Oh, man, this is going to sound really lame, but when I went shopping for my first backpack, I felt like I was Harry Potter picking out his wand.
At first, everything felt wrong.
Empty backpacks were surprisingly heavy and tugged on my shoulders, causing me pain within minutes of pulling them on.
Front-loading packs were too wide and looked ridiculous.
Backpacks I liked were too long for my tiny frame and dangled over my ass rather than resting on my hips.
As I tried on and discarded uncomfortable backpack after uncomfortable backpack, I couldn’t help but feel like a fraud. It had to be a sign: how could I expect to travel the world when I couldn’t even find a backpack that fitted properly?
But then: magic!
I threw an Osprey Exos 46 litre pack up onto my back and the world faded away, until there was just me and my backpack. I couldn’t believe how it could settle on to my hips and seemingly disappear. It was so light, I felt like I wasn’t even wearing it anymore. I felt as though I could fly. Just me and my backpack.
“It’s The One,” I gasped at the bemused guy in the shop.
And so it was.
That backpack took me from Croatia to Russia, Taiwan to the Philippines, New Zealand to Malaysia, Serbia to Turkey, and fifty-odd countries in-between. Over and over, I’d insist people try it on and beam as they marvelled at how light it felt on their back. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I’d actually bought a hiking backpack designed for multi-day/month walks. Ha. But it was perfect for someone as lacking in strength as me.
Most people who do any kind of travel find themselves quickly transforming into a minimalist when they realise how little they need to survive, and while I dabbled for a few years, my craving for more possessions than five t-shirts won out.
After two years of living out of my backpack, I missed owning things. I wanted to be able to choose from more than two pairs of shorts, I wanted to travel with perfume and shower gel, rather than relying on a bar of soap to get clean. I wanted hair straighteners and a bulging makeup bag and two pairs of jeans and dresses for date nights and shoes that weren’t flip-flops. I guess I didn’t want to look like I was living out of a backpack anymore?
It was time for an upgrade.
Back in the U.K., I headed to an outdoor store once more and this time, opted for the Osprey Farpoint 70 litre pack, relishing in having double the space to fill with things. I’d learned a lot from my first backpack, too: the Farpoint was front-loading rather than top-, because the latter had grown to be a pain in the ass. Packing and unpacking through a small hole in the top of a pack is frustrating and time-consuming, and not being able to padlock anything had left me nervous about security, although nothing had ever been stolen from it. I also loved that it gave me The Overflow Pouch — a detachable daypack on the front of the pack that I never remove — instead, whenever I’m packing in a hurry, I shove a ton of things into The Overflow Pouch so I can pack in under two minutes flat.
Like the Exos that came before it, my Farpoint took me around the world several times more, and it was perfect.
Well, until Bangkok Airways ripped a hole in the side of it, that is.
So, that was a problem.
A problem that couldn’t be solved without an entire roll of duct tape, of course.
The Number One Reason Why You Should Choose Osprey
And now we get to the entire point of this post. I chose my Osprey backpacks based on comfort, but I’ll be sticking with them for their lifetime guarantee. From their site:
Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday. If we are unable to perform a functional repair on your pack, we will happily replace it.
Sounds perfect, right? Hmmm. As a traveller, I’ve learned to take warranties with a grain of salt. Guarantees are great and all, but how would I take advantage of them if I was travelling through Mongolia and moving every couple of days? Many warranties require you to be in the country where you bought their product, and what if it takes up to 28 days to replace? It can be near-impossible to arrange things like this when you’re constantly on the move, so I always assumed I’d just end up buying a new backpack if it broke.
The duct tape lasted me until Melbourne, where I had two weeks to see what happened. Tons of people have gushed about Osprey’s lifetime guarantee to me, but none of them had actually tried to get anything repaired or replaced.
Here’s my personal experience with using Osprey’s warranty.
Getting in touch with the international distributor was easy: I sent an email to the Australian distributor listed on Osprey’s international customer service page, explaining that I was currently travelling and that I needed a repair or replacement within eight working days. I received a phone call an hour later from them. They could repair my pack and turn it around within four days. Sweet as!
