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The Osprey Cyber 26L Daysack, reviewed

Osprey Cyber 26L Daysack

Ten years ago my travel packing list was a bit simpler. I went around the world with no mobile phone and a camera that took two AA batteries. No adapter plugs, no chargers and no wires taking up space in my rucksack. But nowadays it feels like I travel with half an electrical shop in my suitcase. As well as a mobile phone I always take my Kindle and my DSLR camera along with me, and more and more often now I bring my laptop too. Then there’s the wires and chargers that come with each of them. And if you’re flying, you don’t want to risk them getting damaged in the hold so they have to be taken on as hand luggage. Previously I’ve managed to squeeze everything into a small day bag, but now I’ve started travelling with my laptop, it’s time to graduate to something bigger.

I’ve been looking out for the perfect bag for a while – something which has enough pockets and padding to store all my electricals safely, but which still looks smart and isn’t so huge that it makes me feel like a turtle with an oversized shell. So when Blacks kindly offered me an Osprey Cyber 26L Daypack to road test, I jumped at the chance. It’s one of Osprey’s Portal range of bags, which are specially designed to transport your technology when you travel. So how did it stack up?

Osprey Cyber 26L Daysack review

With the bag fully packed I still don’t look too turtle-like

The features

The Cyber 26L Daysack comes in four different colours – black, red, a grey pattern and the medium grey/taupe colour which I went for. Not the most exciting colour, but it’s unlikely to show the dust and dirt. And you get an unexpected pop of colour when you open up the pockets to find a bright orange lining inside. At 26 litres, the bag fits within the carry-on luggage limits for most airlines (the full dimensions are L 48 x W 32 x D 23cm) and even when it was fully loaded it still wasn’t too bulky. There’s a back support with a mesh lining which lets the air through to keep you cool if it’s hot. And the wide straps are padded to spread the weight, with front straps around the waist and chest if you need them.

There are three main compartment at the top of the bag and one at the bottom. The back pocket is for your laptop and has padding and a fleece lining to keep it protected. It easily fit my 17″ laptop, and there’s a separate zippered pocket inside to fit a tablet (or a Kindle in my case).

Osprey Cyber 26L Daysack

The three top compartments in the bag

The middle pocket is the largest and has pockets to store documents inside. It was just about big enough to fit my DSLR camera inside, even in its day bag which will help keep it extra safe. Otherwise you could easily fit books or a change of clothes inside. Then there’s the front pocket, which has different compartments to keep you organised – with pockets for pens, credit cards, passports and your mobile phone. There’s also a bonus pocket in the top which is designed to store your sunglasses.

The bottom compartment contains what they call the ‘Powerhouse’ organiser compartment. It’s a velcro-fastened inner bag that is designed to store all the power cables, battery chargers and wires that go with your electricals. It detaches from the bag so you can easily access everything without having to root around in the bag and stops the wires getting tangled into a huge knot. It was just big enough to fit my laptop power supply, phone charger and camera battery charger.

Osprey Cyber 26L Daysack

The ‘Powerhouse’ organiser compartment

The pros

The overall design is just what I was looking for – my laptop and camera are all well protected but it’s not too bulky. The Powerhouse compartment in particular was a great idea to keep my cables organised and the sunglasses pocket should hopefully help my tendancy to lose them. At £90 it’s not a cheap bag (update: it’s now on sale for £60), but it does have a real feeling of quality. The material is thick and sturdy and the zips and tags all seem very well made, so it should be an investment that lasts for years. It looks quite smart so you could even use it for work, but it could pass as a normal rucksack so it doesn’t scream ‘steal me’! It can easily be used as a day bag – or even overnight – while I’m away, so isn’t just a travelling bag.

Osprey Cyber 26L Daysack

Plenty of space inside the main compartment – and the special sunglasses pocket

The cons

Much as I like a lot of pockets, this bag does have a bewildering amount of them. Something like 18 at my count, though I may well have missed a few! Although it’s good to have so much storage, if you need something in a hurry then make sure you remember where you put it or you can spend ten minutes trying to find out which pocket it was in. The front pocket is also a bit exposed, so if you plan to use it for your passport, phone etc, then you might want to get a padlock to secure it from pickpockets.

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Review of the Osprey Cyber 26L Daysack – one of Osprey’s Portal range of bags, designed to transport your technology when you travel.
Disclaimer: my Osprey backpack was provided by Blacks, but all opinions are my own.


Saturday 23rd of March 2019

Great review! Too bad they don't have it anymore though.. :(


Saturday 30th of March 2019

Am hoping to check out the newer version soon!

Melissa S.

Wednesday 15th of January 2014

Lucy, may I ask what make and model DSLR you use? Thanks!

Lucy Dodsworth

Wednesday 15th of January 2014

Hi Melissa, I have a Nikon D5000 with an 18-55 lens and a 35mm fixed lens. The D5000 has been replaced by a newer model since, the D5200, but it's very similar. I liked it because it's not too big and heavy and is a reasonable price for a first DSLR.

Juan Knows

Sunday 15th of December 2013

I believe the bag maker should consider putting some lock system on the you don't have to worry about getting robbed while walking on a creepy street with all your gadgets...

Lucy Dodsworth

Monday 16th of December 2013

It would be a really good idea to have something like that built it – a small detachable padlock will do the job well enough though


Thursday 12th of December 2013

Very interesting post, Lucy, especially your opinion about the "bewildering amount" of pockets. Is this daypack also available in a bigger size?

I am looking for a new daypack with many pockets but it should be a bit bigger than my current 28 L Deuter daypack which only has a few pockets, so your presented one as a 32 L daypack would be great.

Short before going on my most recent China trip which I did in October and November I purchased the Osprey Sojourn 25-inch 60 L rolling backpack which I really like but one of the very few disadvantages of this rolling backpack is that it doesn't have enough pockets. After my opinion it would need at least one or two more on the outside of the front as on the forefront there are none, there are a few inside and there is only one pocket on the outside of the back but this one contains the backpack straps, so the my new rolling backpack definitely doesn't have enough pockets.

Lucy Dodsworth

Monday 16th of December 2013

I think this is the largest size for this particular style, but there are several similar ones in larger sizes (some of the commenters above have recommended ones they have tried out). I would probably recommend going for one of the other ones as a daypack if you don't plan to carry a laptop as there is quite a lot of padding around the laptop area that you might not need. You'd definitely have enough pockets with this one though!


Wednesday 11th of December 2013

Just bought a 65L Mountain Equipment Co-op (only found in Canada) Travel Pack with 14L daypack. My biggest decision in a while. :)

Lucy Dodsworth

Wednesday 11th of December 2013

Just read your post about it and it seems like a good choice! Great tip to make sure you try them on with some weight in so you get a real idea of what it'll feel like loaded up. Hope it serves you well on your RTW trip!