Osprey Porter Travel Backpack Bag, 46-Liter

When you are looking for a flexible and willing travel partner, you’ll appreciate Osprey’s Porter 46. This rugged duffel bag also has technical pack suspension built-in. When you need to cover some ground, unzip the backpanel and deploy the padded mesh shoulder harness and hipbelt suspension to carry it comfortably on your back. A large front panel pocket contains padded laptop and tablet sleeves and an internal zip pocket for small items. The zippers accessing both compartments are lockabl

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  1. 409 of 417 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Osprey Porter 46 vs Farpoint 40 vs Farpoint 55, October 3, 2014
    LemurTech (Ashland, Oregon) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    We have an upcoming trip to Indonesia to visit my wife’s relatives, and for the first week or so we plan to do a little island-hopping. I wanted a couple bags that could pass as carry-ons, but with backpack features. We don’t intend on doing a whole lot of walking with packs–just getting on and off planes, trains, boats, and looking for places to put up for the night. I am a sturdy 5’6″ and my wife is a petite 5’3″.

    Based on the glowing reviews, the Osprey Porter 46, Farpoint 40 (size S-M), and Farpoint 55 (also size S-M, with a length of 24″) all seemed like possibilities. My first inclination was toward the Porter 46, but I couldn’t make up my mind without a side-by-side comparison. Noting that I had the possibility of free returns on two out of these these, I ordered them all. When I had them all together, I filled some packing cubes, got my laptop (which was going to have to come on the trip), and set about trying them all.

    The basics: The Porter 46 is like a semi-firm duffle bag, with hide-away shoulder straps and a passable hip belt. The Farpoints have an internal, light-weight frame, shoulder straps, and a more supportive hip belt hidden by a zippered flap. The Farpoint 55 has a daypack that zippers onto the main pack, but can also attach in front of your body, to the shoulder straps.

    The Porter 46 won out for us, pretty much hands down. It had these advantages:

    + Semi-rigid side walls. The firm sides make it much easier to pack, and give it a feeling of greater depth–like packing a little travel suitcase.
    + More rip-resistant in appearance. The bag looks like it could take a pretty good beating, whereas the Farpoints (particularly the Farpoint 55) are made of much lighter material.
    + Organizing pockets. The Porter 46 has a zippered pocket along each sidewall, and a number of organizing pockets (for laptop, e-reader, pens, documents) in the front compartment. If you are a traveling professional, this is a definite attraction. And it was just obvious that the better accessibility here was going to make security and immigration that much easier.
    + The hide-away shoulder strap system is pretty awesome; I did not like the whole zippered-compartment-thing of the Farpoints.
    + You hardly have any loose straps. Not so much an issue with the Farpoint 40, but the Farpoint 55 seemed to have them flopping all around.

    If we were going to be doing more hiking about, then I would reconsider the Farpoints. The hip suspension is definitely better, they are of lighter construction, and the packs squeeze everything closer to your center of gravity. The zip-away day pack on the Farpoint 55 is certainly an intriguing feature. If you know how to pack light and tight, and are going to be on your feet a lot, these would probably be better choices.

    Some have commented that the Porter 46 should not have been designed with the laptop sleeve in the front, where it throws more weight off your center of gravity. Perhaps. On the other hand, it does make your laptop more readily accessible for security checks, and it does function as a nice flat surface that the compression straps can leverage.

    The Farpoint 40 at first struck me as the perfect fit for wifey, especially with the better suspension. But then I remembered how she much she usually packs, and I knew there was no way she was going to be satisfied with the 40. The Porter 46 at least gives her the option of packing more, if she really feels it’s worth carrying.

    Our trip is in November, and I’m usually pretty good about updating my reviews if something interesting comes up. If I don’t, assume that we both found our bags perfect for this trip!

    UPDATE 2015-01-27: A great trip, and both our Porter 46 bags proved to be the perfect choice! They are easily converted to/from backpack mode, hold lots of stuff, are strong and well-made, and are aesthetically pleasing, too (although when loaded, they don’t stand up when left on their side–a consequence of the compression design). My comment about the laptop sleeve stands: it’s great for a small laptop or tablet, but leave anything larger at home.

    We paired up the Osprey Day Lite packs with these, which we also found to be a great choice for our little excursions. But while they do attach to the larger Porter 46, I found the attachment process awkward. Plus, it’s not really an optimal solution unless you are carrying relatively little in the Porter; otherwise, the bags just protrude too much, and straps hang down and flop all over. But they have a nice handle on the top (formed by the shoulder straps), which makes them very easy to tote around when you’ve got the Porter on your back.

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  2. 103 of 105 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    After much research, I found the perfect travel backpack, May 30, 2016
    Miss F (Utah) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    I wanted the perfect carry on travel backpack for my two week Europe trip this summer, and I spent a lot of time researching the options. After a lot of time, I narrowed it down to the Tortuga, the TLS Motherlode Weekender, and the Osprey Porter 46.
    Why I chose the Osprey: even though it wasn’t the largest of the three, it was still large, had good back support, good construction (see specifics below), it wasn’t horribly expensive, and it looked sharp. There is also the added bonus that you can attach a daypack to the front so you don’t have to carry two bags. I practiced packing in it with packing cubes for a 2 week trip and it was amazing. I fit so much in it.

    What mattered to me, in order of importance:
    -the most space possible in a carry on
    TLS Motherlode 3299 cu. in.
    Osprey Porter 2772 cu. in.
    Tortuga 2,685 cu. in.
    – hip straps to distribute weight to hips – The Osprey has real hiking bag straps, but the Tortuga’s straps have pockets, so this one was a little harder.
    The TLS just had a thin strap that won’t really do much, so it really lost there.
    -not hard on my back: The Osprey won this one hands down. They have a great reputation of making bags that are good for your back. And since I was in two car accidents last year, this one is kind of a big deal.

