For our stay in Thailand, we each brought an Osprey Porter 46 backpack, and another carry-on bag. We chose the Osprey Porter 46 because it is the largest legal carry-on size. We wanted to avoid checking bags if at all possible.
As for the brand, this is the third Osprey backpack that I have owned. From my personal experience, I knew that the quality of an Osprey bag is superior to most other bags. Additionally, Osprey guarantees their bags for life.
I previously owned an Osprey Aether 70 backpack, and one of the plastic buckles broke while I was backpacking. I contacted Osprey through their customer service area on their website, and had several new buckles shipped to me within a couple of weeks with absolutely no hassle. That kind of customer service makes me a customer for life!
Osprey Porter 46
Osprey Porter 46 Features
- A zippered top accessory pocket is ideal for easy access to liquids and other frequently needed items.
- Large, panel load lockable zippered access to the main compartment provides easy and secure entry to the pack’s internal contents. One internal mesh zippered pocket and one internal fabric zippered pocket inside the main compartment provide organization of and accessibility to internal contents.
- Foam padded sidewalls with StraightJacket™ compression stabilizes, protects and compresses loads.
- A stow away padded shoulder harness with adjustable sternum strap and rescue whistle buckle allows for comfortable, supportive backpack style carry.
- Four reinforced cord loops on the Porter’s front panel allow for the attachment of an Osprey Daylite pack (sold separately) to provide additional carrying capacity.
- A lockable zippered large front panel organizational compartment features a padded laptop and tablet sleeve along with organization sleeves and ample space for gear.
- Stow-Away Hipbelt – A stow-away nylon hipbelt with foam padded hipwings provides torsional stability during backpack style carry.
- Carry Handles – Comfortable foam padded top and side grab handles offer convenient and comfortable easy carry options.
- Shoulder Strap Attachment – D-Ring shoulder strap attachment points allow the addition of a shoulder strap for additional carry options (sold separately).
- VOLUME – O/S 2807 IN3
- DIMENSIONS – 46 L 23H X 16W X 12D IN
- WEIGHT – 3.31 LBS
My favorite feature is easily the stowable shoulder straps and hipbelt that quickly transforms this backpack into a duffle bag as the situation requires. Once you figure it out, you can easily convert it back and forth. You can do this in under a minute if necessary. As a duffle, it stows easily in tight overhead compartments on planes, buses, and trains.
My second favorite feature is the front loading flap that allows you to easily access the contents of your bag without needing to dig your way down from the top.
All the straps and handles are very sturdy.
Even though this bag converts to a backpack, you would not want to use this backpack for any extended backpacking adventures. It’s not that comfortable. Going from terminal to terminal, or from taxi to your hotel room is just fine. I’ve walked a few blocks with it while switching hotels and hostels, but would definitely not want to carry it on my back all day.
There is no designated place to stow a water bottle.
Packing For Him
As you can see in my video, I was able to squeeze a surprising amount of stuff into the Osprey Porter 46. Despite this, narrowing down all of my possessions to two carry-on bags was not an easy task.
We initially planned on bringing a shared suitcase that we would check on the plane, but at the very last moment, we decided that an extra suitcase would be a hassle more than a benefit.
The contents of our suitcase would have held our yoga mats, a camera tripod, and some extra shoes and warm clothes. After arriving, we don’t regret the decision to forego those things.
One of the biggest misconceptions that we had before arriving is that we would not be able to get those things in Thailand.
Packing For Her
Ali had similar struggles as me, when it came down to narrowing her possessions, but as you can see in her video, she was also able to bring more things than you would think.
It helps to be organized, and have non bulky clothing. Notice how she places all of her makeup and “lady essentials” into clear ziplock bags, so that she can easily identify where her things are.
As I mentioned above, we had the impression that we would not be able to find some essential items in Thailand. You know, western toiletry items, shoes, and clothing.
However, upon arriving and visiting a couple of shopping areas and malls in both Bangkok and Chiang Mai, we realized that you can get anything here that you can also get in the United States. Small electronic items (shavers, etc) might be an exception. They are here, but in poor quality.
Don’t expect to get your western items cheaper here though. You’ll still pay American prices!
The Osprey Porter 46 can be found on Amazon for around $130.