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The Osprey Metron 24 is a great pack for bike commuters. It offers all the essential features needed for a cycle commute, distributes weight effectively, and is shaped brilliantly for wearing on the bike. It's one of the best cycling rucksacks out there.
Everyone's commute is a little different, from the bike you ride to the route you take, and from the contents of your pack to what's waiting for you at the end of the ride. Even taking that into account, I think Osprey's Metron 24 has just about every feature a cycling commuter could need.
The 24 refers to the 24L total capacity – there is also an 18L Messenger version for £120 and a 22L version with a roll-top design for £130.
This is no throw-it-in-and-hope-for-the-best affair. It has a grand total of 14 storage compartments and pockets, plus two compartments that hold covers, all with flexible utility so you can use it how you need, to get the most out of it.
The spacious main compartment gives access to a two-level laptop sleeve, so you can keep your laptop (a 16in MacBook Pro fits inside no problem) and documents separate.
From here, you can also access a fully waterproof zipped shoe compartment, which can double as a dirty/wet kit zone.
There's a smaller secondary compartment accessible from the top of the pack which houses four mini-sleeves for smaller items, two of which are scratch-resistant, ideal for holding glasses, plus a pen sleeve.
On the outside of the pack at the top there's a lined, zipped pocket for smaller items that you might not want to dig around in the main pack for, and below that, on the central rearside face of the pack, is an external elasticated sleeve which blends in with the rest of the bag (so much so that you might not even notice it's there).
Each flank features a side compartment – the one on the right is elasticated, with open access, and big enough to hold a 750ml drinks bottle, the one on the left is zipped and almost the same size.
The underside of the pack features a zipped compartment that holds a detachable waterproof cover in a handy bright orange for improved visibility in low light.
It pulls right up and over the top, and is elasticated; it's large enough to cover the Metron when it's completely full, but with enough elasticity in the cord so as to wrap around the pack when it isn't at full capacity and not flap too much when riding. It's also totally waterproof – I've certainly had no worries about my MacBook getting wet when riding in the rain.
I've previously owned and worn out an Osprey Momentum 22 pack, and while reviewing this Metron 24 I was already using the outgoing version, the Metron 26, for commuting and general use. The design is incredibly similar, with a few modifications.
All of the compartments listed above are useful and well thought out. There isn't one section that seems superfluous, and once you've organised the kit that you want to carry regularly, it quickly becomes easy to find everything – or easy to notice that you've forgotten something.
I'm talking about your USB sticks, pens, battery pack, notebook, hand santiser and so on... all the small things that might need carrying to and from work each day, but often might not come out at home, plus your phone and wallet which can easily be chucked into the most convenient compartment for you.
I was able to carry all these small items, plus a full change of clothes – folded-up shirt, trousers and underwear, a pair of shoes and my work laptop – and squeeze in some snacks too. I'm used to a 26L capacity, but this 24L model can just about handle all that too.
Of course, many people don't need to carry so much every day – I've often left a change of clothes, shoes and shower stuff at work – but it's reassuring to know that you can fit most of the essentials for the day in if you really need to.
Osprey can't do anything about the weight of all the kit that you might want to take with you, but it's done its best to distribute that weight well and keep you comfortable. The shoulder straps are sizeable and take the strain well, as they're joined to a full-width bracing strip at the top of the pack.
There's 'Airscape' technology in the padded back and on the underside of the straps. Essentially, it's a mesh design that enables air to flow between your back and the pack and under the straps. It's a good system you can really feel the benefit of on everything from a longer cycle commute to a long weekend spent exploring a warm Paris on foot.
It can't stop you sweating, but it does a good job of keeping air circulating around to fend off the worst build up of heat. If you're riding fairly quickly in 20°C plus then you're going to sweat to some degree anyway, as the pack is still essentially blocking a major heat outlet, but you can definitely tell the difference between this and a pack that doesn't have such a feature.
The shoulder straps sit comfortably and are shaped well, tapering inwards, and there are also adjustable chest and waistline straps for added support. The waist straps are padded on the flanks (a good upgrade from the previous generation Metron), which helps the pack cocoon around your body and offer a little extra comfort.
One minor flaw that I can see is the lack of any strap tidying in these areas. They can flap around noticeably in the wind while you're riding, and if you're just walking then the unclipped chest and waist straps just dangle around unless you go to the trouble of tucking them away. I find it useful to get rid of the excess once I have the strap lengths dialled in to my perfect fit.
The Metron 24 is curved to mimic the arch of a cyclist's back when leaning forward on the handlebar. That curved profile means it sits flush against your back, and unless you have it fully laden-to-bursting, the top of the pack doesn't obscure your vision when you turn your head to take a glance behind on the move. You can see it in your peripheral vision, but it's not a distraction.
One great feature is the helmet holder, which has been remodelled from Osprey's previous clasp design that we've seen in the Escapist, Tempest and Raven models – as well as both my old packs. Now, it takes the form of a strapover cover, which loops over the helmet and links to loop holes built into the upper and lower corners of the pack.
