This post is part of a series in which ladies on the road offer a review of their backpacks. Today’s review comes from Sarah.
I’m a perpetual traveller who has been on the road for the last decade! As you can imagine, I have tried pretty much every style of luggage under the sun over the past 10 years! It has taken me a long time, but I have finally found the backpack that perfectly suits me and my needs as a traveller…
What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?
My backpack is the Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Backpack, 80 Litres. The average retail price at the moment is typically around $318 USD so it is a little on the pricy side, but after years of opting for cheaper luggage and always having problems with it, I decided to splash out, and boy it has been worth every penny!
>> Check out prices for the Osprey Sojourn on Amazon.
How long have you had your backpack and where have you travelled with it?
I have had this backpack since the end of 2011; it has been on quite a journey with me! I took it on an around the world trip which saw me heading to Asia, Africa, Europe, South, Central and North America and ending up in New Zealand. As you can imagine, the terrain at times was very testing, and I did have to convert it into a backpack a few times so it was fantastic to have the option of doing so. It was like having the best of both worlds – the convenience of a suitcase with the flexibility of a backpack: perfect!
What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack?
As mentioned, I have tried lots of different luggage. When I first went backpacking I had a small 60 litre backpack, and whilst it was very lightweight, there just wasn’t enough space for me which meant that I was constantly rummaging through for items and having to re-pack it all the time!
I have also tried travelling with a suitcase as I love how you can keep our things so much more organised than in a backpack – just flip the lid and you pretty much have a horizontal closet! However, the day to day practicalities of travelling with a suitcase soon became apparent – it was too big and I ended up filling all the space, just because I had it there! The handle snapped, and I had to buy a replacement in Bangkok for my flight home – an expense that I really didn’t want to fork out for!
Before I headed off on my round the world trip I decided to buy a backpack that combined practicality and packing ease and decided to check out the Osprey Sojourn hybrid backpack upon a friend’s recommendation. As soon as I saw it, I fell in love!
What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?
The sides of this backpack are very sturdy giving it the benefits of a suitcase in that it is very structured. At 80 litres this backpack has ample room and so I never have to worry about being able to fit my things in. The handle has an ergonomic grip which is very comfortable and it feels incredibly sturdy. The zips are high quality and I have never felt like they were on their last legs. Overall, the quality of this backpack is superb – the wheels are still in fantastic condition, despite the rough terrain it’s been over!
As for downsides, I have found that the few times I have converted this bag into a backpack it has not been quite as comfortable as a regular backpack, but in the two years I have used it I have only had to convert it to a backpack a few times, and as mentioned, it was really good to have the option of doing so (one time involved walking up a flight of 200 steps to a hostel – dragging a bag on wheels for this would not have been fun!)
Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.
In terms of comfort, it’s great – it’s not a particularly heavy bag, and the ergonomic handle means it’s comfortable and easy to wheel. During those times when you are waiting around, such as at the check in desk at the airport or at the bus station it is so nice not to have to wait around with a huge, heavy backpack on!
If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?
At 80 litres, this particular model of backpack is not suited for carry-on luggage, but that’s fine with me as I never intended to use it in that way. The great thing about having a wheeled bag is that I can also use a small day pack as carry-on luggage that doubles up as a bag that I can use for day trips. Plus, I don’t have to wear my day pack on my front like many other backpackers who have “regular” backpacks!
Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?
For me, this backpack is just the right size – I have experienced luggage that is too large and too small before and so, in the words of Goldilocks, I have found the Osprey Sojourn to be just right! I have to admit that I am not the world’s lightest packer – I like to pack certain items that might be frowned upon by other more lightweight backpackers (a pair of jeans and hair straighteners frequent my case, there, I said it!) so I do need a little more space, and 80 litres is just right for me.
Overall, would you recommend your backpack?
I would absolutely recommend this backpack! If you are nervous about carrying a large amount of weight on you, or you want luggage that gives you the comfort of a suitcase but the convenience of a backpack should you need it, then the Osprey Sojourn is simply perfect.
>> Check out more Osprey backpack reviews.
About the author: Sarah is a keen traveller who has been on the road for a decade.