The Osprey Ozone Convertible is rolling piece of luggage that is far lighter than most. What really sets it apart from other lightweight wheeled models is that it's packed full of features, which make it easier to use, transport, and travel with, versus other contenders that sport a minimal design. Our testing team loved its low weight, which allowed us to pack more stuff while staying under most airlines 50-pound limit (when necessary); but what our staff loved even more is its easy-to-use features like stowable shoulder straps, a detachable carry-on backpack, and a host of convenient pockets.
The Ozone Convertible wins our OutdoorGearLab Top Pick for being the best lightweight rolling duffel. The Ozone weighs 6 lbs 14 ounces with its removable backpack attached, but once this pack is removed as either your carry-on item (or left at home) this model weighs only an impressive 5 lbs 4 ounces!! While other super light wheeled duffels don't offer much in the way of features (or opt for lighter fabrics and frames and subsequently aren't very durable), this wasn't the case with the Ozone. Here, the Ozone Convertible with the tester Ian Nicholson wearing the removable/zip-off backpack.
Ease of Transport
This bag is one of the easiest to transport for a range of reasons.
The Ozone Convertible features easy to stow backpacking pack quality shoulder straps and a waist belt that zips out of the way and stows under a flap. The straps and belt are incredibly comfortable.
While all the duffel bags in our review sported shoulder straps, only one of the wheeled models did. The Ozone Convertible has backpacking pack quality shoulder straps and a waist-belt that tucks away quickly behind a zippered flap. These features proved to be extremely useful for long stairs or when we traveled across terrain too rugged to pull our baggage through. In this photo, the zip-on backpack is attached.
In the past, we rarely used the stow-away shoulder straps and thought this would be the case with the Ozone Convertible. However, because the straps and belt were so easy to deploy and were similar in comfort and design to those found on a lighter weight Osprey pack, our entire testing team found ourselves quickly breaking it out when we knew we were going to be rolling the bag over a far distance.
The shoulder straps featured on the Ozone are very similar to that of those Osprey uses on their backpacking packs and are quite comfortable, as well as quick and easy to take out and stow away.
We found ourselves using the shoulder straps anytime we'd carry the Ozone for more than five minutes, as it only took 20-30 seconds to deploy the system, clipping it to two fast-tech buckles. The buckles held the waist belt in place.
Showing the zippered back panel of the Ozone Convertible that covers its stow-away shoulder straps and waist-belt.
The Ozone features 3.5" wheels which offer above-average performance, as well as the capability to pull it over curbs or stairs. We were able to manage this contender on rough or uneven terrain easily.
The Ozone Convertible sported some of the largest diameter wheels in our review, allowing it to be easily pulled over less smooth surfaces like gravel roads and grassy lawns. However unlike other models with similar sized wheels, like the Eagle Creek Gear Warrior, the Ozone was a little easier to maneuver.
The handle on the Ozone Convertible is just okay; our review staff liked the handle featured on the The North Face Rolling Thunder, Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel, and the Eagle Creek Gear Warrior Wheeled slightly better.
The only real downside we found is that this model is prone to tipping over. We tried packing it in several different fashions, which helped, mainly if you centered the weight low; but even then, it wasn't as stable as others in which we didn't even consider the weight distribution of our packing. This isn't what we believe to be a result of the Ozone's low weight, but more the relatively short distance the bag and frame extend from the wheels.
Showing the Ozone Convertible with removable backpack separated while waiting for the elevator.
Ease of Packing
There are many things to love about the Ozone Convertible, but maxing out every cubic inch isn't one of them. The Ozone unzips almost all the way around in a large upside-down "U" shaped zipper, accessing its main compartment. This design was extremely easy to pack and allowed easy access to almost everything we had inside the bag. If we overpacked or started to max out this bag's 75-liter volume, it was challenging to access what we needed as easily as say, The North Face Rolling Thunder collection.