The repair guy was super-helpful: I drove out to the repair centre, where I met with the guy who’d be patching my backpack up. He ran through how he’d fix the pack — by replacing the entire side panel — then offered to use thicker material to patch it up so that it wouldn’t tear again.
We’d have even been covered if we didn’t have a car: I wasn’t sure if I’d have access to a car to pick up the pack — I was travelling after all — once it had been repaired, but the guy reassured us that Osprey would courier the pack out to us for free if we couldn’t get there. That’s pretty cool.
There are repair centres all over: You can find international distributors in Australia, Canada, China, all over Europe, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
Additionally, I dropped Osprey an email to see if I’d be screwed if my backpack broke in a country without an international distributor. Obviously they operate on a case-by-case basis, but the guy I spoke to said that it’s likely you could either have a replacement part shipped out to your location, or you could ship your broken backpack to a nearby country, get the repairs done, and have it shipped back out to you.
While there are a few other backpack companies that offer lifetime guarantees, I couldn’t find any that would guarantee a repair or replacement backpack in pretty much every country around the world, and many of the policies excluded general wear-and-tear or if you’d been using it unreasonably or not taking proper care of it.
Osprey covers you for absolutely everything, no matter what the cause and when it happened.
I’m really happy with the repair: I have my backpack back and it stands out from the crowd on the luggage carousels!
I know this post totally reads like it’s sponsored, but it’s not, I promise! I just really love Osprey backpacks, am so happy with mine, and wanted to share the kickass-ness of the Osprey waranty with you! If you’re looking to buy your first backpack, or hunting down a replacement, I’d wholeheartedly recommend checking out Osprey.
That brand new panel on the bag stands out too! It’s refreshing to hear a genuine experience about a product, sponsored or otherwise.
Now where did I last hear “sweet as” being used…
Haha, that’s my kiwi boyfriend’s influence!
That’s awesome they were so good to you. I have a Black Wolf Pack which has served me well thus far but definitely will consider Osprey when that sad day comes. Also, impressive duct taping!
Thanks! I had to steal Dave’s duct tape for the repair job, which was a little embarrassing as I’d told him he was stupid for carrying something so useless on multiple occasions.
Will you be doing an updated packing list soon? I for one would love one
I’m not planning on it, because I wouldn’t recommend anyone travel with what I currently do! I’m lugging around about $3k worth of beauty products, giant speakers, and about 45 t-shirts. Can you tell I’m ready to find a home to put things in? Haha. I’ll likely start sharing packing lists once I’m settled and taking defined trips, but right now, I can’t really share anything useful :-)
Great post! I’m really coveting an Osprey backpack – and the lifetime guarantee totally sealed the deal for me. Glad to hear you’ve had such an amazing experience with yours.
Isn’t it so great? I looked at a dozen other major backpack companies and none of them would repair or replace the backpack for any reason in so many countries around the world.
Yay for Osprey! Reading this makes me SO happy – I also have an Osprey Farpoint 70L, but I’ve thankfully never had to utilise the repair service. Seems like I’m in good hands should anything go wrong.
High five for being bag twins! :-)
Yay! Glad you didn’t have a problem replacing it. Just to add to that experience, I had a Osprey Farpoint 40 (bought in the UK) which survived innumerable trips around the world… but the zip ended up failing due to corrosion, about 18 months after taking an unexpected swim in saltwater in the Galapagos. I took it into the local distributor in New Zealand, and after an inspection they declared it not worth fixing and I walked out with a new bag.
Their bags are fantastic, too. I’ve got a larger wheel + harness Sojourn that I use when I need to travel with dive gear / extra camera equipment, and I love that one as well.
Ah, that’s amazing that they gave you a new bag! :-)
OMG, I love this!! I have an Osprey backpack as well and also adore it! It’s a 60L and I need to get a smaller one for the Camino de Santiago this spring… definitely needs to be an Osprey :).
