I finally did it, I got the travel bag I dreamed of during our year of travel around the world: the Osprey Sojourn 80L hybrid pack.

If you followed our year of travel, you might remember me complaining about my pack choice and wishing I’d selected a hybrid pack with wheels instead. This would have saved much discomfort when lugging a year’s worth of clothing, accessories, laptop, and camera gear around the world.

During our extended stay in Thailand, I remember staring longingly at a tourist’s Osprey Sojourn pack as they loaded it onto our minibus. Later, in New Zealand, I admired a Kathmandu Hybrid 70L Backpack in a store window (sadly, unavailable in our part of the world) and the feature they both had in common: wheels.

Back in the U.S., I rid myself of my uncomfortable travel backpack and upgraded to the 80 liter Sojourn. No, it’s not carry-on compatible, but I’ve come to the realization that carry-on luggage for long trips is a pipe dream for someone my size. With clothes and shoes too big to stuff into a daypack for any trip longer than a week, a solid checked bag is what I need.

Build with 1680D ballistic nylon and reinforced with padded sidewalls, the Osprey Sojourn is built to take a beating (which it surely will in the hands of our airlines).

Like my last pack, the main compartment opens and closes with one heavy-duty zipper that can be locked securely. Inside, two pockets on the flap help organize your smaller belongings and two long zipper pockets down each side can fit up to size-14 shoes and flip flops (my size). Internal compression straps also help keep things in order, which is good because…

This bag packs a ton. Just when you think you’ve filled it, stand it up and you’ll find more room as the contents settle. When you think you’ll never be able to close the zipper, it somehow zips up with ease. Then, the dual Straight Jacket compression straps help cinch down your load to a more manageable and stable size.

(Don’t let the photo fool you. I’m 6’6″, so the bag might look smaller on me. But if 80L is too big for you, check out Osprey’s 45L and 60L options.)

osprey_sojourn_travel_pack

On the outside, a zippered top pocket and ID sleeve keep oft-needed items and documents close at hand, but out of sight. The backpack suspension, which is fully adjustable for multiple torso sizes, zips out quickly when needed and otherwise packs cleanly away. The straps carry a full 80L load far more comfortably than my old 55L pack, and the best part is that there’s WHEELS WHEN YOU WANT THEM!

Osprey’s HighRoad Chassis rides smoothly on a variety of surfaces. On our recent trip to Morocco, I tested it on cobblestone streets and on packed dirt and it handled them with ease. The dual-tube handle helps control the load when a single post handle might lose its balance. Then, strong, padded handles on the top and side help when hauling the bag in and out of your vehicle of choice.

Finally, while other Osprey packs offer zip-off day packs, I prefer the absence of one on the Sojourn. This allows me to be more selective when finding the perfect day pack that fits my needs.

With all that said, you might think I’m a little too excited about a piece of luggage. However, if you’d suffered with a heavy, uncomfortable backpack as I did for a whole year, you might share my affinity for these hybrid travel packs and the relief their wheels can provide.

The Osprey Sojourn 80L hybrid backpack gives me just that. It’s the perfect pack for extended travel that comes in a variety of sizes, and my travels would have been so much easier if I’d owned one sooner!

GEAR REVIEW: OSPREY SOJOURN 80L HYBRID BACKPACK
Comfort
Functionality
Durability
Style
Pros
  • Solid construction
  • Hybrid design with WHEELS!
  • Osprey All Mighty Guarantee
Cons
  • Maybe not as hip as a canvas backpacking, if you're into that hipster fad
4.8Overall Score