Our Favorite Osprey Backpacks

  • October 27, 2020
  • / By Keith Terrell
Rappelling Woman

Tired of a backpack that gives up on you every third adventure? In search of a high-quality backpack that not only lasts you in the long run but ensures that your back lasts you in the long run? 

Rappelling Woman

A leading brand when it comes to backpacks, it isn’t much of an exaggeration to say that an Osprey backpack fits like heaven and is as durable as a rock - after all, the company started as a place to get high-quality custom-fitted backpacks, a fact that it is still renowned for today. 

Therefore, if you’re looking for a new backpack, especially for your travel and backpacking needs, you’re looking at the right brand. An Osprey backpack is more than worth your consideration, but if you don’t know where to start, here’s a list of our favorite Osprey backpacks to make things a little easier. Hang on and let’s get into it!

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Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

Best Men's Travel

Osprey Farpoint 40L

Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack

Best Daypack

Daylite Plus

Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack

Best Packable

Ultralight Stuff Pack

Osprey Packs Porter 46 Travel Backpack

Runner-up Travel Pack

Porter 46L

Osprey Fairview 40 Women's Travel Backpack

Best Women's Travel

Fairview 40L

Osprey Talon 22

Best Hiking

Talon 22

The perfect combination of sophistication and practicality, the Osprey Farpoint 40 kicks off our list as our top choice for men’s travel. The urban aesthetic on this backpack easily lets you carry it out in style for a sojourn around town, whereas the outdoor gear technology lets it easily double up as a travel bag!

Osprey Farpoint 40 Travel Backpack

Source: osprey.com

Specifications

  • Size: 27 x 17 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds  
  • Volume: 40 liters
  • Color: Available in Caribbean Blue, Jasper Red, Black and Volcanic Grey

Benefits

If you’re looking for a helluva-good-looking backpack that can make heads turn on your weekend city getaway or fit all your gear on your two-day jaunt into the wilderness, the Osprey Farpoint 40 is it. The backpack’s many innovative features ensure that users get the best when it comes to travel backpacks. 

The backpack features a LightWire frame suspension that works to transfer the load from the harness to the hip belt, ensuring that weight is evenly distributed and easy to carry. The mesh back panel keeps the breathability and ventilation top notch, whereas the mesh on the hip belt and harness work to reduce chafing even when you’re carrying extremely heavy loads. 

The back panel also works as a stowaway panel, into which the entire harness system and hip belt can be stowed into, resulting in a slim profile that’s better suited to travel. 

The backpack also features quite a spacious, zippered main compartment; the two internal compression straps ensure that your belongings are secured while traveling. The compression straps in front keep your gear stable while you’re wearing the pack.

Of course, comfort is key, so the Farpoint features padded shoulder straps along with padded side and top handles, allowing flexibility in how you carry it. 

Along with these features, the Farpoint 40 also features a heat-embossed front panel slash pocket with zip closure, and scratch-free, for essentials, dual mesh pockets in front for water bottles, and dedicated, padded tablet and laptop sleeves in the main compartment (which zippers that can be locked).

You can also attach gear to the backpack thanks to the sewn attachment points, leading to some superior organizing!

Pros

  • Is built to meet carry-on requirements mandated by most flight operators
  • Is extremely comfortable and durable
  • Can stand on its own when set down 

Cons

  • Minimal compartmentalization options (only one main compartment and several small pockets)
  • Can be hard to reach the water-bottle pockets while wearing the pack

Verdict

A backpack that will hold up excellently through the years, the Farpoint 40 is all kinds of durable and comfortable, even when filled to capacity. Its size makes it the perfect travel companion for short trips, easy to stow into overhead luggage cabinets or under the chair - all made easier thanks to the side handles.

Some folks find it disappointing that the backpack won’t last you on any trip beyond three days, but to be fair, it is marketed as a backpack for weekend getaways. 

In all, a well-thought-out backpack that stands out among all 40-liter backpacks out there!


Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack - Best Daypack

What started off as a simple accessory to attach to other larger Osprey packs is, today, an efficient standalone product making the rest of the Osprey family proud! Simple, durable, lightweight, comfortable, and reasonably priced, the Osprey Daylite Plus ticks all the right boxes when it comes to daypacks.

Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack

Source: osprey.com

Specifications

  • Size: 21 x 13 x 3 inches
  • Weight: 1.19 pounds   
  • Volume: 20L
  • Color: Available in 12 different shades
  • Multi-function interior sleeve may be used for hydration or tablet
  • Daypack can be attached to certain bigger Osprey models

Benefits 

The Osprey Daylite Plus is a great daypack that you can either use on its own or attach to your larger Osprey backpack (it’s compatible with a large number of Osprey backpacks). Whether you’re conquering the Amazon or making a trip to your local supermarket, the Daylite Plus can hold out efficiently in both cases.

The backpack features a large main compartment (panel loading and accessible via a large zippered panel), mesh pockets on the side to store water bottles and other essentials, a pocket in the front with a key clip to secure belongings and a mesh organizer, an interior multi-function sleeve that you can either use for hydration or to store your tablet, a vertical front panel slash pocket with zip closure, and a fabric shove-it front panel pocket to store all your belongings in an efficient and well-organized manner.

There is a dedicated laptop sleeve. The backpack also comes equipped with a comfortable back panel, covered with mesh and padded with die-cut foam, for efficient ventilation and carrying comfort.

Pros

  • A versatile backpack that can be used for a wide range of needs, as well as alone or with another backpack
  • Comfortable carrying thanks to the harness and back panel
  • A wide palette of color options

Cons

  • Some find the backpack to be quite compact in terms of capacity, even for a daypack.
  • Bottles don’t fit well in the side mesh pockets unless they’re slim and built with a half-liter capacity

Verdict 

Despite its minor cons, the Osprey Daylite Plus is an excellent option for activities that span a few hours, at most. An improvement on the Daylite, the Daylite Plus backpack features more capacity, colors, and compartments!

Some folks complain about the backpack’s capacity or its inability to last you on an overnight trip or heavy-duty hiking, but it has to be remembered that it was never built for that purpose. 

Long story short, if you’re looking for a versatile, well-constructed backpack that’s got your back in every sense, consider the Daylite Plus.


Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack - Best Packable

If the Osprey Daylite Plus is too big a daypack and you need something smaller and more compact, the Ultralight Stuff Pack is just the thing! More an accessory than a full-fledged backpack, this backpack is your best bet for carrying along just the essentials on your day trip and be inconspicuous while doing so.

Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack

Source: osprey.com

Specifications

  • Size: 17 x 9 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 0.19 pounds
  • Volume: 18 liters
  • Color: Available in Electric Lime, Poppy Orange, Shadow Grey, and Tropic Teal 

Benefits 

Made of nylon ripstop fabric and YKK zippers, the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack is one of the most durable daypacks out there. Don’t let the small size throw you off - this daypack packs in a range of features despite being smaller than an iPhone 7+ and weighing less than an apple!

Despite a minimalistic design, the daypack is quite aesthetically pleasing, with a reflective logo (not only is this good looking but it also keeps you save and visible on your night-time jaunts), fun colors, and stretchy mesh pockets on the side to carry your water bottles in addition to three other exterior pockets.

The straps are not uncomfortable despite being thin, thanks to the mesh layer encompassing them; this air-mesh harness lets you comfortably carry this bag even at its full capacity. There’s a zippered quick-grab pocket on the top, in addition to the zippered main compartment (horse-shoe opening). You can fit your 13-inch laptop into this backpack, though it may be a bit of a squeeze!

The daypack comes with a self-stuffing pocket that you can fold the pack into, for easy storage and carrying around when not in use.

Pros

  • Among the most lightweight yet durable backpacks in the market, made of high-quality materials
  • Has a super-convenient self-stuffing pocket

Cons

  • No scope for internal organization thanks to the minimal number of compartments
  • No sternum strap

Verdict

All said and done, the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack is a marvel of science - it’s amazing how this daypack can be lightweight yet durable, small yet spacious, and easily one of the most convenient packs in the market. It stuffs into itself, for heaven’s sake (and ergo, the best packable pack award!).

You can easily overlook the sternum strap con since with a bag this size, you don’t really need it anyway! 

The lack of internal organization may be a more serious throw off for some folks, but if you don’t mind that and want an extremely reasonably-priced, efficient, functional, and super-cool daypack, we highly recommend the Ultralight Stuff Pack.


