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Osprey Sojourn 80L Review

A rolling suitcase that can be transformed into a backpack.
Osprey Sojourn 80L/28" Wheeled Convertible Backpack
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $340 List | $339.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Durable and rugged wheels, backpack carry option, great organization, water resistant
Cons:  Tippy when not packed correctly, backpack straps are narrow
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 21, 2020
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 11
  • Reliability - 25% 7
  • Storage & Organization - 25% 6
  • Ease of Transport - 25% 9
  • Weight - 15% 8
  • Style - 10% 5

Our Verdict

With no equal when it comes to transport, the Osprey Sojourn 80L wins a Top Pick for Cross-Country Travel Award. This unique hybrid takes the versatility of a backpack and the convenience of a roller bag and smashes the two together. The result? A roller suitcase with an integrated backpack that can be picked up whenever the trail ahead gets a little rough. The lightweight design and super comfortable suspension system make carrying this bag easier than you'd think. If you're somebody who finds themselves lamenting over whether to take a backpack or roller bag, then this cyborg may be just what you've been looking for.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Osprey Sojourn 80L/28" Wheeled Convertible Backpack
This Product
Osprey Sojourn 80L
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  
Price $339.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$268.94 at Amazon$295 List$360 List$230.26 at Backcountry
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Pros Durable and rugged wheels, backpack carry option, great organization, water resistantSmooth ride, sensible features, excellent organization, great styleStylish, simple, reliable constructionWell-built, great organizational features, suit & dress holder, great travel abilityDurable, simple storage design, great transportability, excellent water-resistance
Cons Tippy when not packed correctly, backpack straps are narrowZippers could be smoother, some reported handle issuesExpensive, drags up stairsPotential zipper and handle issues, high priceSticky zippers and handle button, less padded handles
Bottom Line A rolling suitcase that can be transformed into a backpack.Our most favored roller suitcase.The best spinner luggage option out there.Tackle the business world in the Cadillac of suitcases.A durable and simple general use suitcase.
Rating Categories Osprey Sojourn 80L Timbuk2 Copilot Away Travel Large Platinum Magna 2 26" The North Face Stratoliner 75
Reliability (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
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8
Storage & Organization (25%)
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6
10
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9
10
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8
10
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9
10
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7
Ease Of Transport (25%)
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9
10
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8
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8
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7
10
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8
Weight (15%)
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8
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7
Style (10%)
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7
Specs Osprey Sojourn 80L Timbuk2 Copilot Away Travel Large Platinum Magna 2 26" The North Face...
Measured Weight (lbs) 8.5 10 12 10 10
Measured Volume (liters) 80 80 110 87.5 75
Construction Zip open, softshell Clamshell & peek-a-boo access, softshell Clamshell, hardshell Clamshell, softshell Clamshell, softshell
Measured Packed Dimensions 30" x 16" x 14" 25" x 14" x 10" 27" x 19.5" x 11.5" 25" x 18.5" x 12" 28" X 16" X 12"
Expansion Zippers? No No No Yes No
Number of Wheels 2 2 4 2 2
Number of Large Interior Compartments 1 2 2 1 2
Interior Storage Features 4 organizational pockets inside 2 Mesh dividers with organizational pockets. Seperate toiletries bag, one mesh divider, organizational pocket that can be detached. Removable dress/suit holder, mesh organizational pocket, waterproof organizational pocket. Seperate toiletries bag
Number of Exterior Pockets 2 large pockets 1 pocket on top, 1 large sleeve None 1 small, 1 large 2
Compression System Internal and exterior multi-tiered systems Internal compression straps Interior compression straps, no exterior compression Internal compression straps Interior compression straps, no exterior compression
Handle Height from Ground 40" 40.75" Low: 37.5"
High: 41"
Low: 38"
Med: 40"
High: 42.5"
43"
Built-In Lock None None Yes None None
Main Exterior Material Main: 420D Nylon Shadow Box
Accent: 1680D Ballistic Nylon
Bottom: 1680D Ballistic Nylon
Nylon & polyester Polycarbonate shell Ballistic nylon fabric with water resistant coating 900D Polyester With TPE Laminate, 1680D Polyester
Unique features Backpacking carry option Peek-a-boo front pocket, padded front pocket for a 13" laptop. Unique compression system Removable attachment for a suit or dress Hide-away zippers on the front for ample water resistance.
Warranty Lifetime warranty Lifetime limited warranty Lifetime limited warranty Worry free warranty Limited warranty
Other Volume & Size Options 45L Small (42L), Medium (52L), XL (108L) The Carry-On, The Bigger Carry-On, The Medium Small (21"),
Large (29")
45L

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Osprey Sojurn 80L is a roller suitcase that converts into a backpack. It excels when it comes to ease of transport but is a little lacking in regards to overall storage capacity.

