A few weeks ago my Osprey Packs Porter 30 Travel Backpack arrived in the mail. I had been searching for the best backpack to take on my light-travelling adventures. I wanted something that I could take as carry-on on the cheap European flights, comfortable enough to wear all day and spacious and durable enough to carry 3 months worth of gear. Packing light is an exercise in compromises. But with the Osprey Porter 30L, few have to be made.
A lot of backpackers take packs in the 50L + size range. The problem is, packs of that size are intended for multi-day hiking expeditions, alpine ascents and general off-the-trail-need-a-tent-and-food type adventures. They are bulky, heavy and, frankly, excessive for most itineraries. Many of the features that make them suitable for hiking the backwoods make them cumbersome for city-based travel — for example, roll tops that make packing and unpacking a chore, and large straps that get caught and torn in the luggage carousel. Of course, a wheeled suitcase has its own impracticalities. Osprey’s Porter range (they sell a 30L, reviewed here, 46-Liter, and 65-Litre) addresses these issues.