Recently I decided to try something different. I’ve been constantly paring down what I bring traveling to the point that my larger bag was a bit empty. At one point, I used the extra space to try a new hobby and filled it with paints, an easel, and a large sketch pad. Still, there was room to spare. It wasn’t that I didn’t have enough stuff. My bag was just too big. I wanted something smaller.
Until recently I’ve been relying on two bags. An Osprey Daylite and a 40L backpack. These bags work great together, but walking around with one bag on the front and another on the back is exhausting. Plus you end up looking like a total tourist. Since I’ve been paring down, I figured I’d try moving on to just one bag, the Osprey Pandion 28.
Osprey Pandion 28
My travel needs are a bit different than most. I travel slow. Taking my time to soak in each location and doing a bit of online work to support my travel addiction. That means I need a bag that can expand to take in all my stuff when I’m running to the airport and shrink down to a basic laptop bag when I’m exploring the town or checking out a new coffee shop.
The Osprey Pandion 28 is definitely up to that task. One thing I was worried about beforehand was using the Pandion as a daily bag. I figured it’d feel bulky and ungainly. Fortunately, the opposite is true. Tighten up the straps and it feels just like any other daily bag (but with much better support). Plus you can even slide a laptop in and out without buckling/unbuckling the top buckles. After loosening the straps back up, I was able to fit all my current travel gear inside (other than a few things I was planning on dropping off anyway).
Even when completely full, it still rested comfortably on my back and felt much lighter than other bags due to the better weight distribution. Plus the frame creates a bit of separation from your back which is great for keeping cool in hot weather.
Pandion 28 Specs:
- Weight: 1.16 kg
- Maximum Dimensions (cm): 55 (l) x 33 (w) x 28 (d)
- Main Fabric: 420HD Nylon Packcloth
What I love about the Osprey Pandion 28
I’ve put the Pandion 28 through its paces. In the weeks since I’ve gotten it, I went from Madrid to Porto to Gran Canaria onto a cruise across the Atlantic Ocean to Panama and finally back to the U.S. for a quick break. I’ve loaded it up, tested it in a variety of travel situations, and now I’m ready to tell you all about it.
Kickstand: One of the new things on this model is the kickstand. It’s a great way to ensure easy access to your gear when you set it down. When the bag is fully compacted, it doesn’t always work, but it’s easy to keep at your side or underneath the table when it’s that small.
Size: 28L is going to seem pretty small to non-experienced travelers, but if you’re ready to move on to a minimal pack, this will fit just right. To give you a few more details, there’s one massive pocket in the back that’ll fit clothes and electronics. I currently can fit 2 jeans, 3 shorts, 15 shirts, cables, a keyboard, and various other accessories in there with relative ease. There are also 2 sleeves in that pocket which were perfect for my laptop and tablet.
The next full-size pocket is perfect for organizing everything else with its various mesh and zipper pockets. There’s also outside zipper pocket where you can stash your passport, cash, and phone while going through security. Finally, there’s an open mesh outer pocket for wet beach gear or anything else you want to keep separate. It’ll also fit as a carry on generally. However, you’ll need to be a bit careful on its depth. It’ll expand up to 28 cm., but you’ll need to keep it to 22 cm. to get in on the plane.
Related: If you’re looking for something slightly bigger, check our Osprey Farpoint 40L Review
Compartments: The laptop and tablet pockets are perfect. Super convenient to get my laptop in and out quickly even with the buckles tightened up. It would be a bit difficult to pull the laptop out if the bag is full, so keep that in mind when you’re going through security. Generally, there’s a great amount of room for the size and it’s well laid out to keep everything organized.
Back Support: The harness is perhaps the number one draw to this bag. It’s cushioned and has great weight distribution. I can already picture how much better I would feel on a long hike with this bag.
Versatility: From packed to the brim and ready for world travel to buckled up and ready for a day on the laptop at your favorite coffee shop, this bag has got you covered.
Overall Thoughts on the Pandion 28
I’ve had a few Osprey bags and they’ve always been well-designed and durable. In fact, they have a ridiculously general guarantee to back them up. If it ever needs any repairs, they’ll fix it.
Overall, the Pandion 28 is a solid all-around bag that works in a variety of situations. If you need a bag you can use on hikes, beach trips, travel, or just a trip to the library, this bag is a great choice.