Performance Comparison


The only hybrid roller suitcase with an integrated backpack.
The only hybrid roller suitcase with an integrated backpack.

Reliability


The Osprey Sojourn is built using an aluminum tube frame, surrounded by a seemingly durable face fabric. When wheeling it around fully loaded, it feels stable and sturdy for a soft-sided backpack. This suitcase stood out as one of the most water-resistant, featuring a heavy abrasion-resistant nylon exterior that wraps around the entire backpack. The front panel that zips up is a little thinner, with the materials still offering decent rigidity all around.


We know that this bag can stand up to a beating because… we tested it! The result? It's rugged and quite durable. We're impressed.

Abrasion-resistant nylon panels wrap around the lightweight main enclosure.
Abrasion-resistant nylon panels wrap around the lightweight main enclosure.

The wheels on the Sojourn are pretty bomber. They are oversized and large while the handle is stable and comfortable to use. There are no online reports (that we found) of either of these components failing, and we didn't observe any issues through our travels either. The backpack harness system is also amazingly constructed and hasn't failed us yet. Overall, we are confident in the reliability of this pack and its ability to get you from point A to point B and everywhere in between.

The plastic wheels showed wear and tear after three months of use  but the high chassis allows it to move easily over bulkier barriers.
The plastic wheels showed wear and tear after three months of use, but the high chassis allows it to move easily over bulkier barriers.

The zippers are also big and burly. They tend, however, to catch quite a bit when going around corners, requiring two hands to zip them up and down. This issue is increased by a protective fabric flap, though this feature helps make the Sojourn one of the most water-resistant we tested.

A look at the burly and durable zippers with oversized pulls.
A look at the burly and durable zippers with oversized pulls.

Due to the fantastic compression system integrated into this bag's design, water was unable to penetrate the main compartment throughout most of our testing. The top pocket collected water, but the interior was hardly soaked. In general, we'd trust this pack if you accidentally got stuck in a rainstorm. But, if you want to ensure your stuff doesn't get wet, be sure to carry an extra rain cover just in case.

A look at the water-resistant fabric of the Sojourn.
A look at the water-resistant fabric of the Sojourn.

Storage & Organization


We wanted to love the organization and storage of this bag, but it falls a little short. Constructed like a regular backpack, it's harder to pack items away easily — especially if they are bulky. This is largely due to the large compression straps that get in the way while packing and the fact that the space inside the bag just isn't that voluminous. The Sojourn is fine for a weekend mission or a backpacking trip to Europe, but it's not our first choice for gear-laden adventures — despite its 80L of advertised volume.

This suitcase also comes in a 45-liter capacity.


When planning a climbing trip, we initially reached for this suitcase, hoping it'd be the perfect companion. As soon as we put a rope inside, however, most of the space was gone, and there's no real organizational space to separate gear from clothing. Instead, we chose a different suitcase with a square shape and more open volume in order to pack efficiently and effectively.

A look at the internal storage while packing for a weekend trip.
A look at the internal storage while packing for a weekend trip.

We do appreciate the storage features of this suitcase, though. Engineered like a backpack, you can access all your items while the case is standing straight up — a huge advantage when you're on the go and need something from the interior. There is also one exterior pocket on the top that's nylon-lined and large enough to fit a pair of shoes. The only downside of this pocket is that it cuts into the volume of the actual bag itself. So when it's filled, the space inside is limited. When it's not filled, it easily collapses out of the way.

The top pocket can either hold what you need to get quickly or a pair of running shoes. It's large and offers a water-resistant lining.
The top pocket can either hold what you need to get quickly or a pair of running shoes. It's large and offers a water-resistant lining.

Another great external feature of the Sojourn is the huge compression straps that hug the entire bag. If you decide to empty the pack while on the go (for some reason), you can compress the whole thing down using this unique system. The interior side of the front flap is outfitted with two mesh compartments to help organize toiletries and other delicates and there's another pocket on the side as well. We like these areas for smaller items, but they aren't big enough for clothing. The rest of the bag is open space with two compression straps set horizontally to keep everything in place.

While this backpack advertises 80-L of storage  we hardly got that amount of stuff inside.
While this backpack advertises 80-L of storage, we hardly got that amount of stuff inside.

On the back side of the Sojourn is the backpack system. Nothing can be stored here when it's not in use, which is part of the trade-off to such a versatile movement system. Overall, we appreciate the storage and organizational features of this bag; it's best for those traveling without hoards of bulky gear or for those who don't care if clothing and hard gear intermingle.

