Osprey Porter 46L Travel Bag

, March 10, 2017

Packing for a long weekend with your bike throws you into the gauntlet of one big problem: how to find a backpack that can fit enough clothes for sport and for casual, while being mobile enough in the saddle between transport hubs.

Either you go minimal and have a streamlined 25l backpack and find yourself wearing the same stuff for two days, or you opt for something large and ultimately saggy – you don’t have the needs of a round-the-world backpacker.

To fill this void, in a pack that isn’t merely a small duffle but something streamlined for the saddle, looking to brands like Osprey and Thule is always useful. Each of them birth packs with incredible detail and dexterity. For day pursuits, the Thule’s Paramount 24L has served me well, following me to work everyday for the past two years.

osprey_porter_46l_side

After scoping out the stock at Globetrotter’s flagship store in Munich, I found what I was looking for in the for Osprey’s Porter 46L. It has proved to be an outstanding investment.

The Porter 46 is made of two main compartments; a main internal trough and an external sleeve selection, flopped open in the photo above.

The main compartment is well padded on the sidewalls, and large enough to fit a pair of box files, if you remember those (a stack of eight 15-inch MacBooks, in other words). On the inside of each sidewall are pockets for smaller items, perhaps your range of weekend ablutions.

Meanwhile the sleeve is full of extra pockets and divisions to stow smaller items, including a padded section large enough for a 15-inch MacBook. In addition to an internal zipped pocket, there are two externally located pockets. One fronts the sleeve, large enough for a pair of dirty boxers and socks, the other sitting on the top of the bag, snug for a 500ml water bottle.

In fact, the compartments in the sleeve as so numerous and detailed that you’ll have to come up with imaginative ways to fill them, perhaps even allocate your toothbrush with its own hostler.

For good measure, Osprey have attached an emergency whistle to the sternum strap, the hip straps being more regular with some subtle cushioning that increases their surface area. The sidewalls, part of Osprey’s proprietary StraightJacket system, are connected to two straps which can be pulled to tighten the load when the pack isn’t fully loaded – ideal if you are making ambitious rounds on the bike between vehicles during a Friday pileup after work.

As for portability, the sternum harness and hip straps can be tucked into the pack and zipped away if you’re putting it in the hold on a flight and don’t want these octopus-like limbs from being damaged in transit. Or tuck straps away when you arrive at your accommodation and want to fully open the main compartment and convert the packs form to a furnishing during your stay.

Handles on the top of pack and on its side are wonderfully comfortable, excellent grips when demonstrating your utter control during a weekend frenzy.

Additional information

  • Weight: 1.5kg
  • Pricepoint: $130
  • Maximum dimensions : (cm) 58 (l) x 40 (w) x 31 (d)
  • Check this video for some perspective on the hip belt and how it disappears out of the way.

Email us with your ideal setup for a weekend via will@zafiri.com. We’ll not fans of those saggy leather travel bags with the hooped straps either side of the zipper.