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Osprey Backpacks Review: Are They Worth It?

Osprey Backpacks Review: Are They Worth It?

Osprey has become an iconic brand amongst travelers, backpackers, and hikers alike. The recognizable logo is hard to miss, and for many, it represents a brand known for high-quality products that stand the test of time.

The brand has been around for almost 50 years and is best known for its backpacks and day packs. The same bag can accompany you whether you’re planning a camping trip or backpacking around the world.

Along with their high quality and commitment to protecting the environment, Osprey bags are notorious for being a bit pricier than their competitors. But while you can cheap out on other alternatives, these other packs may only last for a short while.

Osprey backpacks are investment pieces. Additionally, only some brands offer the same level of commitment that Osprey does when it comes to being sustainable and eco-friendly.

Want to learn more about Osprey? Keep reading to get to know more about the brand itself, along with some of their fantastic product offerings.

Methodology

I’m a frequent traveler who enjoys being outdoors and visiting beautiful destinations. When in the market for a backpack, I want to find something that can last for a long time while not compromising comfort or function.

I’ve also become more aware of my carbon footprint as a traveler. Therefore, investing in products from transparent and eco-conscious brands are also a priority for me.

About the Osprey Brand

Osprey was founded in 1974 in Southern California. Founder and Chief Designer Mike Pfotenhauer had the idea to create high-quality backpacks and day packs right in his garage that could be used to travel and trek throughout the world. By 1986, Osprey backpacks started selling through specialist outdoor stores.

Today, Osprey is known for their high quality and innovation. The company offers an “All Mighty Guarantee,” which promises customers to repair or replace any defects found in their products. They also do their best to use minimal and recycled materials for packaging, keeping waste and contributions to landfills to a minimum.

Osprey also contributes to many conservation efforts and is part of The Conservation Alliance, a coalition of businesses dedicated to funding wildlife conservation efforts in North America.

The Short Version

Osprey is a reliable and trusted brand in the world of backpacks. It’s a great option if you’re a traveler who loves adventure and being able to comfortably carry all your gear with you. The company cares deeply about the environment and offers a lifetime guarantee on all their products.

If you’re the type of traveler who prefers vacations that involve little outdoor activities and more laying at the pool with a good book, Osprey travel backpacks may not be for you. However, if you’re still a lover of the outdoors and in the market for a reliable bag that can accompany you on hikes or camping, keep reading!

Osprey Backpacks

Let’s get into some of the best Osprey backpacks on the market today! The brand offers a wide array of backpacks that can accompany you on hiking trips, overnight trips, and commutes to work or school.

1. Osprey Aether 65 Men’s Backpacking Backpack

Osprey Aether 65 Men's Backpack

Starting off strong, we have Osprey’s bestseller, the Aether 65 Men’s Backpacking Backpack. This backpack can accommodate heavy loads of up to 60 pounds. This Osprey backpacking backpack features adjustable chest and waist straps, allowing for the most comfortable fit while you wear it.

The hip belt features dual zippered pockets, allowing for easy access to things like your keys, wallet, snacks, or other essentials. The entire backpack weighs just under five pounds, and its adjustable shoulder straps allow it to fit an array of body types.

Key Features: Pockets on the hip belt, sleeping bag compartment, oversized main compartment, adjustable chest, waist, and shoulder straps

Pros:

  • High load range of 30 to 60 pounds
  • Includes a PVC rain cover for extra protection
  • Reinforced fabric and compression straps
  • Contains an internal hydration sleeve
  • Mesh pockets for water bottles

Cons:

  • Big investment
  • Bulky and not suitable for most day hikes
  • Small sleeping bag compartment

2. Osprey Atmos AG 50 Men’s Backpacking Backpack

Osprey Atmos AG 50 Men's Backpack

The Atmos AG 50 is another popular hiking backpack from Osprey. The main difference between this backpack and other Osprey backpacks is the anti-gravity suspension system, which makes it feel as if you’re carrying less weight. The system is made up of the extended back panel and the adjustable harness on the hip belt.

It is touted as the most comfortable Osprey camping backpack and has a capacity of up to 40 pounds. The back panel also features a great ventilation system, making this the perfect pack for long hiking days.

