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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Long Term Review: Matador Beast Backpack

 I've been using the Matador Beast 28 for a year, and I've been surprised at how much I use it. I use it as a hydration pack when mountain biking, and I use it for day hikes (and regretted not bringing it with me on my recent Glacier National Park family trip), and after experimenting with other methods of commuting with a laptop, I one day tried putting my Macbook 16 into it and it fitted snugly (in the hydration pocket) and felt better than either a messenger bag or my long-running Dell backpack. The side pockets turned out to be useful for carrying a Zojiroshi vacuum coffee mug as well as the matador packable blanket, and the outside daisy chain loops have been used so often that I've broken one of them.

Matador has stopped making this backpack, replacing it with a much more expensive version. However, the Chinese factory that made this backpack for them knows a good thing when it sees it, and now sells it under the 4Monster brand on Amazon for $40, which is a fantastic price. If you prefer the original branding, Sierra Design has it for $70, which is still a good deal.

It is rare that one piece of equipment I use is so good that the hassle of constantly unpacking it and repacking it for another purpose is worth it. That makes this backpack highly recommended. I'm seriously thinking of ordering the 4Monster so I don't have to constantly unpack and repack it.

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