- Good reflective elements
- Breathable back panel
- Outstanding organization
- Integrated rain cover
- Helmet holder
- Built-in kickstand
- Bulky when full
The Osprey Radial 26 cycling backpack is a durable, weatherproof backpack that is stable on the back in cycling positions. It has built-in kickstand that allows the pack to sit upright on the ground while the cyclist is locking up his/her bike. However, its many options for organization comes at the cost of added weight to the cyclist.
The Osprey Radial 26 provides good overall comfort even while carrying heavier loads, including a laptop and a change of clothes.
The anatomically-formed shoulder straps provide a wide-enough range to accommodate a variety of shoulder widths. They are made with a lightly padded mesh that allows for ventilation, however they tended to cut into our tester’s shoulders when carrying very heavy loads.
Adding to the overall comfort level is the AirSpeed mesh suspension back panel. The design creates an air gap between the pack and the cyclist’s back from the lumbar zone to the shoulders, provided the most outstanding ventilation and breathability and the mesh shoulder straps provide a wide-enough range to accommodate a variety of shoulder widths.
The Osprey Radial 26 does come with a hip belt, however it is only a one-inch wide piece of unpadded webbing with a quick release.
The Osprey Radial 26 is a highly-stable pack when riding a commuter bike and carrying a laptop. Side compression straps, an adjustable sternum strap work well together to help distribute load. The Osprey Radial 26 does come with a hip belt, however it is only a one-inch wide piece of webbing.
The Osprey Radial 26 provides twenty-six liters of cargo capacity and outstanding organizational options. Inside the pack is one large main compartment that offers a sleeve to hold documents or a tablet and two unsecured mesh pockets. A secondary external zippered compartment provides a small secured zippered pocket, and two additional unsecured stash pockets.
The Osprey Radial 26 also offers a separate external zippered padded laptop compartment with a medium-sized secured zippered sleeve. The laptop compartment holds up to a seventeen-inch laptop and is very well padded. Additionally, the laptop compartment is suspended from the base of the pack to provide extra protection.
A stretchy mesh side pocket holds a water bottle and contains a bungee cord to fix the bottle in place. The pack also offers a semi-secured pocket for holding quick access items like a bike lock.
Made of an abrasion-resistant 400-denier Nylon fabric with tightly woven threads, the Osprey Radial 26 is a well-constructed pack. A PU coating makes it water-resistant. The compression buckles are a heavy plastic and mounting straps are all heavy-duty and strong.
The Osprey Radial 26 offers a LidLock helmet attachment on the pack’s exterior, which works very well with most helmets. Reflective attributes includes detailing on front panel and a blinkie light attachment and an integrated high-visibility rain cover that is stashed in a pocket at the bottom of the pack.
A padded stealth pocket with vertical zipper that contains a retractable string for keys and a stretch mesh side pocket holds a water bottle and contains a bungee cord to fix the bottle in place.
The pack also offers a scratch-free zippered pocket for sunglasses and electronics as well as a built-in kickstand that allows the pack to sit upright on the ground while the cyclist is locking up his/her bike.
Side compression straps help keep the pack stable on the cyclist’s back when not fully loaded.
How We Tested It
The packs in this test were used for one week as a daily bike commuter backpack and for other general urban errand rides on distances that ranged from six miles to fifteen.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
About the Author
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