Key Features: Anti-gravity suspension system, compression straps, floating top lid zipper pocket, large internal hydration reservoir sleeve

Pros:

  • Durable nylon material
  • Ultra comfortable fit
  • Completely adjustable
  • Lessens the strain on your body

Cons:

  • Does not include a rain cover
  • Hip belt zipper pockets may be hard to reach

See Related: Best Travel Security Products You Didn’t Know You Needed

3. Osprey Daylite Daypack

Osprey Daylite Daypack Backpack

The Osprey Daylite is the best Osprey bag for everyday use. Osprey day packs are certainly more affordable than the hiking and travel backpacks the brand is known for, but they still offer the same exceptional quality and durability. This is a wonderful option if you’re planning a full day of activities like Disneyland or an all-day hiking trip.

The main compartment features a multi-functional pocket that can be used as a laptop sleeve or a hydration reservoir sleeve. The front zipper pocket is perfect for holding all of your essentials and includes a key clip, so you don’t have to go rummaging through the entire pocket when you need to reach them.

Key Features: Water bottle pockets, organizational compartments, 13-liter volume, compression straps

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Can attach to other Osprey backpacks for additional storage
  • Fits all the essentials
  • Many color options

Cons:

  • Small zipper opening
  • It may not be comfortable for those with broad shoulders

4. Osprey Porter 30 Travel Backpack

Black Osprey Porter 30 Travel Backpack

If you’re searching for the perfect backpack for traveling, this Osprey Porter 30 Men’s Travel Backpack might just be what you’re looking for. With flight prices soaring and more luggage getting lost, you might want to opt for a simple carry-on for your next adventure.

This Osprey men’s backpack makes a great alternative to a carry-on suitcase, as it fits most airline carry-on requirements. The compression straps going across the large main compartment will also assist in ensuring that your backpack can fit in the overhead compartment of a plane. Additionally, the side handle allows for easy access when you need to grab something.

Key Features: Large main compartment, internal mesh pockets

Pros:

  • Main compartment zippers all the way open for easy access
  • Exterior pockets for toiletries and essentials
  • Fits most airline carry-on requirements
  • Laptop sleeve with lockable zippers
  • Stowable straps can turn the backpack into a duffel bag

Cons:

  • It may not fit under an airplane seat when fully packed
  • No side pockets for water bottles

See Related: What to Bring on a Camping Trip with Friends

5. Osprey Eja 38 Women’s Ultralight Backpacking Backpack

Osprey Eja 38 Women's Ultralight Backpack

Osprey backpacks are famous for being some of the best backpacks for backpackers. This Eja 38 Women’s Ultralight Backpacking Backpack is a great medium to large-sized backpack and one of the most popular Osprey women’s backpacks.

This is an awesome option for hikers going for long distances that don’t want to carry too much weight on them. This backpack can hold up to 25 pounds of gear. The ExoForm harness and adjustable straps allow you to trek with your gear all day while staying as comfortable as possible.

This is also a great sustainable option in terms of Osprey packs, as it is made using recycled materials. And like all Osprey products, it comes with the All Mighty Guarantee.

Key Features: Trekking pole attachment, loops with bungee tie-off for ice picks, safety whistle, adjustable sternum strap

Pros:

  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Internal and external organizational features, including mesh pockets and web lash points
  • Hydration sleeve
  • Supportive back panel
  • Easily-accessible hip belt pockets

Cons:

  • No bottom compartment
  • No rain cover included

6. Osprey Arcane Roll Top Waterproof Backpack

Osprey Arcane Roll Top Backpack

The Arcane Roll Top Waterproof Backpack is a great option if you’re looking for something both for everyday use and for adventure. This lightweight backpack features an oversized main compartment with an internal laptop sleeve.

This Osprey backpack can endure all types of weather and features a roll-down magnetic closure with a metal hook for additional security. The front zipper pocket is water-resistant and is perfect to fit all of your essentials.

Key Features: Large main compartment, chest and waist straps, breathable back panel

Pros:

  • Durable, easy-to-clean material
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Water-resistant front zip pocket

Cons:

  • A steep price point for a day-to-day pack
  • No zipper closure for the main compartment

7. Osprey Arcane Duffel Travel Backpack

Osprey Arcane Duffel Travel Bag

The Osprey Arcane Duffel Travel Backpack is the ultimate duffel bag for traveling. This bag can convert from a backpack to a duffel bag using its tuck-away shoulder straps.

It fits most carry-on restrictions, so you can either use it as a carry-on or as a checked bag. Made from recycled water bottles, this pack is a great sustainable option for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

The dual U-shaped zipper system makes it super easy to pack the bag as efficiently as possible. This is an awesome bag if you’re a frequent flyer that has mastered the art of fitting everything you need into a carry-on.

