Osprey makes three convertible carry-on-sized rolling backpacks: the Osprey Meridian 60L, Osprey Ozone Convertible 50L, and the Osprey Sojourn 45L. This article offers a side-by-side comparison of the three.
We’ve reviewed the Osprey Meridian 60L here and it’s currently our favorite rolling backpack carry-on. And since we encourage folks to travel light and flexible, it’s also our overall favorite travel piece, period.
But yes, we get it, you might have different needs, and prefer something like the more backpacker-focused Sojourn 45L, which is more comfortable to carry on your back for long stretches over uneven terrain.
Note that the lightest of the group, the Osprey Ozone Convertible 50L, is discontinued but still sometimes available (especially used) at the links we provide in the table below.
All three bags in this article are carry-ons; we also compare the larger, full-sized versions of these three bags separately (and give our overall opinion on the best large rolling backpack). But we wrote those articles for the plodding losers who can’t manage to travel light.
We hope that pros like you, the dear readers of the present piece, can take on the world with just a carry-on, and we think that these three Osprey convertibles are the very best. But since Osprey’s own marketing explanations of their packs are scattered, vague, and terse, we’re hereby providing a full, side-by-side explanation of the options in order to help you best choose. Enjoy!
- Quick Comparison Table: Osprey Meridian, Ozone, and Sojourn Carry-Ons
- Why We (and Others) Mostly Love the Three Osprey Convertible Backpack Carry-Ons
- Best for Travel Pros: Osprey Meridian 60L/22"
- Best for Light, Efficient Travel: Osprey Ozone Convertible 22"/50L
- Best for Backpacker-Style Travel — but with Cheat-Wheels: The Osprey Sojourn 45L/22"
- Similar Osprey Carry-On Pieces to Consider
- Osprey Meridian, Ozone, and Sojourn Specs Side-by-Side
- Roundup: Which Osprey Convertible Carry-On Is Best for You? And what are the best prices?
Update history of this article
Quick Comparison Table: Osprey Meridian, Ozone, and Sojourn Carry-Ons
• Sober, professional style: More muted color options, sleeker, more “pro” look
• Light: 8.37 lbs/ 3.80 kg; designed more for durability than to absolutely minimize weight
• Highroad Chassis: large wheels and good clearance for bumpy roads
• Good comfort as backpack: The shoulder harness can be quickly snapped on; no hip belt
• Feature-rich: Exterior water-bottle pockets, accessory pockets, zippered top pocket, laptop sleeve, compression straps, etc.
Osprey Ozone Convertible 50L/22″ (Discontinued; sometimes available used)
• Youthful, techy style: Sporty/tech flair, though black option looks quite a bit like Meridian
• Lighter: 6.3 lbs/2.86 kg
• Highroad Chassis: large wheels and good clearance for bumpy roads
• Great comfort as backpack: Shoulder and hip straps quickly slide out
• Feature-rich: Exterior water-bottle pockets, daypack, accessory pockets, zippered top pocket, laptop sleeve, compression straps, etc.
• Backpacker style: These bags give an appearance of being ready for rough road use and adventures into the great outdoors.
• Lighter: 8 lbs./3.62 kg
• Highroad Chassis: large wheels and good clearance for bumpy roads
• Best comfort as backpack: Ventilated, detachable back panel with hip and shoulder straps
• Backpacker-oriented features: Excellent detachable ventilated suspension, zippered top pocket “straightjacket” compression straps, and external daisy chains for attaching additional gear
• No daypack included, but you can attach an Osprey Daylite Daypack
Why We (and Others) Mostly Love the Three Osprey Convertible Backpack Carry-Ons
On taking into account the test reports from American and various European consumer organizations, the experiences of travel bloggers, and our 20+ years of combined road experience, we’re pretty happy recommending Osprey as one of the top pack designers and for a few other things (like toiletry bags).
These Osprey Meridian, Ozone, and Sojourn carry-on bags share quite a number of common features. They are all well-regarded by critics, known for durability, and relatively light. Since these bags share so many design elements, they don’t look all that different from each other; the style differences are minor.
