Updated: May 30, 2019
*Product was supplied for this review, but it was not paid for and is an honest reflection of a full year of experience with the bag
Move over Patagonia, North Face - there’s a new waterproof duffel in town.
Overview - 8.5/10
Increasingly, our community is looking for more versatility, durability and weather-resistance in our apparel. The Transporter 40L Duffel bag by Osprey is a strong choice for Ultimate players seeking a day-to-day duffel bag to take to training, with enough space to store everything you need for a weekend tournament as well.
Pros: waterproof, high quality, both shoulder and harness straps, great size, affordable price, whistle included
Cons: not enough compartments, no cleat pocket (if that’s a big deal for you)
Price - 9/10
You can find the Osprey Transporter 40L Duffel at various sites online for around AU$125 (RRP $179). This puts it slightly below the best available prices for the Greatest Bag 45L (AU$140) and The North Face Base Camp Duffel 50L (AU$150). And well below the lowest available price mark for the Patagonia Black Hole 45L (AU$210).
Storage - 8/10
This depends a little bit on what you’re looking for in an Ultimate bag. If you’re like me and just need something big enough to carry all the necessary items for a weekend of friz, while also easily fitting into an overhead compartment on the plane, then look no further. If you are a chronic over-packer for weekend tournaments (ie 3 or more pairs of cleats and 2 potential outfits for the party) then this bag is not going to be big enough for you.
I have a Patagonia 60L Black Hole Duffel and as hard as I try not to, I usually fill the space available. This had made for some sketchy maneuvers as I try to hide the size of my bag from the prying eyes of vigilant Jetstar gate staff. With 40L to play with, it’s very hard to go over the 7kg limit, while also providing plenty of space for all the necessities.
The bag has an outside pocket for your wallet and phone, protected by a flap to help maintain its water resistance. It also has an internal mesh section to keep your toiletries and other small items in one place. Less pockets and sections seems to be the vibe most waterproof duffels are going for, except The Greatest Bag, but this has never been an inconvenience for me.
Durability/weather-resistance - 8/10
Osprey bags are renowned for their quality build and lasting durability. The bag ‘feels’ really well-made and comes with Osprey's amazing lifetime warranty on any damage. The fabric is heavy-duty waterproof PVC-Nylon and the zippers are sturdy.
In terms of weather resistance, in reality, every single ‘waterproof’ bag that has a zipper is only ‘water-resistant’. By nature, zippers are impossible to fully waterproof. If you’ve ever owned a ‘waterproof’ duffel you will know what I mean. Leave it out in a shower, and your stuff will be bone dry. Leave it out in a deluge and it’s likely that some water will make its way into your bag contents. The same is true for the Osprey Transporter 40, but given that it's difficult to make a usable bag without zippers, some water penetration can be excused. I’ve had my Transporter 40 partially unzipped on the sideline for a very rainy 2 hour training session and some of my clothes were damp, but nothing was seriously wet, and electronics like my phone were well protected.
Utility - 9/10
Straps for days. The Osprey Transporter 40 comes with both a traditional duffel shoulder harness and a stowable set of backpack straps. Unlike other backpack-able duffel bags, these straps are amazing. Both are high quality and well-padded for extra comfort. When in backpack mode the duffel actually feels like a normal backpack. I think the smaller size of the Transporter 40 might have something to do with this, as my 60L Black Hole when full, feels somewhat awkward and ungainly on my back.
Have you ever thought that your waterproof duffel wasn’t properly equipped to be of assistance in an emergency situation? Yeah neither, but this didn’t stop Osprey added a whistle to the backpack straps for attracting attention. I haven’t found use for it yet but it could come in handy if you’re on a sinking ship or have been skyd so bad you need to whistle for first aid to help you off the field.
If you're looking for a new waterproof duffel to see your gear safely to and from training and casual weekends away, then look no further than the Osprey Transporter 40L Duffel. If you're an over-packer or often play in cold climates requiring more clothes, then perhaps this could be too small for you, consider a bigger model.