Osprey Ultralight Stuff Duffel Review
Cons: Only has one strap, lacks structure for easy packing, low weather resistance
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Osprey Ultralight Stuff Duffel goes a step beyond being a simple accessory bag, with its high-quality construction, lightweight 40-Denier ripstop nylon fabric, and comfortable padded shoulder strap. It packs down into a pouch so small, it would be silly not to bring it along on an extended trip just in case you needed extra room for things on the way back. This is definitely a great choice for an ultralight bag that can withstand more abuse than your average lightweight duffel and has many features we appreciate.
Ease of Transport
This duffel bag improves upon most ultralight models with its padded shoulder strap. Though a 30-liter bag isn't intended to carry too much weight for a regular strap to feel uncomfortable, we are all too familiar with the feeling of a piece of nylon webbing digging into our shoulder while we navigate the lines through the airport, and wonder why our gate is always the furthest one away…
The strap length is also adjustable, so you can customize it to be the most comfortable to carry for your body. This strap is the only one on the entire bag, however, with no grab handles or daisy chains for lashing or different methods of carrying. However, this is understandable for such a lightweight bag, and we appreciate that its shoulder strap goes above and beyond with its comfortable padding.
Storage and Ease of Packing
This 30-liter bag has a spacious interior and flexible nylon fabric, allowing you to stuff it quite full if you so chose. Our testers could fit three pairs of pants, four shirts, a sweater, and a light jacket with room to spare. Because of its ability to stuff into its own storage pouch, this bag lacks any structure that would make packing easier. It only starts to take shape once you put items inside and is not the best choice if you want your clothes to stay put and wrinkle-free. You'll also want to avoid putting sharp or heavy objects inside, as it has the potential to be uncomfortable against your body when you are carrying it over your shoulder.
While constructed with only a thin layer of nylon, which allows it to pack down small, the fabric on this duffel is sturdy 40-Denier nylon ripstop, which is tough, tear-resistant, and adequately water-resistant material for a simple bag. There are ultralight duffels on the market with even higher denier fabric, and the 40-Denier fabric doesn't even come close to the 1000-Denier material of high-end duffel bags, but for such a lightweight and inexpensive bag, the materials are perfectly adequate for everyday use and abuse. The bottom of the bag is a 100-Denier x 70-Denier nylon ripstop which makes this bag rugged enough to be tossed around a fair amount and is an impressive strength component for this small, unassuming duffel.
Although the 40-Denier ripstop nylon is a strong fabric, there is only a single layer of it with no protective coating on this bag, and we would not recommend bushwhacking with it over our shoulder, or subjecting it to sharp rocks or objects as it can only withstand a certain amount of abuse.
This ultralight duffel bag isn't the lightest duffel we've seen on the market, but it comes pretty close with its mere 0.4 pounds weight. Because it has some extra features like a padded shoulder strap and some extra pockets, it sacrifices some of the weight benefits that a true ultralight bag can provide. But our testers appreciated these extra features and were happy to trade a few extra ounces for these comfort and organizational benefits.
While the Osprey design will keep its contents dry in the lightest of rain, this bag is not at all fully waterproof. Its thin, single layer of 40-Denier nylon fabric will repel water droplets to an extent but is vulnerable at the seams which are not taped for water protection, and at the main zipper which is fully exposed on the top of the bag. We would not be worried about the contents of the bag getting soaked on the way to the gym or from the parking lot to the airport, but a lightweight bag like this is not made to be fully submerged in water or subjected to long stretches of inclement weather as its strength lies in its weight and size, not as a top-of-the-line, weather-resistant duffel bag.
Ultralight products typically come at a high cost. Though simple, they must use high-quality materials to stay light and be truly functional. The Osprey Ultralight Stuff Duffel surprised our testers with its moderate price tag, and its helpful features like its stowability, pockets, and comfortable strap, make it well worth its nominal cost. We believe this bag is a great value for being an ultralight product.
For the traveler who wants to pack an extra bag for travel, or the gym-goer who wants something light and durable for their clothes, shoes, and water bottle, look no further than the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Duffel, which will disappear into your luggage until you need it, and be a long-lasting accessory for whatever you might need.
— Miya Tsudome
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