Many expert travelers — and those who fancy themselves as such — exalt the virtues of packing light. Yet few expert travelers — or those who fancy themselves as such — seem to care much about having a light pack. To Spot Cool Stuff, this is inexplicable. Your primary piece of luggage might be the heaviest single item you bring on your trip!
For the last few weeks we’ve been working on a review of the best wheeled carry-on luggage. That will publish later this year. But we couldn’t wait until then to write about one of the bags we’ve been trying out, the Osprey Ozone. That’s because, in addition to having several fine attributes, the Ozone has one superlative one: it is super lightweight.
We’ve been testing the 22″-size Ozone model (the maximum many airlines allow travelers to carry on). On our scale, it weighed in at a mere 1.841kg, or a smidgen more than 4 pounds. A typical bag of the same size and type — that is, a fabric carry-on with two wheels capable of standing up on its own — weighs between 7 and 9 pounds. The 22-inch version of the Travelpro Crew 8, for example, costs about the same as the Ospery Ozone 22 and weighs 8.7 pounds. Our Eagle Creek Tarmac 22 (more expensive than the Ozone but includes Eagle Creek’s Pack-It System) scales in at 3.86kg, or nearly 8.5 pounds.
So let’s split the difference and use 8.6 pounds as the weight for an average wheeled 22″ carry-on bag. How does the weight difference between that and the Ozone translate into a real world benefit? If you took an Osprey Ozone and packed it with everything shown in the photo to the right, it would weigh the same as your typical wheeled 22″ carry-on that’s completely empty!
The list of items shown in the photo:
• 2 assorted t-shirts
• 2 generic shorts
• 1 pair of New Balance Minimus shoes
• 1 Scottevest travel vest
• 1 toothbrush and 1 travel tube of toothpaste
• 1 pair of Maui Jim sunglasses
• 1 Sony NEX-5 camera with lens and strap
That’s a huge amount of extra stuff you can pack with your weight savings!
Though very light in weight, we like how the Ozone doesn’t feel flimsy or fragile. The bag doesn’t have a lot of frills — there’s no padded laptop compartment, for instance — but what it does have feels exceptionally well built.
Other key features of the Ozone:
• Reinforcements at key wear points.
• Easy packing, a quality Spot Cool Stuff personally tested under the most grueling of circumstances†.
• Four internal pockets: a top one (great for toiletries), two front panel pockets (not super useful in our opinion but still nice to have) and a full-length rear panel (which we liked using for the above-mentioned Minimus shoes).
• Internal compression straps and extendable ergonomic pull handle.
• Built-in business card name tag holder, protected and covered at the rear of the bag.
• The All Mighty Guarantee. The Ozone, as every Osprey bag, comes with a rather incredible warranty: if an Osprey bag is damaged at any time, for any reason, Osprey will repair or replace it free of charge!
In the end, though, it is the ultra lightweight-iness of the bag that we appreciate most. True, getting an Osprey Ozone won’t, by itself, make you an expert traveler. But lifting an Ozone will sure make you feel like one.
† Mrs. Spot unexpectedly went into sudden labor at 2am. We had about a minute to fling whatever essential we could into our Osprey Ozone before rushing off to the hospital.
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