Osprey Porter Backpack Review | 30L 46L 65L

osprey porter bag in forest

The Osprey Porter Backpacks are a popular series of packs from a reliable brand. After reviewing the Osprey Farpoint and Fairview packs, we’ve been intrigued to check out this line of bags to see what they have to offer. The 3 sizes we’ve chosen to review are the 30L, 46L, and 65L.

These are traditional backpackers’ packs, with a bit of a modern twist. Utilizing innovative “straitjacket” compression, these bags are instantly distinguishable from other packs from the same brand.

Standard 30L Model
Osprey Packs Porter 30 Travel Backpack, Black, One Size
Large 65L Model
Osprey Packs Osprey Packs Porter 65 Travel Backpack, Black, One Size, Black, One Size
Midsize 46L Model
Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack
Osprey Packs Porter 30 Travel Backpack, Black, One Size
Osprey Packs Osprey Packs Porter 65 Travel Backpack, Black, One Size, Black, One Size
Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack
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Standard 30L Model
Osprey Packs Porter 30 Travel Backpack, Black, One Size
Osprey Packs Porter 30 Travel Backpack, Black, One Size
Large 65L Model
Osprey Packs Osprey Packs Porter 65 Travel Backpack, Black, One Size, Black, One Size
Osprey Packs Osprey Packs Porter 65 Travel Backpack, Black, One Size, Black, One Size
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Midsize 46L Model
Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack
Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack

They offer simplicity through straightforward organisation options, with slight differences between each size. Comfort is also a top priority, with plenty of padding.

So, today we’re putting these 3 bags to the test. We’re breaking down all the details and picking apart these packs to see if they can live up to their hype as some of the best travel packs on the market.

 

Osprey Packs Porter Travel Backpacks 

2 hikers wearing osprey porter backpacks in city

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First Thoughts

The first thing you’ll probably notice about the Porter is the outer shell. We love how this element immediately distinguishes it from the other backpacks from the same brand.

It’s clear that these packs, even the smallest capacity, are extra roomy to fit more than you may initially think. With a rectangular shape, the main compartment can fit quite a bit of clothes, and we like how many organisational options you have throughout.

Let’s bring things back to the straitjacket feature. Not only does it make these bags stand out, but it also helps to squeeze a lot of the contents down to create a lower profile bag.

Being unisex, they fit both men and women quite well, without feeling or looking bulky. Overall, we appreciate how they have managed to blend urban and outdoor into the design of each pack.

Overview of Shared Features

  • StraightJacket compression
  • Padded side walls
  • Cushioned laptop & tablet sleeve
  • Comfortable stowaway harness
  • Easy-access zippered top pocket
  • Lockable zippers
  • Spacious main compartment
  • Front vertical zip pocket
  • Front organizing panel

Osprey Porter 30L

Osprey Porter 30L

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This has been designed as the ideal size for carry-on plane travel, and sits very comfortably on the back without sticking out the sides keeping a fairly low profile.

Key Features

  • Durable Nylon & Nylon Pack Cloth Fabrics
  • Optimised for Airplane Travel
  • Lightweight Form

Dimensions and Details

Price

$150+

Capacity

30L

Weight

1.3kg

Dimensions

20”L x 13”W x 12”D

Materials

420D Nylon Ripstop

420HD Nylon Pack Cloth

Laptop Sleeve Size

15”

 

Materials

Nylon is not only highly durable, but it is also lightweight. There is an element of water resistance, but it’s not going to be at a level for extreme wet conditions – we always recommend bringing a rain cover with you no matter what weather you think you’ll be faced with.

osprey porter front organizer

Nylon pack cloth is sometimes referred to as the “elephant hide” of fabrics, therefore it’s most often used for outdoor gear. It’s almost as tough as vinyl or genuine leather, so it’s the perfect textile to use to withstand the intensity of travel.

Organisation

A front vertical zippered pouch is connected to the front flap, which are both great for stashing quick-reach items. We like how the compression straps cover the zippers to prevent thieves from quickly zipping it open.

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Design

One thing we must mention is that there doesn’t look like there is any mesh on the back panel or shoulder straps. Nylon is quite breathable in itself, so it shouldn’t be a problem for basic travel.

osprey porter harness straps

We don’t recommend using this pack for hiking in this case, as a lot of sweat may build-up. The profile isn’t as slim as we may like, but as we mentioned it’s geared towards traditional backpacking, not meant for a fashion statement.

Main Straps

The shoulder straps are part of an entire harness system. You’ve got a padded hip belt, sternum strap, and of course the shoulder straps. You can hide them all away behind the rear compartment, so they don’t get stuck when the bag is in an overhead bin or luggage storage. We think the hip belt could be a little more cushioned, but it would be fine for 3 day to week long trips with the small capacity.

 

Osprey Porter 46L

Osprey Porter 46L

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This model is also designed for airline travel, but probably not all of them as it is larger than the previous size, so make sure you always check the weight and dimension standards before travelling.

