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Mammut Lithia Speed 20 Review

Mammut Lithia Speed 20
Top Pick Award
Price:   $100 List | $90.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, affordable
Cons:  Minimal padding, small sizing, not adjustable
Bottom line:  A great pack for fast and light missions.
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Mammut

Our Verdict

The Mammut Lithia Speed 20 was one of the smaller packs in our review, and it was certainly the lightest. Weighing a scant 19 ounces, this daypack is 1.5 pounds lighter than our Editors' Choice winner, the Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail ND 24. 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. As such, we've given this pack our Top Pick for Fast and Light award.

Want something even smaller and lighter for quick hikes?
Mammut Lithia Speed 15
Check out the Mammut Lithia Speed 15. It has the same overall design as the Speed 20 but with 5 fewer liters of volume and it'll save you another ounce in weight. This smaller version is a great option for long vertical climbs where you need to take some extras with you but don't want a bulky pack on your back. It retails for $90.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Women's Daypack of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Cam McKenzie Ring
Senior Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Monday
August 28, 2017

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The Mammut Lithia Speed 20 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.

Staring down the summit in our Top Pick for Light and Fast hiking. This lightweight pack 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 Light and Fast hiking. This lightweight pack is great for big adventures in the mountains where you don't want to be weighed down.

Performance Comparison


Overall, the Lithia Speed 20 did not score as high as some of the other models in this review, as you can see in the chart below. That's because it scored poorly for comfort, and we consider that a highly important metric when picking gear for hiking in. However, there were still a lot of good 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, out Top Pick for Light and Fast is a great option.


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.


As you can see in the photo below, 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 20L 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.

There's little padding on the shoulder straps  which affected this pack's comfort when hiking with a heavy load.
There's little padding on the shoulder straps, which affected this pack's comfort when hiking with a heavy load.

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, but it has a buckles that sit right on our hipbones, and, with the lack of padding in that area as well, we felt the buckle digging into us all day when we had the hip belt cranked down.

The buckles on the hipbelt sit right on our hipbones  which was not comfortable in the long run.
The buckles on the hipbelt sit right on our hipbones, which was not comfortable in the long run.

Features


Mammut packed quite a few features in this little package. It doesn't have all the "bells and whistles" that the Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail ND 24 and Osprey Sirrus 24 have, 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 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 also 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 hipbelt pocket is large enough for a smartphone or GPS unit.
This pack has a clever slot for your water reservoir tube.
 


Weight


If there's one metric that the Mammut Lithia Speed 20 topped the charts in, it was for weight. At only 19 ounces, this daypack was a pound lighter than the ultra-comfortable CamelBak Sequoia 22 and a pound and a half lighter than the Lowe Alpine Airzone Trail ND 24.


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 a great choice.

Taking in the view deep in 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 deep in 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 in definitely on the small side.


The back is not adjustable, and the shoulder straps and hip belt don't have extra load-lifter straps on them. The hip belt just barely covers our hip bones, meaning that if you have wider hips than a size 2 it might not provide you with much coverage. With the torso length being so short, this pack didn't quite fit on 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.

Trying out the Lithia in the alpine. This pack felt a little small on our main tester  shown here. If you're shorter than 5'6" or have a shorter torso  you'll likely get a good fit in this pack  but if you're taller or longer it might not fit so well.
Trying out the Lithia in the alpine. This pack felt a little small on our main tester, shown here. If you're shorter than 5'6" or have a shorter torso, you'll likely get a good fit in this pack, but if you're taller or longer it might not fit so well.

Durability


The Lithia Speed 20 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 of the pack. 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 is made with 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, but we'd be careful about where we set it down 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!

Hiking for miles in the Bighorn National Forest. The Lithia Speed was great for long and fast hikes.
Hiking for miles in the Bighorn National Forest. The Lithia Speed was great for long and fast hikes.

Value


This pack retails for $100, 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, we really liked our Best Buy winner, the $70 REI Co-op Trail 25.

Conclusion


At times during this review it felt like the Mammut Lithia Speed 20 was in a category of it's 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

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Most recent review: August 28, 2017
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