The Osprey Sojourn 80 has proved to be one of the best backpacks with wheels we have owned
Why is a wheeled backpack useful when travelling?
Roller backpacks like the Osprey Sojourn 80 offer more flexibility and convenience compared to traditional backpacks and suitcases. The vast majority of travel for people will be with standard luggage and will be within urban environments. In cities and towns you can simply wheel a suitcases on a road or pavement. There are times though when you will need to pick up your case. This could be to carry it up steps or flight of stairs, or along badly surfaced roads. This is where suitcases become difficult to handle.
Unless you are planning an adventure to a rural or developing area, you probably won’t need (or want) to be carrying everything in a backpack. Whilst a good pack can make it easier to transport all of your travel gear and clothing around with you, they often have limited internal storage and access.
A roller backpack provides the ability to do both and gives you flexibility. If you are for example on a tour, where you know you will need to take your luggage with you to many different environments, a convertible backpack with wheels is ideal.
What do we like about the Osprey Sojourn 80 roller backpack?
Quite simply we like the fact that the Osprey Sojourn 80 works really well as both a piece of rolling luggage and that it can be converted in seconds to an effective backpack when we have needed to carry it.
The Osprey Sojourn 80L has quite a few really cool and useful features and benefits. It is really well made and there has been a lot of thought gone into this roller backpack by it’s designers…
- The wheels and the handle are very sturdy. These are often the weakest element of a roller backpack. We’ve experienced a lot of other bags that have just simply fallen apart after a couple of trips.
The Sojourn 80 has a rigid chassis made from polymer plastic for durability. It uses polyurethane wheels that have a really good ground clearance. We have had no issues wheeling our bags over quite bumpy terrain.
The handle provides a good grip and stows away so there is little risk of damage through airport baggage handling.
The fabric is also hard wearing. After several trips it has developed a slightly worn look, with a few snags. There is nothing that prevents its full usability though.
- When you cannot wheel the Sojourn and you need to carry it as a back pack, it is very easy to convert. There is a zip away, torso-adjustable harness and hip belt which is easily stowed in a zip compartment at the back. We found it easy to adjust for comfort for our different heights (6’1″ & 5’6″).
Whilst it is not a good a fully adjustable, ergonomically designed, balanced trekking rucksack, that’s not what it is designed for. We wouldn’t expect to take this on a hiking trail or wild camp. We have though walked several miles carrying our Sojourn 80’s through cities, on buses and on trains and through underground travel systems. We’ve also climbed 5 flights of stairs in a hotel that didn’t have a lift! It worked very well as a backpack when we needed it too.
What about storage, capacity and organisation?
The Osprey Sojourn 80 will not compete with a large, rectangular suitcase on wheels for capacity. But then again, try carrying a huge suitcase like that up a flight of stairs, or down a rural track to a lodge.
This backpack has an 80 litre capacity and with considered packing, we’ve found it more than adequate for several a large trip.
There are internal compression traps if you like to pack your clothing loose. We prefer instead to use packing cubes.
There are a several internal pockets located withing the Sojourn 80. One of these is a sealed fabric (so useful for dirty items) the others are mesh so you can easily locate smaller objects such as medicines and multitools.
When the Osprey Sojourn 80 is under packed, there are clever foam wings that compress around your belongings which prevents them moving about. This aids stability.
Packing an Osprey Sojourn 80
Everybody will have different packing needs and every trip will be different.
These images show what we packed into an Osprey Sojourn 80 before a 3 week trip to Vietnam & Singapore. We also used an Osprey Farpoint 40 as cabin luggage to carry our other items.
As an example though for this particular trip, the Osprey Sojourn 80 easily contained the following…
- Scuba fins, mask, snorkel & regulators.
- Shoes, shandles & flip flops
- Packing cube #1 – 4 x shirts, 6 x T’s & tops, 3 x shorts
- Packing cube #2 – walking trousers, climbing pants, 2 x swim shorts, rash vest, UV water hoodie
- Underwear bag
- Travel pillow
- Mosquito resistant sleep liner
- Towel / dry robe
- Osprey wash bag
- 3 x pairs of spec / sunglasses, contact lenses.
- Meds, first aid kit
- Packable day bag
All in all this weighed in at around 20kg.
We bought ours directly from Osprey. They have a good website and offer free delivery for order over £50. The backpack arrived within a few days and was well packaged.
It is worth noting that Osprey is one of the only luggage companies that offer a lifetime guarantee…
Should you find any defect in the way your pack has been built, Osprey will repair or replace it without any charge, within its reasonable lifetime. Osprey call this its “Mighty Guarantee” full details of the cover can be found at OspreyEurope.com
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