Large Osprey Wheeled Backpacks: Which Work Best? Ozone Convertible vs. Meridian vs. Sojourn


We analyzed Osprey’s three full-size convertible (backpack/wheeled combo) luggage options to uncover the key functional differences and find out which pack is best for whom. Osprey’s own descriptions tend to be enthusiastic and vague, so it can be tricky to tease out which will serve you best, depending on how you travel. We’re here to clarify that.

We highly recommend travelling (and I personally live, for that matter) out of an Osprey carry-on, but of course that’s not possible for everyone, particularly if you have kids or are running off into the wilderness or other lands where you need a bit more gear. (Nevertheless you can  compare these three Osprey lines in carry-on sizes here.)

We think Osprey makes excellent luggage — including, as we’ve reported, the best full-size (checked luggage) wheeled travel packs.  In this article, we’re doing a side-by-side comparison of the top three large Osprey wheeled travel packs.

They all have very comfortable backpack straps that distribute a load well like other high-end backpacker packs. But these packs also all have durable high-clearance wheels — a lifesaver once you’re back on pavement.

Update history of this article

Originally published May 2, 2017

Updated June 13, 2017: Info on the post-2016 Osprey Meridian line

Updated July 12, 2017: Added spec table and minor edits

Updated July 14, 2017: Updated title and minor edits

Updated August 4, 2017: Minor edits to introduction

Quick Comparison Table: Osprey Meridian, Ozone, and Sojourn 28″ Packs

Osprey Meridian 28″/75L

• Flexible, all-around useful: Full-featured pack that’s ready to go anywhere

• Larger capacity: 75L

• Detachable daypack: Zips into place, has laptop sleeve, water bottle pockets, a quick-access top pocket, and internal organizer pockets

Light: 9.26 lbs/ 4.20 kg, but designed more for durability and features

• Highroad Chassis: oversized, durable wheels and good clearance for bumpy roads

• Good comfort as backpack: The detachable backpack straps quickly slide out and snap into place (but there is no hip belt); fully adjustable for your torso size

Osprey Ozone Convertible 28″/70L

• Flexible, all-around useful: Full-featured pack that’s ready to go anywhere

• Large capacity: 70L

• Detachable daypack: Zips into place, has laptop sleeve, water bottle pockets, a quick-access top pocket, and internal organizer pockets

Lightest: 6.93 lbs/ 3.14 kg; designed to be sturdy while absolutely minimizing weight

• Highroad Chassis: oversized, durable wheels and good clearance for bumpy roads

• Better comfort as backpack: Has slide out straps and hip belt (not detachable); fully adjustable for your torso size

Osprey Sojourn 28″/80L

• Big, simple and durable: Designed with one large, open main compartment and built to handle heavy loads

• Largest capacity: 80L

• No daypack included, but the pack is built to attach to the Osprey Daylite Daypacks

• Light: 8.97 lbs/ 4.07 kg; but emphasis is on a sturdy build

• Highroad Chassis: oversized, durable wheels and good clearance for bumpy roads

• Best comfort as backpack: Ventilated, detachable ventilated suspension with hip and shoulder straps

• Backpacker-oriented features: Straitjacket compression straps, external daisy chains for attaching additional gear

The Great Commonalities of these Osprey Convertible Backpacks

The Osprey Meridian, Ozone, and Sojourn bags all tend to get top marks from critics and experienced backpackers; they are known for durability, and for being relatively light. Stylistically their differences are minor; and on the road they tend to draw a bit of envy both from backpackers humping a load without wheels, and from those with wheeled suitcases who’d like to be able to hop up a staircase or veer off the pavement with their gear.

Osprey is mainly known for its high quality comfortable backpacker bags that carefully distribute their weight and can be worn for long periods, and these packs follow in that design tradition. They are truly convertible pieces of luggage that work great whether in town, on the beach, or in the wilderness.

The prices for these three are comparable to other high-end backpacks, but these aren’t the cheapest models out there. If you take only very short, occasional trips, these packs are probably feature overkill.

