In this article, I will be reviewing the Osprey Porter 30 backpack a lightweight and portable travel backpack best suited for light travels or short outdoor adventures.
The Osprey Porter 30 is one of the lightest and smallest backpacks from Ospreys Porter series making it a perfect carry-on for daily use without being a burden on the back.
In this review, I will give you all the details that you need to know about this backpack and finally share my recommendation.
Osprey Porter Review
Why an Osprey Backpack?
Osprey is one of the biggest and most popular pack makers in the industry. It has been making backpacks for travelers, hikers, and climbers since 1974, so they have a mammoth of experience (40 years!) in making functional products of the finest quality.
In this article, I look at the Osprey Porter 30 one of the most compact backpacks from Ospreys potter line and it may very well be the most compact backpack made for adventurous travel. The Porter series launched back in 2012 with the Porter 45 and 65 and later on in 2013 Porter 30 was added to the mix. Recently in 2017 the design of the Porter 30 was revamped and updated which I will be going through in this article further on.
Isn’t The Osprey Porter 30L Backpack too small?
After traveling the world and living from out of a small backpack I can definitely say this backpack is more than enough.
The real problem is we pack more than we actually need because of all these “packing list” guides telling us we did a number of things before we embark on our travel journey. It’s only when you start traveling that you realize you don’t need that bulky towel or shampoo or even soap as much of it is available in your accommodation and if not can be easily purchased from the store.
What’s unique about the Osprey Porter 30L is although it’s technically a backpack for the outdoors it really doesn’t have to be. Unlike other 50L+ backpacks that are intended for multi-day hiking expeditions, the Osprey 30L is perfect for a short expedition and also great for city-based travel!
The bottom line is that the Osprey Porter 30 is the perfect backpack for short adventurous trips as well as a daily city-based commute.
Osprey Porter 30 Backpack review
Osprey Porter 30 Backpack Specifications
- Volume: 30L
- Dimensions: 19.5H X 13W X 10D IN.
- Weight: 2.8 LBS.
- Main: 420HD Nylon Packcloth
- Accent & Bottom: 420D Nylon Wave Ripstop
Osprey Porter 30 Features
In this section, I’ll break down the main features and attributes to determine whether this backpack is really worth it.
How is the (Internal) Organization?
The Layout and design of the porter 30 is excellent from top to bottom and is one of the biggest selling points of this backpack.
For instance, the structured sidewalls hold your bag open, making it easy to pack and unpack especially with the massive U-zip opening. It also has dedicated pockets and compartments for key items and on the whole, has a neat organization so you’ll spend less time packing.
Main Compartment: (lockable zips)
The backpack sports a spacious roomy main compartment that can be locked via a zip. What’s more is the rigid foam frame that wraps around the sides and bottom of the backpack allowing it to keep it’s turtle shell shape intact even when empty.
On both, the sides is a zipper pocket that runs the length of the backpack, one opaque and one mesh. Other than that there’s nothing more other than loading it up! The compartment is securely enclosed by zippers with metal eyelets so you can securely lock them as you travel.
Easy Access pockets:
When out on an adventure looking for a particular item inside the backpack can be a tedious task this is where easy accessibility is required which the porter 30 has down to the T.
- Zippered top pocket: This is a pocket at the top of the backpack ideal for storing toiletries and other small items you’ll need to access frequently that you’ll need during your trip.
- Vertical zippered pockets: This pocket is embedded into the front panel and is ideal for keeping books and other smaller items such as sensitive things requiring more safety. (passports)
Well-protected laptop/tablet sleeve:
This compartment is at the rear end of the backpack and can accommodate a MacBook Pro or even an iPad. The sleeve is lockable by a sleeve that also serves as an added protection layer.
The side of the laptop sleeve is well padded ensuring your laptop’s safety from the external environments. What’s more is the position of the laptop compartment boosts accessibility so you can easily access it from any angle.
How are the external components?
The Porter 30 backpack features StraightJacket compression straps accompanied by padded sidewalls to offer ultimate protection to both the user and the contents in the bag.
The compression straps allow the bag to accommodate more gear and also compress it into smaller size making it less bulky when packed to its full capacity.
Top and Side Handles:
Sometimes you will need to carry the backpack using your hands (think to store it in the flight compartment) and at times like these side, handles are super handy.
The porter 30 had handles on the sides and the top that come in very handy for easy lifting when required.
Stowaway Harness and Hipbelt
The stowaway harness is enhanced by a hip belt and the primary function is to improve the security of the bag. This ensures that your backpack remains in a good position especially when undergoing frequent checks.
The porter’s hip-belt is easy to use and deploys at moment’s notice. It is easily stowable and can quickly disappear into the back panel when not required.
Adjustable sternum strap accompanied by whistle buckle
The backpack also features an adjustable sternum strap which means you can adjust them to be tight or loose on your shoulder as per your comfort.
The whistle buckle on the backpack completes the connection between the straps ensuring a firm and comfortable fit.
How comfortable is the backpack?
Comfort is where the Osprey 30 shines as the backpack is constructed with an emphasis on extreme functionality and comfort.
Firstly the backpack has an adjustable padded hip belt that evenly distributes the weight on the back. It also has an adjustable sternum strap that securely attaches to your body for a better fit.
While the straps are not the most luxurious or comfortable this backpack scores pretty high in the comfort department. It should also be noted that you can carry this bag as a duffle bag by simply attaching the shoulder strap to the D-rings on the side of the backpack.
What about the looks and aesthetics?
The Porter 30 comes in 4 different color options Mineral Teal, Diablo Red, Black, and Castle Grey. There’s nothing particularly great about these colors and I honestly find them pretty bland overall. I’d go with black as the monochrome design lets the bag blend in more and doesn’t look strange.
I’ll be honest you’re not going to get laid by wearing a Porter 30. There’s nothing particularly stylish about this bag and the turtle shell look isn’t really sexy or cute. The only silver lining is the Porter 30 looks less dorky than the Porter 46/65 so you could do worse.
However, if you want something you can actually put to good use then the looks don’t really matter because the Porter 30 is functional as hell.
Final Thoughts on the Osprey Porter 30
When it comes to a pure travel backpack the Porter 30 is a perfect companion.
Sure it doesn’t score any points in the aesthetics department but is excellent in terms of functionality making it a great backpack for those that priority usability overlooks. The StraightJacket system is another big selling point that saves space and always keeps the backpack compact and minimal in size.
More importantly, this backpack is perfect for those that need an adventurous travel backpack for those occasional short adventurous/hiking trips and also something that works for a daily city commute.
It’s also worth mentioning Osprey’s All mighty guarantee that guarantees you free service and replacement to your backpack for life! In my opinion, you won’t find a better warranty than this.
Thank you for reading through the end if you have any queries do leave a comment below.