Choosing new travel luggage can be tough, find out why we chose the Osprey Sojourn as the best luggage for our travel needs.
Like many, we never really invested much in luggage. We always just used what we had at hand.
It did the job, but it also caused a lot of frustration along the way.
After lugging around a mixed assortment of hiking backpacks, suitcases and duffel bags on our Tasmania trip. We knew it was time for a luggage upgrade.
The hiking backpack was comfortable, carried a heap of gear and was easy to stash away when travelling. We quickly found out it does have one downside. The single top opening.
Trying to find that must have item that somehow always makes its way down to the very bottom on the backpack is frustrating! Pulling out all your clothing and gear to reach the bottom gets very old, very fast! We didn’t stay friends with that backpack very long.
The duffel bag was a beast! You could stuff it full of gear until it was almost bursting!
Carrying it up a few flights of stairs or around town quickly leaves you with tired aching arm though. It’s very hard to enjoy your travels when you’re in pain.
The suitcase performed well. The harder case protected our gear nicely. Due to it’s rigid construction it’s impossible to compact and stash away quickly. This got annoying when we tried to fit it in our tiny vehicle.
Once we had decided on an upgrade, we set down the criteria it would need to fit before spending our hard earned money.
After spending hours online reading reviews and in-store discussing our options, we decided the Osprey Sojourn was the winner for the following reasons.
Arthritis is sadly an unwanted member of our family. Because of this, wheeled luggage was our top priority.
When Mieka’s arthritis flares up, it become painful to move normally or lift anything heavy. Carrying around luggage during these times is difficult and frustrating. Wheeled luggage removes the need to physically carry any weight making it perfect for arthritis sufferers. It would also be useful for sufferers of back issues and many other conditions.
The wheels on the Osprey Sojourn offer a huge amount of clearance to cover any type of terrain you might encounter. They have a solid heavy duty feel, rugged grip pattern and give you that built to last feel. They can also be replaced individually.
The adjustable ergonomic handle is comfortable and has two height settings to cover all travelers. I have always had issues with extendable handles in the past. Being over 6 foot tall, I have always found myself either walking slouched over to reach a handle which is not quite long enough or I have luggage repeatedly banging into the back of my feet. The Osprey Sojourn is the only wheeled luggage I have found with handles long enough to avoid both of these issues.
We decided we wanted luggage that would be flexible and cover any situation we might encounter while travelling. Luggage that allowed us to be fluid with our travel options. For this reason traditional suitcases got the boot, and we decided on backpacks.
We didn’t want to miss out on once in a lifetime experiences due to having to find a secure location to leave our luggage. If the chance came to trek through a remote mountain pass or go horseback riding through some endless tundra. We wanted backpacks that could be thrown on or easily strapped down and become part of the adventure.
The backpack allows us to reach areas that wheeled luggage is unable to access. Hiking to a beautiful remote waterfall on a rough muddy path while bouncing and battering wheeled luggage behind us didn’t sound practical.
We didn’t want the hiking harness to be a useless gimmick. Something hastily thrown on just as a marketing tool to sell more packs.
If the pack couldn’t be used comfortably like a traditional backpack, we didn’t want it.
Osprey has put a lot of thought into the hiking harness of the Sojourn. The rear cover zips down to reveal shoulder straps and lumbar support.
Both the shoulder straps and lumbar support are fully adjustable to allow the best fit possible and use comfortable air mesh padding to provide excellent ventilation when you’re visiting those tropical countries.
Waist and sternum straps are used to quickly secure your load, while the adjustable padded harness and lumbar support do an excellent job of distributing the weight evenly and removing the load from your back and shoulders.
Being a rather broad and solid fellow, I was concerned with the wheels digging into my back when fully loaded. The heavy duty Velcro back-plate allows the wearer to quickly lower or heighten the harness to suit. A quick adjustment had the pack sitting nicely on my waist. I retained a good range of movement and clearance from the wheels while carrying 20kgs.
During our test fit, Mieka had the backpack on loaded with 16kgs, while also front carrying a 17kg sleeping Ronin in a toddler carrier/wrap and found this setup very comfortable.