Here we access the backpack system that is stored internally in the suitcase.
Here we access the backpack system that is stored internally in the suitcase.

Ease of Transport


This bag already started ahead of the curve with a stout retractable handle and oversized wheels. But when the terrain becomes unforgiving, converting this roller-bag into a backpack is a stroke of genius. The most transportable bag of our review, the Sojourn crowned itself king the moment the full-suspension airflow-friendly backpack conversion came out of hiding.


A surprisingly comfortably fitting lower-back suspension.
A surprisingly comfortably fitting lower-back suspension.

When in roller mode, the oversized wheels offer a pretty smooth ride on hard surfaces and move their way easily over obstacles such as rocks and stones. Unlike many other suitcases that are built with a straight and low-hanging chassis, the high chassis of the Sojourn provides just enough extra room to navigate burlier terrain like cobbles and dirt roads with ease. When going up and down stairs repeatedly — something that's always cumbersome for rolling suitcases — we loved being able to convert to backpack mode.

The high chassis offers some clearance for under-case obstacles.
The high chassis offers some clearance for under-case obstacles.

We did observe some issues when this bag is fully loaded from top to bottom. If there are heavy items in the top pocket that aren't balanced by the load below, the Sojourn will topple over if you try to walk away from it. We even had it flip upsidedown once when taking it off a high curb. As a result, you need to be aware of weight distribution when packing.

Put it into roller mode for all smooth surfaces that you encounter.
Put it into roller mode for all smooth surfaces that you encounter.

Moving this case around is also pretty easy. There are nicely padded handles on the top, bottom, and one side. If you need to lift it into a vehicle, you'll have no trouble. We only wish there was also a handle on the front for even easier navigation.

Transitions are easy from smooth concrete to cracked asphalt with the large oversized wheels.
Transitions are easy from smooth concrete to cracked asphalt with the large oversized wheels.

Now, let's talk about the genius backpack system! To start, it took us a few minutes to figure out where the hip belt was, which buckles went where, and how to make the backpack system comfortable for full-weight carry. Even though the straps are a little thinner, the entire system has built-in suspension to keep weight distributed nicely on your hips. However, some larger reviewers complained that the hip belt wasn't long enough and the straps cut into the shoulders.

When you don't wanna roll  hoist it up and turn it into a backpack.
When you don't wanna roll, hoist it up and turn it into a backpack.

Overall, most of our reviewers feel that the backpack system on the Sojourn is comfortable enough for an all-day carry of about 50 pounds. The result? A well-deserved Top Pick Award. If you know you'll be traveling in areas that aren't suited to a roller suitcase, but you like the wheels for flat surfaces and travel in the airports, this is by far the easiest and best choice.

Weight


This bag weighs in at 8.5 pounds. That's reasonably light for a roller-bag, but not for a backpack. While you can pack more than 40lbs of gear before hitting the maximum weight for most airlines, you probably don't want to carry that on your back for too long. Good thing you also have wheels.


A fairly lightweight suitcase that can tackle most environments.
A fairly lightweight suitcase that can tackle most environments.

Style


For a hybrid suitcase that can either be a backpack or roller suitcase, the style isn't so bad. It's certainly not a fashion-forward piece and focuses largely on function. As a roller suitcase, it doesn't look like anything out of the ordinary — perhaps just a little techy and informal. However, putting it on your back might have you catching a few interesting looks. If you're not too concerned about style though, this multi-use bag might be a great fit.


An outdoorsy suitcase that looks more like a backpack.
An outdoorsy suitcase that looks more like a backpack.

Value


This bag is expensive, but it's a worthy investment for those who need a piece of luggage that can be either carried or rolled. It's unique, and there are no other products out there that do as good a job in this arena. However, for a standard checked suitcase, it won't serve you well with its limited storage and specialized features. The value is there if you are psyched on the functionality, otherwise you might want to go with a more traditional piece of luggage.

Sleek  snazzy  and made for globetrotters.
Sleek, snazzy, and made for globetrotters.

Learn about Osprey's warranty.

Conclusion


The Osprey Sojourn 80L certainly has its place with the frequent road-tripper or the avid backpacker traveling the city. If, during your travels, you find yourself wishing you had a backpack instead of your roller-luggage or vice versa, this is ikely the bag for you. Otherwise, stick to one or the other. The Sojourn makes a great hybrid between the two, but will never be an exceptional roller-bag nor an exceptional backpack. Still, we find it the best for varied terrain, hence our Top Pick for Cross-Country Travel designation.

This backpack-rolling hybrid is perfect for any travel adventure that might take you where roller luggage normally can't go.
This backpack-rolling hybrid is perfect for any travel adventure that might take you where roller luggage normally can't go.


Amber King