Osprey Mantra AG 28, the perfect hiking + business travel bag

I travel a lot for work. In the past 3 years, I’ve flown roughly 305,000 miles. If there’s a travel hack out there, I’ve probably tried it. I’ve used bags from brands like The North Face, PackSafe, JanSport, and many more… I’ve tried everything from cheap to expensive, exotic to plain. Until I found the Osprey Packs Manta AG 28, I wasn’t satisfied.

Imagine this… what if you were able to prepare for a backpacking trip, have the flexibility to carry as little as some small day pack supplies, or as much as a laptop, chargers, and clothing for the weekend, and do it all while on a business or weekend pleasure trip?

Please note, Osprey didn’t ask me to write this, and I didn’t get a free backpack. This is purely me gushing over some new gear that I think you might like.

I love bringing gear on the road

While I’m on the road, I want to be able to bring me geek gear for the office, and still have the flexibility to use the pack for photography walks, or intermediate or urban hiking after work. I use the hotel or rental car as a storage area, and pack and unpack the bag as needed for the activity I’m engaging in.

I’ve tried doing this with other bags, but traveling with a regular travel backpack doesn’t cut it if you’re carrying ‘the kitchen sink’. They’re just not designed to distribute weight properly when packing that much.

Make no mistake, the Osprey Packs Manta AG 28 is a (small) backpacking pack. It uses the Osprey Anti-gravity System (that’s what AG stands for), has a substantial belt and hip support, and comes with a place to stash a hiking pole and helmet. It’s freakin’ sturdy, has plenty of pockets, and a couple water bottle sleeves (one on each side). But here’s where things get really interesting.

The Osprey Mantra AG 28 is the perfect travel bag

Full, my Mantra measures 22 x 9 x 13 (it’s officially 22 x 12 x 13). By the numbers, this bag is perfectly suited for air travel. On a recent trip to California, I tested the bag in both 1st and economy class under the seat with no issue. I even asked a flight attendant to verify that the bag was far enough under the seat in the exit row.

Paired with an Eagle Creek clean / dirty cube, and more electronics than one guy should have on a trip, this pack was all I needed for a weekend trip to keep in touch with the outdoors, and the office. Next week I’ll take it to the inauguration of Hiking with Geeks Raleigh and use it on a hike. I think I’ll be pleased.

Needless to say, this seems to be the perfect multi-use pack. From business travel to the trail, the Osprey Manta is blowing my mind.


  1. This is another gear worth to try. However fyii am a long standing believer in deuter. It is always comfort with deuter. The weight is well distributed and at times you dont feel you carry heavy loads at all.

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