While I still like the simplicity of the old clasp system, this revised style does let you choose between an upper and lower position for your helmet instead of just the one, and the new cover offers some superficial protection too.
The outside of the Metron features a nifty strap to fit a light on the bottom rearside, should you wish, and the 'Metron 24' branding is reflective.
If you're not carrying much then you can pull on the adjustor straps on the back to compress the size. Happily, these do include little strap tidies to stop any spare flailing around.
Osprey makes the Metron using nylon from recycled sources, and it's said to be abrasion resistant in case of a spill. I didn't go out and fall off my bike to test this, but the fabric certainly seems tough. It's also worth noting that the laptop sleeve does keep the corners of a laptop away from the very extremities of the pack, so there's a little protection built in for what will typically be the most valuable item you carry.
The zips are good quality and really easy to do up and open thanks to the loops that are tied to them. They offer a water resistant seal too, just in case you get caught in a shower and forget (or can't be bothered) to stop and whip out the rain cover.
Although £140 is a big investment for a commuter/do-it-all backpack, I think the features and usability of the Metron 24 still make it a contender versus cheaper competition. My experience is that Osprey packs tend to last years before you need to even think about replacing them (I've had my Metron 26 for over two years and it still looks almost new), so your investment should last a while.
It's 50 quid more than Oxford's Aqua Evo 22 Backpack at £89.99, which scored 9/10 for being hardy and totally waterproof, though with relatively firm padding, and George reckoned the £69.99 100% Transit Backpack offered all the storage and features a cycle commuter could need, but felt it missed a rain cover (so it's not waterproof) and a stabilising chest strap (read his review here).
But the Osprey is cheaper than some: Liam rated Camelbak's H.A.W.G Commute 30 Backpack highly, saying it offered lots of space and was comfortable to wear. However, it costs £150 and isn't totally waterproof. (Read Liam's review here.)
The Metron 24 is about as feature-rich as they come, and offers brilliant practicality in a neat design. The tweaks to the waist band support and helmet holder have proven to be smart changes as far as I'm concerned.
You can get a smaller 18L messenger or 22L roll-top version if you know you'll need less capacity, but I suspect the 24L tested here might turn out to be the sweetspot for most. It's an excellent commuter backpack.
One of the best commuter backpacks available today
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Osprey Metron 24
Size tested: 24L
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Osprey says: "Built for urban bike commutes, the Metron 24 features a Hi-Vis raincover, separate shoe/cloths compartment and a 16" laptop sleeve to make life on two wheels even better."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Osprey lists these details:
Weight: 1.2 kg
Dimensions (CM): 49H 33W 28D
Fabric: bluesign® approved 500D recycled high tenacity nylon, PFC/PFAS-free DWR
* Internal laptop/document sleeve fits most 16' laptops
* Adjustable sternum strap
* Loop for blinky light attachment (light not included)
* Reflective graphics for visibility
* Front panel zip organisation pocket with small drop-in pockets and key fob
* Hi-Vis raincover included
* U-zip access for full visibility into the main compartment
* Internal J-zip compartment for shoes
* Deployable helmet carry net to maximise helmet compatibility
* Front panel padded shove-it
* Two side panel stretch pockets''one with zip closure, one with side access for bottle carry
I've found the Metron pack to be a brilliant companion for everything from the daily bike commute to acting as my smaller carry-on for a flight. Time with the previous Metron tells me that it's a sturdy and long lasting pack too.
It's not superlight or anything, but I've found that it fits so well and distributes additional load so effectively that it's very well managed and feels light on the back.
This is one of the most comfortable packs I've ever worn. The 'Airscape' design can't make your back feel like it's not covered at all, but it does a decent job.
Bearing in mind the number of useful features and overall intelligent design, I think £140 is a justified price tag. It's a tenner less than the Camelbak H.A.W.G Commute 30 which, though bigger, isn't fully waterproof.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Clever design, external helmet storage, rain cover, waterproof shoe compartment, airflow-optimised back.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
A minor quibble, but some straps can flap around when not in use.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's 50 quid more than Oxford's Aqua Evo 22 Backpack at £89.99, which scored 9/10 for being hardy and totally waterproof, though with relatively firm padding, and George reckoned the 100% Transit Backpack offered all the storage and features a cycle commuter could need, but felt it missed a rain cover (so it's not waterproof) and a stabilising chest strap. That model is just a penny short of £70, though.
But the Osprey is cheaper than some: Liam rated Camelbak's H.A.W.G Commute 30 Backpack highly, saying it offered lots of space and was comfortable to wear. However, it costs £150 and isn't totally waterproof.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
I think this updated Metron is about as good as it gets for a cycling commuter-cum-multipurpose backpack. It's not flawless, but I think for most users it'll come pretty close.
About the tester
I usually ride: Canyon Ultimate CF SL (2016), Fairlight Strael 3.0 (2021) My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, Dabble in Zwift training and racing