They are also not as cheap as some of their competitors. If you only travel very occasionally and for short periods, you don’t need to go with Osprey and might consider our cheaper wheeled backpack suggestion. There are also a few Ozone models listed at the end of this article that are a bit cheaper, but that are simple carry-ons and do not convert to backpacks.
Here we’re focused only on pieces that are small enough to work as carry-ons. As experienced travel snobs we’re entirely convinced that it’s best to hit the road with a single carry-on, and nothing else, whether you’re heading out for days, weeks, or months.
Best for Travel Pros: Osprey Meridian 60L/22″Osprey Meridian 60L/22″ is a sleek, fully featured wheeled carry-on that you can also pop on your back for short periods if needed. It is more for city travelers who are only going to occasionally use the detachable backpack straps for stairs, a rough bit of terrain, or quick bike ride. There is no hip belt, so this is not a wise choice for day-long treks in the woods.
This piece has very similar features to the Osprey Ozone Convertible 22″/50L. Both have attachable daybags with laptop sleeves and lots of other thoughtful little details that a serious traveler appreciates: accessory pockets, compression straps, a top quick-access pocket, and water-bottle pockets.
The Meridian is just a bit bulkier and heavier than the Ozone, and slightly more subdued and serious-looking. The Meridian also holds just a bit more, but this means that on some airlines you need to be careful not to overstuff it — particularly the attached daybag — so as not to run afoul of over-vigilant airline employees checking carry-on sizes. See here for more on what fits in the Osprey Meridian daypack.
Best for Light, Efficient Travel: Osprey Ozone Convertible 22″/50LOsprey Ozone Convertible 22″/50L is unfortunately now discontinued but sometimes available used (and a used Osprey piece is rarely a bad deal since they hold up so well). Be careful when looking to distinguish this convertible 50 from the other Osprey Ozone pieces, which are rolling luggage only and do not have backpack straps.
The Ozone Convertible 50L quite closely resembles its Meridian counterpoint; it’s main advantage is that it’s just a bit lighter and not quite as bulky, so you’re less likely to overstuff it and run into problems using it as a carry-on. It is also, unfortunately, a bit more likely to tip over when the daypack is attached and full of heavy stuff.
The Ozone Convertible 22″/50L can also look a bit sportier in its red version and “techy” with all its zippers and straps. Unlike the Sojourn, it has a dedicated laptop sleeve.
This piece is quite comfortable to wear on your back when needed for long stretches (in fact, I put the emptied bag on my back while writing this article at a standing desk to check something, and after twenty minutes realized that I had forgotten to take it off.) Like the Sojourn and unlike the Meridian, it has a hip belt, making it suitable for longer treks over bumpy roads. And, as with the other models here, it rolls well — the high chassis wheels are solidly built into the unit and give enough clearance to get you over rough terrain.
Best for Backpacker-Style Travel — but with Cheat-Wheels: The Osprey Sojourn 45L/22″Osprey Sojourn 45L/22″ is rather unique in that it combines the features of a top-notch backpackers’ pack with the great high-clearance wheels of the Ozone and Meridian lines — and it does all this in a carry-on.
That means maybe a bit of backpacker feature overkill for a small wheeled carry-on, but for those who need it mainly as a small, ultra-sturdy and comfortable backpack, it is certainly ideal. The back-panel suspension system is ventilated to keep you dry and everything about it is adjustable so that you can properly distribute your load. There are hip and sternum straps, and the whole suspension system is removable, for when you want to go with just wheels.
Just a bit of warning from the well-traveled: We think people tend to overestimate how much they’ll use backpack straps and underestimate how much they’ll love wheels. It’s lovely to pull a piece rather than have that parasitic hump stuck to your back.
But for those who most often find themselves far from smooth pavement — and would also like wheels for when they’re in more civilized territories — the Osprey Sojourn 45L/22″ is going to feel great.
The Sojourn lacks a laptop sleeve, so it’s not ideal for those who carry laptops or tablets, unless you also purchase an attachable daypack such as the Osprey Daylite, which is designed to hook onto the Sojourn. See here for more on separate Osprey daypack options.
