If you aren’t into backpacks, you may not have heard of Osprey at all! But if you are someone who has been researching a little about backpacks and travel bags, I am sure you have seen the brand being mentioned in a place or two. You may also have noticed that Osprey is not a brand that sells cheap bags. So, it’s natural for you to ask, are Osprey bags worth the money? In this article, we discuss why Osprey bags are so expensive yet worth the money. Let’s get into it!
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It was just a few weeks back when I heard elderly women shout to Osprey outlet representative, “Bags are bags; they carry stuff…why would anyone spend a ton of them”. It’s not unusual to find people with a similar mentality. Osprey bags, to be honest, isn’t targeted towards such customers.
Most of the Osprey products are hand-crafted, at least to a certain degree and they happen to be an investment. And spending a lot of them is okay, as long as the bags can justify the cost.
Of course, I wouldn’t go about spending cash on just a pretty backpack, but if you can find the right one, all things considered like durability, comfort, protection, style, etc, I don’t hesitate on making such purchases. Now there are many kinds of such premium backpack brands out there. And one of such is Osprey.
Is Osprey a Premium Brand?
Very. Now, by premium, I don’t mean something that’ll cost a fortune like those designer ones out there. Of course, that’s not what the company makes anyway. But this is not a brand that’s like up there with the high players such as Mission, Targus, or North Face. You might even have heard very few of them. And even Wikipedia doesn’t have a page regarding Osprey bags.
But despite that, Osprey Bags have its own line of following, and even though its name doesn’t come up as frequently, this is one brand that makes pretty high-quality bags and has the customer service of a global brand!
Plus, Osprey has been in this business for over 4 decades! Of course, it started out as a small shop selling custom backpacks like most premium bag brands of today. Osprey is the brainchild of Mike Pfotenhauer, and he was inspired by the awfully fitted backpacks he used to get. And so, he learned to sew backpacks from his mom, and created his first backpack at only 16 years old!
And what started as a small store in Santa Cruz, California in 1974, has grown to global business and name, albeit not a household one. Mike is still the head of design, so, all Osprey bags have a hint of his personal touch. So, let’s say it is a sort of a “designer backpack”. In addition, with its All Mighty Guarantee, there is no doubt that this one is a premium brand!back to menu ↑
Where are Osprey Bags Made?
Osprey Bags is a global brand. They have offices and stores in almost all cities around the world, while their headquarters is in Cortez, Colorado. And despite being a large manufacturer of quality bags, they are still independent. All the bags are manufactured by themselves, in their own factories in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The city also has a product development office, not just the plants, and Mike himself designs the bags there, in Vietnam itself, where he resides with his family.
So, you can say that every bad that you get does have a hint of the founder’s own design signature. You can kinda call every one of your bags as a “Founder’s Edition”! Of course, I’m kidding but my point is if you’re worried about how an American company can provide quality assurance for bags manufactured somewhere else, well, you have the answer. The founder/designer himself sees to it – where the bags are manufactured!
Why are Osprey Bags so expensive?
Well, as I already said that you kinda will be spending some serious money if you want Osprey bags, so, you know they’re expensive. And yes, for an average consumer, they are not cheap. With their wide range of products, out of which, their backpacks are the most popular, they have a lot of options for you to choose from.
And even within the backpack category, you can select from a wide range of niches – from travel to every day to backpacking, and stuff. There are just a lot of options. And the most basic one will cost you over $100. And the prices can go up to like $500. That’s depending on all the extra features and bells and whistles, too, but I sense that most of us will be okay with about a $150 – $300 backpacks.
But still, they’re expensive. Why? There are numerous reasons. One is, well, let’s say the premium build and quality. As aforementioned, the bags are all designed by and inspected by Mike himself, so, that’s gotta count for something, right?
Another reason could be the variety of options you have at your disposal. You can get whatever kind of bag you ask for, from Travel to Lifestyle, and Backpacking. Sub-categories include travel packs, wheeled bags, duffel bags, mountaineering bags, commute ones, kids and even child carriers. With so many differentiated options available, it will be expensive.
The most important reason, however, is this. On top of the stellar build, Osprey bags come with the All Mighty Guarantee. That is their term for their Lifetime warranty they offer on all their products. They will repair your bags for any reason or any bag that you bought officially free of cost, whether you purchased that bag yesterday or some 20 years ago. If you still have it, they’ll repair it! How cool is that?
