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!
- 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!)
- 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,