REI also has a policy like this. Basically if you pay $20 to join their coop (which is good for a family for a lifetime) they will repair or replace any product you’ve ever purchased from them, no questions asked. It’s pretty awesome.
I think quite a lot of people use the Osprey Exos for the Camino, because it’s so lightweight.
Thanks for the info about REI! I always spend hours in their store whenever I’m in the U.S.!
REI – my home away from home! At least it kind of feels that way ;-)
I always spend hours (and a whole lot of dollars) there whenever I’m in the US, too…
Their repair/ exchange policy rocks, as do their yearly dividend coupons.
As for Osprey, I am deeply in love with my Ozone 36 l carry-on, not a backpack but a small roller bag, and I am actually eying the Farpoint 40 whenever I happen to be in an outdoor/ travel store.
Well, You have some convincing point to use and buy a backpack. I will keep this I’m mind right now I am using a regular suitcase since I travel with my family all the time.
Definitely do! Osprey does some backpack/suitcase combos, so take a look at those if you want the best of both worlds!
I’ve been looking for a small pack for my upcoming trip to Central America. I’m going to check out Osprey right now!
Awesome! I think you’ll be really happy with them :-)
I have the farpoint 70 and the farpoint 40. Both excellent. In fact my farpoint 40 recently got runover in the car park at Dar es Salaam airport! I couldn’t believe it. Totally stuck under the wheel arch if the front tyre. I’m standing there having a total nervo and the guy reversed up and out popped my Osprey Farpoint 40 with a small inch long rip in the side panel. I couldn’t believe it! I’ll never buy another osprey bag again.
BAD TYPO/FAT FINGERS ALERT! I’ll never buy ANYTHING BUT an osprey bag again! I need to go back to school.
Hahahaha! I was puzzled for a moment there :-D
I mean, I’m fairly certain that would have happened with most backpacks, regardless of brand…
Are you a sponsor now??? It’d be awesome if you are!! You know how Matt Kepnes got a deal with Asiana Airlines… Now’s your time to shine!
Nope! As I said at the end of the post, I know this reads like it’s sponsored, but it’s not in any way. I’ve never worked with Osprey or had any kind of business relationship with them. I just wanted to share the love because I was so impressed with their backpacks and warranty :-)
I love it when a company makes you so happy that you want to shout it from the rooftops. It happened to me with Samsonite suitcase recently, they sent me replacement wheels while I don’t even have a warranty.
My backpack needs to be replaced after six years of frequent, so I’ll look into getting an Osprey. Great advice!
Yes! A few people assumed this post was sponsored because I was gushing over the company (which definitely says a lot about the travel blogging industry these days), but I honestly love Osprey so much that I’m happy to promote them for free!
I’m so happy to hear that this was pain free. My wife’s farpoint 40 suffered the same fate, in the exact same spot, on a Thai boat. So it’s good to know they’ll likely repair the whole panel. She also has duct tape holding it together until we get it fixed!
Yep, absolutely! They’ll either repair the panel or replace it, if you’re lucky! :-)
I love osprey too!I’ve heard great things about their return policy but I genuinely just love their designs and build. An old school Porter 46 got me through years of weekends away before they decreased the carry-on dimensions. My kestrel 48 is currently seeing me through (an admittedly tight) 4 season 2 month trip after about 6 or 7 years of use (and looks amazing), and my recently purchased farpoint 40 has seen me more through several recent one season holidays (1-4 weeks a time). As you can see I can’t stop buying osprey packs so will likely never need their guarantee ironically!). They’re expensive but (excepting the old Porter), they just fit and adjust so well. I’m a tubby 5ft 6 girl with lots of hips and bum and it sounds like they fit me as well as you. (The kestrel is a top loading hiking pack – so comfy though)
I don’t work for them either but god I love mine! I don’t work for them either but I am somewhat obsessed. Trying to stop myself buying a sojourn or larger farpoint…
I also looked at Osprey at REI before I moved back to Canada. I was impressed with their construction unfortunately I didn’t find anything that fit me well. I ended up getting a 40 liter Tortuga front loading pack. Considering I’m 183cm and 95kg having room for5 t-shirts would be a luxury! Now i’m really wishing they had a 60L version.