Osprey Porter 46 - Runner-Up Travel Pack

When you don’t want to lug around a heavy backpacking bag but your duffel just isn’t cutting it, what do you do? Get yourself the Osprey Porter 46 - that’s what! A part of the brand’s popular Porter Series, the 46 is the bag to beat when it comes to deluxe-duffel standards.

Osprey Packs Porter 46 Travel Backpack

Source: osprey.com

Specifications

  • Size: 11 x 14 x 22 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds  
  • Volume: Available in 30, 46, and 65-liter options
  • Color: Available in Black, Mineral Teal, Castle Grey, Diablo Red, and Kraken Blue 

Benefits 

Comfortable, functional, and practical, the Porter 46 comes with a range of features that make it a favorite, such as padded sidewalls, a great suspension system, and enough options to organize your belongings well. 

The backpack features a large-panel, lockable-zipper-equipped main compartment, a zippered top pocket and front-panel organization pocket for essentials, vertical pockets with zip closure on the front panel to easily carry any travel documents and books, and dedicated lockable tablet and laptop compartments with zip closure, all with multiple access points. 

Additionally, when your back tires of the baggage, you can carry this backpack like a suitcase, thanks to the comfortable padded handles on the top and sides. 

The Porter 46 also features reinforced cord loops that let you attach Osprey Daylite daypacks to the bag for double the efficiency.

You can also conveniently stow away the hip belt and harness into the back panel, whereas the StraightJacket compression straps, with the padded sidewalls, keep your belongings in space, let you compress the bag to a smaller size when it’s at less-than-full capacity, pack efficiently and fit in more of your stuff. 

The U-Zip opening also makes the packing process super easy, as the structural sidewalls let your bag stay open as you pack or unpack.

Pros

  • Extremely roomy
  • Great for packing, thanks to the compression straps, structural sidewalls, and U-Zip opening
  • Can be compressed to a more convenient size

Cons

  • The broad shape isn’t great for users with narrow shoulders.
  • While the backpack has many pockets, the main compartment itself doesn’t have too many internal pockets.
  • The pack can get bulky when packed to the brim. 

Verdict 

Even with its flaws, the Osprey Porter 46 is a force to reckon with when it comes to travel packs. With an old-school charm and hard-to-beat capacity, this backpack has made many a traveler happy, once they’ve been able to get over the cons. However, do note that along with its other cons, the backpack doesn’t feature a duffel strap. 

With a more or less equal number of hits and misses (though we believe the misses are less substantial than the hits!), buying this backpack purely depends on what the user ultimately prioritizes in a travel pack.


Osprey Fairview 40 - Best for Women's Travel 

The Fairview 40 is a superbly streamlined, lightweight offering from the House of Osprey, ideal for the modern-day, fast-paced adventurer/ traveler. Equipped with plenty of travel-friendly features and organization, this one’s for all the ladies (and men, too, really) - travelers and otherwise - who love themselves a lightweight-yet-extremely-efficient backpack!

Osprey Fairview 40 Women's Travel Backpack

Source: osprey.com

Specifications

  • Size: 28 x 16 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 4.38 pounds  
  • Volume: Available in 38 and 40-liter options
  • Color: Available in Black, Rainforest Green, and Misty Grey 

Benefits 

As mentioned earlier, the Fairview 40 comes with a range of travel-friendly features, making it the perfect choice for a weekend in the city or out in the wilderness - it wouldn’t be too far off the mark to say that this backpack is a women-focused version of the Osprey Farpoint 40 reviewed earlier.

The backpack features a large panel zip that lets you conveniently access the main compartment, lockable sliders, a harness and hip belt (with mesh covering to prevent chafing under heavy loads) that you can stow into the back panel, dual compression straps in front to reduce your backpack’s size when not packed to capacity, dual mesh pockets in front for your water bottles and a dedicated, padded sleeve for your 15-inch laptop or tablet.

This comfortable backpack is also carry-on sized, making travel much more easy and convenient; it even features a shoulder strap, which only serves to make things better!

Like the Farpoint 40, this backpack also features a LightWire frame suspension for efficient load transfer from the harness to the hip belt, a back panel with mesh covering for improved ventilation, padded handles on the top and sides for flexible carrying, and a zippered scratch-free slash pocket that’s heat embossed, for your shades and devices.  

