest of my gear.
Besides the numerous pockets the pack features external straps, water-resistant fabric, and it is extremely packable. Sternum and waist straps provide extra support and distribute weight for the wearer. The daisy chain and water resistant fabric are great additional features. Moreover, the fact that it can fit into a small compression bag extremely easily is an amazing bonus and allows me to take this backpack on backpacking trips as a day pack. Even though it can roll up into a small bag, it does not feel flimsy, and I have confidence my items are in a strong, quality pack. The one critique I have for this pack is that I wish the side pockets could hold a larger, insulated water bottle when I am not using my water reservoir.
Although this backpack is on the more expensive side, I purchased this pack not only for the features but also for the values of the company. Matador is a small business that makes packable adventure gear. Their products are durable and long lasting, which limits waste, and products are assembled in fair trade factories. Additionally, I had a positive experience with their customer service. My purchase had not shipped two days after ordering, and I was going to leave the next week for a trip, so they quickly shipped my purchase to me with priority mail.
This is now my favorite adventure backpack because of the unique combination of features it offers. I can fold the pack in half, roll it up, put it in its compression pack, and throw it my duffel bag for a trip. The backpacking qualities like the daisy chain and external stash make the pack perfect for busy school days. This pack can go on any adventure in the city, woods, mountains, and more.