At Outdoor Retailer last week, I had the opportunity to run through Matador’s line of ultralight and super packable gear. The multi-functional items not only look great with their minimalist aesthetic, but will prove useful to everyone from long distance backpackers to everyday travelers.
Matador started back in 2014 with its first product — the Pocket Blanket, a waterproof seating surface that folds up to fit in your pocket. Since then, the company has grown one product at a time, focusing on quality materials and unique design elements to make the best packable gear possible.
Some of my favorite pieces in the current collection include the Freerain24 2.0 waterproof backpack (pictured top). Made from 30-denier waterproof Cordura ripstop nylon fabric, the 24-liter backpack squishes down to the size of a LaCroix can and weighs only 6.6 ounces. And the $65 price is pretty reasonable for a fully waterproof stow-and-go backpack.
The Transit30 2.0 weatherproof duffel is made from the same fabric as the Freerain24 but offers up 30 liters of storage space. It weighs just five ounces and packs down to a similar size. At $50 it’s the perfect bag to throw in your suitcase to bring home all the stuff you buy on your travels.
Probably my favorite, however, are the toiletry items. I normally use tons of silicone tubes when I travel to hold shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, etc., but they take up so much room. Matador’s FlatPak Toiletry Bottles ($13 each), however, are much lighter than a GoToob and collapse as you use up the contents. They even have a FlatPak Soap Bar Case ($13) which lets your wet soap bar dry through the case without getting your clothes all wet. Genius.
Matador gear is available in a variety of retail outlets but is also sold online from their own site.