Osprey keeps its healthy track record among backpackers through its All Mighty Guarantee (“any reason, any product, any era”). If anything at all goes wrong, you do have to pay to send the bag to the nearest international customer service center, but they’ll take it from there, either repairing or completely replacing your luggage and returning it to you for free.

Best for Most Travel Pros: Osprey Meridian 28″/75L

Among these three, we think that the Osprey Meridian 28″/75L is going to be the top choice for most people. The zip-on daypack is quite useful in that it fully integrates with the pack but can also accompany you by itself on shorter adventures. The daypack has a laptop sleeve, water bottle pocket, lined top pocket to keep sunglasses and electronics from scratching, and interior organizational pockets. It can either clip onto the main pack (fastest), or zip on to be fully integrated.

This pack stands distinguishes itself from the Ozone Convertible in that its backpack strap system is fully detachable, so if you’re on a trip where you won’t be heading off of the pavement, you can leave that at home and save a bit of weight.

The Meridian weighs a bit more than its Ozone Convertible counterpart; this is because it has stronger fabric and a slightly more durable wheel housing.

Note that some reviews and photos you’ll find online concerning this pack are for the pre-2016 version of the bag, which had also had a hip belt, and slightly more space in the daypack and less space in the main bag.

Best for Lighter Travel: Osprey Ozone Convertible 28″/70L

The Osprey Ozone Convertible 28″/70L is quite a bit like the Meridian 28″ above, but is built to absolutely minimize weight. This means that it has a lighter-weight fabric, frame, and wheel housing, so you’re sacrificing just a bit on durability. If you spend a lot of time on the road with heavy things, opt for the Meridian or even better the Sojourn options.

In keeping with its focus on lightness, the main pack also offers a bit less interior space than the other two.

Otherwise, the Ozone Convertible 28″ is just as fully featured as the Meridian 28″; notably, the daypack has the same great features. Backcountry Edge also has a useful video of this one:

Best for Bigger Loads: The Osprey Sojourn 28″/80L

The Osprey Sojourn 28″/80L has the largest capacity and is sturdiest of the three; it also has the best backpack suspension system to help insure optimum adjustability and distribution of the load. If you carry a lot of gear, this is the bag to get. Like the Ozone and Meridian’s main packs, the Sojourn’s interior is one large compartment to arrange how you see fit (though there are interior side pockets); in this case, it’s just bigger.

Like the Meridian and unlike the Ozone Convertible, the Sojourn’s backpack suspension system can be completely removed to save a bit of weight/space when you’re on a trip that will stick to smoother surfaces. The Sojourn also has a more vigorous “straitjacket” compression system to cinch in your gear.

The Sojourn lacks a zip-on daypack, and that’s too bad, because for most, this is a necessity. It is however, compatible with Osprey Daylite daypacks, which can be purchased separately and clipped on. This means that on total you’re spending a bit more if you go the Sojourn route.

The video below is entitled Osprey Sojourn 80, but describes this same Osprey Sojourn 28″/80L pack.

 

Similar Osprey Pieces to Consider

If you can pack lighter, check out our coverage of Osprey convertible carry-ons.

The Osprey Farpoint 55 is a bit like the Meridian but without the wheels; it has a daypack.

The Osprey Ozone 28″/80L is a lot like its convertible Ozone sister that we discuss above, but without the daypack or the backpack straps. Daylite daypacks can be attached.

The Osprey Sojourn 25″/60L is a smaller version of the Sojourn 28″/80L that we describe above.

Spec Comparison of the Full-Sized Osprey Wheeled Packs

 Dimensions (in.)Weight (lbs.)DaypackShoulder Straps & HipbeltLaptop SleeveUS Pricing
Osprey Ozone Convertible 28"/70L13 x 14 x 286.9YesYesYes
Osprey Ozone 28"/80L13 x 14 x 28 4NoNoNo
Osprey Sojourn 25"/60L25 x 14 x 148.5NoYesNo
Osprey Sojourn 28"/80L28 x 14 x 149NoYesNo
Osprey Meridian 28"/75L28 x 14 x 139.3YesYesYes

Roundup: Which Full-Size Osprey Wheeled Pack Is Best for You?

