Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups

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  1. #1
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    Which Osprey would you recommend for a trip like the San Juan Huts?

    Right now I've got an Osprey Raptor 14 I use for the trails and around town and I love it. But I'm doing the Durango to Moad San Juan Hut ride in July and I'm going to need something that will hold more.

    My buddy picked up a Manta 30, which has some pretty nice features and plenty of space it seems. I was looking at the Manta 36 or the Escapist 30, both in the S/M size.

    The Manta has a 400ci advantage over the Escapist and has an actual load rating. Other than that and the different suspension systems, they look like they have very similar features.

    Anyone have any direct comparisons and could give me some insight?

  2. #2
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    I bought the Manta and it is a great pack. Very comfortable on and off the bike. I went bigger myself since you can cinch the side compression straps down if you do not need or want the space. The larger volume allows you to carry bulkier items. Arguably some people will say that if you buy the bigger pack you'll pack it full and overload yourself. It takes some self discipline.

  3. #3
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    I ended up getting a Talon 33 tried on a Manta 30 while shopping liked the Talon better it's a little less "feature-y" and hence a bit lighter than the two you mentioned which I like.that said Osprey doesn't make any junk as far as I can tell.you should be happy with any of them. as to overloading the pack I've ended up cinching it down quite a bit both times I actually got to use it for it's intended purpose.
    I turn wrenches at a not for profit bike shop in Denver called The Bike Depot

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input. I'm going to see if anyone has both models I'm looking at, in stock, and try them out.

  5. #5
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    +1 for the Manta 36

  6. #6
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    I couldn't find anyone who carried the Escapist of any size in stock, so I'll probably be going with the Manta 36.

    Thanks for the input!

  7. #7
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    I went with the manta myself. Its just a little heavier than the Talon but includes the 3L bladder. By the time you add the bladder to the Talon (if you do) it will be heavier than the Manta. The Manta also has the "air back" and this is a nice feature that helps keep your back cooler.

  8. #8
    SpoK Werks Handmade Goods
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    Which Osprey would you recommend for a trip like the San Juan Huts?

    Depends on how much you want to carry. I used the Raptor 10 on the TDR last year and it was quite stuffed at times but if I'd gotten a larger one I would have overpacked.

  9. #9
    um... yeah
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    I have an Escapist 30 and like it a lot. It's too big for daily trips but I've used it bikepacking. I have a Raptor for regular mountain biking. You'll probably be fine either way. Osprey makes good stuff.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by acefaser View Post
    I went with the manta myself. Its just a little heavier than the Talon but includes the 3L bladder. By the time you add the bladder to the Talon (if you do) it will be heavier than the Manta. The Manta also has the "air back" and this is a nice feature that helps keep your back cooler.
    The "air back" was a big selling point for me. Half of the guys going on this trip have the Manta now.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1 Speed View Post
    Depends on how much you want to carry. I used the Raptor 10 on the TDR last year and it was quite stuffed at times but if I'd gotten a larger one I would have overpacked.
    I actually have a Raptor 14 that I use for running around the trails normally.

  11. #11
    Two Headed Boy
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    I really like Deuter packs, the back system beats any other I've tried, really, really comfy! I have a 65 liter pack for backpacking, and a just picked up a Deuter Futura on clearance at a local shop that is reducing inventory for a move. Anyhow its a really nice design and honestly like it better than Ospreys....
    tSETFREEBYLOVEt

  12. #12
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    I have the Escapist 30 and I love it. But the Manta is just as good if not a little better. If i recall it's a little more rigid and structured vs the Escapist. Can't loose with your choices though.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by acefaser View Post
    By the time you add the bladder to the Talon (if you do) it will be heavier than the Manta.
    For those searching through old posts, the listed weight of the Manta, actually, does NOT include the 3L bladder. The M/L I bought weighs 2 lbs./6 ozs. without the bladder and just under 3 lbs./1 oz. with the bladder.

  14. #14
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    I ended up returning the Manta 28 and going with an Escapist 32. I bought the Manta mainly because of the trampoline suspension/ventilation feature. I found out, though, that the space between the back panel and the trampoline all but collapses when the 3L hydration bladder is filled (even at the 2L level). It completely collapses when the remainder of the pack is filled. On my first ride out with the Escapist, I was surprised how much ventilation it's Airscape back panel provides, although it's not going to prevent a sweaty back completely. I also decided that I didn't want to carry 3kg of water weight on my back while on a bicycle so I bought the Osprey Hydraulics LT 1.5L hydration reservoir to use with the Escapist. The LT is designed to maintain a relatively flat profile when full, unlike most reservoirs. This will help to reduce "bladder bulge" from being felt through the Escapist's back panel.

    Although it sure looks like it is more than 4L larger, the 32L Escapist weighs about 2L less than the 28L Manta (without the Manta's reservoir). There is probably 3-5 ounces of excess straps and fabric that can be cut off of the Escapist to reduce it's weight more. I can't think of any use for the zippered divider that optionally separates the main compartment into 2 separate compartments, for instance. I'd be interested to know if others are actually using this divider and, if so, what for.

    I would have tested the Osprey Talon 33 which is listed as weighing 6 ounces less than the Escapist, but the Talon does not have the compression straps at the top of the pack which will help hold my packraft paddles in place when they are loaded in the side stretch pockets of the Escapist.

  15. #15
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    I have used the Osprey Raptor 14 for both the San Juan Hut trips; worked great. A little more room would be nice, say the Syncros 15 or the Zealot 15. Be cautious of trying to fill the room that a larger bag offers. I have made the mistake of over packing because there was room left over in the pack.

  16. #16
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    +1 for the Manta. I have a Manta 30 and it's worked great.

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