The hiking harness can quickly be concealed when not in use or when checking on flights to avoid damage to straps and pack.
Strong padded carry handles are located on the top and side of the pack. Useful when trying to pull your pack off airport conveyor belts or used to carry the bag short distances when its not worth deploying the hiking harness or wheeling the pack.
Being a solid padded handles as opposed to a material handle, the handles keep their shape and do not pinch your hands when carrying heavy loads.
We plan to have three people living out of these two backpacks for an unknown amount of time.
Knowing this we wanted a decent sized backpack, but we didn’t want to be carrying around huge over-sized packs that are difficult to transport, carry or put us over every airport weight limit.
The Osprey Sojourn is available in 60ltr or 80ltr sizes. We know that humans like to fill empty space and figured if we bought 80ltr we would overfill and bring unnecessary gear.
We chose the 60ltr size as we wanted to stay under 20kg when fully loaded and we feel this is ample space for the gear we require.
I personally cannot handle opening luggage and finding most of the space taken up by endless pockets and compartments.
Opening the Osprey Sojourn you’re greeted by a huge packing cavity. This main cavity is where the bulk of your items will be stored.
The main packing cavity contains three separate compartments. Two compartments run the full length on each side of the pack. The other is located on the back of the packs front flap.
The back of the main compartment has two compression straps. These straps are easy adjusted to secure and balance your load.
A daisy chain is located on the front of the pack. Clip on any items you want quick and easy access too, such as water bottles or torches.
Overall, the space is very usable and able to store a heap of clothing and gear.
The fabric has a very tight weave and a glossy/waxy feel that give this pack a certain amount of water resistance. If you plan to travel in inhabited areas, this will suffice as you can duck into some nearby shelter until the rain has passed.
If the pack will be used for long multi-day hikes I would suggest buying an Osprey ultralight rain cover to ensure your gear and clothing stays dry.
We wanted to avoid packs with thin easily slashed materials and tiny weak zippers susceptible to being popped open.
The Osprey Sojourn is built with a fabric named Ballistic Nylon. I wouldn’t try blocking any bullets with it, but its thick robust material feels strong and durable and no would be thief is going to simply slash and grab your valuables in a hurry.
The zippers also mean serious business! Strong teeth and solid heavy duty zippers with thick pad-lockable hoops secure the packs main compartment.
One of my favourite security features is the inbuilt safety whistle. The whistle is cleverly built into one of the sternum strap clips. Being within hand’s reach, it can be easily accessed and blown when you need to draw attention to yourself in an emergency or scare off any unwanted attention.
This backpack is built like a tank! The material is lightweight but feels tough and durable. We wanted something that could handle bumps and scrapes without causing fraying edges and tears.
The compression wings feel thick and solid and once tightened offer greater protection over the zippered areas of the pack. This give the backpack a type of armadillo armoured feel that we really like.
The solid plastic base offers protection to the bottom of the pack, while the solid aluminium frame give the pack a rigidity that I am confident will protect any valuable you might have stowed away.
Strong plastic zipper pull tabs are easy to quickly grab and make opening and closing the pack a breeze.
Detachable Day Pack
One of our favourite features of the Osprey Sojourn is the ability to attach/detach the Osprey Daylite Plus day pack.
While this is a separate purchase, we wanted a smaller day pack for use on day trips and as carry on baggage.
Due to Ronin’s food allergies we always have to keep medical supplies with us at all times. And the day pack will also come in handy to carry smaller items. Such as passports, water and money.
The Osprey Daylite Plus attaches to the Sojourn with inconspicuous D clip attachments. Once attached the compression wings on the Sojourn can be wrapped around the Daylite pack and secured creating one combined backpack.
Range Of Colours
The Osprey Sojourn is available in Flash Black, Hoodoo Red, and Nitro Green.
The Daylite Plus is available in Real Red, Eggplant Purple, Black, Tahoe Blue, Misty Teal and Magma Orange.
Combining the Sojourn with the Daylite Plus daypack you can create a whole range of funky colour combinations. Create a uniquely coloured pack to stand out at the airport against all the other dull suitcases and luggage.
What’s your favourite travel luggage?
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