The Osprey METRON is a new backpack that has been designed with the needs of professional athletes in mind. It’s made to be lightweight, durable, and versatile, allowing you to carry all your gear without overloading yourself.
It may not be easy to carry stuff when riding a bike. It would be best if you thought about the weight of each piece of equipment and how it will affect your balance. It may even take away the enjoyment you were looking forward to on a bike ride, turning it into a tightrope balancing act rather than a joyride. It’s a good thing there are bags made specifically for cyclists.
We’ve seen several different approaches to making bags bike-friendly. They typically throw in a couple of extra straps and call it a day, but not with the Osprey METRON. Instead, they’ve gone to great lengths to make the METRON a backpack that won’t get in the way of you having fun in the saddle. Compression straps, load lifters, a waist belt, and a place to put your helmet after you’ve arrived are just a few of the features that make the METRON an excellent riding backpack. Let’s get started since there’s a lot more to learn.
Aesthetics & Materials
Throughout our testing of the METRON, one word kept coming to mind: aerodynamic. Now, before you start picturing this bag as a fighter aircraft or a space shuttle, understand that we mean it in a more technical sense. The METRON may seem like a normal backpack, but closer inspection reveals that it is really streamlined and low-profile to suit its bike-centric character.
These wing-like flaps embrace the luggage and keep it secure.
The side-hugging flaps, which tighten and compress the bag as much as possible, are the first clue to its design. When you release these flaps, which are referred to as a “straightjacket compression” mechanism, they resemble bat wings. So if Batman needs a bag in the future, he’ll know which one to choose.
The remainder of the METRON has a clean appearance, with the straightjacket compression completely engaged. Because of how each broken-up piece fits together, the 500D Nylon Packcloth has a smooth-like surface, but the lines and creases give it the appearance of a futuristic knight’s armor. That latter part may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it all comes down to being aerodynamic, which we like.
There are just two colors available at the time of writing: black (which we have here) and crimson red. The colors aren’t the most eye-catching, but a bright green rainfly is provided for low-visibility conditions, which we’ll talk about later. The Osprey logo is prominently displayed at the top of the page, making it easy to see, particularly in strong lighting.
The 500D Nylon Packcloth has a delicate texture that seems robust enough to endure many bike rides, moving on to the METRON’s more practical features. We should know since there hasn’t been a single loose thread or rip anywhere on it. The zippers are YKK, known for their durability and easy-to-grasp circular pulls. In terms of hardware, the buckles and adjusters combine ITW and Woojin. In summary, the METRON is up to the task of even the most difficult bike journeys.
Components from Outside
You’d expect a harness system that can keep up with the METRON, which was built from the ground up to be a bike backpack. When you turn the METRON over, you’ll see just that. It’s simply a sea of straps, padding, mesh material, and a back panel ready to wrap around you and hold you close for the journey ahead.
The Osprey METRON is a sea of straps and supports, all of which are intended to operate together.
The shoulder straps are well-padded for comfort and include a higher-than-average quantity of mesh material to keep things cool and dry even when things become hot. While most mesh backpacks just have it on the bottom of the shoulder straps, the METRON includes some on top, which provides additional ventilation.
Two nylon loops on each shoulder strap are provided for attaching accessories such as key carabiners or small Bluetooth speakers. Above them are several very useful load-lifters, which can be found on more active-focused backpacks but are not always—these aid in fine-tuning the weight distribution to your preferred comfort level. Finally, of course, you may change the length of the shoulder straps themselves. Both the load-lifters and the shoulder strap adjusters work together to offer you the ability to modify the harness system from both the top and bottom.
Once everything is strapped in, the Osprey METRON becomes extremely comfy.
The sternum strap is placed on a sliding rail system, which is even better news. Because it’s simple to use and provides a fine degree of adjustment along the rail, this is our preferred kind of sternum strap system. It also has a built-in whistle on the buckle if you need to draw attention to yourself. Topping it off is the adjustable waist belt, which is nothing more than a basic nylon strap with buckles, similar to the sternum strap.
