Osprey’s collection of technical packs includes their most feature-rich hiking day pack called the Mira for her and the Manta for him. Major upgrades were made to both packs for 2019 so naturally, we here at Backcountry Skiing Canada wanted to get our hands on them to see what was new. Each pack is available in two volumes—22 and 32 Litres for the Mira and 24 and 34 Litres for the Manta. For this review, we decided to focus on the larger volume Mira 32 and Manta 34 packs as both are designed for long day hikes or light and fast overnight trips such as hut-to-hut adventures.
Osprey's Mira Backpack is for the ladies but there is also the Manta Pack for men as well.
Osprey has been designing and manufacturing nothing but packs for over 45 years, which is why they have a solid reputation for innovation and a lifetime guarantee. At Backcountry Skiing Canada we have have been reviewing their packs for almost 10 years now, including a few generations of the Ariel and Aether backpacks; the Atmos and Aura backpacks; the Kode, Kresta and Kamber ski touring packs; and the Raven and Zealot Bike packs—phew! Over this time we’ve been impressed with Osprey’s commitment to quality and innovation, with each new generation of pack offering noticeable improvements in materials, design and function.
Both the Mira and Manta packs are built with Osprey’s signature Airspeed suspension system and 3D-tensioned open mesh AirSpeed back panel. The updated geometry of the Airspeed suspension system offers greater curvature in its surprisingly rigid frame to keep loads stable and balanced. A ventilated mesh hip belt secures the pack and completes the load transfer. An updated adjustable harness tracks up and down the frame offering up to four inches of torso height adjustment.
This tensioned mesh back panel distributes loads but also keeps the weight of the pack off your back by almost an inch so the air can flow through and keep your back cool and ventilated. Dual upper and lower compression straps cinch in the load to reduce unused volume as well as keep the pack and its weight closer to your back for improved carrying.
Fit for Women
Over 20 years of experience in designing packs for women have gone into Mira's women-specific sizing and fit. Compared to the Manta pack, the Mira's shape is patterned narrower with the load re-positioned to a more optimal centre of gravity for women. The angle, curves and padding on the harness and hip belt are also adjusted for a more anatomical and thus comfortable fit.
Osprey Hydraulics Reservoir
Both the Mira and Manta come with a dedicated hydration compartment located on the harness-side of the pack and includes an Osprey Hydraulics LT 2.5L reservoir which is made by Hydrapak. The Hydration reservoir’s 2.5L capacity is more than adequate for long hot adventure days and its dedicated enclosure keeps it secure, stable and accessible.
The following features make Osprey's Hydraulics 2.5L reservoir one of the most effective hydration systems on the market:
Four zippered pockets, three internal mesh pockets, and a roomy main compartment offer plenty of options for the discerning hiker who likes to keep their gear organized and accessible. There’s also a heat-embossed, scratch-free zippered pocket located at the top of the pack for sunglasses, phones and other fragile items. A large front panel pocket includes several mesh compartments for organizing smaller items and even comes with a high-vis key clip.
Dual access side stretch mesh pockets along with two zippered hip belt pockets offer plenty of space for keeping snacks and/or accessories handy on the trail.
A concealed rain cover can be pulled from a zippered pocket at the bottom of the pack when bad weather moves in.
We’ve taken the Mira 32 and Manta 34 out on a number of early season full-day and half-day local hikes. The exceptional stability and comfort of Osprey's carry system had me appreciating how far backpack design has come in the last decade. When the pack is fitted and cinched correctly the Airspeed suspension/back panel combo distributes the load effectively giving the feeling that the load is actually lighter than it is. The ventilation offered by the 3D-tensioned open mesh AirSpeed back panel will be more than welcome when the mercury goes up this summer but even in cooler temps, it was noticeable on the trail. The update of the Airspeed suspension/back panel designs alone is a marked improvement on the packs’ predecessors.
It’s fantastic to see women’s specific design becoming the norm (as it should be). Osprey appears to have studied the geometry and curves of a woman’s body in detail, responding with a super comfortable, dynamic, feminine and adaptable design in the Mira 32 pack.
The Mira 32 and Manta 34 are not designed for minimalists. They are built for adaptability and organization, with more compartments than any other pack I own, which is what makes them well adapted to supported overnight or longer day adventures. I could easily see myself hiking part of the Camino with the Mira, trekking (supported) in Nepal or travelling light on any overnight where there is no need for a tent or cooking gear. I particularly like the easy access of the hip-belt pockets and their ample space as well as the internal zippered mesh pockets for keeping smaller items in place. The flip side of this, of course, is that more compartments and more pockets and more zippers mean more weight, that said, with the sturdiness of the carry system this shouldn’t bother most unless their goal is to go light and fast.
The long and rich feature set of the Mira 32 and Manta 34 would not be complete without the Osprey Hydraulics LT 2.5L reservoir. This reservoir which is designed by Hydrapak reflects the same attention to detail found in Osprey’s pack designs and as mentioned earlier is, in my opinion, one of the most effective hydration systems on the market. It’s well integrated into the pack with its own generous zippered compartment, the only thing that feels unresolved is how the hydration tube can feel awkward at times as it crosses over the sternum strap. When it's detached the hydration hose flops around easily, with the potential for the mouthpiece to fall in the dirt if you place your pack on the ground.
Price: $260CAN $180US
Load Range: 5-13kg / 10-30lbs
Weight: 1.35kg / 2.97lbs (Mira 32); 1.4kg / 3.09lbs (Manta 34)
Colour: Baha Blue, Celestial Charcoal (Mira 22); Green Shade, Black (Manta 24)
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