From the Mountains to the Beach to Everywhere in Between, the Osprey Porter 46 Makes Traveling a Breeze

Go to any store that sells outdoor gear, and you'll see walls lined with backpacks upon backpacks. They all claim to be the most technologically advanced, lightweight, and innovative travel packs, but which ones are actually the real deal? To help make the decision easier, we are reviewing the best travel backpacks out there. The Osprey Porter 46 is one of those bags that offers comfortability and functionality. If you are on the hunt for a medium-size pack that is carry-on friendly, has a spacious interior, several external pockets, a laptop sleeve, and the ability to travel anywhere with you, then this backpack is one to consider. The Porter 46 will make a great travel buddy, whether you are spending a weekend in the mountains or spending 2 weeks backpacking through Europe.

A Little About the Osprey Porter 46

osprey porter 46

Credit: Osprey

When traveling, it can be difficult to drag a wheeled suitcase along with you. To make traveling simpler, you can opt for a backpack that functions like a suitcase. The Osprey Porter 46 does just that. Carrying a backpack rather than rolling a suitcase will allow travelers to move faster and save time. With a pack on your bag, you can run, jump, climb up stairs, and climb up mountains. Can you do that with a wheeled suitcase? You can try, but you won't get very far.

The Osprey Porter 46 is a bag that can go anywhere. Whether you are going to the city, the beach, the mountains, or the office, the Osprey Porter 46 is capable of carrying your belongings in a convenient and comfortable fashion. This travel backpack can withstand the unpredictable weather conditions that travel naturally brings. The bag also has ample space, so it is great for trips of various lengths. For a weekend getaway, week-long road trip, or month long backpacking expedition, consider taking the Osprey Porter 46 with you. The bag's carry-on compatibility makes it an ideal travel backpack to adventure with. Plus, should you want to carry it like a duffle bag, you can. However, the shoulder strap is sold separately.

Osprey Porter 46 Features & Benefits

Product Specifications

osprey porter 46 specification

The Osprey Porter 46 is a pack that fits within carry-on size restrictions. Therefore, it can come with you on domestic and international travel. The backpack weighs in at a light 3.5 pounds. The bag is not gender-specific, so both males and females can carry this bag comfortably. This unisex pack also has padded shoulder straps and a padded hip belt that keeps the bag snug. There are many color options to choose from with this pack. Black, grey, teal, and red (that looks more like burnt orange in real life) are among those color choices.

Made of Nylon fabric, the Osprey Porter 46 can handle any weather condition. Of course, it cannot withstand a downpour, but the bag will keep your belongings dry and secure when heavy winds and light rain come your way. This travel pack includes a handful of storage compartments, a laptop/tablet sleeve, StraightJacket compression, a place to stow away the harness and hip belt, and more. Let's discuss in more detail about these specific features.

Main Compartment & Laptop Sleeve

osprey porter 46 - laptop sleeve

The Osprey Porter 46 is a travel backpack that functions like a suitcase. The main compartment is front-loading, rather than top-loading, so you'll no longer have to dig to the bottom of the bag to find something. The main compartment also has structured sidewalls that keeps your bag open and firm when packing and unpacking. These firm side panels are a standout feature on the Osprey Porter 46. While there are many backpacks nowadays that are front-loading, few have structured sidewalls. A mesh zippered pocket and a fabric zippered pocket are located on the inside of the large compartment as well. To store small items that can easily be lost amid shirts, pants, and jackets, place them within these two internal pockets. The main compartment is also lockable.

The Laptop sleeve is separate from the main compartment. Whereas most laptop sleeves are located in the back of the pack, the laptop sleeve on the Osprey Porter 46 is located in the front. The sleeve can fit laptops up to 15 inches. This padded laptop space also includes a tablet sleeve and internal zip pocket. The zippers to access these items are lockable to keep your electronics safe.

Front Panel & Top Pocket

osprey porter 46 - top pocker

The Osprey Porter 46 has a zippered front panel that can store thin books, travel documents, and more. This front panel storage compartment makes accessing your boarding pass and passport very easy when at the airport. When you aren't traveling to and from the airport, the front panel can be used to hold any other small belongings you want to keep at a reachable distance.

In addition to the zippered front panel, the Osprey Porter 46 has a top zippered pocket. This top pocket is an ideal place to store keys, glasses, or a cell phone during your journey. When passing through airport security, the top pocket can also provide the perfect space to store your toiletries and other liquids. No more shuffling through your bag to yank out your liquids. Simply place them in the top pocket and they will be easily accessible during your travels.

Stowaway Shoulder Straps & Side Grab Handles

osprey porter 46 handles

The harness and hip belt on the Porter 46 can be quickly concealed in the back stowaway compartment. When the backpack isn't being carried on your back, the option to zip up flailing straps and buckles is very useful. Whether you are piling your bag into the car for a road trip or tossing your bag into the overhead bin on the airplane, the stowaway compartment will come in handy. If at any time you decide to check your backpack at the airport, this feature will ensure that your pack doesn't get stuck or caught onto anything. In addition to storage for shoulder straps, there are padded handles on the top and side of the Osprey Porter 46. These grab handles allow the bag to be easily picked up and carried during your travels.