Pros

  • Major brownie points for designing a backpack just for the ladies
  • Super durable and comfortable
  • Very good looking

Cons

  • Can be hard to zip the front pocket completely when the backpack is fully packed
  • There’s no space to fit things into the front compartment when the main compartment is fully packed.
  • Ideal weight distribution is hindered by the laptop compartment being in front.

Verdict

We can’t stop celebrating the fact that a major brand like Osprey decided to set aside a bag just for women’s travel and the backpack satisfies on every count! This is not to say in any way, of course, that women can’t handle bigger packs, but the thoughtfulness certainly counts.

Though the Farpoint and Fairview are extremely similar, the latter is more comfortable, even at full capacity. A great option for all the travel-conscious women out there, the Fairview 40 is a must consider.


Osprey Talon 22 - Best for Hiking

Last but not least on our list, it took us quite some time to get over how sleek and good looking this backpack is. Once we got over that, the pure efficiency and versatility of this backpack kicked in and amazed us all over again! 

Whether it’s a long day of biking, hiking, or just travel, the Osprey Talon 22 fulfills and how!

Osprey Talon 22

Source: osprey.com

Specifications

  • Size: 18 x 11 x 11 inches 
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds      
  • Volume: 22 liters  
  • Color: Available in Black, Yerba Green, Ultramarine Blue, and Martian Red

Benefits

It isn’t for nothing that they say “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” - the Talon 22 is all the proof you need on this. This super-versatile backpack is perfect for any occasion, whether you’re hiking around mountains, going fast in the woods, or just cruising around town. 

The backpack features a BioStretch harness system and a continuous-wrap hip belt, both of which result in a super-stable carry system that stays close to your body and helps you keep your balance on tricky terrain.

The AirScape back panel ensures that you’re kept cool on hot days, whereas the Stow-On-the-Go feature lets you easily carry your trekking pole and even an ice-ax, while your hands are making short work of climbing.

Apart from this, the backpack also features a LidLock system that helps you carry your helmet (much like the trekking pole), stretchy mesh pockets on the side, a harness pocket, dual hip belts with zippered pockets, and top-lid storage for efficient organization.

The backpack also has zippered slash pockets on the top panel, an adjustable shoulder harness, efficient InsideOut carry/ compression straps, and an external hydration sleeve that can accommodate up to three liters.

Pros

  • Equipped with an impressive array of features
  • Separate hydration compartment
  • Super comfortable thanks to the adjustability and efficient ventilation

Cons

  • Some users have issues with the size, stating that it runs small.
  • Side mesh pockets are smaller than ideal, leading to bottles falling out/ not fitting properly.

Verdict 

For a panel-loading backpack with reasonable spaciousness and more-than-reasonable amount of features, consider adding the Osprey Talon 22 to your collection.

The backpack is a superb choice for fast and light expeditions, equipped with a range of features that support this, such as the helmet and trekking pole bungee attachments, a harness system, and hydration compartment. 

Understandably, it won’t be as great for a heavy expedition or activity, since it wasn’t built for that, but for everything else, this backpack has you covered.


Osprey - A Small Introduction to a Big Name!

It’s an indisputable fact that Osprey is one of the top backpack makers and sellers in the world, with over 45 years of expertise contributing to their firm cementing of a leading position in the industry.

Enjoying Nature

Osprey had its origins in 1974, when founder Mike Pfotenhauer, all of 16, opened up his own retail shop in Santa Cruz, California. Despite its humble settings (the store was right opposite his rented house), the store and the brand grew in popularity, with the superbly-fitting customized backpacks, put together by Pfotenhauer himself, leaving customers wanting more.

Many customers, especially travelers and backpackers, loyally stuck on and became regulars - a trend that has carried through the years to this day! Unsurprising, considering not just the superb quality, durability, and overall awesomeness of the packs, but also the company’s values and principles.

With the superb customer reactions leading to a surge in popularity - and thereby, demand - Pfotenhauer found himself moving his not-so-humble-anymore business from Santa Cruz to Southwest Colorado, the base of the company’s operations ever since.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Fittingly, an ill-fitting backpack, on a backpacking trip across Oregon, is what led to the creation of Osprey. Enlisting his mother’s help, Pfotenhauer sought to solve this problem by learning sewing from his mother and creating his own backpack at the ripe old age of 16!

