Osprey Nanofly 20 Rucksack Review


Our Osprey Nanofly 20 Rucksack Review explores a multi-use pack from Osprey’s Heritage range.  Please read on to find out more.

46 Years Of Rucksack Innovation

The focus of Osprey’s Heritage backpack range is to re-design and release classic packs that
showcase Osprey’s 46 years of design expertise.  The design focus is to produce packs with original Osprey features and yet drawing on new manufacturing methods and sustainable materials.  Stu has been testing the 20 litre option and so here is his Osprey Nanofly 20 Rucksack review.


The simple and classic design and functionality of the Heritage Nanofly 20 has been tried and
tested over many decades. Now it has been re-released with modern features and recycled Bluesign approved sustainable fabrics.  It is available in a simple eye catching black and grey colour scheme.  As the name suggests it is 20 litre capacity.  The Nanofly 20 is part of Osprey’s “Lifestyle” range.  This means it is equally at home in the city, for general travel or on your favourite day hike.  

The Nanofly is made from high tenacity Robic nylon fabric.  This is a very durable 500 denier recycled nylon.  It also features a PFC free Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating for weather resistance.  

The harness system features broad contoured shoulder straps combined with a sternum strap and a non padded but broad webbing waist belt.  The back panel is a straight sheet of high density foam in keeping with the original design.

Internal storage is a large main compartment that closes with a chunky clamshell style zipper. The zipper is covered by a protective storm flap. Inside this compartment osprey have included a sleeve that will accommodate up to a 15″ laptop.  There is an additional front pocket that opens with an external zipper.

There is an ice axe carry system and a chunky webbing daisy chain down the front allows for external attachment.  Finally, Osprey have added extra lash tabs on the sides and a grab handle for easy carrying off the shoulder. The Nanofly 20 weighs 1.1 kgs.

osprey-nano fly-20-rucksack-review

In Use


The Nanofly 20 has an eye catching contemporary design.  I would say it looks quite ‘industrial’.  The features are bold and the attachments, straps and buckles are chunky and functional. The grid pattern fabric is a great throwback to early Osprey designs and I think it looks great.  

The overall design is finished using chunky red zip-pulls which really stand out against the black and grey fabric, and the proud retro logo “Osprey…since 1974” serves of a reminder of the heritage you are carrying on your back. The Nanofly 20 is available in the single grey and black colour scheme featured in this review.

Harness System

I have found the broad and well padded shoulder straps to be extremely comfortable. Their contoured shape spreads the weight evenly across the shoulders and you would be comfortable carrying a substantial load.  The only thing to note is that, being made from nylon, they aren’t breathable.  This may need to be a consideration in hot weather or when exercising hard.   The adjustable chest strap helps to keep the load stable.  The waist band, whilst not padded, is broad and comfortable. It isn’t detachable but, if not needed, it can be secured around the back of the pack.

All the clips and sliders are chunky and very durable.  Again Osprey have considered the types of straps that were around all those years ago.  This means they aren’t the lightest out there, but they are easy to adjust and certainly built for hard use. They also look really in keeping with the styling of the pack.

Back Panel 

Because of its lifestyle design, the back-panel is not shaped to the back or contoured. It is, however, very supportive and in keeping with the original historic design. It provides cushioning from any
pointy contents and is comfortable when worn for long periods. It remains very comfortable when carrying a laptop in the internal sleeve. It should be noted that there isn’t much breathability to the back panel.

Other Features

The simple design is uncluttered with pockets and pouches, making it a low profile pack perfect for
slicing through urban crowds. A two way clamshell style chunky zip makes packing or access a breeze. I found the shape extremely useful for squashing those last minute ideas into the pack. There was always space for that extra jacket or that extra snack.

A full length zip on the front panel gives access to a front compartment useful for carrying items you might need easier access too. It is also ideal for carrying a lightweight rain shell. maps or guidebook. This compartment can also be reached from inside the main pack which makes it useful for separating

The laptop sleeve also doubles as a hydration system carrier. A clip at the top serves as a hangar, and
channels over the tops of both straps mean you can thread your hose through either side. A hydration bladder is not included. There are many attachment points on the outside for hanging your bike light, spare socks or helmet. I also found them perfect for securing my walking poles.



As my Osprey Nanofly 20 Rucksack Review highlights, this is an impressively solid and durable pack that feels like it could last for the next 46 years! Though not as specialised as the packs in Osprey’s other ranges, the Nanofly 20 is perfect if you want a sustainably built and retro styled pack with modern
features. It is part of a larger Heritage range and I think it’s a great addition to complement Osprey’s more specialised offerings. The pack, as with all their range, is covered by Osprey’s comprehensive All Mighty Guarantee and retails for £120.00. Full details are available on the Osprey website here.

We have a long history with Osprey Packs and various reviews are available on our website.  Our review of the Sportlite 15 is here and the Escapist 18 is reviewed here.  You can find the full selection by searching Osprey in the search tab at the top of the home page.