Key Features

  • Slightly Slimmer Profile
  • Padded Side Walls
  • Load-Lifting System

Dimensions and Details

Price

$150+

Capacity

46L

Weight

1.5kg

Dimensions

22”L x 14”W x 9”D

Materials

420D Nylon Ripstop

420HD Nylon Pack Cloth

Laptop Sleeve Size

15”

 

Exterior Storage

The large vertical front pocket remains in this model for storing flat or small items that you need at easy access. Just behind this is the front panel with plenty of internal organisation including mesh divider pockets. A red key clip can also be found here.

osprey porter inside view

At the top is the quick-stash pocket. With the entire bag compressed, this pocket is a little easier to reach than the front vertical one. It’s lined with a thick PVC-like material to protect your valuables.

Design

Patented StraightJacket compression is offered with the outer shell design. Paired with the heavy-duty buckles, this bag can be thoroughly cinched down to keep things tight and compact. This makes it easier to carry and sits flusher against the back.

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Handles

Padded side and top handles create a much easier carry experience, as you can grab the pack in a rush from any angle. They are ever so slightly more padded than the previous one, but this is to be expected considering the larger capacity. You can also use the front compression straps as handles if needed.

Main Compartment

Opening with beefy YKK lockable zippers, the suitcase-like form offers loads of free space. Another similarity to a suitcase are the dual divider pockets on either side of this main section – one is mesh and the other is opaque.

osprey porter laptop sleeve

You can easily use packing cubes, or simply organise your clothes with ease as you can view everything at the same time.

Hidden Harness System

This ingenious hidden back panel system hides the shoulder straps, sternum leash, and hip belt. It can be found on all 3 bags. We appreciate how flat, yet padded, the back panel is even when everything is stowed away. This is probably due to the wait belt getting packed separately to the shoulder area.

Laptop Storage

Store your laptop and tablet at the same time in the back area. It feels secure thanks to the cushioning, and this also helps to distribute the weight as one of the heaviest items is closest to your back. We do wish that the zip to this section was a little longer, as it’s a bit difficult to reach all the way down to the bottom.

 

Osprey Porter 65L

Osprey Porter 65L

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The largest of them all, this model is ideal for much longer backpacking trips, up to months at a time. It’s too large to fit on a carry-on, but with the stowaway harness design, you can ensure it stays secure and protected.

Key Features

  • Large Lower Zippered Compartment
  • Even Slimmer Silhouette

Dimensions and Details

Price

$170+

Capacity

65L

Weight

1.8kg

Dimensions

24”L x 14”W x 11.8”D

Materials

420D Nylon Ripstop

420HD Nylon Pack Cloth

Laptop Sleeve Size

15”

 

Exterior

Made from the same materials as the previous two, this also has outer latch loops to connect daypacks, like the Osprey Daylite and Daylite Plus. You can also do this on the smaller versions.

osprey porter locked zip

But with the larger 65L capacity, it makes more sense to attach a daypack to this edition. Since it won’t comply with most airline carry-on specifications, we like that you can use your daypack and attach it back on after a flight.

Design

The only difference between the other versions and this one in terms of the StraightJacket is that it has more coverage over the main zippers. To store more smaller belongings, the front vertical pocket is much longer, and the flap folds down to reveal many organisation options. You can find this model in the same colours of Black, Diablo Red, and Mineral Teal.

Organisation

Maintaining the same clamshell opening for the main area, you can pack a whole lot of equipment inside. Again, you’ll find dual interior pockets for separating smaller valuables, as well as the outer vertical zip pocket, front flap pouch, and back laptop storage.

osprey porter medicine storage

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This model has more of a rectangular shape in the main compartment than the last two. This makes it much simpler, as you can push clothes or packing cubes against the corners and sides to fit more gear.

Lower Compartment

Exclusive to this size, this feature is a highlight for us because it’s so convenient. It’s a roomy zippered compartment that lets you separate your shoes, dirty clothes, or electronics so that they don’t take up more space in the primary section.

Straps/Handles

We find that the shoulder straps are more cushioned than the others, which is expected since it is much larger. The sternum strap still has the emergency whistle buckle.

osprey porter straightjacket

As mentioned before, we would like the hip belt to be more padded, and more ventilation would be nice. The hip belt buckle strap is very soft and flat, so it doesn’t dig into the skin. The top and side handles are both still padded well.

 

Most Asked Questions

Are they waterproof?

Made from nylon ripstop and pack cloth, at a denier of 420, these packs are water resistant. This is different from waterproof because the zippers are exposed, and water can potentially leak through after a certain level of moisture exposure. We suggest using a backpack cover in wet weather.

Can I use them as a carry on?

The 30L is the best size to use for airline travel. You could try to use the 46L, but it won’t be as compliant with as many international airlines.

What does the StraightJacket do?

This distinguishing feature is what makes the Porter so unique. It compresses the back down from side and front angles, so it will sit more comfortably on the back and let you put more items inside.

 

Conclusion on Osprey Porter Backpacks

Designed for unisex use, the Osprey Porter Packs keep things truly simple. There is no fluffing around and no fancy tricks, but they still manage to accommodate to the modern backpacker.

While not the most ideal for hiking, these 3 bags are reliable choices for both urban and outdoor travelling anywhere from a week to months at a time.

With the innovative StraightJacket compression system, padded sides for increased protection, and clean stowaway rear harness system, these backpacks focus on ease-of-use to make your travel as effortless as possible.