Osprey Manta 24 Review 2023

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A fully featured and super comfortable day pack for carrying all you need on your summer adventures.


  • Well featured
  • Comfortable
  • Integrated rain cover


  • Oversized hydration compartment
  • Heavy

We’ve reviewed a couple of Osprey packs this year. I’m sure I could bivvy in the excellent Zealot 30 climbing pack and the uber Nimsdai Mutant 90. This time we’re giving a hiking-specific pack a run for its money, the Osprey Manta 24, new for this season. It sits at the premium end of the range and looks and feels the part – ready for any hike!

The Manta 24 is a fully-featured and comfortable day hiking pack. The 24L capacity is more than enough for most of your summer adventures and I’ll probably be using it in general winter conditions too. I may need something bigger if I’m planning mountaineering adventures but for hiking, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to get everyone I’d need in there. 

I’ve really enjoyed using the Manta 24, I have found it a little over-engineered but I have used all the features regularly. So, let’s dive into those features (where do I start!). There are so many compartments and pockets I’ll have to list them as it would be difficult to explain them in my usual style!

There are 5 main compartments/pockets. The very front has an elasticated pouch-style pocket that I’ve been using to carry gloves and buff in. You could fit a suer light hardshell or windproof in but they would have to compress down to a small size: gloves and buff have been fine. Then there is a zipped pocket on the right-hand side that gives access to an elasticated pocket – in there, I have been stashing emergency kits such as a head torch, bivvy bag and first aid kit (the bivvy bag is super light and compact) there is room for more and there is a key clip (although this would be better in the top security pocket). 

The integrated raincover is perfect for those mixed days.

Then there is a front security pocket, again zipped, I’ve been using this for over mitts and glasses; again, still room for a little more. And onto the main compartment, this is plenty big enough for 2 sets of waterproofs, an insulating layer, sandwiches and a small water bottle – agin there is room for more bulky items for winter days. There is yet another pocket at the rear of the main compartment which is more than enough to fit a hydration bladder of any size you wish! It’s vast and designed to be used with the Osprey 2.5L hydration bladder which is included. I’m not a fan of using hydration bladders so I’ve been using it to keep a seating mat and maps to hand without having to dig them out of the main compartment. This compartment felt a little unnecessary and I would have preferred more room in the main compartment with an elasticated sleeve. But that said, if you are a hydration bladder fan you will like the set-up as it makes organising and refilling much easier.

That sums up the main pockets, but I’m not finished yet. The Osprey Manta 24 also has two side pockets (I’ve been stowing poles in one and a flask in the other. I also have a small tripod that I can also stow wit the flask). As well as those there are two zipped pockets on the hip belt. I have been using one for my compass and emergency whistle (as the chest strap doesn’t have one) and my phone in the other. They have an over-shaped design and I have found them awkward to zip up after unzipping when on the move. Hopefully, that is because they are new and the zips will ease up with more regular use. Phew! That sums up the huge amount of organisational pocket space offered on the Manta 24! There is also an integrated rain cover sited at the bottom of the pack.

The carry system consists of a frame that wraps around the perimeter of the back and a suspended mesh panel that offers improved ventilation and cooling, Osprey call this their Airspeed system. This has proved perfectly fine on warm days and I could feel the improved cooling in breezy conditions. I have found the pack super comfortable on every hike I have done with it, mostly longer days out in The Lakes and Yorkshire Dales (my usual stomping grounds). The system stabilises with the comfortable mesh shoulder straps which are soft and good even with just a t-shirt on. The shoulder straps can be further stabilised with the adjustable chest strap which has a magnetic closure buckle – nice and easy to use on the move and a nice touch. 

The carry system offered good stability for technical ascents.

The shoulder strap also has a hiking pole carry system which is easy to use. It works best with compact folding poles and I haven’t tried it with longer flip lock styles poles for example; although I think that longer poles would catch under your arms. So you put the handle end of the poles into the elasticised loop by the hip belt pocket and then secure the tip ends on the shoulder strap. Now, we are famed for our honest reviews so I will declare that although I used this in testing and it worked fine I usually stow my poles in a side pocket as I only need to deploy them for steep, loose descents and that is what I have reverted to. But if you are going for a fast Yorkshire 3 Peaks time for example and want to have regular access to your poles then it will work better than a lot of stow systems I’ve tried in the past on running vests.

The pole system worked well with folding, compact poles.

So, in conclusion, the Osprey Manta 24 is a premium hiking pack that is stuffed full of features. You will find it spacious enough for any adventure you are planning to use it for including non-technical winter hiking. It’s super comfortable and should fit most back sizes and there are more than enough pockets to satisfy even the most nerdy organiser. At 1.3kgs it’s not the lightest pack out there but for most hikers that won’t matter – the comfort more than makes up for it.

The Osprey Manta 24 comes in 2 colour options. The SRP is £160 and it can be bought directly from Osprey Europe.

There is a female-specific version the Osprey Mira 22 which has the same spec and two colour options.

Disclaimer – CGR reviewers and writers are never paid to provide a review and the website does not take advertising or link to affiliate sales. We are a bunch of keen climbers and travellers that accept sample products and offer an honest and independent review of the item. The reviewer will often keep the sample after reviewing it for both hygiene and safety reasons and more often it’s in no fit state to return!

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