Similar Osprey Carry-On Pieces to Consider
There are a few other Ozone carry-ons to consider. These are marketed without the term “convertible”; they do not convert into backpacks. They are simply lightweight but durable carry-ons.
Note that on some airlines, for example many budget airlines in Europe, you cannot carry a personal item like a daypack in addition to your carry-on; you will thus be forced to check one of the two.
It is for this reason, plus the simplicity of being able to fully zip everything together into a single pack, that we recommend the Osprey Meridian and Osprey Ozone Convertible carry-ons instead of buying separate pieces. But if those things aren’t an issue for you, and you never need backpack straps, these options immediately above are excellent.
Osprey Meridian, Ozone, and Sojourn Specs Side-by-Side
|Carry-On||Dimensions (in.)||Weight (lbs.)||Daypack||Hipbelt||Laptop Sleeve||US Pricing|
|Osprey Meridian 22"/60L||22 x 14 x 9||8.4||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Osprey Ozone Convertible 22"/50L||9 x 22 x 14||6.9||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Osprey Sojourn 22"/45L||22 x 14 x 9||8||No||Yes||No|
|Osprey Ozone 22"/46L||9 x 14 x 22||4.4||No||No||No|
|Osprey Ozone 18"/36L||9 x 14 x 19||4||No||No||No|
Roundup: Which Osprey Convertible Carry-On Is Best for You? And what are the best prices?
We have fancy software that updates the prices listed here daily, but nevertheless click through to Amazon to check the prices on various colors as they can vary enormously; these listed prices can thus be misleading if you’re flexible on color choice.
We continuously update articles based on our lovely readers’ corrections, additions, hooey arguments over the true meaning of minimalism, fantastical travel wisdom, etc. We obviously publish only respectful, relevant commentary.
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I know you were just being a little silly, but there are other reasons to go with a larger wheeled backpack for travel and not just because I’m a “plodding losers who can’t manage to travel light.” We like to travel in Europe with our young kids and a single large backpack makes sense for me so I can pack all of my things, but plus the stuff for one or two of my kids, so I can put it on my back and push a stroller. The wheels are still a big benefit for the times I either don’t have to push a stroller or moving the back shorter distances, like around airport check in (among other times).
I may not be your target audience, but I still appreciate your reviews and thought it was worth mentioning another segment of society that could benefit from a little broader review. Thanks!
I was being silly and rather indelicate, you’re right! That paragraph above does actually include links to our larger backpack articles though, which I think should closer fit your quite reasonable needs for your situation. Sorry for my sloppy phrasing and happy travels with the young ones!
Thanks for ur good article. Im finally go for sojourn after 2 week dilemma regarding all this models (sojourn and ozone) . And im make a really good choice because im used to heavy pack (60 to 80L), and sojourn working really2 good on this.
Glad we could help! Hope you enjoy lighter travel!
THANKS… for the information, for everything in this article.
Thank you for reading, it’s always nice to know there are people out there making use of what we do.
Please correct the wight of the sojourn on the first table, it doesnt correspond to the table here on the lower part of this website (and is not accurate per the osprey website)
Thank you for the comment, Mieke. The weight in both tables has been updated.
I have a question regarding the best travelling bag to buy from OPSFREY. I’m checking all information I can find online regarding the best choice but it seems it’s difficult to make a choice – in general the information seems positive for both products: OZONE COVERTABLE 75 and Sojourn 80.
Maybe you can make a recommandation.
I will be travelling to India for 2 months. I will take approximatly 7 different flights in total- international flights from Canada and local flights.
I will be staying in a maximum of 10 different cities in India.
The OZONE is very light weight but seems more fragile, and the Sojourn, is heavier, bigger but seems stronger and more secure in quality.
I’m not a typical backpacker but I like to have the option to carry it on my back if ever the ground is very dirty, for example.
I’m a average woman in strengh.
I have already bought the OZONE but can still bring it back and choose the Sojourn. I’m worried that the OZONE will not be strong enough when being handled by plane employees.
Thank you in advance for recommandation.
