Osprey Shuttle 30 Gear Hauler

In Chile, the weather in October resembles the United States in fall, except it can be even more rainy and windy. Prepared for a week of outdoor adventure and a four-day adventure travel conference, we headed to Puerto Varas with a full range of layers, plus our waterproof hiking boots. To pack all this stuff, we needed a pretty beefy bag.

With 6,100 cubic inches of storage space, the 30-inch Osprey Shuttle not only held all of our gear and clothing, but it was also easy to haul around, and it helped us keep things organized. Here are several things we liked about the bag…

It has lots of handy pocketsShuttle

After a hike, you might have a chance to clean your boots, but if not, the Shuttle has a roomy lower compartment where you can stash all manner of grimy items or dirty clothes. Also, there’s a smaller zippered compartment at the top of the bag, and we used this to hold a large toiletry kit, plus our contact lens solution and other liquids. One thing we like about this bag is it lets you really compartmentalize things, and many compartments contain additional, small zippered pockets.

Because our trip included a conference, we returned with an armload of brochures and maps. With little room left in our carry-on bags, we slipped these things into a spacious zippered compartment on the Shuttle’s back panel. For things that you need to access quickly, there’s an additional compartment covered with a simple flap, and it’s big enough to hold guidebooks.

There’s plenty of storage space

The cavernous main compartment held a week’s worth of clothing for all conditions, as well as some paddling accessories (dry top, dry bags, etc.) and bags of souvenirs. While the main compartment has two long ribs that house the telescoping haul handle, these humps are low profile and don’t really rob much space.

On the floor of the main compartment there are two adjustable straps, and we used these to compress the load and provide a little more space. If you want to protect some nicer shoes, you can stow them in a long zippered compartment running the length of one side of the compartment. Also, we packed headlamps and other utility items in a mesh compartment that runs the length of the opposite side.

Comfy handles and large wheels allow easy hauling

We used Airbnb for our accommodations and stayed in a converted storage container at the top of a flight of stairs. That meant hauling our bag, and we had a good chance to use the beefy carry handles on the side and top of the Shuttle. Compared to hard rubber handles, these the cushioned, fabric handles are much easier on hands and allow you to bear heavy weight comfortably.

To reach hotels and airport shuttles, we rolled the bag through the streets of Puerto Varas, and the wheels had plenty of clearance to hop up curbs without scraping the bag. Plus, the wheels are covered with shields of rugged plastic for added protection and durability.

It’s armored to survive rough travel and protect your stuff

Full disclosure—the airlines lost our bag at the beginning of the trip, and we didn’t receive it for a few days. So, there’s no telling what this bag endured on its journey to Chile. However, we know it passed through several airports and the hands of numerous baggage handlers. Fortunately, the Shuttle (and all of the contents) eventually arrived in really good shape. Much of the bag sports a tough hide of bomber fabric, and plastic bumpers on the bottom of the bag prevent rips and tears. In addition, the clamshell closure provides extra armor. Each wing, or side of the “clamshell,” contains dense foam, and when you cinch the wings it creates another protective layer for the things packed inside. As for the long-term durability of the bag, we’re only concerned about the little garage compartments that house large buckles for the clamshell straps. After a couple of trips the buckles are beginning to wear down the fabric, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that.

But, overall, we see almost nothing wrong with this bag, and we think it’s an excellent choice for trips that demand larger loads of gear and clothing.

Traveler’s Notebook

Retail price: $290

Dimensions: 30 x 16 x 14 inches

Weight: 8.16 pounds

For information: www.ospreypacks.com

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