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Does anyone travel with an Osprey Porter 30?

I’m interested in your opinion if you have experience traveling with the Osprey Porter 30. Thanks!

Posted by
43 posts

I also have a Fairview 40, bought for my 2020 RS Ireland trip that never happened. It remains untested :(

My thinking with the Porter 30 was that cinched down it could be a personal item when I fly domestically with a roller bag, or packed out it might even be weekend luggage.

Now that it’s arrived, I notice 1) it’s bigger in height and width than expected (not quite matching Osprey’s dimensions) and 2) the hip belt always has to be out if you’re using the backpack straps (the snaps for the backpack straps are on the hip belt). Not sure a hip belt is always needed on a 30L bag. I wish it were removable.

Then there’s the Metron… 26L, and has the “straight jacket” feature I think I’ll like — but has a very different harness since it is made specifically for biking.

Decisions, decisions…

Any insight appreciated :)

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43 posts

Aimee, do you think the liter specs are reliable? I think the Fairview 40 has a lot going on (partly because if the great harness system) which I think eats into the packable space. I think you may be right that a 30L is oversized for a bag at your feet on a plane. Really 20-25 seems like plenty. I watch a lot of YouTube video reviews to try to understand the pros/cons, but until you have the bag in front of you some things remain a mystery.

From your experience at REI, what’s your favorite 20L +/- backpack which would be suitable as a personal item?

Posted by
43 posts

Thanks, Aimee, I think I’ll try to get to REI this weekend. And HOPEFULLY it won’t be long before all my luggage can get some use!!

Posted by
268 posts

I picked up an Osprey Porter 30 in the spring when I found one that was way marked down at REI. We took it to Europe this summer and it was my son’s bag. He could carry it (he’s 6) but I also carried it and I thought it was a great bag. It was comfortable to wear and so light (I believe around 12 pounds) compared to our roller bags. I’m considering trying to use it for a trip next summer, but think I might prefer something in the 38-40L range.

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43 posts

Thanks for sharing your experience, Meg. I’m trying to remember that there’s no perfect bag, and also remember that I can’t own all of them!! :)

Since my 2020 trip got canceled I have been walking on my treadmill with a packed backpack watching those European walking tours that are all over YouTube. I think I’ll load up the Porter tonight and take a hike and see how it feels.

When you carried yours to Europe, did you put it under the seat, or in an overhead?

Posted by
1028 posts

I feel pretty confident that the Porter 30 would not fit under the seat. In my experience a more squishable 26L pack is about the max for under the seat.

I would not choose to purchase that bag. I travel with the Osprey Porter 46. I know that many feel this bag is too big, but I love it. It is light and small enough that even if I am taking a short trip I don't mind carrying it. Unless I am taking a car trip, I never pack it full. It cinches down beautifully. I really like having the extra space in the bag when I am in the hotel room and when on the ground. I don't have to worry about packing everything perfectly from stop to stop, I can fit everything including my personal item and its contents into the bag if needed during travel days, and I like the structure and shape. When my son started traveling with me, I got him a Farpoint 40L. Even though that bag is smaller, I am more comfortable carrying the Porter 46 L.

But of course, if there truly was one perfect bag for every person, there would only be one bag on the market.

Posted by
43 posts

Thanks for the comments, Vandrabrud. I think I’ll order the Metron also (26L) and look at them side by side. The Porter 30 is looking at lot closer to the dimensions of my Fairview 40 than I expected.

Posted by
98 posts

My husband and I each have a Porter. I think the 40? We can use them as carry on on European airlines. We bought the Porters in 2017. They have been on a number of trips and are holding up very well.

We are in our late 60s and we find it comfortable to wear the packs on our back for about an hour. So they work for us getting from train station or airports to hotels. But I wouldn't want to walk with them on my back for more than an hour. Maybe in my younger years, or if they were close to empty. We pack a lot into our Porters.

We also bought an Osprey Daylite a few years ago to use as a daypack. We love it! It has held up very well.

