I’ve been overnight backpacking for about 25 years, and last July was the first time I’d been four days on the trail without experiencing shoulder and neck pain caused by my pack. I was also carrying more weight than ever before. I’m convinced it was no coincidence I was wearing my new Osprey Aura 50. What makes the Osprey Aura better than my previous packs? For starters, the ability to custom fit the pack through its adjustable harness and ‘fit-on-the-fly’ hip belt.
It’s hard to find a bag that can carry both your laptop and camera, have room for other travel items, be easy to carry—and look good while doing it all. The Osprey FlapJill Courier is my new favorite bag that meets those criteria.
Constructed much like the standard messenger-style bag, the Flap Jill Courier adds details that are much more than standard. One of the best things is that it has three different pockets (aside from the main pouch) to organize your things, whether it’s a cell phone, notebook and pens, or just your lip balm.
If you’re carrying your electronics, you certainly want to keep them safe from the weather, and this bag has a draw-cord collar closure to protect your precious gear. The padded laptop sleeve further cushions your electronic pal (up to 15.4 inches), so you can continue to work or play without smacking it around.
If you go anywhere in the world popular with backpackers, you’ll see a lot of Osprey backpacks. You’ll also see a lot of their packs on hiking trails. They’re tough, comfortable, and guaranteed for life.
A while back though a few companies realized they could sell more bags if they convinced people they could have the best of both worlds: a backpack when you need to walk long distances through rough terrain or in a crowded dirt-lot bus station, but a suitcase when you’re in airports and cities with decent sidewalks. People bought the first ones in droves, so then everyone jumped in the game.
I’ve been trying out Osprey’s Sojourn 28-inch one to see if this idea really works well in practice. Can one of these be a good backpack and a good rolling suitcase? Yes and no.
First the good points, and there are plenty of those. This bag is just shy of 8 pounds, which is not bad at all for something 28 inches long with wheels and a strong chassis. It’s a good aluminum chassis too, with a nice retractable ergonomic handle, a fiberglass base, and large polyurethane wheels with sealed bearings. It wheels like a dream, feels good in the hand, and didn’t tip over when I stuffed it full.