Thursday, December 8th, 2016

I Love My Osprey Sojourn Backpack!

45

Osprey Sojourn 60L Pack

It was time for me to upgrade to a better backpack — and I could not be more delighted with my new Osprey Sojourn 25-inch 60L pack.

Why Upgrade?

I will always cherish my 40L REI Venturi Backpack that I bought back before I started traveling long-term in 2010. It was fantastic for backpacking Southeast Asia, where you don’t need to bring anything but a handful of light clothing.

But for anything more intense, I was feeling the strain. It really couldn’t cut it — it was too small (technically 38L since I had the extra-small size) and not strong enough. Though it did survive a shipwreck intact! It was time to get something better.

Osprey Sojourn

What I Wanted

1) I wanted it to be a bit larger but not too huge. 60 liters would be perfect.

2) I wanted it to be a rolling pack. There were two reasons for that: the first is that my back hurts toward the end of a long trip with my backpack, and the second is that I’m carrying much more computer and photography gear and using a larger daybag this time around.

3) I wanted a high quality backpack that would last a long time. I started talking to my friends, reading blogs, and researching online — and decided on the Osprey Sojourn line. These bags are ready for anything, and my friends who have them love them.

I contacted Osprey’s team, and they kindly offered to provide both me and Mario with bags for our trip. I chose the 60L version in blue and Mario chose the 80L version in green.

Mario, Kate and Osprey Packs

What It’s Like

I decided to wait until l I had been traveling with it for a month to give a review. My thoughts?

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS BAG.

It feels like it was made for the military. Every piece of it is so strong. It’s like wearing a tank in the form of a backpack.

The critical parts are high quality. The zippers are excellent, and haven’t even remotely come close to snagging. The wheels glide along the pavement like an ice skater over a freshly zambonied rink. And I’ve never felt such strong handles on a backpack in my life.

The material is strong and seems like it could take a beating. Hopefully we won’t have to test that.

The inner and outer compartments are thoughtfully designed and very intuitive. There are two mesh-lined compartments running up either side within the pack, and I’ve been using them as my dirty laundry compartment. Laundry bags can quickly get out of control, but these keep the explosion to a minimum!

Additionally, there are a few compartments close fo the top of the bag that are good for small items that you need to access easily. I use mine for medicine; Mario stores his daily contacts in his.

There is also a back panel that seems to be intended for magazines, newspapers, or anything flat — but I find it works great for a blazer or cover-up.

We started our trip in Paris, which was like being thrown through a gauntlet with lots of up and down stairs on the metro. Though it took a bit of getting used to, I was especially pleased with the handles and they were so incredibly strong.

Having a wheeled backpack has changed my travels so much — it’s so much easier on my body. I haven’t started using it as just a backpack yet, but I’m sure I will once we get to areas with rougher terrain.

Mario loves his bag just as much as I love mine, and he especially loves that the materials are such high quality.

Osprey Sojourn

What Could Be Better

My only issue with this bag is that due to its short and fat shape, it tends to flip over backwards when you take a corner too fast. The center of gravity is different, and I can’t zip around like I can with taller but skinnier bags.

Still, that’s a very small qualm in the grand scheme of things.

Osprey Sojourn

The Price Point

My 60L bag retails for $259 on Amazon. Mario’s 85L bag retails for $318.95 on Amazon. As far as pricing goes, that’s toward the mid-range-to-higher-end price point for backpacks.

In my opinion, a backpack is a critical investment that you make. Getting a less-than-perfect backpack can ruin your body and your trip. This is especially important if you travel frequently or are planning to travel long-term. So paying an extra $100 for a bag this good is absolutely worth it.

If you’re in the market for a new backpack, this is a GREAT one. I highly recommend it.

Many thanks to Osprey and JAM Media Collective for providing us with one Osprey Sojourn 60L pack and one Osprey Sojourn 85L pack. All opinions, as always, are my own.

