Osprey Manta 36 Review: Is This Your New Favorite?

Very few brands have such a high reputation among outdoor enthusiasts as Osprey. So, in this Osprey Manta 36 review, we are going to look at the features that have made this hydration pack so popular among hikers.

The Osprey Manta 36 model was discontinued a few years ago and the manufacturer replaced it with the upgraded version of the original hydration pack labeled Osprey Manta AG 36.

Even though these two Osprey’s models have almost the same features, the Manta AG 36 hydration pack is still a more attractive option in terms of durability and ease of use.

Osprey offers a wide range of backpacks like the Atmos AG 50 or Talon 11, but very few brand’s collections are equipped with hydration systems.

Let’s take a closer look at the specs and features of the Osprey Manta AG 36.

Key specifications of the Osprey Manta 36

Overall gear storage capacity 36L
Hydration bladder capacity 2.5L
Belt types Hip belts


EVA shoulder harness

Number of pockets 8
Material 210 D high tenacity nylon


100 D nylon mini hex diamond ripstop

Access type Zipper opening
Weight 2lb and 87oz
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Core features of the Osprey Manta 36

osprey manta ag

The best hydration packs offer a perfect combination of weight management and easy access to your water supply by eliminating the need to carry water bottles with you whenever you go hiking or running.

The Osprey Manta AG 36 has all the features offered by industry-leading hydration packs, as it provides you with a lot of storage space, and allows you to take a sip of water without having to stop or take it off your back.

Most importantly, this Osprey’s hydration pack ensures that you can stay comfortable, even if you’re carrying its maximum weight capacity. That’s why you can use the Manta AG 36 for a day hike or a backpacking trip that will last for a few weeks.

Design and materials

The first thing that catches your eye when you see an Osprey Manta AG 36 hydration pack is its functional and elegant design. In addition to having an eye-catching exterior, this Osprey’s model has a spacious interior that allows you to pack up to 36L of equipment.

The manufacturer produces this hydration pack in two sizes so that you can choose between S/M and M/L options. The dimensions of these two variants of the Manta AG 36 are nearly identical, but the M/L version is 2 inches taller than the S/M model.

Also, there are several color options to choose from including Sonic Green, Spruce Green, or Fossil Grey. All versions of this hydration pack are made from 210 D high tenacity nylon and 100 D nylon mini hex diamond ripstop, but you should keep in mind that the Osprey Manta AG 36 is not waterproof.

Overall functionality

osprey manta hydration pack

A two-way zipper grants you easy access to the pack’s front panel so that you don’t have to put too much effort into reaching items that are located near the bottom. The hydration pack’s interior is also equipped with 3 interior slip pockets that enable you to organize your equipment efficiently.

The interior of the Osprey Mantra AG 36 features a separate compartment in which the 2.5L Hydraulics™ hydration reservoir is located. These hydration packs are also compatible with Hydraulics™ LT reservoirs, but you must purchase these separately.

The QuickConnect™ technology allows you to remove the hose and refill the hydration bladder in just a few moments, while the magnetic bite valve prevents leakage.

It is advisable to check if the Osprey Manta AG 36 model you’re interested in ships with a hydration reservoir and a magnetic bite retainer as some versions of this hydration pack sold on the international market don’t include these accessories.

Weight and storage capacity

The Osprey Mantra AG is not the most lightweight hydration pack you can find on the market, but its storage capacities more than make up for the extra weight. This Osprey’s model weighs 2lbs and 87oz, which makes it slightly heavier than the CamelBak Asset Hydration pack that can hold just 2L of water.

The 36L of storage space enables you to pack more than just necessities for your hiking trip, while the front panel Show-It pocket or two side stretch mesh pockets let you arrange items you’re carrying as you see fit.

The Osprey Manta AG36 is also equipped with trekking pole attachments that enable you to stow your trekking poles when you don’t need them. This hydration pack has the helmet attachment loop that is located on the front side of the pack and a blink light attachment that can be useful during night hikes.

Comfort and ventilation

Carrying a lot of weight in the Osprey Manta AG 36 hydration pack won’t necessarily be difficult, as the Biostrectch™ harness that is made of die-cut foam and the hip belt distributes the weight evenly and prevent you from putting too much strain on your shoulders.

