Osprey Arcane XL Day Review

The largest in the Arcane series, the Osprey Arcane XL Day is a unisex 28L lifestyle backpack built with the knowledge of the outdoors. Read our full review of the pack below.

  • One of the best looking Osprey packs
  • Good sized daypack (28L) with plenty of storage
  • Padded separate laptop sleeve
  • Sleek hidden water bottle compartment
  • Material can be prone to pick up dirt
  • Water bottle storage cumbersome
  • Volume: 28 litre
  • Weight: TBC
  • Dimensions:  47(H) x 31.5(W) x 30(D) cm
  • Suitable for: Lifestyle, commuting

Osprey Arcane XL Day Review

The Osprey Arcane XL Day is an impressive 28L unisex daypack sitting as the largest in the Arcane series.

The latest of the lifestyle packs takes what we know and love about the Arcane series and simply gives it a little more volume. The sleek design, minimal branding and high-quality hardware are still retained, but you’re now able to carry everything you’ll need in an average day.

If you’re searching for the best of the bunch for a versatile daypack, the 28 litre XL Day has to be shortlisted.

Osprey Arcane XL Day Testing

Outside the backpack

The exterior of the Arcane XL is, in our opinion, one of the best looking packs from Osprey in the purely aesthetic sense.

A sleek design with minimal branding, secret pockets and impressive hardware choices are big positives for us. The outdoor heritage of the brand is still evident, but if you were new to Osprey – comparing the Arcane to say the Talon 22 is like comparing apples and tomatoes.

Yes they’re still fruit, and they’re great in their own ways – but they’re not massively interchangeable in the usual sense.

Osprey Arcane 28 Front

One of our favourite feature of the Arcane XL Day is the hidden water bottle pocket, allowing for standard water bottles to be disguised within the sleek pack. Water bottle pockets have often been a sticking point with some of the earlier Osprey packs and we’re pleased to see this issue rectified with this simple, but ingenious solution.

The harness is great too, offering plenty of stability and comfort when wearing despite the lack of adjustability. There’s no outdoor-inspired gear to be found on the back of the pack with the omission of a sternum strap and hip belt although, with a city-inspired daypack, this isn’t something that’s missed.

Osprey Arcane XL Day Water Bottle Pocket

Wearers won’t notice any typical Airscape technology (ventilation) in the back of the pack either, although once again – it’s not really something that’s needed in a daypack.

Instead, a breathable neo spacer material is used to covered both the harness straps and the mesh-covered foam back panel. It’s an ingenious solution, preventing uncomfortable wearing without compromising the clean look of the pack.

A helpful harness pocket is great for storing small objects, as seen below with a pair of our favourite Bluetooth earbuds, compliments the simple harness. It’s also a great place for travel cards or emergency snacks!

Osprey Arcane XL Day Front Pocket

Overall, the exterior is a successful example of a minimalistic design of a daypack perfect for the urban environment.

Inside the backpack

Getting to grips with and opening the pack up for the first time highlights a total of four zippered sections – fantastic for on-the-go organisation.

Starting from the front and moving backwards, a simple zippered scratch-free electronics and sunglasses pocket is a great addition. Typically we would recommend this area for small notepads due to minimal padding against the front.

Stepping back to the next zipper and we’ve got a fantastic organisation pocket, complete with a large internal zippered pocket, smaller organisation pockets and a handy key hook. This section, although only offering a half zip, covers the entire length of the pack and offers great space.

Inside the Osprey Arcane XL Day

Opening up the main compartment we see the bulk of the 28L pack. This is a predominantly simple but large opening complete with a document sleeve accessed by the J-zip on the pack. We had no problem storing jumpers, camera gear and laptop accessories in this section and appreciated the space available.

Finally, one of our favourite parts of this particular pack is the padded laptop sleeve on the rear of the pack. The sleeve offers enough space for a 16″ laptop and is heavily padded, so much so that additional cases or sleeves are not required.

