Osprey Porter Review: The Perfect Travel Pack

I love the Osprey Porter so much that we bought two - one for me and one for my husband.  You can see that the Salsa Red pack on the left has the compression straps tightened.
I love the Osprey Porter so much that we bought two - one for me and one for my husband. You can see that the Salsa Red pack on the left has the compression straps tightened. | Source
The back of the Osprey Porter packs.  The one on the left had the shoulder straps tucked in; the one on the right has the shoulder straps removed.  Having the ability to easily move between suitcase and backpack is extremely handy.
The back of the Osprey Porter packs. The one on the left had the shoulder straps tucked in; the one on the right has the shoulder straps removed. Having the ability to easily move between suitcase and backpack is extremely handy. | Source

The Perfect Travel Bag

Looking for the perfect travel bag? The Osprey Porter 46 is THE bag for the serious and the beginner traveler. I've taken this bag throughout the US and Europe and have been very pleased. Here's why.

Backpack or Luggage Bag?

The Osprey Porter 46 backpack sets itself apart by offering two carrying options - as a backpack or as a traditional luggage bag. It's easy to transition from one option to the other. In the backpack position, there are waist and chest straps to ease the load. In the duffel position, there are multiple comfortable handles - on on the top and one on the side. You can easily tuck the backpack straps into the body of the pack. This feature is also great when you will be checking luggage on an airplane.

How Much Can The Osprey 46 Hold?

  • Pack Dimensions: 9 x 22 x 14 inches
  • Pack Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Pack Volume: 46 liters

I specifically chose this pack based on the volume and dimensions. This pack allows the maximum storage capacity for a bag still small enough to fit in the overhead storage bin. I recently took this pack on a three-week long family vacation to Europe. For my family of five (three adults and two kids) we took two Osprey Porter 46 bags, an Osprey Kestrel 38 backpack, and a small cinch bag. I still can't believe how we managed to pack for 5 people, for 3 weeks in three backpacks. Talk about traveling light! But, there is no way we could have done this without the Osprey Porter.


Can the Osprey Porter 46 Fit In The Overhead Bin?

The Osprey is a thing of beauty when it comes to the overhead bin. Even on budget carriers, such as Southwest Airlines and even EasyJet, the Porter fits perfectly in the overhead bin. I was a little nervous that I was going to have to fork over the baggage check fee on EasyJet, but the Osprey Porter 46 fit perfectly in the overhead.

In fact, it's the maximum legal carry-on size, so you won't find a backpack that can hold more volume while still fitting in the overhead compartment.

Speaking of putting the bag in the airplane, the multiple handles also makes loading it into the overhead bin easier. There are handles on both the top and the bottom of the pack.

Suitcase-like Access

Another great thing about the Osprey Porter is that it opens like a suitcase. Just unzip the bag and you are ready to pack. This is such an easier way to pack, as opposed to a top-loading backpack. And, not only is this design easier for packing, it's also easier for accessing your clothing when you reach you destination. When I pack my traditional backpack, I have to take almost everything out to find what I am looking for. Not the case with the Porter 46.

This feature alone makes the Osprey a great choice for the weekend traveler and the road-warrior alike.

Is the Osprey Porter 46 Comfortable?

In a word, yes. I was really surprised how comfortable the Osprey Porter 46 is. We packed it full and I was still able to comfortably carry the pack on my back around the streets of Paris. The reason it is so comfortable is the chest and waist straps. Working together, these straps really help distribute the weight. There are also female connecters on the back of the shoulders that connect to male connectors on the backpack straps. When I first tried on the pack, I didn't connect these pieces. Once I did, there was a noticeable improvement in the comfort of the pack.

I would also recommend getting a snug fit by pulling on the front straps after you have the pack on your back. Fortunately, the pack is quite easy to adjust.

The Osprey Guarantee

Osprey sets the standard when it comes to guaranteeing their packs. They have a what they call their "All Mighty Guarantee - Any Pack, Any Reason, Any Era".

Osprey will repair for any reason, free of charge, any damage or defect in their packs, no matter when you purchased it. If they can not perform a functional repair on your pack, they will replace it. Given the amount of wear and tear you will put a pack through when traveling, this is a huge plus for Osprey over other brands.

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