Since moving from the UK to Poland, my traveling style has changed from flying with a carry-on to renting a car and driving around Central and Eastern Europe. This has been an amazing way to tick off a bunch of new countries off of my list while also getting to explore each country in its entirety and I actually prefer this way to travel.
In fact, I love it so much that trips have gradually gotten longer and further and as driving through the mountains is my absolute favorite, hiking and camping are becoming part of the norm as well.
With trips getting longer and having to hike to whatever spot we are staying at on any particular night, carry-on bags or traditional suitcases are no longer appropriate for carrying my things. This was when I decided that it was time to finally buy a backpack.
Osprey Eja 58
I’ve always resisted buying a big backpack because I don’t travel like a backpacker and the idea of carrying too much weight on my back really doesn’t appeal to me; this way of thinking was still very much on my mind when I started my research for a new bag but I tried to not let it dissuade me from my decision.
After a lot of time researching and putting it off and trips where I had to lug around bags that didn’t do what I wanted, I finally came across the Osprey Eja 58 and I felt confident in my decision. Osprey has been a life-changing brand for me in terms of their female-specific fit bags that provide a lot of back support (no more pain – woo!), so I knew that if I was going to get my first backpack, it had to be with them.
Boy am I glad that I did, the Eja is a great bag with so many compartments, tons of space, and the classic Osprey support system that makes any amount of weight moot. To those who want to get a bit more technical, here are a few of the specs:
Eja 58L Specs:
Weight: 1.19 kg (M)
Maximum Dimensions (cm): 83 (l) x 41 (w) x 35 (d)
Main Fabric: 100D High Tenacity Nylon
What I love about the Osprey Eja
When I received the Osprey Eja 58, my first thought when I pulled it out of the box was “this looks sweet!” quickly followed by “wow, this is incredibly light for a bag this size.” I immediately loved the look of the bag, especially how smart it looks even with the dark deep purple/blue color, and the fact that it is super lightweight is a gift that keeps on giving.
After such prompt delivery, I received the bag just in time for my week-long trip to Bologna, Italy! As I drove 14 hours from Warsaw, stopping at Slovakia on the way down and Slovenia on the way back, I had plenty of opportunities to test if this bag really ticked my boxes and since then, I’ve also used it on a weekend-long hiking and camping trip too.
Here are my thoughts on the product as well as a few of the features which I love.
Size: Size was a big need for me as I knew I needed the space for my things plus a tent and sleeping bag plus my dog’s things but the Eja fitted everything no problem! In fact, I had a lot of space free which I love. This gives me the freedom to pack extra things I may need (a thick sleeping blanket and a coat for the Winter months).
Compartments: as always, Osprey thinks of everything when it comes to compartments and features and I almost used them all. From the sizeable front and side pockets for my water bottle and quick-access items to the inside mesh pocket that allowed me to store items that I’d need to find later, the Eja makes storage and organization easy.
Editor’s Note: Check out our Packing List for Europe
Back Support: my biggest concern with such a big bag was weight but no matter how much I carry in this bag, the amount of weight becomes insignificant when I buckle up the hip belt and harness. It’s honestly like magic and it’s all down to the ergonomically shaped hip belt, harness, yoke and back panel all working together.
Osprey is one of the best backpacking brands out there and in my opinion, they make the best women’s specific fit bags.
No matter how long I carried this pack, I felt comfortable and supported and I am genuinely still amazed by this bag.
If you have back pain or think that a 58L backpack wouldn’t suit you because it would be too heavy, don’t let these reasons stop you from trying this bag; I had a very strong opinion against backpacking bags and the Osprey Eja has just blown those opinions out of the water.
Durability: this bag has taken on the elements battling through the rain and snow, it’s been thrown from car to train to the plane, and it has carried kilo after kilo over a variety of terrain.
The result? Apart from it looking a bit used, it’s performing as good as new! With its high tenacity nylon material, the Osprey Eja like the rest of the brand’s products is incredibly long-lasting and just an overall tank.
Lightweight: although the Eja 58 is big, it somehow weighs in at just a shade over 1kg. This is pretty incredible when you think about it – this bag can hold 58 liters of stuff and outlast many other top-end backpacking packs AND it is super lightweight at 1.19kg.
With its removable lid, you can even shave off even more weight to really hit the minimum. I absolutely love this about the Osprey Eja and it makes all the difference when you’re hiking with a full pack as each kilo counts. This really makes it an ideal bag to take hiking.
Cons of the Eja 58L
While I am raving about this bag, I do dislike one thing and that is the stiff back panel. When the bag doesn’t have much content or is completely empty, it has a tendency to fall forward and this makes it quite difficult to finish unpacking or to start packing it.
It’s not really a major issue but it’s quite annoying when I’ve got my hands full with folded clothes and the bag keeps falling forward, it makes the whole process unnecessarily fiddly (and I’m not that coordinated as it is!).
Again, not a dealbreaker and the fact that that back panel is the reason for such great weight distribution and support trumps this minor issue anyway. Just thought that it was worth a mention.
Overall Thoughts on the Eja 58L
Using this bag for a couple of different trips now, I can confidently say that I would recommend it as a great hiking and backpacking option. Although a big pack, it was perfect for all the hiking and camping equipment that I have to carry with me, but if you need less space they do offer the Osprey Eja in 48L and 38L too.
When choosing the right pack for you, just remember to use their app to input your measurements so that you can make sure that the bag you get fits you perfectly. It really does make all the difference!
When it came to traveling with the Eja, I was able to carry everything that I needed and still hike without a problem. Even with the weight, my back never hurt and the ventilated AirSpeed™ back panel meant that I was comfortable no matter how long I hiked for or how many layers I had on.
All in all, the Osprey Eja satisfied all my requirements for a new backpack and it forever changed my skeptical belief that a backpacking bag was not for me!
I haven’t used all of the features yet, in particular, the Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachment and the internal hydration sleeve, but I look forward to continuing my exploration of this pack while using it to explore the rest of Europe!
Disclaimer: This Osprey bag was sent to us to try out but as always, our opinion is solely ours. We will always be 100% honest with all our reviews.