I have not been nice to this pack. I have overloaded it, stabbed it, cut it, pulled at every point, and it still looks like the day I got it (with some dirt patches). I have taken this bag on multiple flights as carry on, used it on hikes, and have carried on every bike-commute. Since getting the Osprey Radial 26 last summer, it has easily surpassed all others as my every-day, go every-where bag. With three pockets of organization, it’s easy to keep your things separate and easy-to find. Osprey created the Radial line as a solution for bike-commuting, and they delivered. Traditionally a brand for backpacking, Osprey has had many cycling options over the years, and with their lifetime warrantee, you know you’re getting a product that will last. This pack followed me to Japan and to Cuba, and was a well-utilized accessory while creating those features in recent issues of Bicyclist.
This pack has a number of excellent features that make it perfect for cyclists. As with all Osprey packs, on the outside bottom, there is a compartment which holds a rain shell for riding in wet conditions. The back pouch can be used for just about anything – I use it for extra water, trash, dirty clothes, or a U-lock. The right-side pouch can hold a water bottle, which with a little flexibility can be accessed while riding. The left-side pouch has a triangular compartment with a large zipper – I like to keep my keys in there as the lining is extra durable. The top pouch is quite large, and can fit multiple pairs of sunglasses and any small items you may need quickly (Bryton GPS unit, camera batteries, headphones, etc.).
The shoulder strap adjustment is also streamlined with just one elastic pull-tab instead of the usual dual-strap system. Also featured in the back is an elastic helmet clip that works very effectively. Now for the two best cycling features…a mesh layer between you and the pack to keep it from resting heavily on your back and a built-in stand on the bottom of the frame! Yes, this bag stands up freely on its own when placed on the ground. Very handy for when you are setting up your bike or parking it and sorting through your things. Not to mention, it’s easier to keep around your desk area and a reliable companion when traveling.