Osprey is a US based company that makes backpacks and travel gear designed for outdoor, biking and travel pursuits. In the Philippines, Osprey is exclusively distributed by the Primer Group of Companies, the group behind R.O.X. or Recreation Outdoor Exchange. Last year, I got an Osprey backpack as part of a Backpacking Adventure trip to Bataan. I picked the bag based on its color, but was happy to find out that the model I got is the Osprey Radial 26, a biker-specific backpack that’s also ideal for everyday use and travel. Here’s a quick look at some of the model’s features.
The Osprey Radial 26 is a deluxe, ventilated technical daily commute pack offering 26 liters of storage capacity with practical solutions for the bike commuter lifestyle and also ideal for active, everyday use. Overall, it looks very sporty, with several compartments and lots of pockets. The cycling pack offers a laptop sleeve, organizer pockets and a suspended mesh back panel to keep you cool as you take on the rigors of bike commuting. The model I got is bright red, but the bag also comes in Mantis Green and Black.
1. Lots of compartments and pockets
The backpack has top dual zippered access to separate laptop and padded tablet compartment which provides easy, protective access. The main compartment offers a roomy space with a zippered panel featuring a fabric document sleeve and mesh organizer pockets provides ample gear storage and organization. It also hast two zippered front panel pockets with mesh/fabric organizational sleeves and an internal key fob for storage and organization. Stretch woven side pockets provide accessible storage options.
- Laptop compatibility 15″/38cm to 15.4″/39cm
- Laptop compartment dimensions: IN: 14.8 x 10.5 x 1.5 / CM: 37.6 x 26.7 x 3.81.
2. Bike-specific features
Cyclists will find some of the features useful including a helmet attachment system so you can quickly secure helmet for transport when not in use. The stretch woven front panel is specifically designed for a u-lock bike lock to provide secure, convenient storage. There’s a blinker light attachment on the bag that allows for added visibility and safety when biking or hiking at night. There’s even a safety whistle in the adjustable sternum strap for emergencies.
3. High Visibility Raincover
There’s a removable raincover hidden in a zippered compartment at the bottom of the bag, that comes in handy during sudden weather changes. The raincover is bright neon green for added visibility.
4. Backpane Suspension
The bag has a suspended mesh backpanel with nubbed foam and side vents supported by a wire framing system. The frame and mesh support makes provides a breathable, supportive pack to back interface. The bag also has a harness with breathable spacer mesh and removable nylon waistbelt.
FIELD TEST NOTES:
- I’ve been using the backpack for about 4 months now, including an overnight trip to Bataan, weeklong trip to Visayas and Mindanao, weeklong trip from Manila to Bicol, and 3-day trip to Baler.
- It fits a lot of stuff. The pockets are a bonus for backpackers and people who need to stash in items at the last minute.
- The color is good for outdoor use since it really pops.
- I appreciated the bright color during our long ride, because it made me more visible to other motorists on the road.
- The padded shoulder harness adds extra comfort.
- The built-in frame allows ventilation even when carrying heavy laptops and other electronics. However, it also makes the bag look bulky even when there’s nothing much inside.
- While I like bags with lots of pockets, unfortunately, this is a big minus if you’re traveling by air amid a Laglag-Bala controversy. I felt a bit paranoid, to be honest. The zipper pulls also can’t be locked with traditional luggage locks.
Because of the frame system, I find the Osprey Radial 26 backpack a bit bulky for day-trip cycling trips (when a hydration pack will suffice). Size-wise, it’s a better fit for Outside Slacker, who has also been using the bag. Overall, it’s a good backpack for longer trips especially when you need to bring a laptop. Bike commuters who need to carry electronics will appreciate the padded compartments and bike-specific features.
WHERE TO BUY:
The Primer Group of Companies is the exclusive distributor of Osprey in the Philippines. Osprey is available in all R.O.X. (Recreation Outdoor Exchange), Duty Free Philippines, select travel Club and Bratpack stores nationwide.