From there, the story moves to Santa Cruz, where word of mouth drew travelers and backpackers in large droves to Osprey (then known as Santa Cruz Recreational Packs) to buy the made-to-order, custom-fitted backpacks that Pfotenhauer himself would painstakingly stitch for days, for them.

It was in 1987 that Osprey backpacks were available wholesale, with 8 new employees doing the sewing while the founder focused his energies on designing packs. Soon enough, the shift to Colorado happened, with a former Gore-Tex factory (which itself was a former Ford Model-T factory!) serving as the new base of operations.

The company hit a bit of a slump in the 2000s when an increasing number of backpack companies were outsourcing their manufacturing to other countries to save money. Additionally, sourcing high-quality material became harder, owing to the closure of many domestic fabric mills. 

After many missed deadlines and even worse, business opportunities, Osprey too moved its manufacturing overseas, working with Korean manufacturers. Despite this, Mike Pfotenhauer ensured that he was present in the first four years of the manufacturing facility abroad to ensure that there was no compromise on the Osprey quality.

What Makes Osprey a Hit?

Many factors contribute to Osprey’s popularity in the market.

Practicing Sustainability
  • All-Mighty Guarantee: The Osprey All-Mighty Guarantee is a major crowd favorite. With every Osprey backpack that you buy comes the guarantee that your backpack will be repaired, free of cost, in case of any damage or defect caused by any reason. And no, it doesn’t matter whether you bought the said backpack from Pfotenhauer himself in 1974 or you bought it yesterday!
  • Quality Checks: Every Osprey backpack design goes through a quality check. But what’s special about this, you ask? After all, doesn’t every leading brand subject its designs to multiple quality checks? Well, this one is a little special, since every product ever designed by the company and sold under its name is subject to Mike Pfotenhauer’s scrutinizing eyes and produced and sold only after the founder is satisfied. Talk about dedication to quality, huh?
  • Excellent Quality: Talking about quality, it should be mentioned that Osprey’s quality is quite hard to beat, a possible reason behind travelers and backpackers swearing by the brand. Made of quality materials with utmost dedication and attention to detail, Osprey backpacks can last you long adventurous years!
  • Customer Relationship: From designing the packs to stitching them to actively being involved in every aspect of the company’s functioning (including knowing the names of all the sewing operators), Mike Pfotenhauer is a study in developing and maintaining relationships not just with his employees, but customers too. His company follows suit, emphasizing, and maintaining strong relationships between the staff, customers, and the company itself. This is evident in their founder’s and company’s principles, their dedication to building quality products, and the guarantee and after-sales services they provide.
  • Continuous Innovation: As mentioned earlier, the company is committed to continuously innovating to come up with new high-performing products and processes, ensuring that your backpack lasts you for a lifetime.
  • Sustainability on Every Level: Sustainability has become the need of the hour - a factor that Osprey recognizes and takes quite seriously. In fact, sustainability has always been one of the company’s core values, reflecting in not just their durable products and the All-Mighty Guarantee but their use of high-quality recycled materials and safe chemical processes to construct their backpacks and care for both customers and folks in their supply chain alike. The company is committed to continuously evolving their processes, as required, to ensure that the approach is as holistic and impactless on the environment as possible. (As if there weren’t enough reasons to love them already!)

Osprey’s guiding principles are quality, respect, integrity, innovation, and stewardship; all factors that reflect in the company’s products.

Additionally, not only is the company a great brand to shop for but apparently a great place to work as well, with a diverse pool of employees bound by the common belief that adventure can be found anywhere and is open to everyone.

Osprey backpacks are a lifetime commitment in every sense.

Waiting for Sunrise on a Mountaintop

Conclusion

A great brand to add to your collection, Osprey backpacks stand out with their quality, durability, and just overall awesomeness. Whatever your needs are, there’s an Osprey backpack to fulfill them. Additionally, they’re extremely reasonably priced, making them quite perfect!

On your next adventure, consider an Osprey - the chances are that you’ll be more than satisfied.

Resources:
Osprey