We have an exact article on that topic! https://minimalist.travel/en/reviews/wheeled-backpacks-osprey-ozone-meridian-sojourn-28/
None of the Osprey bags are fragile and any will suit your use; the best is to pack as light as possible and take the bag that will work for what you need to bring. Hopefully that means the Ozone option for you! Happy travels!
Thank you for your quick response. Yes, I had read your article but was still confused with my choice because of the big difference in fabric (rigidity) between Ozone and Sojourn.
Thanks. This article and others on your site have been very helpful in my search for a rolling backpack. There are a few things that perhaps with your experience you could help with my decision.
As of this date (Sept 6, 2018) it appears that Osprey has discontinued the Ozone Convertible 22 (as reported by several vendors). Is this correct? Does Osprey have a new/improved(?) version in the works? A release date?
In just about every view and video I’ve seen of the Meridian 60 it looks to far exceed the stated 9″depth. Reviewers caution about over packing it (and day pack) and exceeding carry-on limits. In reality though, can the day pack even be attached and still quality as carry-on?
A full harness (shoulders straps, decent hip belt) would be appreciated at times, perhaps leading to the Sojourn as a choice. Many have praised Osprey on the comfort of their harnesses. I can’t really find anything about Eagle Creek in this regard. One consideration was the Eagle Creek Expanse Convertible International. Although there’s no hip belt, it looks like it could be a contender. Any thoughts on how comfortable using just its shoulder straps would be for a several kilometer hike along a dusty hot trail to that night’s accommodation or the next bus stop? Also, Eagle Creek list the volume as just 30L. The math (35 x 54 x 20 cm) suggests about 39L. Any thoughts on which is correct?
Thank you for sharing the comparative review. I have a large 17″ laptop that I usually carry in a separate computer bag (personal bag) in addition to a carry on case with wheels and handle. Can these backpacks accommodate this laptop when I travel light (2-4days trip)?
Hi, we just did an article about what fits in the Osprey Meridian 60L daypack. It depends on your laptop’s size, but in brief, you should be fine.
Am travelling Air Canada. Really need good carry on. Air Canada can be really picky. Is Osprey Sjourn 45 problematic or not?
Hey there! Thanks for the great article!
I just wanted to ask whether there are new features in any or all of the 3 backpacks since the article was published. Has anything changed?
Greetings from Greece! 🙂
Hi we’ve just completed a major update to this article with improved descriptions and info. The bags remain the same, but (Ozone especially) have seen big price drops in the past year. Happy travels!
Thanks for this useful article !
I’m looking for a versatile backpack with wheels, that doesn’t need any time to transform from one to another
(more exactly a bag where I can use the wheels without having to pull out and on the straps every time).
Do you know if one of these 3 bags can be used like this (using the wheels while straps are in backpack mode) ?
Hi Herve, any of these bags will work if you leave the shoulder straps out (but not the hip strap as this will catch on the ground). The Meridian would be the best choice for what you’re talking about as it has no hip strap and is meant to be mostly rolled but occasionally carried short distances.
Thanks for the information..
It’s been a month that I’m thinking of which one could be the best for me!
Now I’m ready to make me decision!
Thanks for reading! Happy travels…
Thank you so much, I have been struggling to decide between these! Now I think I’m an Ozone 50L girl 😉
Brilliant. Thanks so much for this. I’ve spent a week trying to decide which one. Was going to get the Sojourn but after reading this it make sense to go for one of the other two. Off to check them out in store tomorrow. Very helpful!
Always good to hear when folks find this useful!
Thank you for “the” review I’ve been dreaming of. Many stores (REI, e.g.) don’t have all the Osprey models nor do I want to order & return backpacks (e.g., Amazon) & watching countless videos, one forgets which is which: You put it all together nicely, so your eval fit the bill!
HOWEVER, having used 2 Hi Sierra wheeled backpacks throughout Asia and now planning a very lengthy revisit (2-3+ months), I have bern able to look at the Meridian. I’m not completely crazy how the day pack is attached but the Ozone runs nearly 3Xs the price (making it a tempting target?) WHAT ARE THE FEATURES/SPECS that made YOU prefer the Ozone & really make it a better choice for longterm overseas travel? [Feel free to edit for space]