Osprey Momentum 26 Review

Backpacks are a staple for most commuters. While messenger bags might be hot at the moment and leather is obviously more classy, in terms of functionality, ‘packs are hard to beat.

If you’re looking for one bag to do everything, this just might be it. The Momentum holds 26 litres of stuff over 2 large zippered pockets, with one sleeve in each to fit up to two 15″ laptops, small organizing pockets everywhere, 2 large external water bottle holders and an expansion zipper to give the bag an extra 5 litres of volume when you really need it. Each strap also has a built-in pocket for stashing keys, a cell phone, or other small items to be kept handy. Two lower cinch straps also keep the contents from shuffling and repositioning while in motion.

It’s also stashing a high-visibility rain cover in a pocket on the base of the bag to protect its precious contents should you run into thunderstorms on your route to work. The bag’s material itself is relatively water resistant and I’ve yet to encounter a fierce enough downpour to justify testing out the rain cover. To further demonstrate the water-repulsing properties of its materials, I once [accidentally] dropped the bag in some dirty leaves and mud – surprisingly a quick wipe off fully cleaned it up.

And see that little oval piece of plastic over the Osprey logo? It serves to hook up a bike helmet to your bag. Also, for a more discreet look, the back straps stow away behind the thermo molded semi-rigid back and become entirely hidden from sight. Oh yeah, and Osprey backs all their packs with a lifetime no-fault warranty – a huge, reassuring plus.

I’ve been using this bag most days for the past 10 months for pretty much everything, since I’d rather own one versatile bag than several specialized ones. It’s very comfortable, even with heavy loads, customizable in many ways to fit right, and actually looks a lot more compact than the pictures make it appear – until it’s stuffed full or the expansion zipper is opened. My only complaint is that it doesn’t have the Airscape system that vents out your back, which can lead to a fair amount of sweating on hot days while biking. Otherwise, it’s doing its job and still looks basically brand new nearly a year in!

This bag is ready for anything, even if you aren’t. Head over to Osprey to find out more & locate a dealer (alternatively, order online) – 130$.