Posted by
43 posts

Thanks, Mary! When I was planning for my 2020 trip I was considering a spinner, then decided to go the opposite direction and got a Fairview 40. Sadly, it hasn’t been able to go on a trip yet, but I’m sold on the backpack idea and the convenience of having hands free. Domestically I’m also trying out a backpack as a personal item instead of a cross- body bag. The old school bags in the closet aren’t cutting it, hence my inquiry here. Thanks for your comments.

Posted by
765 posts

One thing to consider as you go "bag" shopping: the length of your torso and the length of the bag. I have a short torso so the Porter 46 hip belt does not hit me in the right spot and the bag doesn't transfer the weight from my shoulders to my hips. So even when fully packed out with the same weight the Porter 46 really hurts my back while the XS/S Fairview 40 (which is really 38 L and is a tad smaller than the M/L), is quite comfortable. Someone with a longer torso would probably experience the exact opposite.

Posted by
43 posts

Thanks, Trotter and Aimee. It’s true that in these restricted times one can get an itchy “place order” finger, but backpacks are very personal items. These days inventory seems low at stores, so I’ve ordered the Metron and we’ll see how that fits. Then either the Porter 30 or the Metron (or both!) will be returned.

I find my Fairview 40 to be amazingly comfortable. I never tried on a Farpoint, but I assume the women’s adjustments in the Fairview really are beneficial.

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43 posts

Thanks, Bogiesan. I like One Bag Travels, also Packer Hacker for reviews.

How do you get advanced notice of the REI 1-day sales? I am an REI member - I wonder if I’ve missed something. One day sales are particularly dangerous - I mean attractive - no, I think I meant dangerous! :)

Posted by
43 posts

The Metron 26L Osprey bag arrived today — that’s the one I’ll keep for my personal underseat bag. It’s a great size — big enough, not too big. Comes with a rain cover. I got the “crimson red” (more brick red, I’d say) for $120 (the black is full price at $160). The Metron is much more suitable than the Porter 30L, which as some helpful folks pointed out is too large for an underseat personal item (at least practically, if not technically).

Thanks for the input, everyone!

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4 posts

My sister using it. it looks nice easy to lift with any handles. Side panels are good to cover zips to extra layer of security.

Posted by
43 posts

Thanks, for the comment, Sophia. As an underseat personal item, I really like the idea if the “straight jacket” wings for extra protection. They are robust on the Porter 30. The Metron, which I’m keeping, looks like a smaller (26L) Porter 30, and while it does have the compression wings over the main part of the bag, the padding doesn’t extend to the sides like the Porter 30. Another difference is
no locking zippers, but does come with a rain cover. No bag is perfect, but I’m sure finding it fun comparing them! Now I just need a trip!!

Posted by
147 posts

Good call on the Fairview for your main pack. I have a Farpoint and love it. My daughters have the Porter 30, but they at 12 & 13 so the fit and size is perfect for them.

Will you be using the Metron for a shorter trip bag or daypack? I think it would be a great 2-3 day bag, but you might find it too much as a daypack.

My daypacks (Osprey Daylight Plus and MountainSmith Tour lumbar) for under seat personal item use, hiking and city use are generally in the 15-18 range and never have I needed more room. My 0sprey 25 liter daypack that I use for long day hikes here in Colorado gets left at home on Europe trips because it is too large under seat and is very intrusive when walking about in the city (think crowded shops, busses and museums).

Posted by
43 posts

Jasonindenver, thanks for sharing your experience. My plan is to use the Metron as a personal item when traveling domestically with a 22” roller. The next trip to Europe I think I will take my Fairview 40 on its maiden trip, along with a crossbody bag that I use for a daybag. There’s always the trade off with size/weight/versatility. I will try to hone my light-packing skills so these luggage choices work out.!

Posted by
147 posts

Perfect!!!

I use a Tom Bihn Co-Pilot messenger or Mountainsmith Lumbar pack when I travel internationally with my Farpoint.

I use a 20” roller and an Osprey backpack when I am traveling in the states.

You really cannot have enough travel bags!!!

Posted by
43 posts

Jasonindenver, my closet is proof that your statement is correct! :)