Portals to the future
Osprey Cyber Port
As a response to our fast changing mobile lifestyles the well established back pack makers Osprey have launched the Portal series.
The series includes a myriad of pack solutions, including the Cyber, Cyber Port, Pixel, Pixel Port, Beta and Beta Port. As you can gather from the blog headline we’ll be taking a closer look at the Cyber Port today.
What Osprey say
This stylish low profile city slicker holds a secret. On the outside it’s a covert operation – on the inside it’s a humming technology centre . . . . Perfect for the swerving bike commute or running for that impatient train.
Lets get the mundane out of the way first, the pack has all you could require of it on the outside. A sternum belt across from the shoulder straps, zipped compartments, nice padded back section, and a carry strap at the top. An all in all well made, well presented day pack. Personally I find it aesthetically pleasing, nice simple minimalist look, and a choice of colours to suit varying tastes. (Back pepper version featured in review).
But don’t be fooled by the unassuming simple look, as with the gadgets it conceals this pack may look minimalist on the outside, but has a few tricks hidden away on the inside! At the top is a small zipped scratch-free pocket. I found it a great place to store my precious Oakley sunglasses and on occasion my smartphone, although it could well be used for any number of electronics you would wish to store scratch-free.
The zipped main compartment contains a number of features for the busy commuter, such as a padded laptop sleeve with a handy Velcro flap to secure in place (Max laptop dimensions (mm) 340 (w) x 228 (h) x 25 (d)), as well as an internal tablet sleeve, which also has it’s own zipper. Added to this is an internal organisation pocket and an always handy key attachment clip.
As I filled the 18L Cyber Port with my electronics I soon found it filling up, but you could still manage to include more nick-nacks if need be, say a few documents and your packed lunch and a spare t-shirt or socks! The only thing I would say is a full change of clothes might be a push too far for the capacity available here, and if you’re a cycling commuter possibly the Cyber with it’s 26L capacity might be the choice for you.
So to the center-piece innovation, the Port™. A tablet sleeve with a touch screen TPU film window. Placed at the front of the pack, a hidden padded panel can be opened and hooked to the rear to reveal the secure tablet. With the TPU film allowing easy use while the tablet remains inside the pack, safe and secure. This feature plays well to the train/subway/bus commuter as you can easily access your tablet without having to take out of the pack, they’ve even thought of including a nice exit port for headphone use. Remember this is in addition to the internal tablet sleeve, so if you’re not likely to use the Port™ feature you can just stick to the traditional option.
Check out this official vid for a good look – http://vimeo.com/69947324
A nice addition to the series is Ospreys’ free to download Bike Light App (seems that it’s only available on Android at present). This App allows the biker to be even more visible to motorists, simply download the app to your tablet and switch on while wearing the pack on your bike. With a choice of a constant always on red light, or a pulsing LED for maximum visibility this is a nifty addition by Osprey, but should be stresses that it is an addition to the purpose built bike light system you should already have in place, front and rear on your bike.
Sticking with the theme I tried to come up with my own uses for the tablet on the go, so we tried out a navigation/ mapping App while on a hike on the mountain. The idea being that the walk lead would have the Portal open and the map running, while the second in line would be able to make quick references to the route, distance and current location. It has to be said the Cyber Portal is not designed for mountain use and may not stand up to sustained rough use, but I think the premise was a good one. Although not a complete failure, Osprey probably won’t be clamoring to the phone to discuss a development deal with me! (But if they do, you all heard it here first!)
- Capacity 18 litres
- Weight: 0.67kg
- Max laptop dimensions (mm) 340 (w) x 228 (h) x 25 (d)
- Conforms to EU maximum Carry-On luggage size
Although a solid outdoor back pack maker, Osprey have taken another innovative step and produced a series that meets the needs of the modern social media / technology minded community we’ve become. They may not fit into everyone’s lifestyle, but if you’re an urban city slicker commuter, be it on foot, bike, bus or subway this would be a great addition. I’m sure it would greatly appeal to the student population as well, and I could see it as a great pack to take with me on a holiday as it conveniently conforms to EU maximum Carry-On luggage size.