Osprey Arcane XL Day Laptop Sleeve

We were very impressed by the level of organisation and just how well the internals of this pack are arranged. It is one of the best daypacks that we’ve had the pleasure of testing.

Material and durability

Osprey has made a big deal getting the materials just right on this pack with a push towards brand sustainability.

As a result, the day pack is made up of 100% recycled polyester that’s soft to the touch but plenty tough enough for use every day. A PFC free DWR is also used to treat the pack, ensuring additional protection whilst increasing the sustainability of the pack.

Osprey Arcane 28L Subtle Branding

The durability of the components is typical of Osprey with the highest quality hardware thrown into the mix. There’s true craftsmanship highlighted in the quick-release security clip, harness metalwork and YKK zippers that we rarely see with other brands.

The colours available showcase an impressive palette with Haybale Green (as pictured), Acorn Red, Deep Fig Purple, Milky Tea Tan, Stargazer Blue, Stonewash Black all available.

Osprey Arcane XL Day Hardware

Osprey does typically take some beating when it comes to their materials and the Arcane is incredibly impressive from the sustainability standpoint.

Testing the Osprey Arcane XL Day

Osprey Europe was kind enough to send out one of their latest Arcane XL Day packs for the Adventure Pending team to trial.

The pack has since become a daily staple thanks to its great size, useful laptop sleeve, organisation capabilities and stunning looks. We’ve found the sizing to be perfect when carting around our required equipment for hectic daily schedules.

Osprey Arcane XL Day Document Sleeve

The pack is incredibly comfortable thanks to the well-padded, breathable neo spacer covered harness straps and neo spacer mesh-covered foam back panel. It’s not necessarily something that we’d like to wear for several hours at a time – but that’s not what this pack is about.

If there’s just one gripe that we do have with the continued use of the pack it’s the ability to pick up marks. Most of our lifestyle is outdoors and the pack does tend to spend as much time lay on the dirt as it does on our backs. It’s not an issue that would prevent us from recommending the pack – but it’s something to think about before purchasing.

Osprey Arcane XL Day 28 Side Profile

The Osprey Arcane XL Day is one that backpack that we’re expecting to keep on our backs for a long time to come.

Overall verdict

The Osprey Arcane XL Day is an impressive daypack that we’re quite frankly smitten with.

The largest of the unisex Arcane models, the pack offers supreme space and organisation for the urban minimalist. The branding of the pack is subtle and the overall design and appearance are enough to really make a pack nerd smile.

The quality is second-to-none, as you’d expect from the brand with high-quality components and a 100% recycled material chosen for the body. We’re excited to continue using the daypack, testing it to its limits.

If you’re looking for a medium/large commuter or daily pack, you’ll have a hard time finding a better companion than the Arcane 28.

Osprey Arcane XL Camper

6-month update on the Arcane XL

I’ve been using this bag for around 6 months now and thought I’d give this article a little update. The Arcane XL has been on hikes, to the office, on holiday, and more. It’s been tested in pretty much every situation – and it’s held up to all of them. The only thing I’ve grown to dislike is the water bottle pocket – it gets quite fiddly at times, especially with a bulkier bottle.

Overall, however, I’m really loving the new sustainability series from Osprey, and looking forward to seeing where it goes over the coming months and years.

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Osprey Arcane Product Image 2

FAQ: Osprey Arcane XL Day

Looking for the answer to a specific question about the Osprey Arcane XL Day? Check out our list of frequently asked questions below and (hopefully) we’ll be able to share the answer.

The Osprey Arcane XL Day is the largest in the Arcane range, offering a total of 28 litres of capacity.

The maximum laptop size that can fit into the hidden sleeve is 16″ – any larger sized computers will not fit into this pack.

The Arcane Day XL is available in six different incredible colours.

Buyers are able to choose from Haybale Green (as pictured), Acorn Red, Deep Fig Purple, Milky Tea Tan, Stargazer Blue, Stonewash Black.

If you’re still searching for that illusive answer to your question, feel free to reach out via the contact page of the site and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible!

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