Key Features: Tuck-away shoulder straps, U-shaped zipper, mesh organizational pockets, non-scratch glasses pocket

Pros:

  • Meets carry-on restrictions for most airlines
  • Easy access to the padded laptop sleeve
  • Multiple handle options
  • Sleek, modern design
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • Thin fabric
  • The bag can lose its shape over time

See Related: Types of Travel Bags for the Jetsetter

8. Osprey Kyte 46 Women’s Backpacking Backpack

Osprey Kyte 46 Women's Backpack

The Osprey Kyte 46 is the best Osprey women’s backpack for hiking. It’s sturdy and durable yet still one of the few “cheap” Osprey backpacks. The classic design has fewer bells and whistles than some of the brand’s newer backpack designs, but it does have everything you need to have an enjoyable trip.

This pack is perfect if you plan to take a hiking trip over a long weekend. If all you’re carrying is clothes, this will make an awesome option as a travel backpack, especially for frequent flyers who have no time for a big suitcase.

Key features: Side zipper access to the main compartment, sleeping bag compartment, breathable back panel

Pros:

  • “Stow-On-The-Go” trekking pole attachment
  • Small pockets on the hip belt for essentials
  • Removable rain cover
  • Affordable price point

Cons:

  • No separate side pockets
  • Non-removable top lid

9. Unisex-Adult Transporter Zip Top Laptop Backpack

Black Unisex-Adult Transporter Zip Top Laptop Backpack

The Osprey Transporter laptop backpack is the ultimate on-the-go bag for those that commute to school or work everyday. This unisex backpack features many compartments to keep all of your essentials organized, including a laptop sleeve, a documents sleeve, and pockets for pens or other small items.

The under-lid mesh pocket adds even more storage to this 30-liter capacity bag, and the side pockets can fit large-size water bottles. Overall, this bag is great for day trips and commuting. It’s big enough to fit all your essentials but not too big to where it becomes cumbersome.

Key Features: Organizational compartments, water-resistant material

Pros:

  • Water-resistant
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Great organization system
  • Fits a 15″ laptop

Cons:

  • Exterior material may look cheap
  • A bit pricey for a laptop backpack

10. Osprey Metron 18 Bike Commuter Messenger Bag

Osprey Bike Commuter Messenger Bag

If backpacks aren’t really your thing, the Osprey Metron Commuter Messenger bag could be an awesome alternative. This bag really takes organization to another level with several different pockets and internal sleeves. It can also fit up to a 16-inch laptop.

The comfortable adjustable shoulder strap and breathable back panel allow for the utmost comfort while you’re on the go. The bag also comes with a high-visibility rain cover, which is great when you’re traveling or commuting through unexpected weather.

Key Features: Padded sidewalls, high-visibility rain cover, internal laptop sleeve

Pros:

  • Large compartment with lots of organizational options
  • Rain cover included
  • Great for commuting

Cons:

  • Heavy, weighing in at 2.15 pounds
  • Not very versatile
  • Clumsy hook-and-loop closure

See Related: The Ultimate Vacation Packing List (+ Printable PDF)

11. Osprey Unisex-Adult Glade 5L Ski and Snowboard Backpack

Gray Osprey Unisex-Adult Glade 5L Ski and Snowboard Backpack

Going skiing, snowboarding, or fat biking during the winter months? The Glade 5-Liter Ski and Snowboard Backpack can keep you safe and hydrated while adventuring through cold weather conditions. It comes with a 2.5-liter insulated water reservoir to keep you hydrated throughout the day. The front zipper pocket is perfect for holding back-up gear like gloves and goggles.

If you’re going for a longer journey, the Glade backpack also comes in a larger 12-liter version. This version also comes with a diagonal ski carry strap to free up your hands.

Key Features: Insulated water reservoir and hose, snow-shedding back panel

Pros:

  • Sleek design
  • Insulated
  • Small pocket for essentials
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Limited space (opt for the 12-L version for longer journeys)
  • No webbing attachment points

12. Osprey Transporter Roll Top Waterproof Backpack

Yellow Osprey Transporter Roll Top Waterproof Backpack

If you’re looking for the ultimate outdoor sports and adventure backpack, the Osprey Transporter should be at the top of your list. This fully-waterproof backpack is perfect for canyoning, hiking through rainforests, or a day out on the water.

The exterior of the bag features a front panel of bungee cord, which is great for storing anything dirty you don’t want to put back into the pack, such as wet clothes. The durable nylon fabric makes this backpack an excellent companion during all of your most rugged adventures.

