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Osprey Tropos vs Nebula Backpacks: 2022 Comparison

Last updated January 18, 2022| Gear

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Today, Osprey is one of the most successful and best-positioned companies in the market.

Their products are highly sought after by all adventure and hiking enthusiasts, among other outdoor activities.

On this occasion, we’re going to review two backpacks.

Both are among the favorites of the users of the brand. Those are the Osprey Tropos and the Osprey Nebula, both for men. Both backpacks have incredible features.

so let’s not waste time and start checking them.

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Osprey Tropos vs Nebula : Quick Comparison

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Image Product Capacity Dimensions Price On Amazon
Image My Pick
Osprey Tropos
32 L 22 x 13 x 12.2 in Check Today’s Price on Amazon
618U33eWIlL. AC SX425 - Heart for Outdoor Osprey Nebula 34 L 19 x 12 x 11 in Check Today’s Price on Amazon

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What is the difference between Osprey Tropos and Nebula?

the Tropos and the Nebula have many aspects of stock, some things differentiate them from each other.

Here I summarize some of the differences I found between the two backpacks:

  • The first difference we noticed is that the Tropos is more significant than the Nebula. And not only that, but it is also heavier.
  • Another thing in which the Tropos differs from the Nebula is in its price. The Tropos, being more prominent and having more capacity, has a higher rate than the Nebula.
  • Another difference we found is that the Nebula comes with a TSA friendly laptop pocket, something that Tropos does not have.

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You may also like : the Osprey Porter 46 and Farpoint 55 backpacks Comparison

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Osprey Tropos review and Features

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The Tropos covers your daily needs with a protective zippered laptop sleeve. It also comes with a front panel organization to keep your phone, business cards, pens, and other essentials organized.

Another thing is that it comes with a supremely ventilated AirSpeed back panel, which keeps the backpack cooler. Its side compression straps secure your cargo, plus a built-in holder that keeps your belongings from spilling out.

And that's just the beginning. As you can see, Tropos is an ideal companion for the road.

As for the design, the Tropos is up to the task. It is attractive, comes in a variety of colors, and its nylon fabric is of high quality.

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Some of the features you should know about Osprey Tropos :

  • The back panel Airspeedâ„¢ ensures adequate ventilation, preventing the backpack from filling with moisture.
  • The Tropos comes with different types of pockets, which would be Vertical center zippered pocket, embossed pocket, side stretch mesh pockets, and front panel pocket. The latter helps your team stay organized and accessible.
  • Zippered padded sleeves allow you to accommodate a laptop and tablet comfortably.
  • The 20mm hip belt can be removed when the load is light.
  • Safety light accessory (note that light is sold separately).
  • Features a top grip handle.

Check Today's Price on Amazon and read more reviews of the Osprey Tropos on Amazon

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Osprey Nebula review and Features

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The Osprey Nebula is an off-road backpack. It's the perfect backpack for planes, trains and anywhere you can imagine. The Nebula looks clean, and it does a great job.

I love having a compartment for everything I use on a day to day basis. This bag is also great for work and travel. It is a well-organized package that can be used on the road if needed.

I recently took my Osprey Nebula abroad, and it worked perfectly both at the airport and in the mountains.

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Some other details you should know about Osprey Nebula :

  • TSA friendly laptop pocket.
  • Front panel stretch mesh pocket.
  • Upperside compression straps with tuckaway garage.
  • Lower compression straps.
  • Front panel organization pocket with key clip.
  • Heat embossed scratch-free slash pocket.
  • Dual stretch mesh water bottle pockets.
  • Blinker light attachment.
  • Padded laptop sleeve and tablet sleeve.
  • Magazine/document sleeve and internal organization. 

Check Today's Price on Amazon and read more reviews of the Osprey Nebula on Amazon

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Performance and Features comparison between Osprey Tropos and Nebula:

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All right, now let's compare the weight of these two backpacks. This is an essential aspect because nobody likes to carry a backpack that is too heavy and mistreats your back.

The Osprey Tropos, despite being a light backpack, is much heavier than the Nebula.

The Tropos weighs 11 oz, while the Nebula only weighs 6.9 oz. At least in this respect, the Nebula is superior to the Tropos.

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Related : Best Smell Proof Backpacks for hiking

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One aspect we definitely cannot neglect is comfort. If there's one thing I hate about a backpack, it's that it's uncomfortable and that it hurts your shoulders and back. In these aspects, both backpacks fit.

The Nebula features adjustable shoulder straps and a removable waist belt (or hip belt) to help you create a comfortable custom fit.

As for Tropos, the truth is that I find some problems. The hip belt is handy to take the weight off your shoulders, but wearing it is very uncomfortable. The piece is so thin and rigid that it ends up rubbing your skin so much that at the end of the day, you end up with substantial red scratches on your hips.

Fortunately, they can be disassembled, and you don't have to leave the straps swinging when you don't use them.

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Storage and Capacity:

All right, now let us touch on one fundamental aspect, if not the most important. All of us evaluate one thing in particular when we buy a backpack, and that is undoubtedly storage capacity.