I didn’t know Osprey had the warranty they did or I might have looked a bit harder to find one that actually fit me. Ah, well. Maybe next one.
Another Osprey fan here! My Farpoint 40 has been with me for ages – actually, it hasn’t. My current pack is a replacement because my original was torn open in French Polynesia. The tear was at a seam so I sewed it up and re-sewed after every long bus ride in SE Asia until I knew I’d be in Bangkok for 2 weeks and e-mailed the Osprey folks in Thailand. They couldn’t do the repair while I’d be in town so sent me to a mall where I replaced it for the same pack. Truly an amazing company. Also – their packs fit small women like me. Love that there are others out there with the same nerdy passion for a good backpack!
Oh, that’s amazing, Marbree! I’m so happy to hear that Osprey have been so incredible to other people, too.
Mer have the same model bag. I love my osprey! It’s got a little tear but isn’t that big or gotten any bigger to make much of a difference.
Yay! Backpack twins!
Oh boy, i was happy with my Osprey so far… but now i’m even happier knowing that their warranty does really work!!
Did you have to show the purchase receipt at all??
Count me as another Osprey fan. I used to have the Porter 46 and now use the Farpoint 40. The Porter handled great for a hard year+ of travel but I didn’t like the harness so I switched to the Farpoint, which I really love (and which is carry on compliant). I have known about their great warranty but thankfully haven’t need to use it.
High five! :-)
I will definitely have to check out the Osprey bag. I love that the guy was so efficient with the repairs, too! Thanks for sharing this!
Definitely do! They’re great :-D
Ive just got myself the Osprey Aura. I feel in love the the stylist looks of it first of all. I feel so much better to carry then other backpacks ive had before. Never going back!!
So happy to hear that, Leonie! :-)
I love my Osprey day pack for hiking/traveling/commuting, but didn’t know about their awesome repair policy (I haven’t needed any in the 3 years I’ve had it!) I also bought it from REI so it’s covered by them, but if it breaks on the road it’s good to know that Osprey has my back!
Hi Lauren, I hope you are well. I’ve been an avid follower of all your blogs and follow all your social media accounts. Lots of great advice and all your cost breakdowns are very useful. I was just wondering if you have any advice on mobile phone contacts/ sims/ data roaming? Thanks Ruth
Thanks so much, Ruth! :-) I travel with an unlocked phone and pick up local SIM cards as I travel — it’s far cheaper that way. Too Many Adapters has a local SIM card guide for buying them in dozens of countries: http://toomanyadapters.com/buying-local-sim-cards/
I am unable to find a lifetime guarantee on their website. Yes, there’s the “all mighty guarantee”, but they basically say that there are many occasions in which they won’t repair it. For example, from the comments above, in the case of the rusty zipper/post Galapagos bath… Maybe they have changed it? Or I’m not good looking on the right place???
Love your web btw! =)
At the top of the page for the all-mighty guarantee, it says:
“OSPREY’S LIFETIME WARRANTY
Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday. If we are unable to perform a functional repair on your pack, we will happily replace it. We proudly stand behind this guarantee, so much so that it bears the signature of company founder and head designer, Mike Pfotenhauer.”
The commenter above with the bag that got wrecked in the Galapagos was saying that Osprey replaced it free of charge for them, and gave then a brand new bag, rather than trying to repair it.
I can send you a screen shot… but that does not appear in my version of the website, I even did a ctrl+F for it =) I am starting to think that IPs from Belgium are banned for that type of guarantee…!
Actually when I google your sentence there’s a match and when I get into the link the sentence disappears. Wow.
That’s so weird! Maybe use a VPN like Zenmate to appear as though you’re in the UK or something. I don’t know why Belgium wouldn’t be included in the guarantee.