Daylite Pack Attachment (Sold Separately)

osprey porter 46 - daylite pack

Two straps are built across the front of the pack. These straps serve as a place to attach an Osprey Daylite pack. Though these smaller Daylite backpacks are sold separately, we appreciate the fact that the Osprey Porter 46 accommodates for additional carrying capacity. We should mention, the front straps aren't only for the Daylite Pack. Travelers can also carry a rolled up blanket, sweatshirt, or jacket under these straps. When your pack is filled to the brim and you need additional storage space for a jacket, thin pillow, or thin sleeping bag, the two front straps will be a great place to store those belongings.

What Travelers Are Saying About the Osprey Porter 46

Travelers appreciate the fact that this travel pack can fit within carry-on size restrictions. They also enjoy how easy packing is since the backpack functions like a suitcase and can be compressed to a smaller size. Overall, this bag is praised for its ample amount of space and comfortability. Travelers also enjoy how the backpack can be carried like a duffle bag too. However, the shoulder strap is a separate purchase, so don't be shocked when you purchase the Osprey Porter 46 and it doesn't come with the duffle bag shoulder strap.

The one downside to the Osprey Porter 46 is that the laptop sleeve is in the front, rather than in the back of the bag. This is by far the biggest complaint we hear about this backpack and we understand why. It is ideal to have a laptop sleeve in the back for better protection and better weight distribution. Though most customers wish the laptop sleeve was a separate compartment in the back of the bag, there were some that didn't mind the front sleeve. It is convenient when going through security at the airport. Apart from the laptop sleeve's controversial placement, the Osprey Porter 46 received nothing but high praise.

Alternative Travel Backpacks

Osprey Farpoint

Osprey Farpoint

The Osprey Farpoint travel backpack is very similar to the Porter 46. These two packs could almost pass as twins. However, there are some differences. The Farpoint comes in three sizes–40L, 55L, and 70L. If you are looking for a pack that is carry-on friendly, like the Porter 46, consider the Osprey Farpoint 40. The Farpoint 55 will also fit within most carry-on size restrictions. If you want to take things to a higher level, the Farpoint 70 will be the option for you. No matter what size you select, the Osprey Farpoint is ideal for mountain adventures and city adventures.

The Farpoint backpacks have a spacious main compartment, mesh exterior pockets for water bottles and snacks, an internal laptop and tablet sleeve, a suspension system that transfers to load from the harness to the hip belt, and so many more neat features. We appreciate the mesh front pockets for water bottle storage on this pack. The Porter 46 does not have any external water bottle pouches. For a bag most similar to the Osprey Porter 46, consider the Osprey Farpoint travel backpack.

Osprey Waypoint

Osprey Waypoint

If you are a fan of the Osprey brand, but the Osprey Porter 46 just isn't cutting it for you, then consider the Osprey Waypoint. Do you need a bag that is larger? A bag that is more accommodating for longer trips? The Osprey Waypoint comes in either a 65L size or an 80L size. Both are sold with a detachable daypack.

This bag is much bigger than the Porter 46, especially the 80L option, but if you are a traveler that is looking for a massive pack for your next epic adventure, then the Osprey Waypoint may be the best alternative for you. If this isn't obvious, the Waypoint is not carry-on friendly like the Porter 46. Another neat feature of the Osprey Waypoint is that travelers can choose between a male and female version to ensure a better fit for you. This is different from the unisex design of the Osprey Porter 46.

Patagonia Black Hole Backpack

Black Hole Backpack

The Osprey Porter 46 is not waterproof. For some, having a waterproof travel pack makes all the difference. If you are in need of a waterproof backpack, then the Patagonia Black Hole Backpack is one alternative to think about. This bag stands out for its waterproof laminate finish. It is designed to withstand rain, storms, snow, and just about any precipitation the world throws at it. The black color also keeps the backpack looking fresh and dirt-free. The material of this pack is lightweight and the bag has a laptop sleeve that can hold most 15″ laptops. If you know you want a bag that can keep your belongings dry during rain or snow, then the Patagonia Black Hole Backpack is an alternative travel backpack that you might want to consider.

Is the Osprey Porter 46 the Travel Pack for You?

If you are on the hunt for a travel backpack, we recommend the Osprey Porter 46 for so many reasons. While there are backpacks out there that have similar features, the Porter 46 takes things up a notch. Some of those additional features include structured sidewalls in the main compartment and StraightJacket compression technology. This bag may be carry-on friendly, but that doesn't mean it is small. The Porter 46 can hold more than you think within it multiple storage compartments. From the ability to stowaway shoulder straps to the convenient grab handles, the Osprey Porter 46 is a bag worth considering. If you are up for an adventure, then so is this bag.

What features do you appreciate most about the Osprey Porter 46? Share in the comments section below. Also, if you own the Porter 46, we want to hear about your experience with this pack in the comments as well!

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