Osprey’s “Airscape” design is pressed against your back. Aside from the marketing gimmick, the back panel has a ribbed design that readily bends and molds to your position. The top two-thirds of the surface area is made of mesh, while the bottom third, towards the lumbar region, is made of cushioning. It all works, too: as we bend over to ride, the METRON rests nicely on our backs.
The back panel of the Osprey METRON effortlessly adapts to your position.
Let’s go through the features: shoulder straps, load-lifters, sternum straps, and waist belts—all of which are adjustable for the optimum fit. At first, it may be daunting, like being confronted with a slew of knobs and dials on a brand-new paper copier. As a result, this level of flexibility is very beneficial when attempting to find the most comfortable fit. When we go riding, we like to bring a lot of stuff, and the last thing we want is for it to slop about our back like a bag of potatoes. Taking the effort to fine-tune everything paid off, as we had a great experience using this backpack on our bike excursions.
METRON’s straightjacket compression mechanism has previously been mentioned. To recap, the flaps are connected in the center by a pair of straps, which are then connected to the right flap by G-hooks. They tighten, compress, and strive to make the METRON as aerodynamic as possible, much like the rest of the straps.
Regrettably, there is one notable characteristic that Osprey has nearly entirely missed. There are no strap keepers on any of the METRON’s straps save the one on the sternum strap. It’s a pretty important aspect to overlook, as having the straps not flapping about and causing distractions when riding downhill may be the difference between a pleasant and an irritating bike ride. Admittedly, the straps on ours were a little unruly, but it wasn’t a deal-breaker for us. Nonetheless, we hope Osprey will address the slack in these straps in a future iteration.
We don’t take the top handle for granted, much as the numerous straps that zig-zag over the METRON. Because the one here is more than just an afterthought, Osprey seems to share this attitude. Although it is still simply a folded sheet of nylon, there is some cushioning. It also features a broad stance that prevents the handle from digging into the sides of your hand. In summary, it’s ideal for carrying the METRON over a fair distance by hand.
The water bottle compartment on the Osprey METRON is quite discreet.
There are two side pockets on the METRON, one on each side of the bag. Until you put anything inside them, they’re well-hidden and low-profile. The left-side pocket holds your water bottle, and Osprey carefully places the opening in the rear. Let’s say you’re riding along on a hot day and need to stop for a quick drink; having the slit closer to you allows you to reach in and get your bottle without removing any straps or swinging the whole bag around.
Last but not least, the METRON has a blinker light connection loop and a LidLock helmet attachment, all of which make it an excellent cycling backpack. The first is self-explanatory; it’s a loop that may be used to connect a reflector or a blinker light. The latter is a feature that can be found on many Osprey backpacks and allows you to secure your helmet while not in use. Simply thread the anchor through the ventilation hole in your helmet, position it horizontally, and secure it in place by extending the bungee cord. It retracts into the front pocket for further convenience when not in use. Unfortunately, securing the helmet with just limited ventilation may take some ingenuity if you have a helmet with just limited ventilation.
Components on the Inside
One of the numerous auxiliary pockets on the METRON is the one that houses the LidLock attachment. Because the hefty top will need to protrude out, this pocket has an open-top, perfect for carrying a U-lock. If you don’t want to use it for a U-lock, there’s enough room inside for a tiny face towel or some granola bars. The cloth used is also stretchy, allowing you to put more items within.
Osprey METRON | This pocket is designed to hold a U-lock, but it may also be used to store quick-access goods.
A tiny top quick-access pocket for daily carry goods is located above that pocket. The inner lining is made of a soft, scratch-resistant fabric that should keep your smartphone or sunglasses safe from scuffing. However, this soft fabric will not prevent your keys from coming into touch with anything delicate, so be careful what you combine within. Small pockets like this are a suitable temporary home for things you normally store in your trousers’ pockets if you’re uncertain what you should put in here.