The back panel is made using the Anti-Gravity™ technology which helps manage the weight better, while the 3D tensioned mesh adjusts to the body and allows you to stay comfortable.

Also, the Airspeed™ technology prevents overheating which enables you to use the Osprey Mantra AG 36 hydration pack in cold and warm weather conditions.

Consequently, this Osprey model can be used for short or long hikes as it is designed to keep the user cool and comfortable.

Range of applications

osprey hydration backpack

Getting the Osprey Manta AG 36 hydration pack if you just want to take short walks in nature is somewhat of an overkill, as this Osprey’s model is stacked with features you won’t normally use unless you are on a hiking trail for days.

For instance, trekking pole attachments or a helmet loop are an extremely useful feature, but only if you find yourself in situations where these pieces of equipment are vital. Besides hiking, the Mantra AG 36 is suitable for backpacking as it offers enough space to store enough supplies to stay on the road for days.

However, if you need a hydration pack for biking you should check out our guide to the best CamelBaks for mountain biking or read our guide to the best hydration packs for running in case you’re looking for a lightweight pack that is suitable for a long-distance run.

Additional accessories

The materials used to produce this hydration pack are not waterproof, so rain may end up damaging the equipment you’re carrying in the pack. The manufacturer offers a simple solution to this problem, as they include the rain cover that protects the pack’s interior from heavy rain.

When not in use, the rain cover can be stored in an external pocket located at the bottom of the pack that is designed specifically for this purpose.

Osprey offers a broad range of accessories and replacement parts for the pack’s hydration system and you can get a Hydraulics™ cleaning kit and the Hydraulics™ Quick Connect Kit if you want to keep the pack’s hydration reservoir clean or upgrade the hose and bite valve.

The cost and warranty period

The Osprey Manta AG 36 is not the most affordable hydration pack you can find, as it costs more than $170. Although this price may seem steep for a hydration pack, the features of this Osprey’s model make it a great investment.

What’s more, all brand’s hydration packs come with the lifetime All Mighty Warranty since 2009 which guarantees that the company will either repair or replace your pack regardless of when you purchased it.

So, it may be worth spending a little extra on the Osprey Manta AG 36 as you‘ll get a reliable and durable piece of hiking equipment.

The Pros of the Osprey Manta 36

Large storage capacity

With 36L of overall storage capacity, the Osprey Manta AG 36 is among the largest hydration packs available. Its three interior pockets allow you to organize your equipment efficiently, while exterior side pockets provide additional space for items you want to carry with you.

Compatible with all Osprey Hydraulics™ reservoirs

The Osprey Manta AG 36 is compatible with all 2.5L Hydraulics™ reservoirs that are anatomically shaped and made from TPU Film material. Filling or emptying these reservoirs is a straightforward process that can be completed in just a few minutes.

Breathable and comfortable

The pack’s Biostrectch™ harness and hip belt enable you to carry a lot of weight on your back and feel comfortable doing it. Moreover, the Anti-Gravity™ back panel is made of 3D tensioned mesh that provides constant airflow and prevents overheating.

Highly functional

Osprey designed the Manta AG 36 with the needs of hikers in mind, which is the reason why this brand’s model has a number of features that allow you to reach your equipment quickly whenever you need it.

Lifetime warranty

The manufacturer will either repair or replace your Manta AG 36 hydration pack if any of its components wear out, regardless of how much time has passed since you purchased it.

The Cons of the Osprey Manta 36

The hydration pack is not waterproof

Although it is made from durable materials, the Osprey Manta AG 36 is not water-resistant and you have to use the rain cover to protect your equipment from getting wet.


This Osprey’s hydration pack is more expensive than most of its competitors, and for some fans of outdoor activities it may seem excessive to spend more than a hundred dollars on a backpack.

The best alternatives to the Osprey Manta 36

Even though Osprey is one of the industry-leading brands that offer hydration packs that are stacked with useful features, it is far from being your only option. In fact, companies like CamelBak or Thule also produce high-quality hydration packs.

There are plenty of alternative options to choose from and we’ve shortlisted several hydration packs that offer similar featured as the Osprey Manta AG 36. Here’s what they have to offer.

