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Mammut Seon Cargo 35L Review

With its convertible camera cube, ventilated shoe compartment, and padded device sleeve this travel bag was made for the outdoor photographer on the go
Mammut Seon Cargo 35L
Photo: Mammut
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $150 List | Check Price at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Versatile, sleek, camera box, vented wet shoe compartment
Cons:  No waist belt or sternum strap, no water bottle holder, back panel not very breathable, tall
Manufacturer:   Mammut
By Hayley Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 25, 2021
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80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 13
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Features - 25% 7
  • Packing & Accessibility - 25% 8
  • Volume to Weight Ratio - 15% 9
  • Durability - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The sleek Mammut Seon Cargo was built for the traveling photographer with a penchant for the outdoors. This may sound like a niche market, but this pack is extremely versatile. It works just as well as a daypack, gym bag, or weekend bag. Almost all the compartments open from the backside, rendering your belongings safe from theft, and the clamshell opening to the main compartment makes packing a breeze. It is 35 liters which offers enough space for a 2-3 day trip and sports a few very unique pockets. From the convertible camera cube, which could be used for many items other than a camera, to the bottom opening, lie-flat, vented compartment, the Seon Cargo is a great all-in-one travel bag at a price you just can't beat.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Mammut Seon Cargo 35L
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$299.95 at REI$149 List
Check Price at REI
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
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Pros Versatile, sleek, camera box, vented wet shoe compartmentComfortable, innovative, feature rich, sturdy, great for camera gearTapered for easy loading, comfortable harness system, adventure friendly, very lightVersatile, duffel-like ease of use, simplistic features, max volume carryGood suspension, lightweight, affordable, gobbles gear
Cons No waist belt or sternum strap, no water bottle holder, back panel not very breathable, tallHeavy, expensive, finite amount of spaceDoes not sit upright, laptop sleeve unpaddedSoft body sags when not stuffed, harness system not fit for long adventuresSquare design protrudes from back, too big for some airlines checked baggage
Bottom Line With its convertible camera cube, ventilated shoe compartment, and padded device sleeve this travel bag was made for the outdoor photographer on the goThis beautiful and comfortable pack will have the weekend getaway enthusiast, business traveler, or avid photographer swooningWith its tapered shape and backpacking pack structure, this is the perfect bag for the outdoor adventurist that doesn't want to spend an arm and legA well thought out, user-friendly, and versatile pack fortified by an Ironclad guarantee and cutting edge company ethicsThis is a durable and easy to pack travel backpack, but may be bulky for some airlines or uses
Rating Categories Mammut Seon Cargo 35L Peak Design Travel 45 REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 Patagonia Black Hole MLC Osprey Porter 46
Comfort (25%)
8
9
9
5
7
Features (25%)
7
9
8
9
7
Packing & Accessibility (25%)
8
9
7
9
7
Volume To Weight Ratio (15%)
9
6
10
8
8
Durability (10%)
9
9
8
9
9
Specs Mammut Seon Cargo... Peak Design Travel... REI Co-op Ruckpack... Patagonia Black... Osprey Porter 46
Volume of Main Compartment 35L 45L 40L 45L 46L
Measured Weight 2.10 lbs 4.51 lbs 2.10 lbs 3.35 lbs 3.23 lbs
Volume to Weight Ratio (bigger is better) 16.67 9.98 19.05 13.43 14.24
Detachable Daypack? No No No No No
Dimensions (inches) 24 x 14 x 9 21 x 13 x 6.5 24 x 13 x 10 22.8 x 8.6 x 14.5 21 x 14 x 12
Carry-on Size? (22 x 14 x 9 in) Yes Yes No Yes, if squished Must be cinched down
Dimensions When Stuffed (inches) 24 x 14 x 9 21 x 10 x 14 22 x 9 x 14 22 x 14 x 10 22 x 14 x 12
Fabrics 600D waterproof polyester, 840D ballistic nylon 400D nyon and polyester recycled nylon ripstop and recycled polyester lining (bluesign approved) Polyester ripstop with TPU laminate 420D nylon hex diamond ripstop, 420HD nylon packcloth
Frame Type Foam padding Foam padding Ventilated mesh Foam backpanel Stiff foam
Access Type Panel loading Top and panel loading, zips all the way open Top loading Clamshell design Panel loading, zips all the way open
Number of Pockets 3 small zippered, 1 ventilated, 1 camera comparment, 1 main 6 zip, 2 watter bottle 6 zip, 7 no zip, 2 water bottle 9 zip, 8 no zip 7 zip, 8 no zip
Laptop Sleeve Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waist Belt Type None N/A Padded None Padded
Sternum Strap Yes N/A Yes Yes Yes, whistle
Different sizes? No No Yes Yes No
Volume Options 35L 45L 18L, 28L, 40L, 65L 26L, 45L 30L, 46L, 65L