Looks to be a European website thing, I have the same issue here in the UK. I read your post and went out and bought a Farpoint 40 in the UK. It was a decent chunk of change but I figured it was quality and had an excellent warranty. The bag arrived and I was looking at the warranty thing post-purchase and I notice that any requests to ospreypacks.com redirect to ospreyeurope.com, and the so called “all mighty guarantee” on the European site says:
“Should you find any defect in either the materials or craftsmanship of your pack we will repair or replace it without any charge, within its reasonable lifetime.*
*If we determine the damage is resulting from normal wear and tear, abuse, misuse, accident or exceeding the reasonable expectations of the product’s lifespan, this will not be covered by our guarantee…”
All mighty what? I would be very surprised if they didn’t have to replace/repair defects under consumer protection law in the EU. Such defects would have to be fixed under the consumer guarantees act in NZ, although I guess technically it’s the retailer that is primarily responsible.
The all mighty guarantee on their US site (and maybe other non-European sites) contains the free damage repairs for any reason whether purchased yesterday or 1974. The US isn’t known for protecting consumer rights by law, so its a little ironic that they go above and beyond there. If I have problems I will contact them on the basis of the guarantee on their US site, that’s for sure.
Well, I’m British, so I bought both of my Osprey backpacks in the UK, as well.
Love this and couldn’t agree more! I’m searching for a backpack myself to travel around Central America, and after trying on SO MANY, well, TOO many, I landed on the Osprey Stratos 50L :) Can’t wait to use it!
Sweet! Hope it works as well for you as their backpacks have for me :-)
I love stories like this about manufacturers who stand behind their products and deliver top-notch customer service. It makes devotees of satisfied customers. I enjoyed your post so much I updated one of my more popular posts to include a link to your story: http://packinglighttravel.com/travel-tips/luggage-and-packing/features-of-a-perfect-carry-on-bag/
Thanks so much, Anne! :-)
Thank you for your indepth review, it’s been very helpful in deciding which bag would be best suited for me. It’s my first time travelling and I would also like to travel with all my “necessities”….(makeup, straighteners and a different choice of clothing etc) so I went and bought the Osprey Farpoint 70l too. However, I’ve realised that I’ve bought the M/L size and I’m 5″2 in height. It felt comfortable when trying it in the store and the Go Outdoors staff (who was very helpful) did not mention getting the smaller size.
Which size did you opt for and would you recommend in getting a refund and changing it to a S/M?
I love Osprey! I have the Osprey Porter Travel 46L Bag, glad to know they really do stand by their guarantee! I am looking for a smaller backpack to wear on my front like you are in your photo – which bag are you using? I carried my Osprey and a duffel throughout 5 months of Europe and will never take a duffel again it was terrible to carry around on one shoulder!
Yes! Osprey’s for the win! I travel with my Osprey Farpoint 40 and wilderness backpack with an Osprey Aether 70.
Such great packs. Durable, well designed, and of course THE ALMIGHTY GUARANTEE!
Woohoo! :-D Now that I have a base and will be taking lots of short trips instead of travelling continuously, I’m hoping to get myself the Farpoint 40 as well.
It’s great to read your blog here about Osprey bags!
I am looking for Osprey and by chance I clicked to your site! I won’t be getting the Farpoint but I’m looking at Hiking/Mountain Biking bag like the Raptor 10/Syncro 3 and for my wife, a Verve 3 bag.
Your story is truly the answer to my curiosity about their warranty. Thanks so much for sharing!
And wishing you a great day wherever you are! God Bless your journey!
Oh my god! Your pictures of you with your ruck sacks reminds me of our round the world trip 16 years ago before kids! Still remember it fondly.
Bought the 55L Farpoint for this years Xmas Thailand trip, after reading your review (suitcases get in the way of going off track…)
Tested it out this weekend for a trip up to Liverpool for a wedding, albeit with mainly camera gear, but am well impressed with the weight distribution and all the handy pockets and zips n stuff… I’ll now spend the next 3 months figuring out what to squeeze in for 3 weeks away…
Always been tempted to buy an Osprey bag.
