- June 1, 2016
- Luggage and Bags
In Review: Osprey Daypacks
If you are looking for a quality daypack that is built to survive the toughest environment, and is also easy to pack and is light weight, then look no further than the Osprey brand. The Osprey day packs are some of the best day packs available, for every environment and occasion.
Regardless of whether you are a heavy traveler or you are a daily commuter, the Osprey day pack makes traveling easier. By coming equipped with a number of different zippered compartments, which are perfect for holding your sunglasses or headphones, it will definitely enrich your travel life.
Osprey Cyber Port Daypack
- Zippered, panel load main compartment with fleece lined, padded laptop/tablet sleeve and internal organizer.
- Zippered, panel load Port window for instant, protected tablet use without removal from pack.
- Top zippered scratch-free electronics/ sunglass pocket.
- Port Window Tablet Access.
- Built to tackle your commuting life with energy and style.
Until they introduced the Portal Series, I’d never considered using an Osprey pack as a carry-on backpack or laptop bag. The Osprey Cyber Port backpack is tough yet streamlined, and stylish while still classic.
With its sleek panel-loading design, I understood right away that the Cyber Port’s function is ease-of-access to electronic devices, not maximum load capacity or even multiple attachment options like other Ospreys.
There are three compartments: one main compartment, one small top compartment for keys or a phone (like many Osprey bags offer) and one outside ‘port window’ panel. This last compartment is really two, but since the inner and outer both work in tandem to create a space for a tablet, I’m counting it as one.
After wrapping my mind around the fact that this Osprey performs an entirely different function than its outdoorsy cousins, my next question was: as a travel carry-on and laptop pack, does it deliver? Why use it instead of my trusty messenger bag? The answer I came up with: because it’s an Osprey.
The bag is exceptionally well-made, and I know it’s not going to fall apart on me. The brushed poly fabric is gorgeous, and like all Ospreys, the design is super smart. While other Osprey bags focus on usability in the back country, the Cyber Port focuses on usability while commuting, and does it well.
Inside the main compartment, you get a fully lined and padded laptop sleeve, plus a great organizer panel with an interior zippered pocket, mesh pockets, a key fob, and plenty of small envelopes for zip drives, memory cards, and small cameras.
The small top pocket is the perfect size for my small wallet, or could fit a cell phone, keys, or a point-and-shoot camera. The outer panel zips all the way down to reveal a tablet pocket with a transparent sleeve, allowing travelers to use the iPad or other tablet without needing to remove it from the sleeve (by use of a port).
This is the only design element that’s kind of a stretch for me: after using the backpack on several plane trips, I never felt the need to use this. It was all too easy to store my iPad in the sleeve, and simply retrieve it when I wanted it.
Perhaps travelers would use this feature if they needed to access their tablet in a hurry in train stations or airports while checking directions or websites, and yes, I might play a movie for my kids while leaving the tablet in the sleeve, but for what it’s worth, this feature has not been crucial for me yet.
It helps to see the Cyber Port in action: check out this video by Osprey for a closer look. Perhaps the people in this video are simply more hip than me, and you’ll find more use for the tablet port than I do.
The backpack straps are padded, and while the pack isn’t ventilated with a mesh panel, I haven’t found I miss this feature. There’s a sternum strap, and all the zippers include handy pull tabs. I do wish a water bottle pocket had been designed on one side of the pack.
The Cyber Port is 18 x 12 x 8, and the laptop sleeve measures 13.5 x 6 x 1. If you’re looking for a daily commuter bag or a travel carry-on daypack, you’ve found it.
Pick one up at Amazon. It comes in black pepper, chestnut brown, pinot red, and grey herringbone.
Osprey Aura 50 Backpack
- Super lightweight series of women’s packs features redesigned suspension system for a customized fit.
- Adjustable harness, Fit-On-The-Fly hip belt, and hydration sleeve.
- Removable sleeping pad straps, removable top pocket, tool attachment, and vertical zip pocket.
- Small has 47-liter capacity; medium has 50-liter capacity; large has 53-liter capacity.
- Includes limited lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.
What makes the Osprey Aura better than my previous packs? For starters, the ability to custom fit the pack through its adjustable harness and ‘fit-on-the-fly’ hip belt.
The Aura comes in 50 or 65 sizing, but the harness comes in three additional sizes per category (I recommend stopping in at your local outdoors store to size it in person instead of online), and can be further customized after your select the one that works for you.
The hipbelt is also further customized by use of duel-density foam and spacer mesh, which can be adjusted even while hiking. The result: a pack that’s snug to your body, but not clinging, thanks to the incredibly advanced ventilation (the pack proper never sits directly on your back).
Out of the box, I wasn’t so sure I’d love the Aura as I do. The Aura 50 looked too small for a multiday backpack trek. I worried I wouldn’t fit everything I needed, but once I’d loaded it, I was surprised to see how much I could get in there and still have an organized and balanced pack.
The Aura utilizes a traditional top-load design, and there are plenty of pockets and compartments to stash stuff, as well as a deceptively large main compartment.
I love the two vertical zippered pockets that run the length of the lower pack; they fit either a full day’s clothing, a pair of water shoes, or, as I used them, a filtration system on one side, and a camp stove and fuel on the other.
