Osprey Porter 46 Review (The Backpack I Took to 50+ Countries!)
Osprey Porter 46 Review

Osprey Porter 46 Review (The Backpack I Took to 50+ Countries!)

Looking for an honest review of the Osprey Porter 46 liter backpack?

Well, I promise you won’t find a better or more complete Osprey Porter 46 review than this one.

How can I be so sure?

Well, over six years I’ve taken my Osprey Porter 46 backpack to over 50+ countries across six continents! I’ve taken this backpack through the Amazon jungle, over the hills of Nepal, backpacking through Europe, and to the Grand Canyon. I travel full time and write a backpacker travel blog for a living, so I’ve put my Osprey porter through some serious testing!

So how does the Porter backpack hold up?

Read on my for my detailed review of the Osprey Porter 46 backpack: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Ok, it’s mostly just good because this is a truly awesome backpack! If you don’t believe me, go read the many awesome reviews of the Osprey Porter 46 over on Amazon’s site.

[affiliate disclosure: if you purchase a bag through the links on this site, I may get a small commission at no additional cost to you. You don’t have to use my links to buy, but if this Osprey Porter 46 review is helpful to you, it’s a nice way to say thank you!]

Osprey Porter 46 Review Summary

Here’s the bottom line on the Osprey Porter 46: it’s a truly excellent all-around backpack for most types of travelers. It offers the versatility and functionality of a backpack but the style and ease of a porter bag or suitcase. I would highly recommend this backpack to almost every type of traveler except for hardcore hikers who need a little more serious backpack for handling the wilderness.

It’s also enormously affordable considering how long it will last you. Click here to check the latest prices on Amazon.

A Detailed Review of the Osprey Porter 46L Backpack

After 50+ countries across six continents, I have a lot to say about the Osprey Porter 46 backpack! So let’s dive right into the nitty gritty of why I think this is the best casual travel backpack out there:

Features and Specs of the Osprey Porter 46

For such a simple-looking bag, the Osprey Porter 46 is loaded with features you’d usually find on much more high end backpacks. Here’s a quick rundown of the key features and specs:

  • Cost: affordable (click here to check latest pricing on Amazon).
  • Size: 46 liters, 25 x 15 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs (1.54 kgs)
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Colors: Black, Castle Grey, Diablo Red, Mineral Teal
  • Pockets: top pocket, laptop sleeve (up to 15 inch), stowaway pocket for straps
  • Features: straitjacket compression for packing, stowaway hipbelt and shoulder straps
  • Adds ons: D-ring attachment for adding an additional shoulder strap, Osprey Daylite backpack compatability

Click here to read about more features of this bag.

Pros of the Osprey Porter 46

Osprey Porter 46 Review: Pros and Cons

  • Carry-on size 
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Rugged design 
  • Lifetime guarantee 
  • One very large and easy to use pocket 
  • Simple and stylish look 
  • Convenient straitjacket compression 
  • Easy to attach daypack 

Look, there is a lot to love about this backpack. And in the six years I’ve been using it, Osprey has continued to make improvements over the model I purchased (e.g., by adding a laptop sleeve).

First, it’s the perfect size. Just check out my around-the-world packing list to see how much I fit inside it!

Second, my absolute favorite thing about the Osprey Porter 46 liter backpack is that it easily and quickly converts from a backpack that you can comfortably carry on your shoulders to a porter bag.

Why is that important?

Well, for one thing it means you can check this bag, put it under a bus, or store it somewhere without worry that your backpack straps are going to snag something. But it is also great for those times when you don’t want to “look” like a dirty backpacker who just rolled out of a hostel dorm bed.

I also love that you can attach any Osprey Daylite daypack to the back of the bag and carry them together. Click here to check out the daypack I’ve taken on my travels around the world: it’s a perfect and affordable compliment to the porter backpack.

The Porter is also an enormously rugged bag and I’ve really put it through the ringer. I’ve taken it through the jungles of South America, the mountains near Denver, Colorado, backpacking through Europe, and hundreds of other places! Heck, I even had it with me when I was doused with water during Thailand’s Songkran festival (and I still managed to keep my electronics dry!).

Click here to check the latest prices and order your bag on Amazon.

Cons of the Osprey Porter 46

  • Not much padding on straps
  • Minimal pockets 
  • Zippers can get caught 

There’s not a whole lot that I would change about the Osprey Porter 46, but no backpack is perfect.

For one thing, the fact that the straps hideaway has a downside: they by necessity don’t have as much padding as you might find on a more serious hiking backpack.

This means that, while the bag is comfortable for general carrying or even short distance hikes, after a few kilometers the straps start to pull at my back a bit. So if you’re just planning to walk around cities or do some very light hiking, it’s fine. For anything more hardcore, you need a more serious backpack. That’s the price you pay for the hideaway feature, though!

Another drawback of the bag is that it doesn’t have a bunch of pockets. I think this is mostly a good feature, as I find it easier to pack my bag with one big pocket, but it does mean you have to pay more attention to organizing your stuff.

Lastly, the only annoyance I’ve ever had with this bag is that sometimes the zippers catch on the little slip of material that’s meant to protect them. It can be a pain to get them uncaught, but it’s only happened a few times in six years of traveling.

Bottom Line: Should You Buy the Osprey Porter 46 L Backpack?

The Osprey Porter 46 is a really solid backpack for most travelers who need a casual bag that they can carry on their backs. I’d call it more of a “flashpacker” backpack than a traditional backpack, since it sort of straddles the line between a normal backpacking backpack and a porter bag or suitcase.

The Osprey Porter 46 is a great backpack for solo travelers, long travelers, families traveling with kids, or just about anyone doing casual international travel.

About the only people I can’t recommend this bag for are hardcore outdoor enthusiasts. The bag simply isn’t made for multi-day long hikes through the wilderness. For that, you should get a more full-featured hiking backpack.

But for just about everyone else, after 50+ countries and some serious memories, I can honestly say the Osprey Porter 46 is the best backpack I have ever found!

Click here to check the latest prices and order your bag on Amazon.


What do you think? Have you tried out the Osprey Porter 46 L? Scroll down and leave me a comment to let me know your experience.

Don’t like the Osprey Porter? Check out my post on the best backpacks for Europe to see if there is something else that suits your needs!

And, if you’re on Pinterest, you can pin this Osprey Porter 46 review for later here:

Looking for the best backpack for travel? I took this awesome backpack to 50+ countries! Read why I think it's the best bag you can get for backpacking. #backpack #travelbag #reviews #backpacking

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About the Author Nate Hake

Nate Hake has traveled to 65+ countries across six continents around the world and blogs about his travels at TravelLemming.com. He is from Denver, Colorado, recently concluded a six month stint living in Mexico, and is now currently traveling in Thailand.

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