Monday, April 25, 2011

UPDATE: Osprey Momentum Backpack


I have had the Osprey for about three months now so I feel that I can make an adequate review focusing on the usage, and not merely the cosmetics.

So far the bag has been tested out as a school bag (law school, loads of books and computer), day commuter (trips to the supermarket, bookstore, drugstore and library and other general errands), short hiker, and a media bag (camera, computer, kindle, ipod and the like).

The Momentum performs very well in all of the above stated uses. As a bag for school it handles the demanding loads of law school with ease, however as it is only the 26 liter model you are limited in the number of books that you can put in it. I can usually fit 2 large case books, computer and charger. As a day  commuter the Momentum has enough space for a light trip to the grocery store, or whole day out of downtown shopping. Perhaps my favorite use for this bag so far has been as a media bag. The main compartment (where you would put books in a knapsack) has two medium sized mesh pockets on the back wall which hold electronic gadgets. The amount of padding in the bag is also a major plus when deciding to stow your media/ electronic gadgets in it; each pocket and compartment of the Momentum have great padding. I have been known to have the occasional slips of hand and so far this bag has saved me from a few of those! My electronics have made it through the drops and bumps thanks to this thing's padding.

The Momentum is billed as a commuter bag for bikers and other commuters and it does a great job as such. No matter how you like to wear a bag, loose or cinched down, you can configure this bag to sit comfortably. I have Scoliosis and it is often difficult to situate a pack on my back, however the Momentum does not have the obtuse over-padding of most bags, it has very dense padding that does not get too hot or put necessary pressure on you back. Very comfortable.



I only have a few issues with the Momentum, nothing that would make me take this bag back. The first: as a school bag, the writing implement pocket on the front is a bit short, you cannot fit a wooden pencil in it, nor a long pen, at most this in frustrating and not a game changer.

Second: the water bottle pockets on the side. The model that I have has zippered pockets with mesh that zips out. When using them you bottle tips out away from you (towards the front of the pack) this makes them very hard to get at and you usually have to take the bag off for a drink. The zippers also unzip under the weight of the bottle. I have found that I can only use them for smaller containers when the bag has stuff in the main compartment. When the main compartment is empty you can fit a large Nalgene in them with ease. Again, a bummer, but not a deal breaker; if nothing else they make great stash pockets for cellphones or the like.



Here is a Pro and Con list of some other small points! All in all this is an awesome bag, if you want a functional, weather resistant commuter bag with some outdoor panache and credit!

Pro:

  • Versatility
  • Very water resistant even without the attached rain fly! (walked for 45 minutes in a pretty good drenching with no leakage at all, no rain fly)
  • Great mesh pockets in the main compartment for organizing
  • Comfortable: custom tailor the fit with all of the adjustments.
  • Front quick access pouch (adjustable strap allows it to close almost all the way! Bonus secure Pocket!)
Con:

  • Small organized front pocket (a pencil will not fit upright in the mesh pockets and must be laid sideways)
  • Awkward bottle pockets

I would definitely seek this bag out again, however next time I would opt for the larger unit as 26 liters gets filled up pretty quick!        

Great Bag, look forward to testing another Osprey model out, hopefully soon.

Get a hold of me with any questions,

-J




29 comments:

Sharkbytes said...

I have yet to find a pack with side pockets for water bottles that one can take out without taking off the pack.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updated review! I was the guy that inquired about it last time :)

miadventure said...

Well thanks for reading and for urging me to finish this review up! We all need a little spurring once in a while. Do you have any other questions?

miadventure said...

Sharkbytes, you should try the REI bag that they call the Traverse, a 30 liter day hiker, very accessible bottle pouches!

Anonymous said...

No other questions other than to say that I got the bag as well! Thanks for your review :)

Mine is the newer version with the mesh water bottle holders. The nice thing about the new version is it has an expansion zipper that opens it up and adds an extra 8 liters of storage, putting it on par with the 34 (which I believe also has that expansion zipper).

miadventure said...

Lucky Dog! Hope you enjoy it!

qayshp said...

Thanks for the review and pics. It's really quite difficult to find pictures of the insides of backpacks like you've posted, and REI doesn't have any in store to check out.

It's a little strange that all the pictures and descriptions online of the 26 have mesh and the 34's have the zipper side pockets.

miadventure said...

I guess that the older model 26 had zippered and the old 34 had mesh. Now both models come with mesh. My bag is the older version. Thanks for looking!

I hope the review helped!

-J

qayshp said...

Do you by any chance know of stores that may have these in stock? REI only has them online and, well obviously, same with Amazon.

miadventure said...

Hey, your profile says that you are in San Diego, so there is this shop:
Cal Coast Bicycles
3020 Adams Ave.
San Diego, CA 92116
Phone: 619-281-7433

call them up and see if they have one in stock. Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Question. How's the padding of the back of backpack? I've yet to find one at store to see myself. Will it get hot over the summer? What material is it.

Great review!

miadventure said...

The padding is a thin high-density foam material. The good news about it is that even though it is thin it is pretty sturdy and has so far held up greatly. The one down side that I have with this pack is that doesn't breath really well, however it breathes much better than most commuter bags. I have heard good things about the air flow system on the Opsrey Talon, however= no laptop sleeve on those, so you will have to make some concessions with whichever bag you end up choosing. Thank you for reading the review.