You may have just tempted me.
Good luck in your journeys
Sweet! You won’t be disappointed :-)
The backpack chooses the backpacker, Lauren.
A backpack and suitcase combined? OMG as if their bags didn’t sound amazing enough! I love the idea that you could have the choice of whether to pull or carry a bag when travelling. I have lower back issues so I’m worried about the strain that carrying a backpack everywhere will put on my back. But then pulling a case everywhere doesn’t work well for me either, so the combo may be perfect. Can I ask, how tall are you and was the 70l one not too big if you have a small frame? I’m only 5 feet tall lol.
I’m 5’1” :-)
Good post that reaffirms my faith in Osprey.
Initially and shortsightedly, I wanted to return it as lack of any internal compartments made this a lame choice. Thanks to a promise-breaking friend (no longer a friend as what good one is without his word!) who claimed it on the day I was to drop it off to the USA returning friend and later refuse to buy it, flat out, I was stranded with ‘this thing’!
The falling in love was gradual, like in an Indian arranged marriage.
Today, I cannot imagine going out without this unimaginably-comfortable backpack.
Cheers for Osprey 70!
Packing for shorter trips is a pain and for those I got a Field & Stream 55 External.
Am still learning tricks to pack it without using smaller packs in it and the going is good!
I suppose you have been paid for writting this review.
My experience with Osprey rucksacks is totally different. My Osprey farpoint 55 started to fall appart 15 days after buying it. I got it sent to Osprey. They had the rucksack for 30 days and sent it back to me badly sewed. When I complained about the really bad repairement a guy called Harriet Marsh, who apparently was a “guarantee assistand” (whatever that is), told me the problems with the rucksack “did not appear to be the result of a defect”.
I paid 125 euros for a rucksack which started to break 15 days later and got it badly sewed from Osprey…if that is a lifetime guarantee I´m the Che Guevara.
Luckily, the guys at babaik, the company I bought the rucksack from, gave me my money back.
If I were you, I would stay away from Osprey rucksacks and their fake “allmighty guarantee”.
Fuck off, Ivan. I have never, and will never, accept money from a brand to write about them. In fact, I flat-out refuse to work with any brands in any capacity on this site. Ugh. It’s kind of sad you think that nobody could write a positive review on the internet without receiving money for it. As my post, and the many comments on it, show, it’s possible for people to have different experiences with a company, and while it sucks that you had a bad one, plenty of people didn’t. I’ll continue to recommend Osprey for as long as they work for me, and they’ve always been a kickass company to deal with in my experience.
P.S. I’d suggest there are far better uses of your time than copying and pasting your comment into as many blogs and forums as you can find on the internet ;-)
Thank you!! You’ve just convinced me to splash out on an Osprey for my RTW trip!
I always use a normal bag while I am travelling. But after reading this article I I will definitely take a backpack on my next trip.
I agree 100%, Osprey Porter 65L is my goto bag. We have traveled to Europe several times in the past few years. It has been flawless, we now have 4 of them. Our last trip we went to Svalbard and the bag sat on the tarmac for about 7 hours in well below freezing temps and covered in ice and snow. None of our clothing was wet, it was cold, but not even damp.
I bought the Osprey Farpoint 70 based on this review and many others – my bag recently has a small tear in the side whilst being transported by an airline and I’ve just gone to start the proceedings of getting it fixed – unfortunately Osprey no longer provide free repairs or replacements based on accidental damage, wear and tear or travel related damage. Obviously will get it fixed at some point which they do offer with a charge but thought the information would be useful for other readers!
I would still recommend the bag though – it’s a great design and very comfortable.
I had the Osprey ROOK 65 model and surprisingly the stitching wasn’t so good on the shoulder straps.
I wrote to Osrepy and they immediately repaired the pack. I love it. I’ve been using it for 5 years now.
Totally agree with you! Osrepy rocks!
Nice! Osprey are so great to deal with.
