There are many backpacks out there that you can use on your bike. However, if you are a cycling enthusiast, then you know that there are backpacks specifically designed for cyclists tackling the urban jungle. The Osprey radial 26 and 34 are the latter.
The team at Osprey seem to have made these backpacks by considering the most important things every commuter needs.
As a bike commuter, I can genuinely say that bike commute products are so good now compared to where they started. The radial backpacks 26 and 34 models seem to have nailed each and every one of a commuters needs.
And now the question everyone is asking is, what is the difference between the two, and which model is best for my needs?
After taking a closer look at the two products, we realized that there are a few differences between the Osprey radial 26 and 34 model.
Therefore, before you make a purchase and head out on your next ride, there are a few things you must consider. This article is intended to provide you with a detailed comparison of these two amazing models. First, we will cover the key features.
Quick comparison: Osprey radial 26 vs. 34
|Product||Size||Use||Bottom compression straps||Comfort|
|#1. Osprey Radial 34|
Our Best Pick
|Can accomodate a 17-inch laptop||hiking and planning a night out||Yes||Comfortable|
|#2. Osprey Radial 26|
|Can accomodate a 15-inch laptop||Commuting to work and you are carrying light||No||More Comfortable|
- Size: It is no surprise that the two models have different sizes. The radial 34 is wider than the radial 24 counterparts. As a result, you can carry a 17-inch laptop on a radial 34, but the radial 26 model can only accommodate a 15-inch laptop.
- Use: Another factor often overlooked when comparing the two packs is their usage. When commuting to work and you are carrying light, then the radial 26 is the best option. However, if you are hiking and planning a night out, then the radial 34 is your best bet.
- Compression straps: The radial 34 backpack has bottom compression straps to keep your gear stable. However, the radial 26 doesn’t have any compression straps.
- Comfort: Whenever you are commuting on your bike, it always comes down to comfort. Therefore, you need to assess the pack bulkiness. Though the radial 34 has compression straps to reduce bulkiness, it is still wider than the radial 26 and might sway back and forth causing discomfort.
Osprey radial 34 video review
Osprey radial 26 video review
The first detail we noticed and immediately fell in love with on these packs is the tramline style ventilated mesh. We’ve have come across several backpacks with the same system, and the unique design makes it stand out from other models. We can assure you that it is the best type ventilation systems.
As a bike commuter or a hiker, you definitely expect a lot of sweating. Therefore, this is the ventilation system to bear in mind. Since the mesh is positioned away from the back panel, it completely separates your back from the pack and wicks away the sweat.
In fact, your hand can fit between the mesh and the pack. The wide and heavily padded shoulder straps are also ventilated but have a different type of mesh. We also noticed elastic and adjustable load lifters.
The amount of organization these backpacks afford is astonishing, and this is probably why they are so versatile. Osprey has taken the organization to a whole new level.
When the packs arrived for testing, we realized that the pockets have been nested in such a way that when one of the pockets is full, it does not compromise the others. The access points are also quite intuitive. You can effortlessly carry your daily commute gear and have quick and easy access to your items.
One of the features that make these packs perfect for bike curry is the pockets. The style and organization of the pockets are precisely why the packs are best suited for bike commuters.
Here, you have two front panel pockets. The larger pocket features heat embossed fabric lining that is scratch free and mesh and fabric sleeves. On the other hand, the smaller pocket has an internal key clip.
Next, you have a large zippered compartment that is internally padded for securing your tablet or 15-inch laptop. The pocket offers quick access and provides added protection since it keeps your laptop at least an inch off the ground.
The zip to the tablet/laptop tablet is water resistant. The soft mesh ensures you can also slide your tablet or laptop in and out without having to worry about it getting a scratch.
Other pockets include the main compartment, the U-lock compartment, and the side pockets. The side pockets serve two futons. The left side pocket of the packs has a vertical zipper and is meant to carry small items.
In fact, it has a rectangles string for carrying keys. The right side pocket is for your water bottle. The U-lock compartment is a large a stretchy pocket on the front of the backpacks. It has a buckle closure to facilitate U-lock storage.
Integrated rain cover
The Osprey radial 26 and 34 models feature a rain cover to ensure your pack’s contents are protected even in severe weather conditions. The rain cover has a Blinker attachment and reflective materials to reduce the chances of being side-swooped by a careless or bleary-eyed driver.
Another amazing feature of the two packs is the kickstand. I must admit I was quite skeptical about this feature since it seemed pointless. However, after testing the packs, I was completely sold on the kickstand idea.
The feature admittedly makes it extremely easy for you to unload since you don’t have to lean the backpack on a wall. We’re sure this is a nifty feature that you are definitely going to love.
Blinker light attachment
Osprey models always emphasize on safety. The packs have a blinker light attachment at the base to provide visibility and safety whenever you commute. Another common feature is the lid lock helmet attachment for securing your helmet.
What you have here is two incredible backpacks for riding around town. However, we prefer the radial 34 model since it has extra features and still focuses on comfort.
Moreover, we’ve not come across many backpacks with as many features as the Osprey radial 34. But in the end, your needs and preference will determine the way to go.