Mammut Lithia Speed 15 Review
Cons: Minimal padding, small sizing, not adjustable
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Mammut Lithia Speed 15 is made with 70D ripstop nylon. It comes in one size only and has a 17-inch torso length. Note that this pack felt small on our 5'6" tester (19-inch torso length), so if you're that size or larger, you might want to consider the men's version of this pack, the Mammut Lithium Speed, which has an 18-inch torso length.
Overall, the Lithia Speed 15 did not score as high as some of the other models in this review. That's because it scored poorly for comfort and ease of use when packed to the gills, and we consider that a highly relevant metric when picking hiking gear. However, there are still a lot of useful features about this pack, most noticeably how lightweight it is, and the case can be made that a lighter load will be more comfortable in the long run. If you don't need a lot of gear on your day hikes, don't carry much weight, or like for everything you own to be ultra-lightweight, the Lithia is a great option.
We had to give this pack one of the lower scores for comfort. Sure, it feels great with nothing in it, but when you load up 2-3 liters of water, a day's worth of food and snacks, layers, etc., we quickly noticed the lack of padding on the shoulder straps and hip belt. While it's true that you are likely not going to carry as much weight in a 15L pack as a 60L backpacking pack, meaning you don't need quite the same amount of framing or padding in a daypack for it to be comfortable. But you'll likely still have at least 10-15 pounds in your daypack, and having well-padded shoulder straps can make your day hike a lot more comfortable. The good news is, the pack itself is pretty small, so it's hard to stuff it with too much gear. We do also appreciate the attempt at a real hip belt, unlike the one-inch nylon webbing used on some other minimalistic and fast-packing options.
Mammut packed quite a few versatile and useful features in this little package. It doesn't have all the "bells and whistles" that some others boast, like a rain cover and open mesh back, but it does have some handy features, including a whistle on the sternum strap. There's a pocket on the left hip belt, a small pocket on the shoulder strap, an ice axe holder and double compression straps on both sides. There's also two small organizing pockets on the front for quick access items, and two deep mesh water bottle holders. There's an internal sleeve for a reservoir, and a cute slot for the tube to pass out of the back and onto the shoulder strap. Note that there's not much framing to this pack, so if you put a full reservoir in the sleeve or anything bulky in the main compartment, it will tend to push into your back a little, which is another reason why it's not the most comfortable model.
For a full-featured daypack, we are impressed at the light weight of the Mammut Lithia, coming in at just 19 ounces. Part of that weight savings comes from using thinner and lighter materials in the body of the pack, which, as we discuss in our durability section below, will affect the longevity of your bag. And, as we mentioned earlier in our comfort section, there's not a lot of padding, which saves you on weight but sacrifices a little comfort. But, there are often advantages to lightweight packs, particularly for fast-packers or anyone who's trying to cover a lot of miles as quickly as possible, and if you're into that kind of thing, this pack is an excellent choice.
Ease of Use
Unfortunately, we found this pack not particularly user-friendly. While packing and unpacking this bag were about par for the course, there's not a lot of adjustability going on in this pack. It comes in only one size, and that size is definitely on the small side. The back is not adjustable, and the shoulder straps and hip belt don't have extra load-lifting straps on them. The hip belt barely covers our hip bones, meaning that if you have wider hips than a size 2 or 4, it might not provide you with much coverage. The shorter torso length didn't quite fit our 5'6" tester. She passed it on to a shorter friend (5'1") who raved about it, so if you're on the smaller side or have a shorter torso, this might be the perfect pack for you.
The Lithia Speed 15 is made with 70D ripstop nylon, and while we didn't experience any durability issues during our testing. The pack itself seems well made, and we didn't notice any issues with the construction. But we know from firsthand experience that the thinner the material, the more likely and quickly it is to get holes and tears in it. It's made of ripstop nylon, which means that if you do get a tear, it won't run down the pack, but it won't stop them from happening in the first place. This pack does have a double layer on the bottom (some models have thicker material on the bottom, as that is typically a high wear spot, others use two layers of material), which might help a bit. We'd still be careful about where we set it down though, and try not to drag it at all.
The Lithia 15 is on the low end of the price range for the packs we tested. If you're really after a lightweight pack for small loads that still has most of the same features as a bigger, beefier model, and don't mind cutting corners on durability, this bag is a pretty solid value. If you live life fully loaded though, we don't think this pack is likely to please you.
At times during our testing period, it felt like the Mammut Lithia Speed 15 was in a category of its own. Sure, it's not as comfortable as some of the beefier packs in this review, and it likely won't last as long either. But if you're in the market for a lightweight pack that still has all the features of a bigger, heavier pack, then this is the one for you. It has all of the versatility you might want or need on the trails, without the extra pounds to weigh you down.
— Cam McKenzie Ring