Slick New Commuter Backpacks from Osprey
Osprey has expanded their lineup of packs from the hydration models we’ve seen before to cover commuters as well.
The new Portal series gets, as the name suggests, clear “portals” that allow tablets to be used without removal. Shown above is the Pixel (right) and Pixel Port (left). The Pixel’s portal is under the flip cover front panel, and there’s a handy removable zippered punch to store all of your cables, chargers and various other lifelines required in this digital age. Closed, it fits into the lower zippered pocket on the bottom of the bag.
Inside the Pixels are plenty of pockets for small bits, a main cargo section and padded laptop sleeve. The larger Pixel also has zippered expansion panels, increasing your carrying capacity on demand. Last but not least, both feature a padded top carrying handle. Retail for the two is $139 and $119, colors available are Black Pepper, Chestnut Brown, Pinot Red and Grey Herringbone (shown here).
Somewhat more bike-specific are the Spin (left) and Radial bags. The Spin uses a flap-style front cover with a nifty, easy to grab release handle on the bottom that holds it snug without the business-meeting-interrupting rip of Velcro. Inside there are laptop, tablet and document sleeves plus the main cargo section. A top stash pocket is on the outside, just above the LidLock helmet retention doodad (which works pretty well in our experience). Two sizes are available, retail is $129 to $139.
The Radial series (green) comes in two different volumes, each with two different frame sizes. The cargo section has a main top-zip entry plus a separate exterior zip entry for the padded laptop sleeve. Retail is $159 to $169.
From the back, you can see the key differences between the AirScape (red) back panel, which rests the padding closer to the back, and the AirSpeed, which has a stretched mesh that lets more air between back and pack. Plus, the Radial has airier shoulder straps, making it a more bicycle friendly option in hot areas. The only catch? These are all Fall/Winter 2013 packs, and should be available just after the summer.
Not shown, the existing Momentum lineup gets updated with a stretch U-lock pocket, Airscape back panel and better interior organization.