    All three options had all of the following things that mattered:
    -front opening zip like a suitcase
    -lockable zippers
    -compression straps/expansion zipper
    -at least one or two external pockets
    – durable: Or at least they better be, I don’t want to spend money on crappy luggage.

    Nice to haves
    – convertible to shoulder bag – Tortuga lose here. They all have stashable straps, but there is no over shoulder strap. The Osprey you have to buy it separately but it’s still an option.
    – Ripstop Nylon – TLS Motherlode loses this one.
    – organization inside – TLS Motherlode really wins this one. A lot. There are pockets and dividers all over inside that bag. It’s crazy!
    – not ugly – The Tortuga is ugly. It just is. The Motherlode is basic, it looks like a backpack, but it comes in five colors. I didn’t love the Osprey at first, but it grew on me. And I liked the red a lot.
    – not horribly expensive – Tortuga lost. It’s two hundred dollars. The other two are about the same, between 100 and 130.

    **Travel Cubes pictures are included in link, that review includes a full list of what I packed in the bag. 6 Sets Packing Cubes Travel Luggage Packing Organizers Compression Pouches(Blue)

    Post-trip update: The Osprey served me well. I fit SO much in it. Everything on my packing list, plus some extras, and more souvenirs than I thought. I checked it on the way home, and because I could stow the straps, the airline could check it normally instead of doing something special with it like they usually do with backpacks. Also, the little straps to help lift the shoulder straps (forgive my lack of technical backpacking lingo) helped a ton in addition to the hip belt.
    Also, I saw someone with a Motherlode in the airport, and it was much prettier online than in person. (But I could be biased)

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  3. Jeff Holmes says:
    189 of 195 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Porter 46 v. Farpoint 40/55 v. Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45, January 22, 2015

    I travel regularly for 2-3 weeks at a time and had been using an old Perry Ellis carry-on bag for years for overseas travel. I hate taking too much with me, and rarely take more than one carry-on bag and a small camera bag for my Canon 6D. The old Perry Ellis bag sometimes pushed the limit if it was over-packed for the overhead bin, and did not have the option for backpack carry. My goal was to get a bag that could be carried as luggage, as a backpack, or as a duffel bag with a shoulder strap.

    I researched a number of bags and eventually narrowed my search to the Porter 46, the Farpoint 40 and 55, and the Tom Bihn Aeronaut 45.

    With regard to the Farpoint models, the 55 was actually very comfortable, and I liked the design of both the primary pack and the zip-on day pack. The ultimate issue I had with the pack, however, was that it was slightly too large to qualify as a carry-on. I had read multiple reviews of travelers having success in making it past the gate as a carry on, but I read quite a few where people were forced the check their luggage as well. Just with the eyeball test, it also appeared slightly too large to me to work as a carry-on. The problem I had with the 40 was that it did not provide me the maximum capacity for a carry-on. I may not always use a full pack, but I wanted the option to have as much carry-on space as possible if I did need to take a full load for some reason. Thus, I eliminated the Farpoint 40 as well and narrowed my search to the Porter 46 and the TB Aeronaut 45.

    I next moved on to compare the Aeronaut and the Porter. The Aeronaut is a very highly reviewed bag, but comes with a hefty price tag as well ($280.00). I live in Washington, so that would also include sales tax of over 8% and a shipping cost of $10. My price for the bag would have thus been close to $330.00. It also does not come with a shoulder strap, so the total cost with an “absolute strap” would have been closer to $365. I felt as though this was a significant price to pay, but I was willing to consider it to have a long term solution as a reliable carry-on travel bag. I had also heard great things about the Tom Bihn guarantee, but when I reviewed the actual terms of the TB guarantee vs. Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee I was a bit more impressed with how broad Osprey’s coverage was on their products (and I could find slightly positive feedback online as to how well Osprey stand’s behind their products). Given the Porter 46 (at $130.00, which I could get from a local retailer to avoid shipping costs) was significantly cheaper than the Aeronaut, I decided there would have to be a significant benefit to purchasing the Aeronaut over the Porter 46 to justify the cost.

    With regard to the Porter 46, it is worth noting that I read a number of reviews about the recent model stating that Osprey had eliminated anchor points for attaching a shoulder strap, as well as complaints about the padding on the waist strap and lack of pockets for storage. When I went to look at the Farpoint at a local retailer, however, I also took a quick look at the Porter 46 and noticed there did seem to be decent (if somewhat minimal) padding on the waist strap, and that it did have anchor points for a shoulder strap. It also had significantly more pockets and storage options than the photos I had seen online. In doing further research, I found that Osprey had updated the model at some point in late 2014, upgrading a number of the major complaint areas of the previous bags. In my opinion, these upgrades constituted major improvements without which I likely would not have purchased the bag (including the addition of more pockets and external storage options, anchor points for a shoulder strap, additional padding on the waist strap, and additional improvements on the back pack strap system to improve comfort). It is also my understanding the improvements led to a price increase from $100 to $130. Something worth noting for people looking for this bag to make sure they get the proper model. I liked how spacious the main compartment was on the Porter 46, and I felt as though the additional exterior pockets were in good locations for my travel preferences, and were the right size for my needs. I filled the Porter up with other items in the store and threw it on my back as a backpack, and it felt very comfortable walking around the store for a brief period of time. I felt as though the amount of available, packable space between the Aeronaut and the Porter was comparable, and the compression system on the Porter was impressive as well.

    When all was said and done, I did not feel as though there was a justification for paying almost $200.00 more for the Aeronaut pack and purchased the Porter. I also liked the external pockets on the Porter more than the Aeronaut, and felt the quality of workmanship (and guarantee behind the product) was very similar as well on both…

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