A front pouch compartment is hidden below the scratch-free quick-grab pocket. There are mesh pockets on the inside for items like compact power banks and a wireless headphones case. Two pen silos and another lining pocket are hidden below them. This stacking method requires careful consideration of which pieces will be placed where. This container, on the other hand, isn’t short on room. This front compartment is so large that retrieving anything from one of the mesh pockets would almost certainly require a concerted effort. On the other hand, House keys are likely to remain there since they have their own built-in orange key clip at the upper right corner.
The front compartment of the Osprey METRON features its own built-in pockets for organizing.
The METRON’s built-in rainfly comes in handy when the going gets rough. It’s hidden in a clearly designated bottom compartment with drainage and ventilation holes. It comes in a shade of green that helps vehicles see you in low-visibility situations such as at night or during severe rain. If you need to wash it, use it for anything else, or leave it at home if you’ve perfected the art of weather prediction, the rainfly is also detachable. However, the rainfly’s size does take up some space in the main compartment. Removing the rainfly is a feasible alternative if you really must squeeze every ounce of space out of the METRON.
The built-in rainfly on the Osprey METRON may be removed if you need additional room.
Remember how we mentioned the water bottle compartment earlier? On the other side of the METRON, there is a duplicate pocket. Unlike the water bottle pocket, this side pocket has a zippered entrance, making it more of a grab-and-go side pocket. To keep tiny things like pennies from falling out, there’s even a small gusset at the bottom border of the pocket. It is, however, accessible without removing the backpack, much as the water bottle compartment. Some cash, IDs, or transit cards are a few things we can think of that you may want to consider placing inside a pocket like this—really anything you’d want within easy reach without having to swing your bag around.
The Osprey METRON bag has a pocket that can be accessed without taking the bag off.
This side pocket even includes a piece of curved fabric that acts as a zipper garage, which is a nice touch. However, this tiny veil protects it from the elements instead of the zipper flap flapping about in the wind. If we had to choose just one feature of the METRON that exemplifies Osprey’s dedication to simplicity, it would be this one.
Finally, we arrive at the METRON’s main compartment. With so many auxiliary pockets, it’s hard to imagine any room left in the main compartment’s 26-liter capacity. We’re still here, with more to come.
The main compartment entrance is restricted to a top-loader arrangement with the straightjacket compression mechanism. This will suffice if you’re in a hurry and need anything around the top third of the METRON. However, it’s not ideal for accessibility, so many quick-access compartments are strewn around the pack.
Once the straightjacket compression is undone, the whole main compartment becomes accessible through a fully-clamshell aperture. A tiny hamper for dirty clothing, which also serves as a shoebox, is located on the front side. It’s a fantastic addition if you like changing into a comfortable pair of flip-flops after a long day of riding.
The main compartment is roomy, with plenty of space for packing cubes for extra organizing. In addition, the area is pretty simple to pack since the walls remain up on their own, making cramming clothing inside rather pleasant.
The METRON does not have a separate laptop compartment. Instead, it’s tucked away at the back of the main compartment. A laptop sleeve with a fake bottom and velcro closure fits our 15-inch MacBook Pro well. We tried putting a newer 16-inch MacBook Pro inside; it fits well, and the velcro tab is still attached. However, it’s a tight fit, and nearly an inch of the laptop protrudes from the sleeve, putting it in danger of injury. A lining pocket for papers or a tablet is located in front of the laptop sleeve. It has the same fake bottom as the laptop sleeve, but it doesn’t have the front-side cushioning.
The Osprey METRON has enough space for a laptop and a tablet.
The METRON comes with a slew of features that are sure to attract the attention of cyclists. Everything adds up, whether it’s the major things like the Lidlock helmet attachment or the little details that make the METRON more streamlined. As a result, the METRON is an excellent option for people who wish to carry supplies and clothing with little effect on the pleasures of riding, despite the absence of strap keepers.
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