Osprey SojournThe Osprey Sojourn collection features three backpacks that come in different sizes, just like suitcases do. A carry-on, medium and large. Keep in mind that this is a hybrid backpack/suitcase. So it comes with both wheels/handle and a full backpack hardness. View Latest Deal
The Sojourn collection from Osprey is perfect for travelers who want to be able to pull their luggage in the airport but carry it as a backpack whenever the need arises.
They take the best of both worlds (suitcase & backpack) and merge them into one feature-filled piece of luggage that is kinda hard to find fault with.
If that sounds like something you need in your travel life then let’s just right in and see what the Sojourn has to offer…
Enough with the chit-chat; let’s get into the details – what features does the Osprey Sojourn collection have, and are they worth your money?
It is very important to know exactly what your pack is made of, as different materials affect durability and quality. Luckily we’re talking about Osprey here, and they always use the best materials for their packs. The Sojourn is no exception.
They are made from three types of fabric, with the main fabric being 420 Nylon Shadow Box. That particular material is usually used in sleeping bags, and you probably already know what they are designed to go through. The accents on the pack are made from 1680D Ballistic Nylon, which is often used in luggage precisely because of its strength and durability.
Last but not least, the bottom of the pack is made of 900D Super Oxford fabric, which is used in not only backpacks, but also tents and beach chairs, so it’s made to stand some abrasion.
All of these fabrics are water-resistant, strong, and highly durable. That just tells you that the Sojourn packs were designed to go to hell and back and still come out unscathed.
The entire suspension system of the Sojourn consists of four parts: the harness, the back panel, the hipbelt, and the frame of the pack. We’ll talk a little bit about all of these, but first, you should know that your carrying comfort ultimately depends on the quality of the suspension system.
Here’s why – this is the only part of the pack that is actually in contact with your body when you are carrying it. If it is not made well, you can face a number of issues like:
But again this is Osprey, and for more than $300 you can bet that all these parts are going to be top-notch.
First, there’s the alloy peripheral frame, which is designed to keep the pack’s shape. You can’t really have such a big pack without a frame – otherwise, it won’t stand upright or bear any sort of load.
Then there’s the Anti Gravity air mesh back panel, one of the best back panels Osprey uses in its bags. It is padded with foam and breathable throughout, thanks to the mesh material. That same material is also used in the harness and the hipbelt, and you can at least be sure that the Sojourn won’t retain fluids and odors. Phew.
Additionally, keep in mind that the entire harness and back panel are stowaway. You can easily zip them up when you want to wheel the pack around, and avoid anything getting stuck on the wheels. This is great for when you check the bag for flights, or even on a train or bus trip. Straps just get in the way, right?
Although you can make do without these features with daypacks, they are a must for large and heavy backpacks. Their primary function is to distribute the weight of the pack evenly across your chest and hips so that your shoulders are not carrying its entire load.
This means you will feel more comfortable while you are wearing the Sojourn, and also that you won’t really feel just how heavy it is. The sternum strap doubles as an emergency whistle. This could really come in handy if you find yourself in a dangerous situation, especially when backpacking in some less safe parts of the world.
The one feature that I miss on the hipbelt is pockets. Especially because there are plenty of other Ospreys that have that feature.
However, considering this pack is not meant for long-distance hiking, I can understand why they left them off. Just thought I would let you know, in case you use them a lot.
The chassis on the Sojourn is the same as on all other wheeled Osprey packs. It features a lightweight but sturdy aluminum frame, along with an ergonomic and telescopic wheel handle. The base is made of fiberglass and it also features a built-in grab handle.
The wheels are large and made of polyurethane. This is great news in terms of durability and rough terrain because they are more or less large skateboard or rollerblade wheels. And if you have ever tried to skate over gravel, you know bigger wheels are best.
