Two-Minute Review

Loading Up the Osprey Gearkit 40L Duffel Bag

Words AJ Barlas
Photos AJ Barlas
Date Dec 17, 2018

Osprey has been making packs for more than 40 years. They make some great hydro pack options for mountain bikers but they’re also interested in supporting riders that use gear bags. I used to throw everything in the back of the car but more recently I’ve been using a bag of some sort. It’s easy to load into someone else’s vehicle and chuck on the floor of my own. Before the Mountainsmith Cycle Cube, the bag of choice was a cheap duffel, but the cube changed that. Can the Osprey Gearkit Duffel take its place?


  • Stowaway contoured harness and yoke for comfortable backpack carry
  • Stashable helmet carry
  • Dedicated ventilated footwear compartment
  • Large U-zip access to the main compartment
  • Three solid grab handles
  • Weather-protected main compartment zip path with overlapping rain flaps
  • Side panel web lashing points for securing duffel or attaching gear
  • Dual-zippered 3-D end pockets with overlapping rain flaps for quick access to smaller items
  • Zippered side panel nutrition and small items organization pocket
  • Zippered side compartment with water bottle carry/webbing straps for attaching accessories
  • MSRP: 140 USD


Rather than just chuck everything in the back of my car, I now choose to chuck a bag in. When carpooling with friends it's a step up from a plastic container.


Shoes fit but a helmet is trickier.

My packing style meshes well with a large top-entry duffel bag. A backpack doesn’t open wide enough for me to carelessly chuck stuff in. Some compartmentalization is nice, but I find it often slows things down when all I want to do is load and go.

Osprey Gearkit duffel bags come in the 40L (seen here), a 45L and a 75L monster. Each size is targeted toward different user groups but all are relatively adaptable. The bags are riddled with compartments, nooks and crannies. I found the pockets got in the way of each other, making it difficult to load the bag and easy to lose smaller items. Access was similar to a backpack, making it difficult to throw things in and go, unlike a typical duffel bag.


Loading and accessing gear wasn't as easy as I would like with the Gearkit duffel. I prefer a wide pack or a top-down approach.


The bag constantly needs to be spun to gain access to the different compartments. I quickly grew tired of dealing with it. #justletmedivein


There's not much room inside the bag for your helmet, despite being about the same size as the Mountainsmith Cycle Cube. It's easy to fit, but takes more fiddling and time with this system.

The Gearkit 40L's quality construction is clear, a testament to Osprey's roots. The zippers are high quality and feel solid in use, a concern I had with the Mountainsmith. Materials are durable and the handles provided have a sturdy feel. They're capable of supporting a lot of weight should you load the bag up. It’s versatile too, with a pair of backpack straps that are hidden when not in use. Osprey also sells a shoulder strap separately if you want to use it more like a duffel.

I enjoy the Osprey hydro pack I have but the Gearkit duffel bag isn't for me. I’ll stick to loosely throwing my stuff in the Cycle Cube, which is roughly the same size but can fit heaps more gear, including my helmet, inside the bag. If versatility and a specific place for all your gear are important, the Gearkit duffel is definitely worth a look.

More about the Osprey Gearkit Duffel Bags...

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Joseph Lo  - Dec. 17, 2018, 9:11 p.m.

Too many pockets!  Best type of duffel is a big duffel where you can put everything in.  I'm a big fan of High Above's stuff, where they use a mesh so all the sand and dirt (once it dries) shakes through.  The guy who owns and makes the stuff is super nice too.  http://www.highabove.net/shopall/lost-lake-duffel-bag


AJ Barlas  - Dec. 18, 2018, 12:20 p.m.

That High Above looks great, Joe! Pricing seems reasonable too.


Velocipedestrian  - Dec. 17, 2018, 10:06 p.m.

Shout out to the excellent folks at Cactus, bombproof gear that always goes the distance. As worn by abseil access teams, ski patrollers and lifties all over South New Zanada.

The big burly bag is the Killer duffel. https://www.cactusoutdoor.co.nz/bbb-big-burly-bag.html


AJ Barlas  - Dec. 18, 2018, 12:21 p.m.

Another great duffel option, thanks! Never heard of these.


+1 AJ Barlas
kekoa  - Dec. 18, 2018, 9:06 a.m.

Thanks for the review. I'd been idly thinking about this bag but I think you've cured me of that.


+1 AJ Barlas
hankthespacecowboy  - Dec. 23, 2018, 6:49 a.m.

Thanks for the detailed review of what you liked & didn't like. Pockets and organizational compartments are totally my jam; most of what you mentioned about it being too complicated and fussy sounded like exactly what I'm looking for in a gear bag. Lack of helmet carrying capacity seems to be the biggest drawback, especially as mtb helmets are trending towards larger volumes (currently rocking a Giro Switchblade myself). 

For all you fans of "just give me one big compartment to stuff it in," have you considered these : https://www.homedepot.com/p/HUSKY-42-Gal-Contractor-Bags-50-Count-HK42WC050B/202973825. They come in black so everyone will know you are cool, haha.


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