Luggage Expertise

The Matador Freerain24: A Waterproof Daypack for Travelers

Hiking in Alaska? Strolling around Singapore? No matter the type of trip, a good daypack is a vital part of any traveler’s arsenal. I recently tested out the Matador Freerain24, a daypack that can be rolled up into a small storage bag when you’re not using it. Is this the right backpack for you? Read on.

The Product: Matador Freerain24

Matador Backpack

$55 at Matador

What We Liked

  • It’s waterproof. Aside from the front and side pockets, the bag is well sealed and will protect your stuff in a rainstorm.
  • It’s lightweight and space-efficient. The bag weighs just 5.5 ounces and folds up into a drawstring bag that fits in the palm of your hand.
  • It’s stronger than it seems. The fabric is so thin that I worried it would tear easily. But while the tag cautions users to keep the bag away from “abrasive surfaces and sharp objects,” I attempted to stab it with a pen and found it more puncture-resistant than it initially seemed.
  • It holds a lot. For such a lightweight pack, it holds more than you might expect. The main compartment has a 24-liter capacity, and I was able to get several garments into it along with books, snacks and a couple of bottles of water with no problem.

What We Didn’t Like

  • There aren’t many pockets. The main part of the bag is a single large compartment, with no internal pockets or slots to keep things organized. There is a vertical pocket on the front of the bag as well as two pockets on the sides for water bottles or other items.
  • It’s a little tricky to put back in the bag. If you struggle to refold a map or to squeeze everything back into your suitcase at the end of a trip, you might also have a hard time rolling this backpack into the right shape and size to fit back into its little storage bag.
  • There’s no sternum strap. Many travelers rely on a strap across the chest to help stabilize the shoulder straps and balance the weight of the pack. That may or may not matter with such a lightweight daypack, but if a sternum strap is important to you, then you’ll need to add one yourself to the Freerain24.
  • It’s a little pricey. At $59.99, the Freerain24 costs more than many other daypacks on the market.

What to Pack in Your Backpack

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