How to Wash an Osprey Backpack 

 July 2, 2022

By  Diane Wuthrich

Osprey backpacks are made for adventure in the great outdoors. It’s designed to last many years, withstanding even rough wear and tear - though it will inevitably get dirty. But how do you wash Osprey backpacks correctly?

Osprey backpacks should be cleaned with a water and soap solution, though Nikwax Tech Wash is preferred. Use a soft brush to agitate dirt and thoroughly clean the webbing, mesh, and zippers. Osprey backpacks should never be put into a washing machine.

Osprey backpacks are made with specialized fabrics designed for outdoor use, which is why it’s important to carefully wash them. Learn more about the proper steps needed to wash your pack.

Can You Wash an Osprey Backpack?

Osprey backpacks are engineered to meet the needs of its adventurous customer base while also ensuring they are safe for the environment. Many of them are made with renewable, non-toxic, and recyclable materials but regardless, all Osprey backpacks are renowned for their high-quality and functionality.

Some examples of these are:

These backpacks should be washed and cleaned regularly so that they stay in top condition at all times. However, Osprey themselves state in their website that their backpacks shouldn’t be washed in a washing machine. This will damage the fabric and degrade its quality.

Keep in mind that any damage caused by improper washing will no longer entitle you to claim the warranty, too.

Instead, they advise that the correct way to wash Osprey backpacks is by using a mild soap and warm water. Dip a soft brush to agitate dirt and stains while effectively cleaning zippers, mesh, and webbing.

What You’ll Need

Washing Osprey backpacks only requires a few inexpensive materials. These can be found on Amazon (note: we earn a small commission if you purchase these items from Amazon):

-   A mild soap, such as gentle dishwashing or hand soap. However, Osprey recommends the use of Nikwax Tech Wash for the best results.

-   A gentle brush for scrubbing out stubborn stains and dirt; even a soft-bristled toothbrush will do. It will also help you remove dirt in the zippers, webbing, and mesh.


Standard Maintenance

Osprey recommends cleaning backpacks thoroughly after each use because this will prevent stains and dirt from accumulating, which can later be more difficult to remove. If your backpacks aren’t being exposed to extreme dirt, sweat, and grime, washing after each use may not be necessary since you can choose to clean it only when you notice dirt.

For standard maintenance, loosen the straps. Dip a soft brush in a mixture of Nikwax Tech Wash and warm water, gently agitating the affected area.


If your Osprey backpack has been through several days or weeks of continued use and its clearly time for a thorough wash, start by emptying out everything it contains. Disconnect any removable parts such as the hip belt or harness if your pack comes with one.

Turn the backpack inside out and put it in a large sink or a bathtub filled with a mixture of water and Nikwax Tech Wash, along with the removable parts. Use the brush to scrub the pack’s interior then exterior, carefully going through the buckles and zippers. Drain the dirty water, then immerse the pack once again in clean water to rinse out the soap.

Repeat until all the dirt has been removed.

Take note that Osprey High Road Wheeled Backpacks should not be immersed in water; for this backpack, it’s best to do a spot clean. 


Proper care must also be taken when it’s time to dry the pack. Never let Osprey backpacks out to dry in direct sunlight or in the dryer because this can result in extreme damage or shrinkage.

Instead, hang the backpack in a well-ventilated or breezy area in the shade.


Regularly washing your Osprey backpack is necessary to keep it functioning the way it should, so that you can focus on your adventures in the outdoors. With gentle cleaning and proper drying, as well as avoiding machine washes and dryers, your backpack will be in optimal shape at all times.

About the author

Diane is our head writer and researcher for our backpack informational content. Her everyday carry is a Herschel.

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