By David Ward — For the past several months, I have been using the Osprey Momentum 34 commuter pack when I commute to and from work. I have really liked this pack, and there are two primary reasons for this: First, it fits well and is very comfortable, even when heavily loaded; and second, it is very versatile.
Its main features are a large main compartment, a dedicated laptop sleeve sufficiently large to accommodate a laptop, notebooks, file folders and similar items, and a front stash pocket with organizer for miscellaneous items, in my case a wallet, eyeglasses, hairbrush, and deodorant. This pocket also has a clip for attaching keys. This pack also features an outer pocket into which a lock can be quickly dropped and secured, and two small pockets on either side of that for miscellaneous items. Finally, it features two small pockets, one on each shoulder strap, one with a convenient retractable key clip. For wet weather, it has a rain flap that will pull out and cover the pack. And it has a clip to which you can attach your helmet when off the bike.
I had previously been using a pack which I considered quite good, but found myself much preferring the Osprey pack once I started using it. It molds to my back well, even when I have quite a full load. It does not sway on my back, or cause me to sway, thanks to the way it carries the bulk and weight. So for comfort and riding effect, I found it to be an excellent design.
While designed with certain ideas in mind, I have found it easy to change the intended uses around to meet my personal needs and desires. For example, I seldom carry a laptop, notebook or folders. However, I do use an extra large u-lock for locking up my bike and the front wheel together. This does not fit well in the pocket designed for the lock, a rare drawback of this pack, but easily drops into the laptop sleeve. Indeed, even if I were carrying a laptop, the lock and laptop would fit well into that sleeve.
The pack is made of durable material, and designed with flaps over the zippers so that moisture cannot seep through the zippers. This sometimes makes zipping and unzipping a little more difficult, but sturdy loops are a part of the zipper and alleviate to a large extent this difficulty.
The design of this pack is well thought out for the commuter, while maintaining a versatility for many other uses. It is a good carry-on for airlines, and generally just an excellent pack for anytime you have the need to pack stuff around.
Rating: Hors Category.
[Editor’s Note: for Fall 2013, the pack has undergone 2 design changes. It will come with Osprey’s Airscape back panel. This will provide more ventilation between the pack and the rider as well as aluminum struts to add a lightweight internal frame. Secondly, the pack will be available in 2 volumes – 22 and 30 liters – but each will only come in a one-size-fits-all length as opposed to the current pack’s two sizes for different torsos. The Fall edition is for the most part unchanged and is a great commuter pack.]