This post has been updated—see our new review of the Osprey Meridian (and Sojourn) Wheeled Backpack Convertibles.
In the comments section of our recent overview of cool gifts for travelers, Cate, blogger extraordinaire over at The Caffeinated Traveler, saw our inclusion of the Osprey Meridian Wheeled Backpack and exclaimed “I knew there had to be something out there for my travel needs!”
Cate is not alone in those sentiments.
When headed on a multi-day hike then obviously you bring a backpack. When going on a business trip a wheeled bag is ideal. But what if your trip is something between those? Or a combination of both? Perhaps you are headed on an adventurous trip to Thailand, wanting a backpack to roam across beaches and through mountain jungles but wanting a wheeled bag to navigate the airport and to arrive at Bangkok’s Metropolitan Hotel for a luxury stop at the end of your trip.
Airlines are not legally responsible for any damages they inflict upon your backpack if your bag has any loose straps dangling from it. The logic being that you are at fault since airport conveyor belts are not made for backpacks. With the Osprey Meridian all the backpack straps tuck securely inside the bag’s sealable back pocket. So you’ll get the full reimbursement if when an airline damages your Osprey Meridian.
Unlike virtually all other hybrid bags, the Osprey Meridian has a rugged backpack frame built into it. The frame is supported by a deluxe suspension system, making the Meridian extremely comfortable to wear on your back. Spot Cool Stuff has personally taken the Meridian on a five day trek in Nepal.
In backpack mode the Meridian also sports adjustable padded shoulder straps, an effective weight-distributing hipstrap, side pockets for water bottles and a ventilation system that helps keep your back from getting sweaty. Each of these features meet or exceed what most standalone backpacks offer.
As for its rollability (yes, that’s now a word), the Osprey Meridian’s best feature is its rugged, shock-absorbent wheels. We also love how the entire top of the bag zips open but four strong buckles keep it tightly closed (so there’s very little stress on the zippers). The Meridian has two inside organizing pockets and an ergonomic handle that retract into the backpack’s frame when not in use.
This is a workhorse of a bag that will never again leave you wondering whether to pack your backpack or your wheeled bag for your next trip.