Our Analysis and Test Results

This travel bag is a great option for those looking for an all-in-one style backpack. It was made with the adventure photographer in mind but proves to be very versatile. From the brightly colored interior to the convertible camera compartment, the Seon Cargo is a thoughtful option at a price you just can't beat.

Performance Comparison


The Mammut Seon is the perfect all-in-one pack.
The Mammut Seon is the perfect all-in-one pack.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Comfort


The Seon Caro is an awesome travel bag that sports a very simple harness system. The shoulder straps are ergonomic, breathable, padded, and curved for comfort.


This bag is tall and thin which helps keep the weight close to your midline. Generally speaking, it is best to keep heavy gear at the base of your pack so it doesn't pull the bag away from your body, but there are exceptions to this rule. The Seon has a camera compartment located at the top and we love having it there. This separate compartment, for potentially heavy gear, is placed perfectly between the shoulder blades, ensuring that this weight is held closest to your body.

The convertible camera cube isn't just for cameras! It's also a...
The convertible camera cube isn't just for cameras! It's also a great place for your snacks, big headphones and other electronics.
Photo: Matthew Blake

The Seon Cargo sports 840D Nylon JR Ballistic on the back panel which is very comfortable and the padding from the laptop sleeve offers both cushion and structure. The slimness of this pack makes it easy to navigate through crowds on a subway or slip under the seat in front of you on a plane.

This sleek pack is easy to slip through the city without worrying...
This sleek pack is easy to slip through the city without worrying about bumping into your fellow commuters.
Photo: Hayley Thomas

The Seon is advertised as an all-in-one outdoor travel bag, but to make it a travel bag, Mammut had to make some concessions in the outdoor department. It is versatile, but it's not going to replace your specialized backpacking pack or climbing bag. It travels with ease and is plenty comfortable enough to hike with, but the back panel is not breathable when it comes in contact with bare skin, so if you like to hike in a sports bra or shirtless, prepare to sweat. It does not have a sternum strap, load lifters, or most importantly, a waist belt. These items are not necessary for every travel bag but they are necessary when hauling heavy gear up a mountain. That being said, if you need an all-in-one, travel-friendly outdoor bag for a quick adventure weekend, the Seon is pretty close to perfection.

Even without a sternum strap or waist belt this pack is surprisingly...
Even without a sternum strap or waist belt this pack is surprisingly comfortable.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Features


The Seon Cargo is 24 x 23 x 13.75", making it carry-on compliant. Its durable fabric, thoughtful compartments, and sleek look make it highly versatile.


The Seon is a very simple and streamlined travel backpack. It has two discrete handles on the outside but has a very minimal exterior other than that. You could easily go from a professional setting, like an office, to the gym or the outdoors without a hitch. The inside of this pack is light green and orange, making it very easy to see your belongings. A neutral exterior paired with a contrasting brighter interior is a style we are seeing on more and more packs these days and we find it to be very helpful.

The orange and green interior makes it easy to see your belongings.
The orange and green interior makes it easy to see your belongings.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Our favorite feature on this pack is a highly debatable one. Most of the compartment zippers are located on the back of the pack. While the back-of-the-pack zippers are a great safety measure, this also means that you'll need to take your pack off and set it down on its face to get to a majority of your belongings. There are a few easy-access pockets on the side and one on the top for things like your phone and wallet. One of the side pockets even has a long key leash, but if you're constantly in and out of your pack looking for books and other larger ticket items, the limited access to your main compartments may be irritating.

The main compartments open solely from the back, which helps keep...
The main compartments open solely from the back, which helps keep your belongings safe.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Packing & Accessibility


This category is where the Seon truly shines. From the outside, this pack looks very sleek and uncomplicated, which it is, but it sports some pretty nifty compartments too. At the top of the pack, you will find a small easy-access pocket with a weatherproof zipper for small items like your chapstick, a few pens, or your earbuds. Underneath this compartment is the camera block, which only opens from the back panel, ensuring that your gear is safe. If you like to travel with a camera, this pocket will excite you. The entire pocket is made of felt and thick padding. There are two dividers held in place by velcro which can be moved or removed to accommodate your gear. There is also one zipper mesh pocket and one velcro mesh pocket for your cables, chargers, and extra batteries. It's safe to say that we love this compartment, and if you are not a photographer have no fear because it still comes in handy for a variety of items.


