While we aren't armed with exact specifics, we do know that the Ozone line has been updated with new fabrics and features this year. The Ozone 75L/26" has replaced the version that we tested previously, the Ozone 28". We are now linking to that newer version in this review. Until we can get our hands on one of the updated models, the review that follows still refers to the Ozone 28". See the new version (first photo) compared to the old in the photos below.
Hands-On Review of the Ozone 28"
The Osprey Ozone brings with it the styling we have come to expect from Osprey. A well thought out bag with functionality and quality throughout. We were immediately curious when we saw specifications touting a weight of less than half of some of our other candidates. Unfortunately, the Ozone did not meet our overall expectations, but we believe a road-tripper could find the Ozone to embody everything they want out of a bag.
If light weight is up your alley, you'll be satisfied with the Ozone's five pound weigh in.
The Osprey Ozone 80l/28" didn't wow us in the context of this performance comparison. In the bottom tier, only 3 positions from last, we believe the Ozone has a place. However, checked luggage under a plane is not that place.
When it comes to the durability needed to withstand the trials of baggage handling, we simply didn't see the Ozone as a prime candidate. The weight-saving features of this bag left it susceptible to heavy loads damaging the internal aluminum frame. The 210D nylon outer shell, although a durable nylon product, doesn't hold a candle to the higher denier nylons used in the other candidates.
The internal aluminum frame feels a touch flimsy to withstand the abuse of checked luggage
The zippers weren't quite as stout as its big brother, the Sojourn. They weren't the weakest zippers of all, but they certainly did not inspire confidence. If you like the style, but want a little more durability, we think the Timbuk2 CoPilot is a great option without sacrificing durability.
The zippers were a little less stout than we grew to like through this review.
Even though this bag has a good storage layout for the space available, we were confused. The Ozone packed away substantially less than its Osprey counterpart that we tested — the Sojourn. In fact, the Ozone left us with no choice but to leave out all fly-fishing gear, which led to the lowest score of the bunch for storage.
We appreciated the multiple pocket layout. An exterior pocket for damp storage, a front exterior pocket with internal separators, and a top pocket with enough room for a pair of shoes for convenience. But with this bag, convenience comes at a cost. Using the top pocket takes up valuable storage space within the bag. We think the Eagle Creek Tarmac and the Timbuk2 Copilot had much better execution of storage in a bag while keeping some of the outdoor spirit of the Osprey bags.
A view of the main compartment - ready to pack!
Ease of Transport
This bag may not be the ultimate checked luggage option out there, but it will roll with you wherever you ask it to. With a lightweight version of the same "High Road" chassis of the Sojourn, the Ozone brings a go-anywhere attitude to a rolling piece of luggage.
It would have done slightly better in the transportability if it were not for its handle. This bag was the only bag out of the crew to feature a "T-Grip" handle. We expect that the other candidates avoided the use of a T-Grip due to the discomfort we found when trying to use it. So why use a T-Grip in the first place? With only one stanchion, the T-Grip is substantially lighter than its double-stanchioned counterpart. We found the handles of the very transportable Eagle Creek Tarmac and the TravelPro Platinum Magna suitcases to be amongst the most comfortable.
Big wheels mean no nonsense for ease of transport.
Although the main feature that drove much of the product direction of the Ozone is undoubtedly weight, this bag had a few features of its own that are worth mentioning. The most unique feature being the wet-storage pocket with its own drainage. Tucked up against the retractable handle, the pocket allows you to store wet river shoes or a swimsuit when you have no option but to pack wet gear. We think it might only work when the bag is standing upright, though.
Interior compression straps conveniently secure your payload for any size trip. Exterior compression straps help pack down the size. Our only concerns here are that the exterior compression straps get in the way of zippers, and the fabric covers make it difficult to release the exterior straps. If you're more into features than weight savings, consider the Briggs and Riley Baseline or the TravelPro Platinum Magna 2.
A view of the drain for the wet pocket just above the wheels.
There was not a single bag that came close to the super lightweight Ozone. At an even 5 lbs, this bag is 1.7 lbs lighter than its nearest competitor and 7.3 lbs lighter than the heaviest bag.
The Ozone is all function with a little fashion tossed in. It's not a terrible looking bag, but due to the lack of structure on the front, this bag's shape is inspired by its contents. We aren't huge fans of lumpy looking bags.
For the road tripper on a budget who wants a go-anywhere bag that prioritizes weight and functionality over features and looks.
Performance in this comparison aside, we liked the Ozone. We wouldn't prioritize it for airline travel at all, but we think it works great for slinging into the back of your car for frequent road trips or weekend warrior adventures, or maybe even a support bag for your next triathlon.
The Ozone didn't score well in our performance comparison. That's because it wasn't purpose-built for air travel, nor should it be used for it. If you find yourself going on long-weekend getaways and have the option of multiple bags or an oversized bag that doesn't fit the bill, you will do well to consider the Ozone.