Out with the old, in with the new - Osprey has redesigned this suitcase. See a bit more info below, including comparison photos.October 2018
Osprey Ozone Wheeled 22 Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Osprey phased out their Ozone Wheeled 22 and replaced it with the Ozone Wheeled 21.5. We don't have specifics on exactly what has changed, but an Osprey rep tells us that it's been totally overhauled, from fabrics to features. The price remains the same at $230. Compare the new Ozone (first photo, below) to the version we initially tested (in red).
We are linking to the new version of this carry-on, but since we haven't had any experience with the Wheeled 21.5 yet, the following text refers only to that older version.
Hands-On Review of the Ozone Wheeled 22
The Osprey Ozone measures 22 x 14 x 9 inches and weighs a scant 4 lbs 10 oz. It has both internal and external compression straps and a variety of pockets for stowing small items. Current color choices are Black, Summit Blue, and Hoodoo Red.
Ease of Transport
The lightweight Ozone Wheeled 22 is very easy to pull thanks to its large sturdy wheels and telescoping handle that adjusts to two heights. The rugged wheels allow it to pull smoothly over gravel lots, though it is not quite as maneuverable as a four-wheeled swivel bag like the Samsonite Inova 20. Since it weighs less than five pounds, it's also easy on the arms. We did find that it tips over easily, particularly when loaded with heavy gear, which can certainly be annoying during transit. Every time we went over a curb or slight bump it would knock the bag off balance and cause it to fall to one side. The single-stem handle and rounded body shape also makes it difficult to add a laptop bag or purse on top of the carry-on. There's no structure for it to sit on, and it falls off to the side easily. All of this combined had us giving this bag one of the lowest scores for Ease of Transport.
This bag had the smallest internal capacity of all the models in this review. While we could fit all of the items we'd need for a three-day weekend, we couldn't fit extras like a nice set of clothes and shoes. This bag is a stripped down version of Osprey's convertible bag series, where you open the back flap and reveal a set of backpack straps and a hip belt. The back flap is still there, with enough room to fit a couple of pairs of pants in it, but it's a little awkward to use, and you might not even realize there was this dead space back there if you didn't know to go looking. The convertible version of this bag also has a detachable daypack, which this bag is lacking. If you're a light packer or don't need to worry about wrinkling a suit, then perhaps this bag is still a good fit for you. But with more and more airlines charging for checked bags, you want something with a bit more storage capacity in case you want a week's worth of clothes in your carry-on. Look to models like the Delsey Shadow 3.0 21 and the Briggs and Riley Baseline Domestic, our Top Pick for Business Travel, which can hold almost twice as much as the Ozone.
Our testers did like the features on this bag. The outer pocket has several organizer slots for your phone or other travel essentials, and there's an additional zippered compartment inside. On the top of the bag there's another large zippered compartment for stowing your sunglasses or liquids-in-a-bag for quick access when going through security; however, that compartment sits into the main bag, so if you've filled up the main compartment with lots of clothing then it will be challenging to fit anything else in that upper pocket. The exterior compression straps can be used to cinch the bag down or secure a sweater or jacket. The interior has several divided zippered compartments as well, which is handy for securing smaller items, like a phone charger, separately from the rest of your items.
As one of the lightest bags in this review, this model does sacrifice a bit on durability. The fabrics used are some of the thinnest (210D nylon), and the zippers are not very bulky. The handle and wheels make up for this though, and are both quite sturdy, as is the lightweight framing system that gives this bag its shape. The wheels are housed inside the frame, protecting them from damage, but we'd hesitate to check this bag as conveyor belts, and random sharp edges could easily damage thin nylon.
At 4 lbs 10 oz, this was the lightest carry-on of all the bags in this review by over a pound. As we mentioned previously, the lighter weight means a bit of a sacrifice on durability and stability, but this bag is much easier to lift into the overhead bin or carry down a flight of stairs, particularly because you can't pack that much in it.
The Ozone Wheeled 22 has a techy look to it, and it's not necessarily the bag you would want to choose for a formal business trip, but it is a better-looking bag than the plain Travelpro Maxlite 5 22. If you are looking for something with a chicer look to it, the Samsonite Inova 20 and Briggs and Riley Baseline Domestic are better options.
This bag is best suited for travelers who go off the beaten path with their carry-ons and need something lightweight that can handle rutted dirt roads or gravel parking lots — but it will take a bit of extra maneuvering to keep it upright! Because of its smaller internal capacity, this bag is best for lighter packers, as a complement to a checked bag, or for shorter trips.
At $230, the Ozone Wheeled 22 sits in about the middle of the price range for a carry-on. It's not as cheap as the Rockland Melbourne 20, which can often be found as low as $40 online, but nowhere near the $500 price tag of the Briggs and Riley Baseline Domestic. However, for what you get, we'd prefer the $339 Eagle Creek Tarmac AWD Carry-On, as it is more versatile and has more traveler friendly features. The one bonus to purchasing an Osprey carry-on is that it is backed by their lifetime warranty.
We've tested the convertible version of this bag in previous reviews, and thought we'd give the regular version a try this time. In the end, we weren't excited about either of them. Osprey is known for making great packs, and we loved the Osprey Atmos 65 AG and Osprey Xenith 75 for the men and the Osprey Aura AG 65 and Osprey Ariel AG 65 for the women, but when it comes to luggage, approaching it with a backpack mindset doesn't seem to be working. This bag is a stripped down version of the convertible model, which fills a small and unique niche. If you are planning on "backpacking" around Asia for a month, then you'll probably still want a real backpack. And most other trips people take, be it a business/work trip or a beach vacation, will usually only require a traditional carry-on bag. For regular luggage needs, competitors like Eagle Creek impressed us more with their Tarmac series.
There are many options in the Ozone series, including an 18" and 28" wheeled duffel, a courier bag and a backpack, and a 22" and 28" convertible bag.
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