Matador SEG30 Segmented Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: No need for packing cubes, super lightweight, plenty of grab handles
Cons: Unsupportive harness system, not good for heavy loads, lacks structure, laptop sleeve lacks protection, subpar padding
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Matador SEG30 Segmented
|Price||Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
$149.00 at REI
|$160 List||$199 List||Check Price at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Pros||No need for packing cubes, super lightweight, plenty of grab handles||Tapered for easy loading, comfortable harness system, adventure friendly, very light||Versatile, sleek, camera box, vented wet shoe compartment||Versatile, duffel-like ease of use, simplistic features, max volume carry||Good suspension, lightweight, affordable, gobbles gear|
|Cons||Unsupportive harness system, not good for heavy loads, lacks structure, laptop sleeve lacks protection, subpar padding||Does not sit upright, laptop sleeve unpadded||No waist belt or sternum strap, no water bottle holder, back panel not very breathable, tall||Soft body sags when not stuffed, harness system not fit for long adventures||Square design protrudes from back, too big for some airlines checked baggage|
|Bottom Line||A minimal travel backpack with segmented zipper pockets for those who don't like packing cubes||With 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 leg||With its convertible camera cube, ventilated shoe compartment, and padded device sleeve, this pack was made for the outdoor photographer on the go||A well thought out, user-friendly, and versatile pack fortified by an Ironclad guarantee and cutting edge company ethics||This is a durable and easy to pack travel backpack, but may be bulky for some airlines or uses|
|Rating Categories||Matador SEG30 Segme...||REI Co-op Ruckpack 40||Mammut Seon Cargo 35L||Patagonia Black Hol...||Osprey Porter 46|
|Packing and Accessibility (25%)|
|Volume to Weight Ratio (15%)|
|Specs||Matador SEG30 Segme...||REI Co-op Ruckpack 40||Mammut Seon Cargo 35L||Patagonia Black Hol...||Osprey Porter 46|
|Volume of Main Compartment||30L||40L||35L||45L||46L|
|Measured Weight||1.53 lbs||2.10 lbs||2.10 lbs||3.35 lbs||3.23 lbs|
|Volume to Weight Ratio (bigger is better)||19.61||19.05||16.67||13.43||14.24|
|Dimensions||18.5" x 9.5" x 9.5"||24" x 13" x 10"||24" x 14" x 9"||22.8" x 8.6" x 14.5"||21" x 14" x 12"|
|Carry-on Size Compatible? (22" x 14" x 9")||Yes||No||Yes||Yes, if squished||Must be cinched down|
|Stuffed Dimensions||19.2" x 10.3" x 10.3"||22" x 9" x 14"||24" x 14" x 9"||22" x 14" x 10"||22" x 14" x 12"|
|Fabrics||420D nylon, hypalon synthetic rubber||Recycled nylon ripstop and recycled polyester lining (bluesign approved)||600D waterproof polyester, 840D ballistic nylon||Polyester ripstop with TPU laminate||420D nylon hex diamond ripstop, 420HD nylon packcloth|
|Frame Type||None||Ventilated mesh||Foam padding||Foam backpanel||Stiff foam|
|Access Type||Clamshell||Top loading||Panel loading||Clamshell design||Panel loading, zips all the way open|
|Number of Pockets||External: 4 segmented zipper, 1 easy access zipper, 1 water bottle zipper, 1 main compartment||6 zip, 7 no zip, 2 water bottle||3 small zippered, 1 ventilated, 1 camera comparment, 1 main||9 zip, 8 no zip||7 zip, 8 no zip|
|Waist Belt Type||N/A||Padded||None||None||Padded|
|Sternum Strap||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, whistle|
|Different Sizes Available?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Volume Options||30L, 42L||18L, 28L, 40L, 65L||35L||26L, 45L||30L, 46L, 65L|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Matador SEG30 offers 30 liters of carrying capacity split up between four segmented zipper pockets that can be accessed from the front of the bag. It is extremely lightweight and highly stuffable.
It isn't easy to make a comfortable pack without ample padding and a waist belt, so the SEG30 cannot measure up to the other options in our test suite. The shoulder straps have mesh for breathability, but they are minimally padded. The adjustable sternum strap helps distribute the weight across the upper body, but there is no waist belt.
A 30-liter backpack does not often require a hip belt unless you plan to carry heavy gear. However, the SEG30 is unstructured and easily stuffable, so it can get heavy quickly if you're not paying attention. The lack of structure also makes it sag in a way that negatively affects the overall comfort.
The SEG30 is a minimal backpack, but it doesn't lack necessary features. It has nicely padded handles on the top and side of the bag. Unfortunately, holding the SEG30 briefcase style is not ideal due to its saggy nature. There are four small gear loops on the front of the pack. Two at the top and two at the bottom that are great for hanging a water bottle or your climbing shoes.
Packing and Accessibility
The Matador SEG30 offers a unique organizational system. It is comprised of four segmented packing cube-style pockets of varying sizes: 4, 6, 8, and 12 liters. If you do not want to use the segmented pocket system on the front, the entire pack opens up into the main compartment, clamshell-style. There is also a quick grab pocket at the top, which is great for your phone, keys, and wallet.
This bag design is great in theory, but it falls short in a few areas. While the segmented pocket system is unique and easily accessible, it only works if you stuff each section to its fullest capacity. The water bottle holder is very small, the laptop sleeve has no padding or false bottom for protection, and the main compartment is not useable if the segmented pockets are full.
Volume to Weight Ratio
There is one undeniably positive attribute to an unstructured travel bag, and that is that they are generally very lightweight. The SEG30 weighs just 1.5 pounds and has a carrying capacity of 30 liters. This is a very impressive volume-to-weight ratio.
Even though the SEG30 is lightweight, it is still rather durable. It is made chiefly of 420D nylon with a DWR (durable weather resistant) coating. The internal compartments are made of 100D Robic Dynatec nylon weave, and the strap mounting points are made of Hypalon synthetic rubber. There is no Ripstop technology, so if you tear the bag, it will likely continue to rip, but we had no issues with this during our extensive testing.
The SEG30 falls on the more affordable side of our lineup. Unfortunately, with the price cut comes some lack in performance. If you plan to carry a lighter load and prefer the segmented nature of this pack to compressions bags, then it's a dream come true. However, if you plan to carry heavy gear for extended periods, the general lack of structure and insufficient harness system renders this bag useless.
The four packing cube-like pockets are a great organizational solution in theory, but the Matador SEG30 lacks the structure it needs to be a truly viable travel backpack. The harness system is underwhelming, and the laptop sleeve offers zero protection. If you are in the market for a lightweight travel pack and only plan to carry soft, stuffable clothing, the SEG30 may work for you, but there are higher performers in our test suite that are just a smidge more expensive.
— Hayley Thomas
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