The Ozone Convertible features a removable daypack with sleek, low-profile, tuck-away shoulder straps. This daypack easily attaches and detaches via an upside-down "U" shaped zipper and a pair of plastic toggles. This design was easy s to use, even when both the main bag and the daypack were quite full. The daypack was a perfect carry-on; it features a padded pack panel and well-articulated shoulder straps. It has a sternum strap but no hip-belt. The volume of the pack is small enough that it would be tough to need a waist belt. If you did want or need to bring a larger carry-on, this could either serve as your personal item and could stay zipped to the main pack for organization and storage purposes or simply be left at home.
While many rolling duffels that feature removable packs tend to cut a lot of corners with the quality and functionality of the daypack, this is certainly not the case with the Ozone Convertible. The daypack has two large pockets, one with both a padded laptop sleeve and tablet sleeve, and the other with a host of small zippered pockets and pencil sleeves, which help keep you organized. This pack also features an additional smaller zippered pocket that is sandwiched between the aforementioned pockets. It was a perfect place for our cell phone, keys, sunglasses, or other smaller items.
The Ozone Convertible has a fairly minimal design; it had enough pockets, whether we were using the detachable backpack or not. Beside the large primary pocket, there is a smaller zippered pocket which can be accessed from the exterior. It's big enough for a toiletries bag or a pair of tennis shoes. We appreciated the large internal mesh pock located on the inside of the main opening, but because it's so big, smaller items got jumbled together.
The four compression straps were helpful, particularly if the bag was less than half full, as they maintained a tightly packed shape. They also helped sustain the maneuverability. Inside, you'll find a pair of compression straps that hold items in place. The zippers on the main compartment are locking zippers (zippers that feature an additional hole) so they can be locked together with a TSA approved lock.
The Ozone Convertible weighs 6 pounds 14 ounces with its detachable backpack; this is still an impressive half pound lighter than any other model in our flight. If you leave the detachable pack behind, which weighs one pound 10 ounces or use it as your carry-on, the wheeled bag itself weighs an amazing 5 pounds 4 ounces lighter than the The North Face Rolling Thunder and around 2.5 pounds lighter than any other rolling model in our review.
While impressively lightweight, the Ozone didn't give up much in the way of durability. Its wheels are high quality and have sealed bearings; they are going strong after putting it through some outrageous tests (comparing the wheel's ability to roll on uneven terrain to other models. The plastic chassis between the wheels adds significant stiffness, maneuverability, and long-term durability. While in reality, this bag isn't as durable as the material used on the The North Face Rolling Thunder or the Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled it will last many years of use and abuse.
The Ozone performed respectably well in our side-by-side weather resistance tests. While not as weather resistant as The North Face Base Camp Duffel, The North Face Rolling Thunder, or Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled, it still kept its contents dry when left outside for nearly an hour in a light drizzle. Our testing determined that it offered similar protection to the Eagle Creek Gear Warrior Wheeled.
This bag is great for a multitude of uses; even the most casual traveler can appreciate its low weight and removable daypack. The folks who will enjoy this wheeled duffel the most are folks who are always pushing up against the 50-pound weight limit. People that tend to travel to more remote destinations, with potentially less infrastructure and paved surfaces, will appreciate all its comfortable and non-rolling carrying methods.
While it isn't too hard to spend more than $330 on a rolling piece of luggage, the Ozone Convertible is hardly cheap. In fact, it's the most expensive in our review. It is the same price as the Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled, $30 more than the Eagle Creek Gear Warrior Wheeled, and $40 more than the The North Face Rolling Thunder.
The Osprey Ozone Convertible is best for certain types of users and it offers two major advantages. The first being its exceptional lightweight, despite including a daypack. This advantage will benefit any traveler who regularly pushes the 50-pound checked baggage limit. The second advantage is the design improves its ability to be managed in more challenging terrain. Like most bags, it's easy to wheel it through airports or on other smoothly paved surfaces. What truly sets this bag apart is its ability to be pulled over extremely rough terrain thanks to its large wheels. It can also be carried comfortably like a backpack over long distances.
Other Versions and Accessories
Osprey also makes a carry-on sized version called the Osprey Ozone Wheeled 22, which we reviewed as part of our The Best Carry-On Luggage review.