Key Features: Ripstop nylon fabric, reflective graphics, waterproof roll top

Pros:

  • Fully waterproof
  • Visible in low light
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Small size, only good for short day trips
  • No area for a water reservoir

See Related: Best Car Seat Travel Bags to Buy Today

13. Osprey Poco Child Carrier Backpack

Black Osprey Poco Child Carrier Backpack

Having a child should maintain your love for adventure. Getting outside with your little ones can create amazing memories that the whole family can cherish for a lifetime. The Osprey Poco Child Carrier Backpack is a great option for all adventurers – big and small.

The child “cockpit” can accommodate children between 16 and 48.5 pounds and includes a protective sunshade, child harness, removable (and adjustable) foot stirrups, and a washable drool pad. There are several large pockets around the carrier that can hold all of your and your child’s essentials. The adjustable straps ensure that this backpack can fit a wide range of adults.

Key Features: Protective sunshade, child harness, zipper pockets

Pros:

  • Sturdy and comfortable for both kids and adults
  • Mesh back panel to help with airflow
  • Fits adults of various heights

Cons:

  • Foot stirrups may not adjust to fit all kids
  • Pricey
  • Weight limit (48.5 pounds) includes the weight of the child plus gear

14. Hydrajet 12 Kid’s Hydration Backpack

Hydrajet 12 Kid's Hydration Red Backpack

The Hydrajet 12 Kids backpack is an excellent Osprey small backpack for kids who love adventure. This backpack is recommended for children between the ages of 4 and 12 and includes a hydration reservoir that can hold up to 1.5 liters of water.

This Osprey hiking backpack is the perfect size for your child to hold all of their essentials, such as a pair of clean clothes, snacks, and a light jacket. The front zipper-less “shove it” pocket is perfect for them to quickly store their trash or small items while on the go.

Key Features: Front and side “shove it” pockets, web-loop daisy chains, large main compartment opening

Pros:

  • Hydration reservoir included
  • Adjustable fit
  • Built-in whistle on the bite valve

Cons:

  • No hip belt
  • No rain cover

15. Osprey Ariel 55 Women’s Backpacking Backpack

Osprey Ariel 55 Women's Backpack

The Ariel 55 Women’s Backpacking Backpack is a fantastic option for all outdoor enthusiasts. The backpack is fully adjustable, so it can fit a wide variety of body shapes and sizes. Its recommended load is between 30 and 60 pounds.

This Osprey women’s backpack can accompany you on your most exciting adventures, from all-day hikes to camping trips, and it even makes an awesome travel backpack. It includes a rain cover and a sleeping bag compartment with a removable divider. You’ll find a ton of storage options for your belongings in this large backpack, including exterior bungee tie-offs to hold various tools and accessories.

Key Features: Hydration reservoir sleeve, side mesh pockets, sleeping bag compartment, hip belt pockets, rain cover, compression straps

Pros:

  • A ton of storage pockets and compartments
  • Adjustable fit
  • Highly durable

Cons:

  • Quite heavy, weighing in at 4.82 pounds

See Related: Minimalist Travel Accessories for Traveling Light

Other Awesome Osprey Products

While we’ve concluded that Osprey backpacks are worth the price, let’s get into some of the other products that the brand offers. All of the products mentioned below relate to travel or adventure, just like Osprey backpacks.

Osprey Rolling Transporter 120 Duffel Bag

Black Osprey Rolling Transporter 120 Duffel Bag

Need a bag with a little more room? This Osprey Rolling Transporter Duffel Bag combines the durability that Osprey is famous for with the storage capabilities of a large luggage bag. It’s an awesome companion if you’re going on a ski trip that requires bulky clothing layers or a trip that lasts longer than two weeks.

The bag itself weighs just over eight pounds, which is actually a lot lighter than a traditional large suitcase. Both the interior and exterior feature a water-resistant coating, which is perfect if you’re traveling during snowy conditions or if any unforeseen circumstances arise.

Key Features: Padded handles, water-resistant coating, U-shaped zipper, large wheels

Pros:

  • The U-shaped zipper for the main compartment makes packing a breeze
  • Weather-resistant and leakproof
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Only two wheels
  • No compression straps

Osprey Dyna 6 Women’s Running Hydration Vest with Hydraulics Reservoir

Osprey Dyna 6 Women's Running Hydration Vest

Long-distance running is a great hobby that comes with a ton of health benefits. During these long runs, you’ll need a way to keep hydrated and energized. That’s where the Osprey Women’s Running Hydration Vest comes into play!

