Living a life on the move requires a certain level or portability and organization. The Matia 28 from Gregory is designed to be an everything backpack, built to carry longboards, tablets, business cards, yoga mats, headphones and more while keeping everything organized and protected. From the trail to the streets, the pack has served me well. This is what I thought.
The Matia holds 28 liters of precious gear. A large primary pocket opens up to reveal the main storage compartment complete with a padded laptop sleeve that supports up to a 15 inch device. Also inside is a hydration sleeve and clip, with two smaller organization pockets sewn into the laptop sleeve. A smaller top zip opens up to a mesh like pocket large enough for wallets, keys, and cell phones. This provides excellent protection for more fragile items as it’s snuggled in between the main compartment and the next organizational pocket. Speaking of, the third zip opens into another cavernous pocket meticulously adorned with a variety of small pockets and dividers, perfect for headphones, pens, calculators, reading classes and such. A water bottle pocket is located on each side, and a small quick access accessory pocket is located on the back, hidden just below the Gregory logo. Daisy chains run the length of the pack, and form two ice pick straps at the bottom. Two compression straps can be used to cinch down the pack, or they can be un-clipped and reversed to house large items like yoga mats and long boards. The Matia 28 is available now, comes in a nice variety of colors, and retails for just $99.
What I liked
I have a deeply embedded desire to move, and I always carry a pack with me because of that. I need equipment, accessories, nourishment, hydration, and I need to be able to keep it all with me while maintaining some form of organization. The Matia makes that happen with possibly the best implementation of an organizational system I’ve come across. The large main compartment easily stores my tablet, books, papers and insulating layers, while the smaller pockets did a great job of keeping my glasses and headphones safe, while providing quick and easy access to calculators and pens. Of special consideration is the cross over compression straps. While hiking, I can cinch down my pack for a stable load, or I can reverse them to easily attach a large longboard or picnic mat to the outside. You can also attach a safety light to the built in clip for extra protection while biking. It truly is a do everything pack, and I need that in my life.
Build quality is fabulous. Built from a durable nylon that reminds me of Cordura, it’s been thrown into the backs of trucks, lugged around town, drug through vehicles, used at work and on the run. Months later, it shows absolutely no signs of wear. The daisy chains are hammered down with ample, high quality stitch work and high stress zones like the carry handle are all reinforced with extra thread.
The pack is also quite comfortable, happily supporting loads of about 20 lbs while providing ample padding and support. The shoulder straps and back panels are both dual density foam, finished with a breathable mesh like material to aid in ventilation. This provides better weight distribution, and dries quickly after a workout. The back panel is especially padded, providing protection for your gear, and protection for your from your gear, in case that multi-tool you slipped in shifts sideways. Carrying the pack is a non-chore, and the pack overall has plenty of adjustments for a perfect fit. Bonus, included chest straps and a small hip belt are provided for when things get really adventurous.
The pack looks great. With a variety of colors and a somewhat militaristic vibe, the pack looks nice on the trail and while biking down the local commute lanes as well. It fits in everywhere, and that’s exactly what I want out of an every-day backpack.
The large zipper pulls and quality slides make the Matia simple to get inside and easy to zip it back up when on the run. The material does a good job of shedding a light rain, and the pack overall is very adjustable, with movable chest straps and included load straps.
The pack has a great unisex design with a variety of colors to patch. Male and female testers alike found it to be comfortable and fitting to their form, with a nice aesthetic that fits both genders.
What I didn’t like
The back panel, while nicely padded, can build up a little bit of heat and sweat during hot days of high activity. Thankfully, the materials are all quick drying and recover quickly.
The straps on the back have a hard time gripping to larger items like longboards, but shorter skateboards work just fine.
The Matia 28 represents everything that I want out of an every-day pack. It’s light weight, built to last, and looks the part in any situation. I was pleased to find that I could use it while hiking in the mountains, longboarding, biking, and even around town or on the job without needing to change packs to avoid standing out. Organization and accessibility are both extensive, with a huge assortment of pockets ans zippers so that everything always has a place and a quick way in. I cannot recommend it enough, especially at just $99.
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For more information on Gregory and their packs, check out http://gregorypacks.com/
I wanted to send a special thanks out for Gregory and their extended support and for providing this excellent piece of equipment to review. We couldn’t do this without our supports. Thanks you so much! Our full disclosure can be found on the about me/contact page.