While visiting my son in Sweden I had to leave for a few days to see a friend in Voullerim, near jokk mokk.I bought my son an osprey backpack and borrowed it because it was bigger than mine.Let me tell you that it was hard to give it back to him when I returned from my side trip.It was the best backpack I have ever used.I am now in the process of selling my old one and a few other things to buy another Osprey .I wish I had learned of these 50 years ago.Have decided on the far point trek 55.
Sweet, and awesome bragging rights to boot. I’ll be sending my osprey in for repair as well. All my elastic stretched out after 10-12 years.
Sweet! I hope the repair process is hassle-free for you :-)
Greetings Lauren. My online research for a travel bag a few years ago brought me to your post. I was seriously considering a Farpoint 40 and your experience with Osprey’s warranty and service resonated with me. I went ahead with the Farpoint 40 and it served me well until it fell off the back of a motorcycle in New Zealand. Little did I realize that I’d need to test that warranty and like your experience, mine was very positive.
I’m so happy to hear that! :-)
As a former “Royal” (British Royal Marine Commando – the best), I can testify to the toughness of Osprey kit. I carried Osprey body armour on Special Forces missions in Afghanistan and it was TOUGH. As tough as any of us. That’s why we won that war (as the Corps always does).
These civvie Osprey bergens don’t carry the heavy loads we’re used to but I do recommend them to those what carry light camping loads for backpacking.
Per Mare Per Terram
I used the Osprey Porter 46L for a 2 week trip to Europe. What an amazing bag. I love that it packs like a normal suitcase and the stowaway backpack and waist straps were great for stashing the bag in overhead compartments on planes and trains. The only downside is that the shoulder straps aren’t very padded. It’s fine for going from the train/plane to the metro to the hotel.
Oh man, I’ve always been so tempted by the Porter! Mostly when I’m standing in queues to check-in and so desperately want my backpack to transform into a suitcase to give my back a break, haha.
I would like to cite my own example of why Osprey’s guarantee is a strong point when considering buying a backpack.
I had an Osprey Stratos 34 backpack that was very comfortable, but it would make a horrible creaking sound with every step. The heavier it was loaded, the louder and more annoying the sound. The sound was generated by the fabric rubbing against the top part of the internal metal frame.
Fortunately Osprey’s guarantee hardly any limitations, and they just replaced it.
It’s obvious that Osprey has also done something about this problem because on the replacement pack the metal frame is now covered with some kind of hard teflon coating. The pack is now silent!
Great roundup! I’m hunting for a pack about this size, but I’m only 5’1″ and have a very short (<14") torso, so I find most of these options don't quite fit right. I want to downsize from my current pack to something more carry-on-friendly. Right now I have the Gregory Deva 60 in a women's XS, which fits great, but the smaller Jade 38 doesn't have padded straps or hipbelt, which makes it less comfortable to carry. (Yes, even a smaller 38L pack, when fully loaded, is heavy for me — I'm a small person!) I'm going through the options you posted, and one at a time I'm eliminating those that only are designed for torso lengths of 15"-16" and up. Does anyone have any suggestions for those of us on the more petite end of the spectrum?
I’m 5’1” too! I’ve never had a problem with Osprey bags not fitting me — the Lumina is one of my current favourites if you haven’t tried that yet — the XS size fits torso lengths of 14″. The Fairview, too.
If someone has some spinal deterioration with some neck issues, wouldn’t a frame pack be better at setting the weight on the hips, with less weight on the shoulders and neck? It is very important for me to get my pack weight pared down, but, I am wondering if a frame pack is worth the weight to keep the load on my hips. Or am I misunderstanding frameless distribution?
Yeah, the Osprey Exos is a frame pack. And it’s SO lightweight. Seriously, the frame doesn’t really add any weight to the pack and it ends up feeling far lighter on your back anyway.
I used the Osprey Porter 46L for a trip. What an amazing bag, well impressed with the weight distribution and all the handy pockets and zips n stuff. Really helpful.