Have you checked the rest of the site?

-J

Anonymous said...

Yes I've read your first post on the bag.

I have reservation about the Momentum mainly because it does not look like it'll circulate air very well on your back. I ride a 15 miles commute and I ride in an open field for good 5 miles (under hot summer sun).

FYI - I have a Talon 33 and I find it very useful for my commute and hiking. However it got too many snap buckles, just to access inside the bag. It becomes a bothersome to go through buckles... just to take out my iPad when on train.

Thus why I'm looking at the Momentum.

miadventure said...

I think that if you have a light to middle weight load (like 8-11 pounds) this bag vents pretty well. But when I load it up for class it gets pretty hot.

Anonymous said...

Ah. I'll need to ponder some more on this.

Thanks for your quick replies.

Terry Wong said...

Hi, Can you post a picture with you wearing your osprey momentum 26 ? Tks

miadventure said...

Hey there Terry, I just posted a separate blog: http://randomstreamoc.blogspot.com/2011/06/pictures-of-osprey-momentum-26.html

There is a pic of me wearing the bag, as well as a few other shots. Let me know if these do the trick.

For perspective I am 5'7" so this is how the bag looks on someone of my size.

Have a good one!

Jason said...

Do you know if this bag or the 34 will handle a 17" laptop? I have read both that the 34 will and will not...

Terry Wong said...

Hi,

thanks for your pics. I just found a shop selling osprey too over here in my place. I think i'm going to get one and it will be osprey momentum 34. The bags and colour looks great.

Terry Wong said...

Hi John,

I just think of question for you. we all do know you have osprey momentum 26. But do you know what is the real size you are having now.

I have browse through osprey website:http://www.ospreypacks.com/detail.php?productID=224&colorCode=925&tab=specifications

They do have S/M & M/L and if you do know your real size. May I know how you verify that or it is stated in the product tag. Await your reply. Thanks again.

miadventure said...

Jason, I am sorry but I am not sure what size laptop the 34 will fit. If you take you computer to your local bike shop or REI, I am sure they would be more than willing to help you fit it.

Terry, according to that chart I have the M/L. However if you look at the front of the bag, where it says the name "momentum" you will see a number under the name. That is about as good that I can give you on finding the size.

Good luck buying these guys! I love mine.

-J

Alannah said...

Thank you for this great review. I'm starting uni again come September and plan on biking, so I need a good sturdy bag. Also I have a toddler who will be riding along in my bike trailer and I find that there is always sneaking extra things along for him in my back pack, so I'll be buying the 34.. This review decided it for me and I just wanted to say cheers for the thorough breakdown of the bag :)

miadventure said...

Alannah, Thank you for reading. You will not be disappointed with your choice! Stop back in and let me know how you feel about it!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Thanks for your review. You know hwow it is when you are considering a product and you hope that someone has doen a real world review of it? Always good to get a real users low down.

I am considering a Momentum 26 as a work/town/hill pack and wondered about the capacity. While I appreciate the internal organisation; laptop sleeve, document dividers etc, I wondered if these would expand sufficiently to accomodate a waterproof jacket, overtrousers and a spare mid layer, hat and so on? (I am in the UK in the summer after all!).

Would really appreciate your thoughts on the capacity aspect of the pack. It looks great and your photos are a real help. Does it have external compression straps to keep a less full pack cinched down and immobile? Shame it doesn't have external bungee cords to store stuff.

Regards

Rob

miadventure said...

Hey Rob, Thank you for the interest. About your question, If you have a laptop and its cord in the pack you should be able to stuff extra layers, pants and a rainproof jacket.

As for compression straps it does have two (they run on an upward angle and provide great compression). In fact I sometimes use them to cinch in a hat, or mid layer.

This works great as a commuter bag, but if you are at all second guessing the capacity that you will require I would urge you to get the 34 liter model. Better safe than without something that you need.

Have you checked out my other posts?

Have a great day,

-J

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

Thanks for the clarification. I am pretty much convinced that it is the pack for me. I will probably end up going for the 26 litre as I have an Opsrey Talon 33 for more mountain/hill specific longer walks. Had the Momentum been aroudn then and had I seen your review i might have ended up with just one Osprey pack and met all my uses. That said, winter walking in the UK presents dilemnas that are best met by taking too much and not ending up thinking, 'if only I packed...'

I read both the Osprey posts plus the one wheer you won it (lucky so and so!) and have browsed a bit but I'm at work so...

Have a good day, too

All the best

Rob

Anonymous said...

John,

Just wanted to say thank you for your review of this pack. It was the best review I could find and lead me to purchase the momentum 34. I have had it for a couple months now and it is awesome. I am currently using it for school, commuting and have used it for traveling.

Thanks,

Daniel

miadventure said...

Daniel, thank you so much for the comment. I am glad to have provided you with the requisite info on the bag! Good choice with the 34. Even if you do not need the space all of the time it sure is nice when you do!

I hope that you return to the site from time to time to see what we are up to!

Take care,

-J

My Life Outdoors said...

Great Review. I am looking to buy this pack as a laptop bag/briefcase. You have all the info I am looking for. Oh and it looks like the newest Momentum's have better mesh pockets.