Osprey Radial vs Momentum: Slim Cycling Backpacks

Are you looking for an awesome cycling backpack? While the Osprey line gives plenty to choose from, we absolutely love the Radial and the Momentum models. This is because they are not just regular slim daypacks. They can actually fit your books and other items for work and school.

But they are so much more than a spacious daypack. They include all of the features needed for safe and happy cycling. Many potential customers are wondering which of these two models they should actually purchase. This is likely because they are just so similar in design.

In this review, we are going to make a comparison of the Osprey Momentum vs Radial. We will outline what makes them different so that you can make a decision as to which you want to purchase. But before we do this, we are going to go over what makes them similar.

Liked the Osprey Radial Cycling Backpack? Check out which size is best for you: Osprey Radial 26 vs 34: New Cycling Backpacks

Osprey Radial vs Momentum

Preview
Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Backpack
Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Backpack Rise Orange, O/S
Osprey Packs Momentum Daypack
Osprey Packs Momentum 32 Daypack, Orchard Green
Title
Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Backpack Rise Orange, O/S
Osprey Packs Momentum 32 Daypack, Orchard Green
Price
$136.09
$129.95
Volume
34L
32L
Laptop Sleeve
15"
15"
Backpanel
Airspeed
Airscape
Helmet Carry
Yes
Yes
Biking Features
Integrated Rain Cover, Blinky Light Loop, Riding accessible pockets
Integrated Rain Cover, Blinky Light Attachment ring, Riding accessible pockets
More Information
Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Backpack
Preview
Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Backpack Rise Orange, O/S
Title
Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Backpack Rise Orange, O/S
Price
$136.09
Volume
34L
Laptop Sleeve
15"
Backpanel
Airspeed
Helmet Carry
Yes
Biking Features
Integrated Rain Cover, Blinky Light Loop, Riding accessible pockets
More Information
Osprey Packs Momentum Daypack
Preview
Osprey Packs Momentum 32 Daypack, Orchard Green
Title
Osprey Packs Momentum 32 Daypack, Orchard Green
Price
$129.95
Volume
32L
Laptop Sleeve
15"
Backpanel
Airscape
Helmet Carry
Yes
Biking Features
Integrated Rain Cover, Blinky Light Attachment ring, Riding accessible pockets
More Information

What Makes the Osprey Radial and Momentum Similar

Both of these backpacks are optimal for cycling to school and work. They include plenty of space for your textbooks, as well as having a special padded area for your laptop. These are true commuter packs!

Osprey Packs Momentum 32 Daypack, Orchard Green

More specifically, they have many features that make cycling during your daily commute more comfortable. They both have reflective fabric and a loop for your bike light. In case of rain, you can pull out the rain cover from the bottom pocket. The rain cover is a bright yellow so that it can easily be seen in the fog.

Pocket Design

One of our favorite features about these backpacks is that they have pockets within the shoulder straps. One of these pockets is large enough to put your keys in it with a lanyard. The other pocket is even larger, and will actually fit a smartphone of decent size.

Within the main compartment is a large zippered mesh pocket. Across from the zippered mesh pocket are three more mesh pockets. Towards the front of the backpack at the top, there is a smaller pocket that has room for a phone, and some pens and pencils. This pockets has a bright yellow color so that your pens don’t get lost within the color of the fabric.

Osprey Radial Bike Commuter Backpack

There are also special pockets where you can store the shoulder straps and the hip belt. In doing so, you can actually carry your backpack by the side handle. This simply turns your backpack into a stylish briefcase that is suitable for work meetings.

We also have to mention the fact that they have a special pocket for your bicycle lock. Comfortably store your lock in the stretch mesh pocket so that it doesn’t take up room in the main compartment.

Unisex

Both the Radial and the Momentum come in unisex designs and colors. We feel that this actually makes them more stylish and modern. We love the tapered look of these backpacks and they look sexy on a cycler’s back.

Expandable

You cannot tell by looking at the feature list on the Osprey site, but the gear capacity of these backpacks is actually expandable. Unzipping the size of the backpack, the extra material makes way for at least five more liters of gear in the main compartment. This is great if you’re going to be carrying plenty of thick books, but also want the benefit of a slimmer backpack when not carrying as much.

Differences Between the Osprey Radial and the Momentum

The differences between these backpacks is not readily apparent. In fact, there are not that many variances between them. The Radial models are ‘higher-end’ then the Momentum models. This is to say that they include some more features. Keep in mind that these extra features are not very numerous. But here they are below.

Kickstand

The bottom of the Radial is designed in such a way that it acts as a kickstand. It has too little hard parts at the bottom so that it can stand upright. This is especially useful in wet weather or rough terrain. This sort of design can help prevent wear and tear of your backpack. It will also prevent the annoyance of having your backpack keel over to the front or back while laying it on the ground.

Backpanel Ventilation

Osprey Packs Momentum 32 Daypack, Orchard Green

The backpanels on these backpacks are designed differently. The Momentum models have a soft rubber back that holds the integrity of the backpack pretty well. But it does not help prevent sweat build up from the backpanel. If you will be riding a bicycle in high temperatures, it is useful to have some form of ventilation to keep you comfortable. While the backpanel of the Momentum does a pretty good job at not absorbing much sweat, the Radial’s backpanel is specifically designed with a mesh that wicks sweat away. In this regard, it tends to be more comfortable to wear during the summer months.

Size

While both models come in different sizes, the Radial line generally has larger models. In fact, the Momentum 32 was the largest Momentum model, and it is no longer in production. The Momentum 32 is still available on Amazon, but will not necessarily be replaceable throughout the lifetime of the backpack.

Osprey Radial vs Momentum: Price Differences

Despite the similarities and design between these backpacks, the prices are different due to the extra features on the Radial. To see current prices on Amazon, please visit the links below:

The Verdict

These cycling backpacks are our favorite. Not only do they include all of the features needed for cycling comfortably, they are also a fully-featured for school and work. They both come with a lifetime warranty so you do not have to worry about rips and tears. If anything should happen to these backpacks, simply return them for a replacement part.

Overall, it is safe to say that the Radial line offers more features and is more versatile in terms of size. It is for this reason that we recommend Radial over the Momentum backpacks. One redeeming factor of the Momentum backpacks is the fact that they are less expensive than the Radials. But this does not mean that they are of any less quality.

Which backpack do you prefer? Please leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.

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