There’s a downside to being into many different outdoor activities (apart from the cost) – you’re always on the lookout for gear that can be used in more than one way, and that will survive the resulting knockabout style.
Now, there’s finally something to help with the camping, diving, and kayaking, and it’ll even help keep my bushwalking and snow gear neatly organised at home – The Osprey Transporter Duffel.
Functionality & Ease of Use (Rating: 90%)
I was surprised to receive a neat little parcel, with a vinyl, fabric and mesh storage bag holding the duffel. Hard to believe what’s inside can hold 130 litres.
But, once unpacked, it turns into a big, solid bag, with shoulder straps concealed behind a panel on the lid. Getting these out and set up is the only fiddly thing about the Transporter, and once you’re accustomed to how it works it’s simple enough.
It’s easy to pack and unpack as there are two small zippered pockets (one in, one out) to hold minor items, and plenty of big stuff can be packed into the main compartment. All my tech diving gear (except tanks and weights) including harness, helmet, lights and dry-suit fits in nicely. When kayaking it will hold a large backpack and anything else I need for an extended paddling and walking trip that doesn’t fit into the boat’s holds (it can actually hold everything but the kayak handles better when the holds are full).
Now it’s just one easy trip with the duffel in ‘pack mode’ to carry all the gear from kayak to camp rather than backwards and forwards half a dozen times. A much easier trip to haul the dive gear to and from the car instead of the bins and other bags I’ve been using. And a strangely tidy car with just two big bags and a pack when I’m off on a camping and walking trip. Plus it comes in a lovely range of colours. Mine’s the deep red.
Design, Comfort & Durability (Rating: 90%)
Osprey have a reputation for well-designed and constructed gear, and the Transporter Duffel shows how they got it.
The lid unzips on three sides, opening the duffel out for easy packing. The mesh pocket at one end is great for small things you want to keep separate. There’s another zippered pocket on the outside at the other end for those things to which you need fast access – wallet, keys, camera, GPS etc.
The range of sizes means you can pick one to suit your activity: if you have a lot of bulky gear, the largest holds 130L. A bit less, and you go for the 90L model. There’s another at 65L and the smallest is 40L.
The shoulder straps have a lot of adjustability, although you wouldn’t want to carry large weights a long way. There are handles at each end and on the sides.
There’s even a rain flap over the lid’s zip. It won’t keep out water if you submerge the bag completely, but it’s pretty splash proof which is fortunate, given the way I paddle.
The main material seems to be a vinyl coated fabric – it’s thick, slick, and shiny, not to mention highly water-resistant. The seams are rolled and reinforced internally. It looks as long-lasting as my antique Chico dive bag, which is almost as old as I am and holding up far better. I’m guessing this will last just as well.
What I Like
- Heavy duty materials.
- Beautifully made.
- Inner and outer end pockets.
- Susrprisingly light considering capacity.
- Four sizes, five colours (I’m a sucker for anything in red/orange).
- Plenty of attachment points.
What I Don’t Like
- It’s not immediately intuitive to get the shoulder straps out and set up properly (although I didn’t need the online instruction manual).
- No hip belt – not needed on the smallest model, but the capacity of the larger ones can make this an issue.
- Still trying to get it back into its storage bag.
The Osprey Transporter 130 Duffel is available online direct from Osprey.
Disclaimer: Osprey provided a Transporter 130 Duffel for review. However, this has no influence on the opinions presented in the review.
Have you tried the Osprey Transporter Duffel? Got any questions or comments? Let us know by commenting below.