This vest can carry up to 1.5 liters of water and features two large mesh pockets to hold additional food or water. It also has four additional pockets that can hold small snacks or small essential items. The pack is also fitted with a whistle for your safety, along with a trekking pole attachment. It has all you need for a long day of running or trekking all in one small package.

Key Features: Hydration reservoir with a hose, trekking pole attachment, mesh and zipper pockets

Pros:

  • Lots of storage
  • Pockets for extra water and food
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable fit

Cons:

  • More expensive than competitors
  • Limited size range

Talon 6 Men’s Lumbar Hiking Pack

Blue Talon 6 Men's Lumbar Hiking Pack

The Osprey Talon Lumbar Hiking Pack is a great pick if you’re looking for a pack to use on day hikes. It includes two medium-sized Osprey water bottles to keep you hydrated during all of your adventures. The bag features a large main compartment that can fit things like keys, a wallet, and snacks, as well as two smaller pockets on the hip belt for easy access.

The padding and stretchy hip belt make this lumbar hiking pack comfortable to wear all day long. The compression straps will ensure that your pack never gets bulky, no matter how many snacks you fit into it.

Key Features: Stretchy hip belt, three sizable pockets, two bottle sleeves

Pros:

  • Water bottles included
  • Comfortable fit
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • No organizational system within pockets
  • Pricey for such a small bag

See Related: Essential Women’s Travel Accessories

Osprey UL Packing Cube Set

Black Osprey UL Packing Cube Set

I’m a big believer that packing cubes can help fit just about anything you need into a limited amount of space. They are a lifesaver when it comes to packing for longer trips or a trip where you expect to make multiple outfit changes. The Osprey UL Packing Cube Set makes a perfect travel companion when it comes to these situations.

This set comes with three packing cubes, each in varying sizes. You can mix and match the packing cubes to best fit your needs. The packing cubes are made from ripstop nylon, so you can feel secure in knowing that no matter how much you fit into the cubes, they’re not going to break on you during your first few uses.

Key Features: Ripstop nylon

Pros:

  • Won’t add much weight to your luggage
  • Durable, won’t rip after your first use
  • Mix and match options

Cons:

  • The smallest packing cube is very tiny
  • Packing cubes are currently only available as a set

Ratings

Ease-of-Use — 3.5/5

While Osprey offers a wide array of backpacks for any occasion and any body, this wide selection can also get confusing. Additionally, bags are listed as “small,” “medium,” or “large,” not based on the size of the bag but based on your torso measurement. This may be confusing for those not familiar with the brand. Straps may also need occasional adjustments in order to fit comfortably.

Features — 5/5

Osprey is a pioneer when it comes to all the wonderful and innovative features found on their bags. You can find an Osprey pack for any type of activity, ranging from commuting to camping and backpacking. Bags come in different sizes that you can choose depending on your trip length or activity. Most packs offer awesome organizational compartments and exterior features to add even more storage.

Customer Service — 5/5

Whether you buy your Osprey backpack from Amazon or directly from Osprey, the brand’s All Mighty Guarantee applies to any product for any reason bought at any time. Even if your backpack is 10 years old, you can send it back to Osprey and they will repair any damage or defect free of charge. Customer service is highly responsive and will do their absolute best to resolve any issues.

Value for Money — 4/5

Osprey is a wonderful option if you’re willing to spend the money on it. It may be out of range for some, but if you’re willing to make the investment, I’d say it’s definitely worth the money. Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee makes it very much worth the investment as they are willing to repair any damage free of charge, which is much better (for your wallet and the environment) than buying a different brand and having to replace your bag once it becomes damaged.

Verdict

Overall, the almighty Osprey backpacks are certainly worth the investment. These high-quality and durable bags can literally last you a lifetime. The brand offers a wide variety of bags to fit any adventure that you’re looking to go on. So whether you’re looking to upgrade your daily backpack, researching camping packs, or searching for the perfect companion to backpack around Europe with, Osprey probably has just what you’re looking for.

Related Resources

VARIES
8.8

Ease of Use

8.0/10

Features

9.5/10

Customer Service

9.5/10

Value for Money

8.5/10

Reliability

8.5/10

Pros

  • Wide selection of backpacks
  • Provides innovative backpack features
  • Good customer service
  • Worth the price
  • Repair any damage or defect free of charge

Cons

  • Wide selection can be confusing
  • Straps may also need occasional adjustments to fit comfortably
  • Some backpacks have no rain cover included