If we are people who travel frequently or go on excursions, or simply need to carry our daily things. If you are like that, you must be sure that the backpack has enough capacity to store all your things and keep them at hand.

On this occasion, I must declare a tie. Both the Tropos and the Nebula have the same capacity, which would be 34 liters or 2,075 cubic inches. And they both perform this function perfectly.

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Related : here you can find the best 40 L hiking backpacks

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Adjustability & Fit

From the Nebula and the Tropos, there are many things to say about adjustability and fit. Both backpacks have very positive aspects that are worth checking out in detail.

Let's start with the Tropos.

The five separate compartments and variety of pockets inside those compartments make this backpack a great way to organize and store whatever you want.

There is a laptop/tablet compartment, the main compartment, a small scratch-free compartment, a front compartment, and a vertical zippered compartment in the middle of the front of the bag.

And everything, absolutely everything, fits perfectly. The main compartment of the Tropos has a sleeve on the inside that divides books and notebooks from the rest of your stuff.

Sunglasses or a smartphone can fit in the small compartment at the top, which is lined with a scratch-resistant fabric. The front vertical zippered compartment isn't very deep, but it could fit a map or other flat objects.

If we go to adjustability, it's even better. The straps of the Tropos are not just the standard adjustable straps found in every backpack.

This backpack has about ten adjustable straps, which makes it highly customizable. This way, you will prevent your bag from bouncing around a bit. Four of the straps on the Tropos are compression straps to keep everything in the bag close.

Another four straps are responsible for adjusting the shoulder strap, two straps for lifting the load at the top, and the other two straps for adjusting the bottom. There is also an adjustable sternum strap to pull the shoulder straps and a removable hip strap (the waist strap) to take some of the weight off your back.

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Read more : Best hiking Backpacks carrier for toddlers and babys...

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now let's move on to the Nebula.

A few weeks ago, I took a business trip and saw that it was the perfect occasion to try out the Nebula.

The truth is, I was impressed. I realized that I could take 1 or 2 nights of business clothes, casual clothes, a pair of slippers, a 15-inch laptop, and various toiletries and papers. And the best part is that the Nebula fits perfectly under the seat of a regional plane.

The Nebula also has reflective elements that will no doubt help drivers at night better see you. Besides, it has a loop near the bottom where you can easily attach a flashing bicycle light.

And don't worry if you get thirsty on the road, a 32-ounce bottle of water will fit easily into one of the side mesh pockets.

Overall, the Nebula can easily store a laptop, a tablet, all your small chargers and gadgets, and even a swimsuit tattoo for the beach after work.

The Osprey is known worldwide for its quality in hiking backpacks and take-out bags. And with the Nebula, you can tell it did an incredible job.

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Potential Drawbacks:

The Nebula and the Tropos have many incredible things.

However, it is also true that they have some disadvantages that we should take into account before deciding on one of these two backpacks.

Osprey Tropos

The problem would be that if you filled it to the top, it wouldn't fit in a locker or drawer at work.

And if you travel by public transportation, the trip might be a little complicated because of this.

The Tropos, due to its large size, is not very advisable to use as hand luggage on a flight. There's no way you can put this bag under a seat on a plane.

The hip belt is great for taking the weight off your shoulders, but it can be very uncomfortable.

The pockets are too big to hold small items.

Osprey Nebula

You may have to take your laptop out of its case during TSA security checks.

The laptop sleeve can only fit a laptop with a screen size of up to 15".
If you have a larger laptop, this could be a problem.

It is not waterproof, so if you are in an area of heavy rain, I recommend that you buy a separate rain cover.

The Nebula is a bit expensive, although you can find it at the sale price very often.

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Now we must talk about another aspect that has weight when buying a backpack: the price. The price difference between the Tropos and the Nebula is about $20 to $30.

In this case, the Tropos being more expensive than the Nebula. This makes sense, considering that the Tropos is much bigger than the Nebula.

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Wrap up : Which Backpack should you choose?

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Image Product Price On Amazon
Image My Pick
Osprey Tropos
Buy on Amazon
618U33eWIlL. AC SX425 - Heart for Outdoor Osprey Nebula Buy on Amazon

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Finally, I want you to know that both backpacks are great. There should be no doubt that style and quality are the hallmarks of the Osprey brand. Each of these backpacks has solid points that make them stand out. Well, let's summarize each one.

The full features that come with this Tropos backpack seem to outweigh some of the disadvantages it has.

Most of the features that don't work as well can be treated or managed, and that's why the backpack is so unique. With its support feature, comfort, and versatility of use, the Osprey Tropos is a must buy a backpack. 

On the other hand, using the Osprey Nebula has been an absolute pleasure. It has made it very easy for me to carry almost 25 pounds of equipment, either for my school or workdays. I love that it has incredible features. You can tell there was attention to every detail.

Every single pocket in the Nebula is there for a reason and gives you many options as a user. The laptop compartment provides the user with peace of mind when carrying the backpack all day. The Nebula certainly has everything you need for everyday life.


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