Obviously, this thing is not as comfy or maneuverable as a spinner suitcase, but we are dealing with a hybrid here, so we have to give up something. It is meant to be carried and pulled. So, if you’re looking for comfy wheeled luggage (like a spinner), then this is not the right pack for you. You’re better of picking up a different kind of suitcase, as they are much easier to wheel around.
The Osprey Sojourn features a front-loading packing compartment. This type of packing compartment is great for travel backpacks, as it is much easier to access all your stuff. With a top-loading pack, like a hiking backpack, you have to take out everything just to get to the bottom, and that is not at all convenient. Trust me, I used to travel with one!
The compartment is pretty spacious, so you’ll easily pack a lot inside it. And you will also be able to organize your items, which is one of the reasons why I love this pack.
The main zippers are also lockable which is great news if you are checking your bag, but don’t forget to bring your own TSA-friendly lock.
There are solid and mesh zippered pockets on every side of the packing compartment, as well as two zippered mesh pockets on the front U flap. Perfect, right?
As if that wasn’t enough, Osprey also incorporated internal compression straps here. So, not only will you be able to organize all of your stuff, but you can also be sure that it will stay in the same exact place where you first put it. And, it helps you maximize the space you have too (don’t go overboard on packing though, remember, you may have to carry it :>).
Osprey seems to have thought of everything. Well, except for integrating a washing machine that is :>
And their outside compression straps are one of those smart features you wish you had thought of. On the front, are two compression straps that help secure your load or reduce its size (if you use a carry-on, this is great).
However, if the bag is far less than full they seem kinda useless…until you realize that there is another buckle further down the wall you can use. Strap the top compression strap into that instead (see the video) and you can still compress and secure even with a half-filled back :>
You can’t have a good travel backpack that doesn’t have any quick-access pockets – that’s just common sense. Imagine that you had to put it down and unzip the packing compartment every time you needed to grab your wallet or a bottle of water – it would be a waste of time.
So, you get where I am going with this. The Sojourn features an easily accessible, zippered top pocket. Osprey calls this a liquids pocket, but it’s good for any smaller items you want to keep separate. And there is also a large lower compartment that will help you organize your stuff even better.
Naturally, you are going to have to pick up your pack from time to time. And when that time comes, you’ll be glad that the Sojourn features low-profile padded carry handles.
Technically, you get three of those. But, the third one is mounted on the HighRoad chassis, and it acts as both a handle and a front bumper. The other two handles, however, feature soft padding on the inside and heavy-duty fabric on the outside, which will ensure that you have a firm grip of them, but also that they can handle the load of the pack.
There are some other features that you should know about, but that doesn’t really require their own section. So, I’ll just list them and tell you a little bit about each here.
I think that’s about all of the features that you get on the Sojourn pack. It’s a lot to take in, I know. So, let’s remind ourselves of what we loved and what we hated about this pack. Oh and we should try to answer that questions – do all these features justify the price tag?
Overall, the Osprey Sojourn is a very good travel backpack. It is packed full of features, and every single one of them was thoughtfully integrated into the design of the pack. That being said, this backpack is not for everyone – mostly because of the price tag.
If you can afford it, then by all means go for it. You’ll love the feel and comfort of the padded and ventilated harness and hipbelt when you’re wearing the pack, and when you get tired of carrying it, you always have the option of wheeling it around. The three sizes have pretty different capacities, and there’s definitely something for everyone – whether you’re looking to pack for a week or a month. And that spacious packing compartment will allow you to organize all of your stuff neatly, what with all the different pockets you get inside it.
On the other hand, if the Sojourn is way out of your price range, don’t be sad. For one thing, you can get a really good deal on the 60-liter version – how does a little over $200 sound? And if that’s still too rich for your blood, be sure to check out some other travel backpacks. You can always find something decent for your price range!
But if you love that deal, head over to Amazon (click the middle button). Check out the prices anyway – you know there’s always some sort of sale on Amazon, and you can always find some kind of a deal. Happy shopping! :>