Below the camera box is the main compartment, which rocks a full perimeter zipper, opening up like a box. The padding gives it some structure, making it very easy to load up, with or without packing cubes, and offers plenty of room for 2-3 days of clothing. The flap of this compartment is where the laptop and tablet sleeves are located.

The padded main compartment offers structure to the overall pack.
The padded main compartment offers structure to the overall pack.
Photo: Matthew Blake

There are two seemingly small pockets on the outside of the bag which can be easily accessed while wearing the pack. These pockets are deeper than they look and make a great spot for your on-the-go items, like your cellphone, keys, and wallet. The Seon also has what you could call a shoe compartment or a wet compartment whose sole purpose is to provide a spot for your dirty items. It is ventilated, so it's great for your stinky climbing shoes or wet beach towel. It lies flat on the bottom of the main compartment, completely out of the way until you decide to stuff it. We're not sure which compartment we are more excited about — the camera cube or the ventilated shoe pocket.

The ventilated wet compartment takes up the entire bottom of the...
The ventilated wet compartment takes up the entire bottom of the pack, but lies flat when not in use.
Photo: Matthew Blake

While the main compartment being solely accessible through the back panel is great for security, it doesn't do much for accessibility. But, seeing as the camera compartment and laptop sleeve are located here, we are perfectly happy trading accessibility for security. Speaking of laptops, the sleeve can only accommodate one that is 15" or smaller and cannot be accessed without opening the main compartment. However, you do not need to open it up all the way, so your knickers will be safe from the public eye. The wet bag or shoe compartment is an awesome touch, but it's important to note that, when full, it interferes with the storage in the main compartment. The last and biggest bone we have to pick with the Seon Cargo is the lack of a water bottle pocket. This pack is advertised as an outdoor travel bag and it doesn't take into account hydration! Any sized bottle fits very nicely in the main compartment, but this seems like an oversight.

The laptop sleeve is located in the back panel, but can be accessed...
The laptop sleeve is located in the back panel, but can be accessed without opening the entire main compartment.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Volume to Weight Ratio


The Seon is one of our highest performers in this category. It weighs 2.1 pounds and offers a carrying capacity of 35 liters. Because this pack is geared towards photographers and outdoor enthusiasts, we're glad it doesn't fall short in this department.


Outdoor and photography gear can get heavy, so starting out with a light pack can make all the difference. Particularly if you are planning on climbing mountains with said gear — every pound counts.

This pack is one of our best performing in the Volume to Weight...
This pack is one of our best performing in the Volume to Weight department.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Durability


We have nothing to complain about as far as durability goes. The 600D polyester and 840D Nylon JR Ballistic fabric are waterproof and the trusty YKK zippers are weatherproof.


Because the main compartments open solely from the back, the Seon spends a good bit of time face down on the ground. It was also designed for the outdoors so it needs to be able to withstand some pretty rugged terrain. We were pleasantly surprised to find that even when haphazardly tossed on a rock, the fabric was unphased. We put this bag to the test and there wasn't a scratch on it.

The Mammut Seon is surprisingly resistant to scratches, which is...
The Mammut Seon is surprisingly resistant to scratches, which is good because the pocket design means it spends a good bit of time face down.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Value


The Seon is a great all-in-one travel backpack for the photographer and/or outdoor enthusiast. Not only are you getting your money's worth via its versatility, but it clocks in at one of the least expensive options in our test suite. The Seon will take you from your office to the airport to the crag without a hitch and is built to last.

Conclusion


The thoughtfulness of this pack's design shines brightly through all our metrics. The sleek and versatile Mammut Seon Cargo is easy to pack and safe to travel with. The camera box, device flap, and wet compartment help to keep your dirty outdoor gear, expensive electronics, and clean clothes separated. Its simple harness system is surprisingly comfortable and its general compactness allows for seamless travel through airports and subways alike. This budget-friendly pack is a great option for the outdoor photographer but the specialized pockets prove versatile enough for anyone.

This budget friendly pack is a true winner in our book.
This budget friendly pack is a true winner in our book.
Photo: Matthew Blake

Hayley Thomas