Osprey Ozone Duplex 60 - Women's Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Ozone Duplex 60 can be many things: a single backpack, a carry-on and personal item, or a duffel for the hotel with a handy day pack for around town, hikes, or other outdoor adventures.
Osprey has long been known to make some of the most comfortable backpacks in the industry. After they revolutionized comfort in their alpine climbing backpacks, we noticed this interesting new take on the travel backpack. The first thing the Ozone Duplex does well to improve comfort has to do with the way your travel gear is organized. The backpack separates into two parts, with the larger suitcase-like part attaching like a tortoiseshell onto the back of a smaller, slim daypack-sized backpack. The frame is built with sturdy but svelte straps and suspension, but this organization scheme also improves comfort. Since your heavy electronics and books fit best in the smaller pack, this puts heavy items next to your back; when you hub the larger outer bag on top of the smaller one, you're most likely putting bulky but lighter items (like clothing) on the outside of the bag. This helped reduce the torque effect of an otherwise bulky backpack, though when the two are stacked into one and stuffed full, it does protrude a ways behind the body.
The suspension of the Ozone Duplex is very well made. The straps are wide to distribute weight, and the firm padding improves support and long term durability. We like the hip belt as well; it's big enough to be functional and wrap around the hips, but small enough to be discrete and not cumbersome. If you're carrying this whole system on to an airplane, you will need to separate the two bags. The larger outer bag then turns in to something like a duffel that you can sling over your shoulder while wearing the backpack. This is not the most comfortable way to carry the bag, overall, at least for our testers, but the convertible nature makes navigating airline rules a bit more doable.
The Ozone Duplex earns uniqueness points in this department. The hubbed design is much easier to manage than we initially expected. The bottoms attach with sewn buckles, and the upper corners attach with an adjustable buckle, much like the one that keeps your heel in place in a pair of ski boots. It's something of a "progress capture" system, so if your bag is packed to the brim, you just need to push them together until you hear one click. If it's less stuffed, you'll get more clicks making the bag fit together more tightly.
The bag then can be separated, and the outer portion becomes a duffel of sorts. It has a sturdy grab handle as well as a detachable shoulder strap, which gives you many carrying options. Overall, we like the organization scheme and pockets, and the smaller daypack is particularly well thought out for electronics and essentials, or even for a light hike.
The outer bag also has a separate compartment that perfectly fits a toiletries bag. One of the biggest stressors in transit is having a shampoo explode all over your clothing. This compartment can help put your travel mind at ease, even if you end up having to check that half (or 2/3) of the bag last minute.
Packing & Accessibility
If we stopped rating bags after the first two metrics, Comfort and Features, the Ozone Duplex may have been more competitive in this review. However, Osprey seems to have gotten distracted by the novelty of the Duplex and didn't pay quite enough attention to accessibility. The pockets that make the most sense for a wallet and passport are very tricky to access when the two bags are hubbed together, which makes this pack feel cumbersome during travel.
The outer bag is also very soft and supple, without much of a frame, and shaped to hub onto the smaller backpack. This makes carrying it a bit awkward and floppy when it is detached. The bag is much better when joined to make one backpack, and not as great separated. That outer bag does, however, have useful internal compression straps and flaps that help keep your contents secure.
The Ozone Duplex is made of a combination of thoughtfully placed lighter weight 210 denier nylon with more durable 450 denier Packcloth. The zippers are smooth and large, and some are lockable. The D-ring attachment system for the shoulder strap is thick and sturdy. Overall, high marks for durability — as usual from Osprey.
Volume to Weight Ratio
Due to the thoughtful use of lighter weight fabrics where possible, the Ozone Duplex travel backpack is relatively light for a 60-liter backpack, which is of decent capacity size and the largest in our review. These 60-liters only weigh 4.43 pounds, giving a ratio that's just above average for our lineup.
The Ozone Duplex is not a bargain travel backpack. However, Osprey has a strong reputation for well-made products, so we are confident that if this bag suits your needs, you'll feel it is well worth the cost, and it will last you a long time.
The Osprey Ozone Duplex 60 is an intriguing and useful travel backpack. The hubbed, or "tortoiseshell" design makes it highly modular and adaptable for urban and airline travel. We appreciate that the smaller daypack (with the electronics pockets) keeps heavy items close to the back, making the pack useful as an around-town backpack. The beneficial pockets also allow for light hiking. Overall, the Duplex is a highly versatile and exciting backpack that lost some points due to some fiddley and awkward features, such as valuable pockets blocked by the hubbed outer bag. Overall, however, it's a pack that we think many will love and find exceedingly useful.
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