New in Osprey’s line up this year are the Transporter and Gearkit Duffel Series, with a bomb-proof bunch of options. I had the chance to test two of them out on a circuitous trip to the Andes last month and I’m stoked on these duffels. I managed to get my rock climbing kit for two weeks of climbing in New Hampshire and ski gear for a week of heli-skiing in Chile inside two of these bags which both weathered a lot of travel well.
I used the Transporter 95 for the brunt of my stuff in a checked bag which seemed to have endless room for everything I needed. Features I appreciated that make this a go-to bag include: incredibly durable and highly water-resistant construction, wide grab handles in all the right places, a burly U-zipper and opening flap that is unique and different than most duffels making packing easier and attached shoulder straps that stow out of the way inside the U-flap and are easy to deploy. Little extras like a window for your business card and flaps to protect the few Fastex buckles from luggage conveyers, mules or whatever your means of schlepping may be are also well designed. Although this duffel will stow far more than I like to carry on my back, it actually carries well as a backpack which is an added bonus for short hauls. I chose the Sub Lime color which stood out in airport baggage claims and was a bright and cheery part of my kit. I received lots of complements on it wherever I went. MSRP: $160
The other bag, which I used for carry-on was Osprey’s new Snowkit Organizational Duffel. This little beauty is a 45L well thought out bag with creative organizing pockets that are uber practical. It doubles as a backpack and carries comfortably making it super versatile. I was skeptical of bells and whistles but everything had a purpose with a clean design and super stealth profile. I wanted to check the Snowkit out specifically for a ski boot bag, plus some.
Now granted, I wear a size 23.5 ski boot which isn’t large, there was ample extra room and they stowed easily (with a lot of socks, transceiver, Delorme device, etc shoved in them). This boot compartment is accessed on the end with a large burly zipper opening and a sleeve of light material isolating it from the main compartment. This part of the kit is also ventilated so when you put your steamy boots back in at the end of the day they won’t get everything else wet. There was plenty of room around the boots to stuff clothing and other to fill up the space for flights. Amazingly there was ample space left in the main compartment to stow even more.
The Snowkit has all the features I like on the Transporter Duffel and then some. The main flap is heavily padded which makes it comfortable to carry as a backpack and it protects the contents inside. It has a well padded, scratch proof goggle and sunglasses compartment that easily accommodates both with some room to spare. The side pocket fits a water bottle which if the zip is left open is easily accessible while boot packing. There are also webbing straps on the same side stowed in the pocket that you could strap a pair of skis on. There’s a low profile tuck away helmet carry and a padded side handle that makes it easy to tote around in airports or just huck in the back of a truck. This is a great duffel and will be my go to boot bag, carry on luggage for many an adventure. Check out the features on Osprey’s video here. MSRP: $130