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Matador SEG30 Segmented Review

A minimal travel backpack with segmented zipper pockets for those who don't like packing cubes
Matador SEG30 Segmented
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Price:  $150 List | $150.00 at REI
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
Manufacturer:   Matador
By Hayley Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 5, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 3.0
  • Features - 25% 6.0
  • Packing and Accessibility - 25% 7.0
  • Volume to Weight Ratio - 15% 10.0
  • Durability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

This 30-liter travel backpack offers a unique organization solution through segmented pockets, eliminating the need for packing cubes. The front pockets range from four to twelve liters. The Matador SEG30 Segmented also offers a small quick-grab pocket and water bottle pocket, although it is very small. The overall structure of the bag is lacking, but it sags less if it's completely stuffed. Unfortunately, the minimal harness system is not very supportive, so keeping this pack lightweight is paramount. If you're looking for a budget-friendly, easy-to-use travel backpack and do not plan to carry heavy gear, the SEG30 is a solid option.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $150 List
$150.00 at REI
$149 List
$104.29 at REI
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Compare at 2 sellers
$199 List$160 List
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Pros No need for packing cubes, super lightweight, plenty of grab handlesTapered for easy loading, comfortable harness system, adventure friendly, very lightVersatile, sleek, camera box, vented wet shoe compartmentVersatile, duffel-like ease of use, simplistic features, max volume carryGood suspension, lightweight, affordable, gobbles gear
Cons Unsupportive harness system, not good for heavy loads, lacks structure, laptop sleeve lacks protection, subpar paddingDoes not sit upright, laptop sleeve unpaddedNo waist belt or sternum strap, no water bottle holder, back panel not very breathable, tallSoft 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 A minimal travel backpack with segmented zipper pockets for those who don't like packing cubesWith 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 legWith its convertible camera cube, ventilated shoe compartment, and padded device sleeve, this pack was made for the outdoor photographer on the goA 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 Matador SEG30 Segme... REI Co-op Ruckpack 40 Mammut Seon Cargo 35L Patagonia Black Hol... Osprey Porter 46
Comfort (25%)
3.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
Features (25%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Packing and Accessibility (25%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Volume to Weight Ratio (15%)
10.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
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
Detachable Daypack? No No No No No
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
Laptop Sleeve? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
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.

Performance Comparison


This little travel backpack is super stuffable, but lacks structure.
This little travel backpack is super stuffable, but lacks structure.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Comfort


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.

The lack of a waist belt and general structure makes the SEG30 an...
The lack of a waist belt and general structure makes the SEG30 an uncomfortable pack to shoulder for extended periods.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

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.

Notice how the SEG30 sags, putting too much weight on the shoulders...
Notice how the SEG30 sags, putting too much weight on the shoulders alone.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Features


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.

The handles on the SEG30 are surprisingly padded and comfortable to...
The handles on the SEG30 are surprisingly padded and comfortable to hold.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

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.

The main compartment does not often get used if the front segmented...
The main compartment does not often get used if the front segmented pockets are full.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

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.

The SEG30 is easy to get in and out of on the go, but it does not...
The SEG30 is easy to get in and out of on the go, but it does not sit upright without assistance.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

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.

This pack may sag a bit, but it is made of very lightweight material.
This pack may sag a bit, but it is made of very lightweight material.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Durability


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.

Durable material does not always have to be heavy, and the SEG30...
Durable material does not always have to be heavy, and the SEG30 does a great job of keeping things light.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

We do appreciate the idea, but the SEG30 has some glaring...
We do appreciate the idea, but the SEG30 has some glaring shortcomings.
Credit: Hayley Thomas

Hayley Thomas
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