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If the mere thought of lugging a giant duffel bag through the airport makes your back hurt and the idea of paying baggage overage charges causes you the same pain, you might think about investing in a new rolling bag, the Osprey Ozone. Ozone series bags are light—under five pounds for the 80 liter bag, 4 pounds for the 36 and 46 liter bags. Osprey stripped out excess frame material but didn’t compromise strength, quality or the organizational features that are essential for skiers.
The lightweight HighRoad LT Chassis is Osprey’s special sauce. It’s an ultra-durable injection molded (and high clearance) base bolstered by large, sealed bearing polyurethane wheels, and an aluminum frame. Sealed wheels means that moisture, road sand and salt can’t work their way in and cause the wheels to lock up. High clearance means no dragging on rough terrain, over door jams, etc.
And the bags have loads of space. A yawning main compartment with three large zippered pockets means you can find anything in a jiffy, even the stuff stashed way at the bottom. A large zippered pocket on the back is roomy enough to hold several issues of Ski Magazine—for your in-flight reading pleasure—with a smaller zippered pocket for the small stuff. It also has two vertical stuff pockets on the front big enough to shove in a light jacket or the gloves you don’t want to lose on the plane. And a zippered top pocket holds toiletries, snacks, or other items you need to get to quickly.
The suitcase is superlight, but it’s reinforced in key wear spots like the bottom corners. It also has external compression straps that protect the zippers from airline conveyor belts and general wear and tear. And, so you don’t have to struggle with your carry-ons, this spring, Osprey will introduce bags that securely slide over the handle, so you still have one hand free to tow your ski bag. Available in 36, 46 and 80 liters. The high capacity smaller bags (four pounds each) can also be used as carry-ons. $199-$249, ospreypacks.com