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Mammut Lithia Speed 15 Review

A great pack for summits and fast or light missions.
Mammut Lithia Speed 15
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $95 List | $71.21 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, affordable
Cons:  Minimal padding, small sizing, not adjustable
Manufacturer:   Mammut
By Cam McKenzie Ring ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 5, 2018
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 11
  • Comfort - 30% 6
  • Features - 30% 8
  • Weight - 20% 10
  • Adjustability - 10% 5
  • Durability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Mammut Lithia Speed 15 was the smallest pack in our review, and also the lightest. Weighing a scant 19 ounces, this daypack is over a pound lighter than our Editors' Choice winner, the CamelBak Sequoia 22. The lighter weight is achieved by sacrificing padding and using thinner materials, which leads to less comfort when carrying a lot of weight and less long-term durability. That's why it didn't score very highly compared to some other packs in this review, but, it does make it a great option if you're not carrying much weight or want something light enough for fast hiking/running. There's no frame either, so this model can be folded into a bigger pack, making it a great addition to your backcountry setup if you plan to hike into basecamp and then do a lot of peak bagging out of one spot. As such, we've given this pack our Top Pick for a Summit Pack award.


Compare to Similar Products

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 when packed to the gills, and we consider that a highly relevant metric when picking hiking gear. However, there were still a lot of useful features about this pack, most noticeably how lightweight it was, 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.

Performance Comparison


Staring down the summit in our Top Pick for a Summit Pack. This lightweight model is great for big adventures in the mountains where you don't want to be weighed down.
Staring down the summit in our Top Pick for a Summit Pack. This lightweight model is great for big adventures in the mountains where you don't want to be weighed down.

Comfort


We had to give this pack one of the lowest 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 hipbelt.


There is only a thin layer of padding on this pack's shoulder straps. It's true that you are likely not going to carry as much weight in a 15L pack as a 60L backpacking pack, and so you don't need quite the same amount of framing or padding in a daypack for it to be comfortable. But you'll 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 did appreciate the attempt at a real hip belt, unlike the one-inch nylon webbing used on the REI Co-op Trail 25, or Osprey Hikelite.

The buckles on the hipbelt are in a weird spot and sit right on our hipbones  which was not comfortable in the long run. We did appreciate the little keepers that help us tuck the extra webbing away.
Most packs this size forgo a heal hipbelt - even though you can't carry much in the Lithia  we appreciated the support it provided when loaded down with water.

Features


Mammut packed quite a few features in this little package. It doesn't have all the "bells and whistles" that the Osprey Sirrus 24 has, 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, an MP3 holder 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 pack for that matter, it will tend to push into your back a little, which was another reason why the comfort was compromised a bit.

The one side hip belt pocket is large enough for a smartphone or GPS unit.
There is a zippered compartment on the shoulder strap that opens up to a music player holder. It even fit a large smartphone in it  though not quite as smoothly.

Weight


If there's one metric that the Mammut Lithia Speed 15 topped the charts in, it was for weight. At only 19 ounces, this daypack was a pound lighter than the CamelBak Sequoia 22.


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 pack. And, as we mentioned earlier in our comfort section, there is little padding or framing going on, and the pack is not as comfortable with heavy loads as those that have more padding, and therefore weigh more. But, there are often advantages to lightweight packs, particularly for fastpackers 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.

Taking in the view miles into the backcountry. When you're covering a lot of ground  lighter gear  from your head to your toes  can make a big difference.
Taking in the view miles into the backcountry. When you're covering a lot of ground, lighter gear, from your head to your toes, can make a big difference.

Adjustability


There's not a lot of adjustability going on in this pack, hence the lower score for this metric. 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 just 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. With the torso length being so short, this pack didn't quite fit our main tester. She passed it on to a petite friend (5'1") who raved about the pack and the fit, so if you're on the smaller side or have a shorter torso, this might be the perfect pack for you.

Durability


The Lithia Speed 15 is made with 70D ripstop nylon, and while we didn't experience any durability issues during our testing, we know what happens to thinner packs in the long run, and have given this pack a lower overall score for durability.


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 packs put even 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 all.

Best Applications


If you like to travel light and hike fast, this is the pack for you. We took it on long trail run/hikes where we needed some extra layers but didn't want to feel weighed down, and it worked great!

If you're trying to cover a lot of ground quickly  the Lithia 15 won't weigh you down.
If you're trying to cover a lot of ground quickly, the Lithia 15 won't weigh you down.

Value


The updated Lithia 15 comes with an updated price, and now retails for $95, which puts it at about the middle of the price range for the packs we tested in this review. If you're looking to save a few more dollars, check out our Best Buy winner, the $70 REI Co-op Trail 25.

Conclusion


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, then this is the one for you. It has all of the features you might want or need on the trails, without the extra pounds to weigh you down.


Cam McKenzie Ring