The Osprey Sojourn Porter Backpack Review

Travelista Editor Jessica Ruth Gibson has been putting the new Osprey Sojourn Porter backpack to the test on her recent 10-day road trip through the USA’s Deep South. Read on for the full Sojourn Porter Review.

The Sojourn Porter is the latest innovative travel backpack design from Osprey Europe and I put it through its paces on a 10 day trip across 3 states of the USA and a family weekend in London. I had been in need of a new quality travel backpack for a while and this was the perfect opportunity to try something new. Let me give you the full lowdown in this Sojourn Porter review. 

This backpack has been gifted in exchange for an honest review. All views are genuine and authentic to the author. 

Jessica Ruth Gibson with the Sojourn Porter in New Orleans

Osprey Backpack Sojourn Porter Review 

The Sojourn Porter backpack launched Autumn / Winter 2023 in 3 sizes and a palette of 3 gorgeous colours. There’s the smallest 30L (RRP £160), the medium 46L (RRP £180) and the largest 65L (RRP £200) and the shades are called Koseret Green, Brindle Brown, Graphite Purple and Black. I went for a 30 litre option as I wanted to use it as a backpack for longer trips for weekends away. I chose the calming and neutral Koseret Green, which also felt very aligned with the new Travelista branding. 

Check out the full Sojourn Porter range from Osprey.

First Impressions of the Sojourn Porter Backpack

The smart design of the Sojourn Porter really showed up at the point of packing. It’s sort of as if this backpack has been designed to help you become the world’s most organised packer (even if, like me, you’re definitely not). The packing experience would be enhanced even further by using the Osprey Ultra Light Packing Cube Set.

Firstly, I love how the front of the backpack zips down entirely, so you can see the full internal body and pack rolled or folded clothes neatly. There are even safety clips to hold them in place if you need to open everything out at a later date, for example, when going through the airport or on the plane. It also means everything you need is in easy access, and you don’t need to waste any time rummaging at the bottom of your backpack. 

Beyond the main body there are side, front, top and hidden compartments so that everything can have its place and be easily accessed. I really appreciated the hidden padded laptop compartment, which I actually only discovered a few days into using the backpack. With so many compartments and easy-access design, the 30L would be a great cabin backpack to use for long haul flights with kids. As a Mum myself I know you can never take too much in the way of snacks or entertainment. 

Jessica Ruth Gibson with the Sojourn Porter in Nashville

Choosing the Right Size

The 3 sizes of backpack lend themselves well to different uses and types of travel. 

30 Litres – Whilst it’s the smallest of the 3, the 30L still offers a very generous capacity. It’s also the most versatile of the 3 as it could be used at capacity fo a short break as well as a day bag. Simply use the compression straps and it will grow and shrink as desired. It’s also great as a cabin bag alongside larger cases of checked-in luggage.

46 Litres – I would recommend this for use as a primary piece of luggage for short breaks or a week away. The 46L can still be used as a carry-on piece of luggage with most airlines, but I’d say it’s too big to use as a day bag.

60 Litres – I would recommend this as an alternative to a suitcase if you want to remain handsfree whilst travelling. It would be great for backpackers, solo travellers or for parents with young children looking to carry items for more than one person. 

All sizes can be carried as a backpack, leaving you hands free for passports, coffees, shopping or children. If you wanted to check-in the bags to the hold of a plane, the straps and hip belt can be neatly stowed away. 

Osprey Backpack Sojourn Porter Review

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My Favourite Features of the Soujourn Porter Backpack by Osprey Europe

There are some really smart and thoughtful features woven into this backpack that definitely align well with Osprey’s mission statement; To ease your journey and inspire adventure. Here are some of my favourite features; 

  • The compression straps – once your bag is packed, clipping the two front compression straps means your belongings are well-protected and held in place – whether the backpack is full, half full or just one third full.
  • The stowaway straps and hip belt – When my 30L was at capacity, the option to use the hip belt really helped to lighten the load and offset the strain on my back. I felt as though I could have carried it comfortably for hours. The padded straps and hip belt can be seamlessly zipped and tucked away on all 3 sizes of the Sojourn Porter. This feature is especially handy if you’re checking in the 60L to the hold of a plane, but also on the 30L when you may not need to use the hip belt if you’re carrying a lighter load.
  • The All Mighty Guarantee – Osprey will repair or replace any damage made to your backpack in its reasonable lifetime. Just be sure to register your product to qualify for the guarantee. It won’t be the cheapest backpack on the market but you’re getting quality and longevity with this product.
  • The TSID luggage registration included with each piece – each backpack comes tagged with its own unique QR code so it will always be traceable back to its owner.
  • The smart, sustainable fabric – the fabric of the body of the backpack Is 100% recycled but it also feels fantastic in quality, durable and shower proof. 

Using the Sojourn Porter for a Weekend Away with my Son

My first trial of the Sojourn Porter was for a weekend away in London with my son. The 30L backpack was large enough for me to pack everything I needed for 2 nights away for myself and my 5 year old son. It wasn’t an opportunity to overpack, but we had just enough space to travel with clothes, toiletries, a tablet and even a few toys. Travelling as a solo parent, it was so helpful to keep my hands free to hold my sons hand in busy London and carry and anything additional. I can imagine how much harder navigating the London Underground and trains would have felt with my son and a wheelie case in tow. I will always use the Sojourn Porter for any similar trips like this with my son.

Using the Sojourn Porter for a 10 Day Road Trip as a Single Female Traveller

For my 10 day road trip around the Deep South, the Sojourn Porter took a different role. It was my secondary item of luggage alongside a large wheelie case. It was my cabin bag for both flights and its where I would put all of my essentials (laptop, passport, chargers, purse, drinks, food) as we travelled from place to place on the road trip.

A design feature of the Sojourn porter that was so helpful on my USA road trip was the compression straps as they let me grow and shrink the backpack as needed. Some days we had to pack quickly and it acted as a convenient overspill to my suitcase. On those occasions it was packed to the brim. Other days I needed to use it as my main bag for a day out, so I would shrink it right down and only carry a few simple things. It was versatile and rose to every occasion. 

Jessica Ruth Gibson with the Sojourn Porter in London

The Verdict: Osprey Soujourn Porter Review

After testing the Sojourn Porter 30L out on two very different trips, I can honestly say that I am super impressed with it as a product and would recommend it to family, friends and of course, our Travelista readers. I definitely feel it is worth the £160-£200 price tag, especially with the generous guarantee. Thanks to the thoughtful design and the fantastic quality, I know this is a product I am going to use for years to come on all sorts of adventures. 

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Jessica Ruth Gibson is the Founder and Editor of Travelista and an award-winning travel content creator of 10 years. She lives in York, UK with her son and has travelled to over 50 countries; her favourites being Italy, Canada and Vietnam.

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