Osprey's Portal packs feature touch-friendly windows
By C.C. Weiss
February 27, 2013
Touch-friendly gloves have exploded in popularity over the past few years. But how do you make use of that techy knit when your tablet is buried in your backpack? Osprey has introduced a solution: touch-friendly backpacks and bags.
Laptop and tablet bags are pretty standard in today's world. What separates the Portal line from other backpacks you may be familiar with is Osprey's "Port" window, an outer window into the tablet sleeve. You can flip up the front flap to gain instant tablet access without digging around and pulling it out.
To be honest, it seems that removing the tablet would be preferable to planting a whole backpack on your lap in many situations. For some people and some situations – say quickly accessing directions while you're backpacking around the city – the port window could be convenient, though. Plus, Portal series packs with the Port are priced the same as or cheaper than their non-Port equivalents, so there's no big price premium for the feature.
The Portal Series will include eight models. The Pixel and Cyber daypacks and the Beta and Nano shoulder bags will each have Port and non-port options. Prices will range between US$99 and $139 when they hit the market in the fall (Northern Hemisphere).
Non-port models, which will be slightly larger and roomier than their Port counterparts, will have some handy tech of their own. The Pixel, Cyber and Beta models without the Port window will include the PowerHouse AddOn, a zippered case designed to organize cords and battery packs. It will store inside a lower pack compartment. The PowerHouse will also be sold separately.