Check out HPL's top 3 picks (and more!) for Black Friday deals -->

The Osprey Sojourn 80L Wheeled Backpack: The Best of Both Worlds (2020 Update)

osprey sojourn 80 wheeled backpack review

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using them, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps to keep this site running – thank you!

The Osprey Sojourn 80 offers the best of both worlds: the convenience of a suitcase with the flexibility of a backpack. 

Sarah thinks this wheeled backpack is the perfect combination for luggage, especially for big trip travelers who haven’t yet mastered the art of packing light.

She appreciates the luxury of rolling her heavy bag through rough terrain, but also the ability to pop it on as a backpack in a pinch (like when needing to walk up 200 steps to her hostel!). 

Does a rolling backpack sound right for you? Read on to learn more in this Osprey Sojourn 80 review.

Osprey Sojourn 80L Quick Review

  • TOP PICK FOR: Heavier packers, long-term travelers, or travelers who are working or studying abroad.

PROS

  • Option to roll or wear in a pinch
  • Osprey durability and warranty
  • Better for all-terrain than a typical rolling suitcase
  • Benefits of a structured suitcase with the wearability of a backpack

CONS

  • Weighs 9 lbs (4 kg) empty
  • Size makes it easy to overpack
  • Not as comfortable as backpack
  • High price tag

Why I Chose the Osprey Sojourn 80L

I have tried pretty much every style of luggage under the sun over the past 10 years.

When I first went backpacking I had a smaller 60L backpack, and while it was very lightweight, there just wasn’t enough space for me. I was constantly rummaging through for items and having to re-pack it all the time.

I have also tried traveling with a suitcase as I love how you can keep your things so much more organized than in a backpack – just flip the lid and you pretty much have a horizontal closet. 

However, the day to day practicalities of traveling with a suitcase soon became apparent – it was too big and I ended up filling all the space, just because I had it.

osprey sojourn 80L wheeled backpack
Enter the Osprey Sojourn 80 Rolling Backpack

Before I headed off on my round the world trip, I decided to buy a backpack that combined practicality and packing ease. I checked out the Osprey Sojourn hybrid backpack upon a friend’s recommendation. 

As soon as I saw it, I fell in love!

It is a little on the pricey side, but after years of opting for cheaper luggage and always having problems with it, I decided to splash out; it has been worth every penny.

Osprey Sojourn Key Features

Travel Technology

  • Hints of the Osprey award-winning AG suspension distribute heavy loads 
  • Ventilated mesh backpanel keeps you dry in hot climates. 
  • Deployable harness, hipbelt and backpanel for ultimate carry comfort
  • Backpanel suspension components are removable for increased packing capacity
  • Extra wide 14 in / 35 cm chassis stabilizes large loads
  • Extra-large 4.25in/11cm wheels keep you rolling on the roughest of surfaces. 
  • Retractable and comfortable ErgoGrip handle
  • Lightweight 6061 aluminum frame adds reliable strength 

Packing Space

  • Large panel zip opening with lockable sliders 
  • Internal compression straps with fabric wings hold clothes securely
  • Four internal zippered pockets in main compartment

Editor’s Note: The Sojourn 60L mentioned in this video is no longer being manufactured, but it is still available for purchase on Amazon and other retailers.

What I Love About My Wheeled Travel Pack

The sides of the Osprey Sojourn 80 are very sturdy, giving it the benefits of a suitcase structure. At 80 liters, this rolling backpack has ample room and I never have to worry about being able to fit my things. 

Overall, the quality is superb. The handle has an ergonomic grip which is very comfortable. The zips are high quality and the wheels have shown to be highly durable.

What Could Be Improved

Osprey Sojourn 80L converted to a backpack

As for downsides, I have found that the few times I have converted it 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.  

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!)

Testing Period & Durability

This hybrid pack has been on quite a journey with me! My round-the-world trip 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, so it was fantastic to have the option of converting it into a backpack.

Despite the amount of use, this hybrid pack is still in fantastic condition.

  • I have never felt like the zips were on their last legs. 
  • The wheels are still in excellent shape, despite the rough terrain it’s been over. 
  • The control of the handle is still as it was on day one- it feels incredibly sturdy.
osprey sojourn 80L backpack review

Osprey Sojourn Fit and Comfort: Great When Rolling

In terms of comfort, it’s great when rolling – it’s not a particularly heavy bag, and the ergonomic handle means it’s comfortable and easy to wheel. 

