This post is part of a series in which ladies on the road offer a review of their suitcases. Today’s Osprey Ozone rolling bag review comes from Svenja.
Hi, I’m Svenja. In my day job, I teach 9th and 10th grade English and Phys. Ed. at a comprehensive school in northern Germany, which is a perfect job for a traveler – paid vacation time galore!
My husband and I both love traveling, especially road trips. Over the past 15 years or thereabouts, we have traveled a lot in the US, and in 2013 we discovered our love for Scotland.
I try to keep as many of my travel essentials (read: everything but the shopping haul I bring back from our trip) in my carry-on, just in case our checked luggage takes an unplanned detour. After testing each and every of my numerous bags and backpacks on the hunt for the perfect carry-on, I finally found one I really love: My Osprey Ozone 18”/ 36 liter rolling bag.
Tell us about your suitcase brand, style and price.
It’s an older model of the current Osprey Ozone 36 rolling bag. In 2013, I paid £100 at Cotswold in Edinburgh, but according to Osprey’s European website, it now sells for £120.
>> Check out Osprey Ozone 36L rolling bags on Amazon US*. Or check them out on Amazon UK*.
Is it too big, too small or just right?
Being tiny (5’2”, 110 lbs) and thus having tiny clothes, it is just right. When I use it as my main luggage, I pair it with a small backpack (Cotopaxi Luzon*) as my personal item, which fits my laptop, my purse and my 3-1-1 baggie. As a carry-on in combination with a checked main bag, it fits all our combined tech stuff, toiletries, and at least a change of clothes.
I can fit a surprising amount of stuff into it, but it might be too small if you are not a light traveler, need to take more than the one pair of shoes already on your feet, or don’t want to deal with laundry on the road.
For reference, on our last trip (two weeks road tripping through England and Scotland in October), I used the Ozone 36 as my main luggage. I packed one pair of jeans, two tank tops, two t-shirs, two long sleeved shirts, one hoodie, one pair of running tights, 3 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of underwear, one sports bra, PJs (oversized t-shirt), my toiletry bag, the ingenious Scrubba, a laundry line, a small first aid kit, a small bag with all our cables and chargers, a travel towel, and a plastic folder with all our travel paperwork.
The clothes, toiletry bag, and cables/chargers bag all went into the main compartment; the travel towel, Scrubba, and laundry line fit perfectly into the long zippered pockets on the inside of the main compartment; the first aid kit, the paperwork, and some odds and ends like gum and tissues were easy to reach in the outside pockets.
I even had room for some souvenirs and my puffy jacket that I didn’t really need most of the time.
Is it fabric or hard shell?
Fabric, with a sturdy back that gives some protection to fragile items.
Spinner or roller?
What made you choose your brand and style of suitcase?
For me, the most important factors in choosing a bag are quality, looks, and useful organization.
I prefer bags with handy little pockets, so I can organize the contents and have less of a “kitchen-drawer-effect” (you know, that one unholy drawer that holds everything, from spare batteries and pens to receipts, aspirin, and scissors…).
The Ozone 36 has the perfect mix of organization and open space for my way of packing and living out of a bag, and you really can’t beat Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee.
What features of this luggage do you love? Are there any you would like to see changed or improved?
Apart from its overall design, I really like its weight (1.84 kg according to Ospreyeurope.com), which really helps in staying under any pesky luggage weight limits airlines might come up with.
The only downside I can find is that the white plastic trim on the inner seam came apart after the first longer trip. It’s no big deal though, as is doesn’t have any function but stiffening the area around the zipper. I contacted Osprey customer service about it, and they told me it was an early design flaw in the Ozone line that should not affect the use at all, and that I could take the loose trim out if it bothered me, without jeopardizing the durability of my bag.
Can you carry this suitcase onto airplanes?
Absolutely! That was actually one of the main reasons why I bought this bag. It fits the infamous RyanAir restrictions, and so far I haven’t even had to fit it into one of the sizer frames to prove it’s small enough.
I am quite short, 5’2” in sneakers, so I need my carry-on packing list and luggage to be compact in order to be able to balance it overhead for storing it in the luggage compartments on board a plane. The Ozone 36 turned out to be perfect, with grab handles on the side and on top.
What sort of traveler and trip is this suitcase perfect for?
In my opinion, the Ozone 36 is perfect for all sorts of travelers (at least the ones that like rolling bags). If you are a light packer, you can use it as your main luggage, and for the not-so-light packers, it’s a lovely carry-on that fits all your on-board essentials and then some.
I bought my Osprey Ozone 36 on a weekend trip to Edinburgh, Scotland in 2013, when we had a sudden cold spell at Easter, and I had to buy some warmer layers that did not fit in the giant purse I used as my carry-on on the way back home. Since then I have used it as my main luggage for several longer trips, including two two-week road trips in the UK.
Would you recommend this suitcase to other traveling females?
Yes, I would definitely recommend the Ozone 36, especially for light travelers. Even though it is a rolling bag, I haven’t had any trouble using it on cobble stones (if it gets too noisy, just use the padded grab handles and carry it like a suitcase), and if you live out of your bag on a road trip, the built-in organization makes it very comfortable.
About the author: Born and raised in northern Germany, totally obsessed with traveling, flip-flops and rainbow-colored nail polish (not necessarily in that particular order). Married to a very tolerant man, who enjoys traveling as much as I do, and puts up with my ever-growing collection of flip-flops and nail polish. You can read my ramblings in German on http://willruth.rocks and in English on http://www.travel-blog-repeat.com, and find me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Ali, I also have this amazing bag. It is my go-to bag for almost any trip. It’s been on over a dozen flights and countless roadtrips in the past year. I’ve managed to pack it for weekend getaways and three week multicity trips. It’s well under most if not all carryon maximum sizes and so light. There is only one airline that I use that I might not take it on. They have a 5kg limit – leaving only 3,2kg for actual clothes etc. I’ve never been questioned about its size or had any difficulty getting it into an available overhead compartment – I am short and small too. On one flight I even stowed it under the seat in front as the overhead bins were all full. Finally, it is so sturdy that even if I had to check it, I wouldn’t be worried about it. I only wish they made a 20-21″ version that would fit ‘most’ airlines carryon restrictions for when just a little more space may be needed.
There used to be a 46 liter version of this bag, I’m not sure if Osprey still have it in their line. Might be small enough for more generous carry-on restrictions.
Brenda, it’s so great to hear you have the same bag as Svenja and love it too!
I have the 22″ version of this bag (in grey), and just bought the 18″ (in black). I wish I’d gone for the 18″ one right away, but a few years ago, I had convinced myself it was too small. Now I think it’s the perfect size.
Strangely enough, the 18″ is hardly available in the United States, at least at REI where I got the first one. It used to be an option but apparently it didn’t sell well. I had to hunt around for it and finally got it online.
I’ve noticed that the current version has some improvements. The “bumper” at the bottom of the bag seems to be reinforced, and overall the bag looks more polished.
Thanks for the update, Beth! It’s always hard to convince yourself to downsize, isn’t it?!