If you are thinking of upgrading your current backpack or are new to the category and need a recommendation of a couple of good brands to get you started, then you can’t go wrong with either a Gregory or an Osprey.
They are both incredibly popular and well-respected brands, each offering their own vast selection of backpack styles and models to suit a range of budgets.
Both have a reputation for manufacturing quality accessories, so choosing between the two is going to be a tricky one. Never fear! We are here to provide our Gregory vs. Osprey backpack comparison to help bring some clarity to your next big purchasing decision.
Features in both brands to look out for
Your first consideration should be the type of backpack you are going to need, and by that we mean its primary function.
Do you need something for your daily commute to work that can safely and securely house your laptop and valuables, or something to take with you hiking or on a mountaineering trip?
Will you require lots of internal space for changes of clothing, or do you need to be able to attach any technical equipment? Are you going to be out on arduous day-long treks where an integrated water chamber would be a useful feature? So get clear on your mission so that you can look at the right category of Gregory and Osprey backpacks for your own unique purpose.
Of course, the budget will most likely be your next significant consideration. Generally speaking, Osprey has a more comprehensive selection of more cost-effective bags than Gregory does, so they might be your starting point if money is tight.
Up next, then, are any enhanced performance features you might require, and we touched on that briefly above. Not just the overall performance regarding quality, dependability, and durability, but what about things like anti-theft features, waterproof construction, or an ergonomic and comfortable fit?
Let’s look at some of the most popular products by category from these two reputable brands.
Best Value for Money Backpacks
If you are looking for a generic and budget-friendly backpack then Gregory and Osprey both have plenty to offer. Looking at the value for money category, we would recommend the Zulu from Gregory, and it is one of their all-time best sellers. It has an integrated rain cover and a convenient hip harness belt to ensure even weight distribution.
There are also pockets handily located on the hip belt for easy access to valuables and essentials, plus compression straps for securing your load. It’s also a comfortable fit with EVA foam and ventilation fitted in the backpack.
In comparison with Osprey, then, we’d put forward the Hikelite 26 which is a serious contender for best backpack under $100, so if budget is a concern this is highly recommended.
It is smaller overall, but wow does it have some impressive features packed in. There’s an integrated rain cover as well as a super convenient front pocket to handle your valuables.
It also features a hydration sleeve which is compatible with Osprey’s reservoir Hydraulics system for on the go hydration and refreshment. Again, plenty of ventilated back panels and that hip harness belt to hold your bag securely and comfortably in place.
Large Style Backpacks
Next, let’s take a look at what both brands have to offer when it comes to very large capacity style backpacks for those among you who are heading on a more extended camping adventure, or an expedition that requires plenty of essentials.
From Gregory, you might want to consider their 75 liter Baltoro hiking bag. Perfect for extended trips with multiple convenient compartments and pockets so that you can keep everything organized on your trip.
It even comes with its own integrated, removable daypack, a great option if you are headed out of camp. It’s high on the comfort stakes too, with a hip harness belt, as well as a sternum strap and their well ventilated back panels.
Osprey doesn’t have anything quite so substantial or robust, but they do have an incredibly lightweight but sturdy, 60 liter capacity bag, which is more than sufficient for a week-long trip.
We are talking their Levity 45 model. Rather than using the traditional zipper closure, this one comes with a drawstring to secure your valuables. It has plenty of pockets for storage and internal compartment space for organization plus, again, an inner hydration sleeve for on board water refreshment.
Comfort is essential, and the backpack comes with a fully ventilated back panel and that convenient sternum and hip belt, so useful when you are carrying more substantial and heavier loads.
Backpacks for Travel and your Daily Commute
Finally, let’s take a quick look at two firm favorites in this category from both of these highly reputable brands. While a hiking backpack could also be used for your daily commute, chances are you will be traveling with a laptop or other electrical device, therefore, ideally you want something that has been designed with that practical function in mind.
Looking first at what Gregory has to offer, we like the look of their Border 35 Daypack. It is the size of carry-on luggage, so an excellent choice for a frequent business traveler.
It also incorporates a dedicated laptop compartment that can house up to a 15” device, plus there is a separate sleeve for your tablet. There are plenty of other internal compartments to store all your other daily essentials. It’s comfortable to carry with a soft EVA foam back panel.
Osprey has a brilliant travel backpack that really is multi-functional and can be carried traditionally on your shoulders, but also features wheels and a handle just like a suitcase would, enabling you to pull it along. We’re talking about the Sojourn model, and it really is great for frequent travelers.
There are plenty of internal compartments to really organize all your gear, although one thing it doesn’t have, sadly, is a dedicated laptop only sleeve. Other than that, this really is an excellent choice for traveling.
So who wins in the Gregory vs. Osprey backpack comparison? Well, we honestly think they are both winners, and investment in either brand is a savvy one. Overall, though, it will come down to the kind of backpack style you require and the budget that you have available, but both have some seriously impressive gear that is worth closer inspection.