The top pocket is removable, but you’ll want it on: it fits all the little items you don’t want to lose (but want access to): cameras, paperbacks, phones, or keys. The hip belt includes two small zippered pockets on each side. They’re sized perfectly for a small container of sunscreen or chap stick, but I do wish they were slightly larger to fit a point-and-shoot camera.
There is a compartment ready for a filtration system such as a platypus, with hooks and holes ready for the hose as well. Two water bottle pockets are also located on each side. I like that almost all the pockets are stretchy, allowing for various sizes and shapes of bottles and supplies.
The Aura 50 has a load range of approximately 10 lbs to 55 lbs. I loaded it with 45 lbs for my multiday trek, and, as mentioned, it was easily manageable. I couldn’t have fit much more, though.
Here’s my pack mid-trip:
There are plenty of ways to attach items to the exterior of the pack: I attached a sleeping bag, pad, tent, and small camp chair with no problem. The interior is roomy enough to fit a bear canister. There’s a place to stow your trekking pole, should you be lucky enough to have one.
Dimensions are 29x17x14, and volume is 3051 cubic inches in the medium (small and large are also available). The pack itself weighs only 3 lbs. The pack sits up on the hips nicely, and I never felt the weight on my shoulders. My back got far less sweaty than my companions’, too, thanks to the mesh ventilation frame that keeps the pack off your back.
The Aura comes in eggplant purple or pinion green. It’s available at REI, Backcountry, or Moosejaw, or can be found on Amazon for a few bucks less.
Osprey Jet Daypack for Kids
- Four exterior pockets. One interior zip pocket.
- Features Osprey’s Airscape ridge-molded foam back panel.
- Dual-zippered panel-loading main compartment.
It can be a challenge to find kid-sized travel gear that’s sturdy enough to handle the rigors of childhood but affordable enough to be practical. After all, kids grow. And grow.
The Osprey Jet is designed to fit kids age 5-10, is constructed with Osprey quality, and doesn’t skimp on the bells and whistles Mom and Dad have on their packs.
At 18 liters, the Jet is just big enough to be worth carting along, but small enough that kids in this age category can actually carry it themselves. When we travel by air, car, or train, each of my kids have one carry-on, and one daypack.
In the daypack, they’re expected to carry their own travel entertainment items (iPod, book, Kindle, art supplies, and the like), plus a light jacket or layer, any personal items, and a water bottle. The Jet does the job, with extra room for a small lunch or a snack.
It’s so important to fit any backpack to your child’s frame for a successful outing, and this goes for travel days as well as day hikes or backpacking trips.
While logging miles in airport terminals and train stations, it’s no fun for anyone if we have to stop multiple times because a child’s backpack keeps slipping off his or her shoulders, or is too heavy to carry. With a right sized pack, excuses fade away and whining cannot be heard! It’s a fact!
The Jet measures at 17 x 10.5 x 8 in, and features a chest strap for an even more customized fitting. You get an internal organizer, mesh side pockets for water bottles, and a big mesh stretch pocket on the front.
The shoulder and chest straps are padded and fleece-lined. We have spot-washed ours when needed, but it’s also machine washable (just make sure to empty all the pockets!).
We have found the Jet to comfortably fit our youngest son from age 7-9 (and still fits), but tall kids can easily fit into it by age five. This is a pack that will see you through at least five years, for multiple uses.
Our Jet comes along on all family trips, plus pulls double duty as a daypack for school field trips or day hikes. When it’s outgrown, check out the Zip 25.
The Jet comes in two fun colors: cherry shake and lime squeeze, both unisex (which makes it great for passing down to younger siblings). Pick one up for under $50, or look for deals on Amazon.
Osprey Airporter Pack Protector
- Now available in three sizes for perfect fit.
- Zip path for closure eases loading.
- More comfortable shoulder strap tucks away in pocket.
- Stuffs into top pocket for convenient storage.
- ID window for name card.
Lastly, if you travel by air and check your multi-day backpack, you’ll need to protect it. In fact, unless you have a travel-specific backpack, with straps that stow, it’s required by most airlines.
The Osprey Airporter was my pick when I found myself with the need of a backpack protector before a trip to Costa Rica. I love and trust Osprey packs, so this was an easy choice for me.
Not to be confused with a pack rain cover, the Airporter fully encases any multi-day backpack, including the shoulder straps and waist belt. It’s a simple concept, basically a bag to put your bag in.
Yes, you could simply let airline personnel encase your pack in a huge plastic baggy, as they do for car seats and the like, but you don’t want to. Plastic bags routinely tear open, leaving the pack–and any exposed items, like sleeping bags or pads–to the elements.
The Airporter is made of sturdy nylon, and utilizes lockable zippers.
The Airporter comes in three sizes (S, M, and L). I picked up a medium, which fits packs sized 45-75 L. My 55 L pack fits into it with room to spare, even when full. Check out the complete chart for liters and sizing.
The zipper path is wide and the bag opens easily, making it simple to lift a filled pack up and into. You get a single padded shoulder strap (which stuffs into an exterior pocket when not in use) to make carrying your pack through the airport terminal to check-in easier.
When you arrive at your destination, the whole protector stuffs into it’s own pocket, which can be stored in your backpack until you need it again.
In addition to air travel, the Airporter is useful when traveling by bus, to keep your pack (and outer contents) clean when traveling in the luggage compartment, and by train. The bottom of the bag is reinforced for durability, and there’s a clear ID pocket on one side.
Pick one up (in jet black) just about anywhere, or on Amazon.