Comments

45 Responses to “I Love My Osprey Sojourn Backpack!”
  1. Michelle says:

    Great review! We have an Osprey and love it. Need to get one more!

  2. I’ve got the Osprey Farpoint 70, which I love, but I wish I had known that that made roller packs. What a brilliant idea!

  3. Brian says:

    Hi Kate,
    Nice post. I was wondering, though, how comfortable is it as a backpack? The roller-pack seems like a perfect solution but my fear is that as a backpack the roller feature will add both weight and negatively effect the fit.

    And also, with such large bags you’re now committed to checking luggage every time you fly, which is fine, except I worry too about checking electronics in a soft-sided pack. Are you bringing another bag as a carry-on for all your electronics?

    Thanks,
    Brian

    • Hi, Brian —

      You should never check electronics, ever. All of my work and camera gear stay in my daypack at all times, and that’s what I use as my carry-on luggage.

  4. I have a smaller one for a carry-on for traveling. It comes with a computer back that can be connected to the front. It is super durable and the wheels are great. I will have to check out the larger ones some time!

  5. Sara says:

    I took an 60L Osprey Meridian (almost the exact same thing as the Sojourn but includes a zip-on daypack) and absolutely loved it for my 10-month trip through Europe. I am not kind to the wheels on my suitcases and this little guy handled all the bumps along the road!

    Plus, the 22inch *should* be carry-on compatible for most aircraft–I did have to check it a few times, but only on flights with super limited baggage restrictions or tiny-ass planes.

    When I did use it as a backpack, it was pretty comfortable. Osprey has a lifetime warranty on its products, too, which is awesome! I don’t think I can go back to another brand…

  6. Emily says:

    I got this last month on sale for $150 for an upcoming 4 month trek through Europe. I’ve been a little worried that perhaps I should have gotten a smaller bag but this sets me at ease!

  7. Sam says:

    My partner has an Osprey backpack too (not this exact one, but the Farpoint 40L), and he loves it too! Must be something about Osprey!

  8. Always great to learn about quality backpacks. Maybe it comes in a smaller size ready for my trip around SE Asia! I worry about how much my back will hurt as normal backpacks seem to kill me even when half full :-/

  9. Maddie says:

    Kate, my boyfriend and I have been using this Osprey bag for the past 3 months on the road and we couldn’t agree more with your review! They are so sturdy and durable. We fully intended to use ours as a backpack early on but honestly, those wheels can handle anything!!

    Brian, we haven’t had any incident with soft sides and the bags being checked. We don’t keep electronics in them but any fragile items have been packed along the centre of the bag and everything has been fine.

    Happy travels!

  10. Jeff says:

    I don’t have a rolling bag, but I love my Osprey bag too! Osprey is definitely the best kind of backpack I’ve tried.

  11. I just had backpack envy. I’m travelling with a MEC 65L which has served me well, but I do wish it had wheels so that I could roll it places every once in a while…

  12. Brandy says:

    I love Osprey backpacks, though I don’t have one with wheels. I like the idea of it, though, because there are plenty of times that I’d prefer to wheel my backpack around, rather than carry it on my back. Unfortunately, most of the bags I’ve seen like that aren’t very comfortable to use as a backpack, as the metal/plastic rods that wheel it along end up sticking into my back. I’d definitely be interested in an update after you’ve used it a few times as a backpack!

  13. Colleen says:

    Our family took 4 Ospreys RTW traveling 20 countries for a year. Those Ospreys ran the gauntlet from bus tops to piles on ferries to train holds and finally into the mighty paws of the gorillas at the airlines. I would gasp as various people would man-handle our bags by the smaller chest straps, etc. But nothing ever broke. Those bags are still perfect and still look new. We never did require the full 70 liters capacity. I’m eyeing an Osprey 46 liter pack for our next adventure.

