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Matador‌ ‌Freerain‌ ‌Waterproof‌ ‌24L‌ ‌Backpack‌ ‌review: a versatile and lightweight dry bag

A super-nifty, collapsible dry bag with a harness, the Matador‌ ‌Freerain‌ ‌Waterproof‌ ‌24L‌ ‌Backpack‌ comes in handy for a variety of adventures

Matador‌ ‌Freerain‌ ‌Waterproof‌ ‌24L‌ ‌Backpack‌
(Image: © Matador‌)

Our Verdict

A highly functional, versatile, lightweight, backpack-style dry bag that can be used on all sorts of outdoor adventures, and comes in useful on an almost daily basis.

For

  • Easy to carry when not in use
  • Lightweight

Against

  • Harness not as robust as some others

First impressions

The magic of the Matador‌ ‌Freerain‌ ‌Waterproof‌ ‌24L‌ ‌Backpack‌ – besides its high level of functionality – is that it packs down super small (to around the size of a soda can) in a supplied stuff sack. Complete with a harness, the pack is made from 30D Cordura ripstop nylon.

The seam-sealed main bag has a silky-feeling silicone waterproof coating, which makes it easy to stuff away when it’s empty. The Freerain is also available in a 32-liter version ($90).

Specifications

RRP: $65 (US)
Weight: 187g / 6.6oz
Size / Volume: 24L / 1465 cu in
Material: Waterproof 30D Cordura ripstop nylon
Colors: Charcoal Grey and Coyote
Closure method: Roll-top and clip
Other available sizes: 32L

On the trails

The excellent packability of the Freerain made it the handiest dry bag I’ve ever had for traveling. It is also a dry bag I took backpacking and bikepacking with me, and even when I wasn’t out in the wilds, I kept it in the car for quick runs into the grocery store.

A Hypalon rolltop closure on the 24-liter main compartment fended off a rainstorm with ease, as well as splashes when I packed it for a canoe outing. On a paddling trip in New York’s Adirondacks, I used this backpack dry bag as a summit pack for a side trip.

The side pockets comfortably held 1L water bottles, and contoured mesh shoulder straps made this waterproof pack comfortable to carry as long as I packed it relatively light. The dry bag backpack comes in a detachable rolltop storage bag, which I used to hold track of phone, wallet, and keys when it wasn’t storing the pack.

Vermont-based writer, photographer and adventurer, Berne reports on hiking, biking, skiing, overlanding, travel, climbing and kayaking for category-leading publications in the U.S., Europe and beyond. In the field, she’s been asked to deliver a herd of llamas to a Bolivian mountaintop corral, had first fat-biking descents in Alaska, helped establish East Greenland’s first sport climbing and biked the length of Jordan. She’s worked to help brands clean up their materials and manufacturing, and has had guns pulled on her in at least three continents.