While this means fantastic customer satisfaction, it also means that they’re committed to quality, i.e. they’re confident enough to offer you free repairs for the lifetime, due to the build quality of the bags! So, with all these into consideration, you can see why Osprey bags are expensive.back to menu ↑
My experience with Osprey Bags
Now, I consider bags an investment. So, I do not hesitate to spend good cash on them. And I generally use such branded bags, because they have the quality assurance that generic brand manufacturers can’t provide. For my daily commute and such, I use a messenger bag from Timbuk2. So, for me, my Osprey Backpack is mostly a travel companion.
When I travel, I need to have my laptop with me at all times, but I also need something that I can pack all my other things into and give me comfort. Plus, I also intend to indulge in some secondary activities like Hiking or Cycling as well, so, finding a bag that can serve all those purposes is not very easy. But, it’s been something over 2 years that I’ve had my Osprey Metron with me, and I’ve had no complaints about it, to say the least.
It is mostly designed for Everyday Activities, but it also features almost all the things you’d want for a light travel backpack. This one includes both a laptop sleeve and a tablet sleeve. So, if you can’t leave your house without your gadgets, it’s got you covered.
The size is a carry-on, but you can choose from various sizes, of course. And since you’re carrying your gadgets in it, it features a built-in rain-cover, which is a welcome feature. Also, some extra bells and whistles, for me, are the helmet attachment, which comes in handy during cycling sessions and this sunglasses pocket which prevents scratches, too.
For my needs, the inside spaces are good enough. But as I already said, you can choose from among various sizes, anyway.
First, I asked myself, Are Osprey bags worth the money? I looked at other reviews and most of them seemed to be happy with what they got, It cost me around $200, and I’m pretty content with what it offers. I don’t use it every day for my commute, but even during my long travels from one city to another, it has held its own.
And I don’t really have to be very cautious while carrying it, because no matter what happens, I know that Osprey’s got my back with its LifeTime Warranty! And if they can’t repair it, they’ll replace it! Yes, that’s what it says on their website!back to menu ↑
Where to buy Osprey Bags from?
Now Osprey, being a global brand, has stores in almost all major cities around the world. And you can also buy such backpacks from various online stores like Amazon.com, Newegg.com, etc Sure, you can head on over to their official site as well, but I’m afraid you can’t directly purchase the bags from there.[content-egg module=Amazon]
You can check out all the types of bags and accessories they offer, but they will direct you to their online partners who sell the kind of bag you want. This one, is a bummer, yes, because sometimes, it’s difficult to find an online partner who sells the exact bag you want at the time.
However, the official site also helps you choose the perfect bag for you, with their Osprey Packfinder. You can choose from options like your Trip Length, How you pack your stuff, the Features you want, and most importantly, prices. But of course, you won’t be able to customize your own design per se, you can only choose your best fit. But this is also immensely helpful and can assist you in picking a bag that’s right for the price, and the features you want.back to menu ↑
With Osprey Bags not being as popular as some others out there, you can say it has a fair bit of competition on its hands. And of course, this is a thing to keep in mind, if you’re looking for alternatives to an Osprey Bags. And well, there are quite a few of them.
The best alternatives to Osprey would be CamelBak, Gossamer Gears and Jax Mercantile Company. All these companies make similar backpacks to Osprey’s and have, more or less, similar, customer services. And if you want to explore further, you can check out Kambukka, Exxel Outdoors, and HydraPak as well. Also, needless to say, you can always pick the mainstream ones like Reebok and North Face.
You are never short on options for backpacks, anyway.back to menu ↑
Are Osprey Bags Worth the Money?
Looking at the price of my Osprey Metron when I first purchased it, I had the same thought. But since I invested in it, I’ve had no regrets. Osprey Backpacks are really worth the money, and if you are hesitating to get one, don’t!
As it goes without saying, that there are so many options out there. From cheap ones to even more expensive ones than this. But no other cheaper bags will look as good, after some years of usage. Not to mention that those bags’ warranties come with a long list of terms and conditions and whatnot. Not Osprey!
They’ll repair your bag free of cost whatever the cause may be, and if they can’t, they’ll replace it! So, the freedom of not having to be cautious while out in the wild, or in a train, or letting the airport handle my luggage, for me, is well worth the money. Not to mention the comfort, style, and durability!
But Osprey bags might not be for everyone, of course. Osprey does have a wide lineup, but it mostly focuses on Backpacks and Traveller series. Hence, it is mostly for those who are adventurous, and out on the run. Be it from a city to a city person, or one who wants to get lost in the wild.
This is precisely the reason why I have a different commuter bag and I use my Osprey Metron for my traveling – be it work, or my holiday or even a quick getaway.
So, there you go. You have your answer. Osprey Bags are certainly worth the money since you can buy one and use it for years without having to worry about maintenance.