  14. lee says:

    You get what you pay for with back packs and it is not worth scrimping on because when back packing and travelling regularly it is not rocket science as to what your most essential item is. Lee

  15. Jenn R. says:

    I have an Osprey backpack and love it. I bought it while studying abroad in New Zealand and that bag might have logged more miles than I have in the last 7 years. Mine is about 50L and I don’t think the model exists anymore since I haven’t been able to find it, but it is so handy. I take it on two-week trips abroad and also on trips across the country. So much fits in there and carrying it on my back for long distances will make me tired, but it does distribute the weight evenly so that helps. Boyfriend and I have been looking at other Osprey bags for multi-day kayak/hiking/camping trips we’re planning. I told my mom the other day that my trusty, worn pack is one of the best purchases I ever made.

  16. Arianwen says:

    Looks great! I’ve never gone for the rolling ones, but I did have serious back pain for about 3 months after South America, so maybe that was a mistake! I’m still glad I upgraded from the one I used for 14 years prior to it though!

  17. Naomi says:

    Is the osprey good size for carry on or do u have to check in?
    I’ve carried on 60litres but made it as tiny a possible. Thanks

  18. EdinRach says:

    Hi Kate, what is this bag like as a backpack? I’m travelling to South East Asia soon and imagine I might have to carry it quite a bit. Just wanting to know if it’s comfy or if the handle makes it awkward to carry? Thanks, R

  19. Rob says:

    I’m currently in a difficult situation trying to decide between a 60L and a 80L of this modell. Can Mario, say if this bag is generally to big and he wished that he’d taken the smaller one?

    As I tend to overpack I’m not sure which one to get.

    Cheers
    Rob

    • Mario’s quote: “I couldn’t have coped with a smaller one.” That’s because he’s had to bring a lot of equipment on this trip.

      If I were you, I’d go for the 60 rather than the 80. It’s always a good idea to go a bit smaller so that you don’t load up on junk you don’t need.

  20. Luiza says:

    hello .. I loved the post .. It was what I needed ..

    My husband and I will make a backpacked through Europe later this year and we are looking for a backpack. After much research we came in this model, but I wonder if anyone knows if her size is compatible with the low cost airline company. Anyone had any problems at check in?

    Thank you

    • This bag definitely won’t qualify for carry-on/hand luggage on any airline. For budget airlines, it’s all about weight, not size. Double-check your bag weight before you book.

  21. Sudeep says:

    Hi Kate,

    I just bought this 60L based on your recommendation. So I hope the nice people at Osprey reward you with something nice! 🙂

    I leave for India next month, wish me luck!!

    C ya

  22. Dominique says:

    Hi Kate! I recently discover your blog and love it! I was wondering how did your bag turned out as a backpack? Is it comfortable or the weels and handles feel weird on your back?
    I’m going on a trip through south and eastern africa and I need to buy a backpack, but I’m concerned since my back also hurts after a while.. Hope you can help me!

  23. Nouna says:

    Hi Kate,

    Thanks to your post/advise I bought the Osprey Soujourn 60. Only days before travelling to Rome with my two kids, I realised that a suitcase and a pram do not go well together :-)… Fortunately, I discovered your blog and understood that the Soujourn is, what I was looking for – as I am not too much into conventional back-packs. The Soujourn was a great travel companion.

    Thank you!
    Nouna

  24. Bionerd says:

    Just bought my 60L Sojourn in blue from eastern mountain sports for $202 free shipping and no tax. Can’t wait to begin my travels with it !!

  25. Megha- says:

    Hey kate
    Nice information..really helped me..could you suggest which capacity i shd go for. I am confused over sourjon 60 or 80 litres. I have a 6 months long eurotrip coming in january.
    My partner is telling me to go for 80 as i tend to pack up more clothes, plus because of chasis the space inside a 60 is not much
    . But i get an idea that 60 should do. Could you suggest

  26. Maribeth says:

    Kate- I just discovered your blog. I travel with a back pack as a carry on but have been trying to decide if I should instead do a cross body travel bag- for ease of access. Do you carry a different bag for your wallet, passport, books- besides your back pack camera bag? Thanks

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