As I mentioned before, it’s not as comfortable to wear as a backpack, though. I generally only wear it if the terrain requires, but having the option is extremely useful.

Overall, purchasing a rolling backpack has been a great decision. During those times when you are waiting around, such as at the check-in desk at the airport or bus station, it is so nice not to have to wait around with a huge, heavy backpack on!

Size Notes: Do I need an 80L rolling backpack?

For me, this wheeled 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 liters is just right for me.

Coming in at 28 inches tall, this particular model of rolling 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 backpack is that I can also use a small daypack as carry-on luggage that doubles up as a bag that I can use for day trips. (See next section for more on this.) 

Plus, I don’t have to wear my daypack on my front like many other backpackers who have “regular” backpacks!

Adding the Daylite Daypack to the Sojourn

Osprey Daylite in Real Red

Although the Sojourn convertible travel pack does not include its own daypack, Osprey makes the Daylite and Daylite Plus. These two bags can be added to the Sojourn, the Ariel AG series, the Farpoint, the Fairview, and a number of other Osprey packs for additional storage and functionality. 

The Daylite is 13L and the Daylite Plus is 20L. If you combined the Sojourn 80 with even just the Daylite, you would have a total of 93L of packing space including an easily removable daypack. Additionally, it gives you the freedom to leave the large Sojourn behind at your locale.


The Osprey Sojourn vs. the Osprey Meridian

Convertible backpack-suitcase hybrids may not be the most popular luggage options on the market, but the travelers who choose them adore their flexibility. Osprey makes a few wheeled backpack options, so we thought we’d take the time to compare two popular models that we’ve reviewed right here on HPL.

The Osprey Sojourn 80 and the Osprey Meridian 60 may have a bit of a size difference, but they are both rolling backpack models with some excellent thought in design.

For example, they both contain:

  • Compression straps in the main compartment to hold belongings in place
  • The ability to completely remove the harness system if you don’t plan on using as a backpack
  • Higher chassis for the ability to roll on less-than-perfect terrain

Major points of difference can be found below:

Osprey Sojourn 80L Wheeled Backpack in Flash Black

Osprey Sojourn 80L

  • Dimensions:  28H x 14W x 14D in. (71H x 36W x 35D cm)
  • Carry-on Compatible: No
  • Weight: 9 lbs / 4 kg
  • Daypack: Not included; Daylite can be attached
  • External Pockets: None
  • Internal Pockets: Four zippered pockets in main compartment
Osprey Meridian 60L Wheeled Backpack in Lagoon Blue

Osprey Meridian 60L

  • Dimensions: 22H x 14W x 9D in (56H x 36W x 23D cm)
  • Carry-on Compatible: Dimensions meet most airline restrictions
  • Weight: 8.4 lbs / 3.8 kg
  • Daypack: Comes with detachable daypack
  • External Pockets:  Two
  • Internal Pockets: None in main compartment

Overall Recommendation

I would absolutely recommend this wheeled 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 ease of a backpack should you need it, then the Osprey Sojourn is for you. 

It is like having the best of both worlds – the convenience of a suitcase with the flexibility of a backpack: perfect.

Osprey Sojourn 80L in Flash Black

About the author: Sarah is a keen traveller who has been on the road for a decade.



Pin these to your favorite boards

osprey sojourn 80 convertible travel pack reviewosprey sojourn 80l rolling backpack
Add your voice & leave a comment!

Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Olivia says

    My partner and I both bought this pack in 2008 and have been really happy with it. I have a bad back so the convenience of wheeling my bag around is priceless. We tend to buy a lot while we’re travelling so while we often have heaps of empty space at the start of the trip they’re both usually full at the end.

  2. rianna harding says

    Im only 5 foot 1 so i just purchased this backpack but in the 60l version. I too like to pack a lot of extras like straighteners and quite a few toiletries so im thinking I will need more room but im wondering if the 80l will just be absolutely massive on me as a small petite woman?

    • Brooke says

      Hi Rianna – I think 80L will be not only HUGE on you, but if you fill it, you will have a very, very heavy thing to carry. Not fun! Stick to 60L (or less!). Best of luck 🙂

Leave A Reply