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Review: Osprey Bike Pack

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Bike commuters rejoice! The new Momentum backpack from Osprey was designed just for you. Available in 26- or 34-liter sizes, the bag sells for $130 to $150 online. For that price, you get a slim-profile pack with several slick cyclist-specific features. After more than a month of testing, I came away believing that the Momentum can stand out as a strong contender in the saturated field of made-for-commuting bike packs.

On rides as long as 20 miles this spring, I have employed the 26-liter version to haul not only my computer but a change of clothing, shoes, and more. Understandably, with the padding needed to protect the computer, the bag seemed stiff at first. But soon it blended into the periphery and allowed me to transport my gear safely and with no discomfort at all.

Osprey Momentum 34-liter (left) and 26-liter packs

Material choices are great, with tough zippers and smooth, non-dirt-holding fabrics. Reflective graphics and a small strap for mounting blinky lights helped me to stay visible when the sun went down. Its shoulder straps unclip and stow away when I am done riding, and a handle on the side allows the Momentum to carry like a brief case.

Every time I think I have maxed out the bag, I’ve still managed to zip the compression zipper to give it a more slim profile. Two sleeves with buckle closures can accommodate laptops up to 17 inches. And should I get caught in a downpour, a stow-away rain shell will buy me some time to get to my destination or under cover indoors.

Blinky-light strap, retracting key holder, and U-lock pocket

A handful of snazzy and user-friendly features set this bag apart from the competition. Osprey’s “LidLock” is a small plastic oval attached to a bungee-like cording for helmet-holding duties once you are off the bike. It works. Handy little zippered pockets on each shoulder strap hold small items, with one pocket featuring a retracting cord key-keeper.

With so many features for the cycling commuter, especially those hauling a computer, this is one of the best ride-to-work bags I have used. Thumbs up to Osprey and its aptly-named Momentum pack!

—T.C. Worley

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