Most of my travel involves packing both street clothes and riding apparel, and I often max out my carry-on’s capacity even before I try to wedge in a helmet and cycling shoes. I’ve long since resigned myself to paying for at least one checked bag. And if I’m going to pony up, I want the bag to hold a decent amount and still be light enough to hoist onto an airport-parking shuttle, maneuver into and out of cabs, and heave off the baggage carousel.
But when the Ozone 28”/80L arrived at my doorstep, I feared it would not be able to hold enough. Built more like a backpack than a regular wheeled suitcase, it’s constructed of lightweight nylon stretched around a minimal aluminum and injection-molded plastic frame. Because the main compartment collapses when empty, the bag doesn’t look like much even though its 80-liter capacity is the largest in the company’s ultralight Ozone series. (It also has two carry-on-sized roll-aboards, a day pack, and small shoulder bag).
Turns out my fear was groundless. As I loaded the Osprey up the first time, it seemed to expand endlessly, to the point that I began recklessly adding more stuff. Two pairs of pajamas? Sure! A second helmet. Why not? An extra winter jacket? You never know. But at four pounds, 14 ounces (empty), it never got too heavy.
LAST SUMMER, I CRASHED IN A WAY THAT COULD HAVE LEFT me seriously injured. I had left work early to hit the last of the daylight at one of my favorite riding spots. Blinded by the sun while popping over a riser, I wound up airing into a 3-foot-deep, V-shaped concrete drainage trough. My bike and I tumbled for 20 feet or so, eventually ending up a tangled mess at the bottom where the ditch ended at a cinderblock wall. Miraculously, I rode away from the incident with only a couple broken fingers and bruised ribs. The few wounds my pack did suffer probably saved me from much bigger ones. Now, I’m glad I was wearing my trusty pack. I went through a phase where I avoided packs altogether, stuffing my pockets with spares or going unprepared because packs were uncomfortable and shifted around while riding. Then I got a Raptor 10.
It comes with me on everything from all-day adventures to half-hour lunch rides because it fits impeccably, stays planted firmly in one place and packs in loads of practical features in its 610 cubic square inches of space. The bottom pocket integrates a roll-up tool pouch with plenty of room for the full-size hex set, pliers, a Swiss army knife and a couple tubes. Placing heavy items down low and incorporating compression straps helps keep the load stabilized, and an ingenious helmet retention system holds your lid during transport. In the main compartment there are sleeves for tire and shock pumps, and an elastic mesh pocket. One of my favorite things is the sturdy yet unobtrusive hip belt. It’s nice and wide around the waist, but narrow at the belly, and each side includes an easy-to-reach pocket for a phone or a multi-tool. The pack comes with Osprey’s proprietary 3-liter reservoir that has a nifty magnetic bite valve that attaches to the sternum strap. To top it all off, every pack has a lifetime gaurantee so any bag with any damage or defect, for any reason will be repaired or replaced free of charge–forever. Let’s shrug off those wounds and keep on riding.
On a recent expedition to Southeast Asia, we had the pleasure of lugging around our gear in one of Osprey’s many Travel Trek Backpacks: The Farpoint 55. And lucky for that, because our plan B was a not-quite-ergonomic big garbage bag. As its name suggests, this pack can be crammed with about 55L of goods of which 15L are conveniently detachable through the zip-away removable daypack, lined with a zippered front slash pocket perfect for quick-access items. With heavily padded top and side carry handles, a peripheral LightWire™ alloy frame suspension, and compression straps inside and out, this pack can be comfortably carried through first class airport lounges or zip-lined across the typical jungle creek.
Of note, every Farpoint zips open wide like a carry-on, meaning it’s a cinch to get at your stuff inside without much digging. And like a carry-on, we were able to sneak it onto every flight cabin by popping off the day pack, both cutting down wait time and the risk of lost baggage en route to every destination even though it doesn’t technically meet the TSA’s size requirements. But should you decide to check it instead, a zip-up cover protects its straps from conveyors and careless baggage handlers. Else, its resilient 210D double ripstrop nylon construction, 3.7 pound weight, and forty pound capacity just add to its versatility as an ideal backpacking adventure companion. So spin the globe to a far point and see where the wind (and a lot of jet fuel) takes you.
No matter if you are headed out for a quick weekend of car camping or jetting across the globe to far-flung wild lands, this gear is the easiest, smartest stuff for travel that will keep you ready for any adventure that falls in your path…
Osprey Ozone Convertible
Tipping the scales at just over 6 pounds, this bag quickly became our favorite travel luggage, thanks in big part to the best removable day pack in a two-in-one roller bag we have ever tested. Inside the main bag, the pockets and zippered pouches made it easy to organize for the road.
Being an amazing racer is no easy task—it requires training and research but if you love adventure and living out of a backpack [“The Amazing Race”] is definitely the show for you.
Traveling out of a backpack requires good gear and being able to pack light and smart. There are essentials every backpacker or amazing racer NEEDS to have in their pack. All you have to do is remember the handy mnemonic “FUN FINISH.” :)…
We recommend investing in a good backpack even if it’s a little more expensive. You’re going to want something to help you carry that extra 20 pounds on your back. For lightweight packing we use the ultra-light Osprey Packs. They weigh about two pounds so you’re not getting weighed down by extra fabric and things you don’t need. When you’re racing around the world, you’ll love that your pack doesn’t weigh five or more pounds…