Gregory Nano 18

gregory mountain everyday backpack

Although considerably smaller than the Manta AG 36, the Gregory Nano 18 is still large enough to store all the equipment you may need on a one day hike.

This pack is just hydration compatible as you must purchase the entire hydration system if you want to have quick and easy access to water at all times. Besides a zipped pocket that can hold a hydration reservoir, the Gregory Nano 18 also has routing to harness which allows for quick hose installation.

This hydration pack weighs just 16oz, but its maximum storage capacity can’t exceed 18L, which is the reason why it is not suitable for outdoor activities that require you to carry a lot of equipment.

However, this pack is much less expensive than the Manta AG 36, as you can purchase it for less than $50. Also, read our Gregory vs Osprey comparison to find out which brand produces better backpacks.

Thule Vital Hydration Pack

Thule Vital Hydration Pack

If you prefer to travel light but still want to have a relatively large hydration reservoir, then the Thule Vital Hydration Pack may be the right choice for you. The maximum storage capacity of this hydration pack is just 6L, but its reservoir can hold up to 2.5L of water.

This hydration pack utilizes the magnetic ReTrakt drinking hose return system that enables the hose and the bite valve to stay in place.

The Thule Vital Hydration Pack ships with the Hydrapak reservoir and it is built from sturdy and breathable materials.

The Thule’s model is designed specifically for biking, which is the reason why it weighs just 1.2lbs and it offers just enough storage space to take only the necessary items with you. You should consider other options if you need a hydration pack you can use for hiking.

High Sierra HydraHike

high sierra hydrahke backpack

Comfortable and ergonomically designed, the High Sierra HydraHike is one of the most affordable hydration packs for short hiking trips.

You can choose between 4L, 8L, and 16L, 20L, and 24L versions of this pack, but you should keep in mind that models with higher storage capacities are also heavier.

So for instance, the 24L model of High Sierra’s HydraHike weighs 2lbs, while the 8L version of this hydration pack weighs just 16oz.

However, the size of the hydration reservoir is the same regardless of the pack’s storage capacity and you cannot carry more than 2L of water in this pack. The HydraHike is made of 600D Coated Poly/PU and nylon ripstop, while the back panel is made from air mesh that provides excellent breathability.

Read our High Sierra Swerve review if you want to learn more about this backpack for outdoor and urban activities.


Question: Are Osprey Manta AG 36 hydration packs available in more than one size?

Answer: Yes, they are. You can choose between the S/M model that has the dimensions of 20 x 15 x 13 inches and the M/L model that has the dimensions of 22 x 15 x 13 inches.

Question: Can I remove the hydration reservoir from the Osprey Manta AG 36 pack?

Answer: Hydration reservoirs in Manta AG 36 packs are replaceable and removable so you can either decide to use the hydration reservoir pocket for other purposes or upgrade the hydration reservoir you already have.

Question: Is Osprey Manta AG 36 hydration pack suitable for night hikes?

Answer: Even though this hydration pack doesn’t have any components that glow in the dark, it features a blinker light attachment that allows you to continue walking during the night.

Question: Is the AG 36 the only model from the Osprey’s Manta collection?

Answer: The Osprey Manta features a number of models including the Osprey Manta 24 or Osprey Manta 34 so that you can opt for a model that offers storage capacities that fit your needs.

Final thoughts – Does Osprey Manta 36 hydration pack live up to the expectations?

Whether you are looking for a hydration pack that is designed for one-day hikes or a long hiking trip chances are that your best option is one of Osprey’s models. The brand’s Manta collection features several models with different storage capacities, and the Osprey Manta AG 36 is the largest one.

The durability, comfort, and functionality of this hydration pack are remarkable as it enables you to carry all the equipment you may need on a hiking trail for hours without feeling fatigued.

We recommend buying this hydration pack despite its hefty price tag because it will help you stay hydrated and manage weight efficiently. In case this hydration pack is too large for you we suggest trying the High Sierra HydraHike that is smaller and lighter than the Osprey’s model.

We hope that our Osprey Manta AG 36 review has helped you decide if this hydration pack meets your expectations. Let us know in the comments or check out our Osprey Daylight review to get more information about this daypack.

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