Osprey Meridian 28 in/75L
The best large rolling pack for most travellers: roomy, sturdy, and fully featured; backpack straps but no hip belt
Osprey Ozone Convertible 28 in/70L
A bit lighter, has a hip belt; for those who carry lighter loads on their backs
Osprey Sojourn 28 in/80L
The most capable of handling a big load, whether on your back or on its own excellent wheel system

The Osprey Sojourn 28″/80L lacks a daypack, so you may want to grab an attachable Daylite daypack to go with it.

 

8 Comments

  1. LYNDA
    August 1, 2017
    Reply

    My daughter is going travelling around the world for a year plus to both hot and cold climates doing a variety of sporting activities I think the sojourn 80l would be best with an additional daypack which she could use as carry on luggage but I am worried about airline weight restrictions – there us no point being able to fill a big bag if it’s too heavy fir the average airline baggage allowance – what do you think?

    • August 1, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Lynda,
      Unless your daughter needs that much gear for some special reason, I would highly encourage her to pack much much lighter. The ideal is to have only a carry-on. Otherwise the Osprey Meridian 28/75 would be a good choice for checked baggage.
      This is an article I wrote about why travelling the world with less is better. It’s what I do.
      To put it simply, the more experienced travellers get, the less they always carry. I’m guessing your daughter is perhaps less experienced and hasn’t quite realized how little she needs; pretty much the same products can now be purchased anywhere in the world so she can always pick up more on the road.
      Good luck! Tell her bon voyage!

  2. Allie
    June 12, 2017
    Reply

    As far as I can tell from my research, the new Meridian doesn’t have a hip belt, as described in your pack comparison and the video. I believe Osprey removed it from the Meridian so there are only shoulder straps. Pretty unfortunate. I’m sorting out brands and packs – Osprey has several contenders, but I would most like a proper suspension with wheels and a detachable day bag. The Ozone gets close, but I prefer the few more pockets included on the Meridian. Wish I could find an old stock Meridian somewhere – I think it just changed Fall 2016.

    • Allie
      June 12, 2017
      Reply

      Wow – thanks for the quick response! I’m curious – can you look at the photos on Osprey’s page (https://www.ospreypacks.com/us/en/product/meridian-75l-28-MERIDN28.html) and see if you still think that? Based on the photos showing the shoulder harness and of the guy wearing it, I don’t see a hip belt. What initially tipped me off was this post discussing the differences between the Meridian and Sojourn in the Fall 2016 updated versions: http://www.gapyeartravelstore.com/blog/new-f16-range-osprey-meridian-vs-sojourn/

      That post and yours provided the best two pages I’ve found on trying to compare these bags. I was having trouble keeping all the differences straight!

    • June 13, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Allie, my first response (now deleted) was in error, sorry about that.
      You’re right that the post-2016 Osprey Meridian 28/75L does not have a hip belt. Note that in the UK the Osprey Ozone line is generally not available.
      If you’re in the States, it sounds like the Osprey Ozone Convertible 28/70L would be better for you. It has the daypack and other major features of the Meridian, but also a hip belt. Do note that most people overestimate how much they’ll carry packs on their back, however. Thanks for keeping us on our toes with your comments; we’ve corrected this post. Enjoy your travels!

  3. Allie
    June 12, 2017
    Reply

    OOps – *there*
    (I do know how to spell. I rephrased what I was going to say and didn’t proof it. 🙂 )

  4. Sonia
    May 28, 2017
    Reply

    Hi I can’t find the osprey meridian in the purple metalic nor with the hip belt in the uk. Can you let me know where and how I can buy this one and I need it before Sunday week as we are travelling on Tuesday 6th

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.