Back at the beginning of 2019, I thought Osprey had changed the game with the Osprey Rolling Transporter range. If you’ve been keeping one eye on the blog or my Instagram account, you’ll know I’ve been a huge fan of the Transporter range of packs since they first came to market. And every season, Osprey never disappoint taking the bags to another level. And that they have done… again, with the Transporter Carry-On 44.
The Go-To Choice For Serious Carry-On Travellers
On the face of it, the Transporter Carry-On 44 looks pretty much exactly the same as the first Transporter model but if you look close enough you will see the differences. Other than when I travel to the Caribbean, I’m hand luggage only so having the right bag is key.
The Osprey Transporter Carry-On 44 has clamshell opening (like a regular suitcase) and is essentially divided into two sections upon opening. On the outside of the pack there is access to an (annoying, let’s be honest) J-zip front panel compartment.
It is however packed full of organisation pockets to hold everything from pens to paperwork or magazines. You can also find direct access to the laptop and tablet sleeve with an additional RFID blocking pockets and a shoe compartment (which is internal, but accused externally and protects your clothes from the shoes).
The pack comes with two carry handles, a shoulder strap and backpack harness carry straps which stow away in their own pocket.
It was only when I took the images for this post that I discovered the waist straps (doh!) which made me realise how much more comfortable carrying the bag as a backpack would have been had I have thought to look for them.
And just now, I learnt that the chest (sternum) strap has an emergency whistle built into it. Osprey have literally thought of everything!
What & How I Packed
I took this pack with me to Cyprus in October for a 6 night break. I flew British Airways on a hand luggage only basis. British Airways allow you a small handbag/laptop bag and then 1 additional cabin bag (max. 23kg / 51lb and up to 56 x 45 x 25cm / 22 x 18 x 10in).
According to the Osprey website the carry-on 44 has maximum dimensions of (cm): 56 (l) x 35 (w) x 31 (d) …which technically means it’s too big right?! However, I think the saving grace is that the pack is squishy so the depth really depends on how much stuff you put in it.
I found the best way to pack with this bag was to roll clothing in the side with no compression straps and wrap bottles etc in the rolled up clothing. I also put my footwear and make up / toiletries bag in the side.
On the side with the compression strap, I folded clothes as per normal. In addition to the compression straps, this side also has a full zipped mesh partitioning so when you open the bag, everything stays where it should be. I didn’t need any packing cubes* using this bag (but they could still come in super handy if you’re feeling super organised).
- 8 summer day time outfits
- 2 evening outfits
- 2x flip flops / sandals
- workout outfit
- sports bra, leggings
- 2x Bikinis
- Make up and toiletries
- Laptop, chargers (laptop and phone)
- …and all the other things I just can’t remember for the life of me! I’ve linked a few bits below while they are still in stock.
I’ve also used Transporter Carry-On for an overnight stay; the compression straps allow for the bag not being packed full, keeping everything in place. I’m 100% sure this will be my go to pack for any trip with hand luggage only allowance.
Transporter Global Carry-On 36
This is probably a good point to mention that the Transporter Carry-On has two versions. The 44litre reviewed in this post and then the 36litre. The Transporter Global Carry-On 36* is the same rectangular shape as the 44 and boasts many of the same features. The main differences are that it is a tinier bit lighter (at 1.33 kg) than the 44, has smaller dimensions (50cm (l) x 34cm (w) x 27cm (d)) and doesn’t have the backpack straps.
The Carry-On vs The Duffel
The Transporter Duffel was the first iteration of this series of travel packs. It comprises of one large compartment with compression straps that can be used to keep everything in place. It’s the perfect “throw everything in” bag and has slightly smaller dimensions than the Carry-On Transporter.
The Carry-On vs The Rolling Transporter
The Rolling Transporter is much more similar to the Transporter Duffel than it is to the Carry-On. It’s pretty much the Duffel on wheels, with the same large compartment and compression straps. The wheels are super useful though for making it even easier to get around. I travelled on EasyJet no problem with this case however, some airlines (I’m looking at you RyanAir) have severely restricted dimensions that this case would not fit, unless you have Priority Boarding from RyanAir to take it in the cabin or check it into the hold.
The Carry-On Transporter 44 Unisex Travel Pack In Detail
Empty, the pack weighs just 1.54 kg leaving plenty of your allowance for your travels. Although I travelled on BA with this pack, I would advise caution if you need to ram it full. One thing I’ve noticed is that when you wear your luggage as a back pack, the airline scrutinise it less. I think it’s simply down to the fact it’s on your back and they just don’t notice it. I am however confident that the way I packed it, it would have squeezed into the boxes they use to test sizes.
If you do decide (or need) to check in your carry-on 44 though, the zippers are lockable so you’re able to keep your stuff secure.
What Do The Reviews Say?
We all love reading reviews right, so I’ll save you reading some of the others online after reading mine and share what they said here. Here is what people are saying:
- It is very spacious and has nice compartments for arranging your items.
- While there is a laptop compartment, it is not padded at all
- this is kinda true kinda not true. The compartment is more than big enough to have your laptop in it’s padded case and is in fact padded on the external side. The compartment is located between your back and the pack, so is well protected.
- Really great organizational features
- A super durable exterior
- It failed because the backpack straps were not meant for extended carrying (it got pretty uncomfortable after about 30 minutes).
- So like I said, I thought this too. Until I discovered the waist strap, in addition to the chest strap, which make the world of difference!
- They thought of everything.
- Basically. Yes.
- It’s easy to fill and has so many little pockets to separate your stuff
You are gonna love this if… you’re a regular traveller who loves versatility, quality, adventure and style.
Think twice if… you don’t like to be organised?! Honestly can’t think of a reason to not like this bag!
Super Nice in-dept review. Thank you!
Excellent review Elle! Thanks.
We’re looking to replace our tired, tatty carry on suitcases and are really keen for a backpack this time. The Osprey Transporter was definitely the front runner until I read through the features list on the official Osprey American website.
Down at the bottom of the features page there is a little yellow warning triangle ⚠️ and a message stating the product contains traces of Dimethylfumarate. It goes on to state that this substance may have a link to cancer. Worth a look and a google if you haven’t already.
Hey Tony! Thanks so much for the feedback and taking the time to leave a comment.
As I’m not based in the US I am unable to see the US Osprey site, so I reached out to them directly to be able to understand fully. The warning that you are seeing is only visible in the US as Californian law requires Osprey to state this on every product on the website. This isn’t a requirement or acknowledged as harmful in any European countries, or any other US states.
The transporter range is my all time favourite so it’s a shame you won’t be getting one too! However, Osprey have told me that they will be changing the fabric they use on this pack in Fall 2021 so the message won’t feature anywhere from then on.
This looks and sounds like a cool bag. I love the color options. Thanks for sharing looks like it’s really good for short trips.
lol depends what you define as short! It worked well for me for a week long trip and prob could fit more / I didn’t wear everything 🙂