Matador Daylight 16 Backpack Review

If you like to literally “run” errands, you’ll want to check out the Matador Daylight 16 backpack. It’s super lightweight – only 4.1 oz – and packs down to the size of a lemon, has reinforced seams that allow you to carry up to 20 lb., is water resistant, and doesn’t instantly create a sauna when you wear it thanks to breathable fabric. I wouldn’t use it to carry laundry detergent home from the store, but if you need to run a few library books back to the library, this is your pack. Adjust the straps to reduce bounce, and then after your task is done, you can stuff it all back into it’s attached sack, and then carry it easily on the way home.

I also used this pack to stash my post-run gear. The main compartment easily fit a pair of flip-flops, shorts, a t-shirt, undergarments, sunscreen, deodorant, a brush, and a water bottle, along with my wallet. The pack has a front zippered pocket that’s deceptively deep, where I stashed my sunscreen since I knew I’d need that before the run. And there are two open pockets on the sides, that I used primarily for car keys and a phone.


The Matador Daylight 16 prepped for a run. Photo: Abby Meek

Aside from testing the pack during and after runs, this pack has been the go-to day pack in our house. The strength of the seams allows us to pack drinks and snacks for two kids, plus diapers and wipes, and other essentials for a day at the Zoo, a trip downtown on the MAX train … and Italy. That’s right. I let a co-worker borrow my Matador Daylight 16 for a three-week trip to Italy, because she was facing the dual challenge of packing for three weeks and packing as light as possible. Here’s what she said:

“The backpack was perfect for traveling through Italy and using on our hike in The Dolomites. We packed light on our tour through the country so the lightweight, compact size fit easily in my small suitcase, tucking into its own stuff sack, saving room for my other essential travel items. On our hike in The Dolomites and then in The Cinque Terre, all my items for our day hike easily fit inside the lightweight pack and I still had room to add my long-sleeved top after removing it once the temperature rose during the day. It was great that it was breathable and my back did not get sweaty like my husband’s while he wore a typical thicker backpack. I would use this pack again on future hikes due to its lightweight, breathable design.”

The Matador Daylight 16 sells for just under $50, and is available from a number of retailers or directly from Matador. It’s currently on a wait list at Matador’s website, but you can add your email to be notified when it’s back in stock.


The Matador Daylight 16 in Italy. Photo: Dennis Fenn

About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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