Running on wheels – Osprey Ozone 42 review
Airportproof and outdoor resistant. Plane, train, bus, wilderness. On my way to the world I love most, to those lonestanding tall trees, the landscapes of the taiga, and the stones that tell their tale from long ago. The northern part of Europe. The Osprey Ozone is perfect for a weekend break or a business trip. Now, this lightweight on wheels had to go long distance, into the wild.
Osprey is going lightweight
Whenever you can reduce pack weight without losing out on performance or durability, do it. Whether it be a backpack or another piece of travel luggage, less weight will make you more comfortable, and faster. As may be expected, on the trail a lightweight backpack has a lot of advantages. Decreased muscle fatigue, less pressure on the joints and bones – and a more relaxing time afterward.
Adventureproof on wheels
The Osprey Ozone isn’t a backpack though, but a piece of luggage that you can use instead of a duffel bag or a trolley. Since we had to take a lot to our Nordic paradise, there were two duffel bags, two backpacks, two-wheeled packs, and one camera to carry. Adventure proof on wheels, the Osprey promise, would go beyond those words. Finding out how much adventure it could live up to, for I assume the Ozone designer team did not have the landscapes in mind where I dragged this pack-on-wheels along. Or maybe they had because this piece of equipment performed very well, even here.
I used the Ozone 42. Its dimensions (cm) – 55(l) x 36(w) x 23 (d) – will let you take it as carry-on luggage on most EU flights. Its weight is 2.16 kg which isn’t much, considering its features. And hence the name. The essence of wheeled luggage is to be found at the bottom, i.e., the chassis. Osprey developed a lightweight solution, the Ultralight HighRoad LT Chassis and I am honestly impressed. Durable, absolutely lightweight, and very easy to maneuver. A sort of runway traveler’s test was the nice intercom lady announcing something like ‘Flight 1234 to XYZ’, gate closing now. The outcome: just in time, having had the experience of wheels that swirl and dance and run along as smoothly as it could be.
Time for a break. A ludicrous idea, being amidst those evergreen trees, inhaling fresh air, and watching the sun say goodbye from a mountain top. Not breaking away from nature of course, but the kind of get-away that is, once in a while, so very pleasant and also relaxing. The mother-daughter-hike-spa-dine-sleep-treat. Yes, total indulgence.
The highest road, the highest village, the highest church
We decided on a highly recommended place, also nearby, which meant a short two-and-a-half-hour drive. Which is near to nothing in a country where distances are measured in miles and the supply of food and drink you bring along. The Storhogna Mountain Lodge & Spa. Located in Vemdalen, near Klövsjö, at 725 meters above sea level. Fun fact: this you see quite often in Sweden. Altitude/sea level seems to be something really important and should be mentioned. The highest road, the highest village, the highest church, etcetera. More than only one qualifies, apparently, and even more amusing, all (or most) regions have their own (or more). I have not yet sorted out what is behind this predilection. Something from the past, a subconscious competition with high peaks neighbor Norway?
The Vemdalen area offers a lot, the whole year-round. For skiing, you can choose either the family-friendly, easy slopes in Vemdalsskalet or Björnrike or the more challenging Klövsjö area. This is connected to Storhogna, where the easier slopes are. And the spa. Also the dog sled tours and the horse sleigh ride. Summer and autumn in this wilderness offer plenty of opportunities for various outdoor activities. Hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, climbing, horse riding.
Packing is stacking and storing
Packing is easy when you drive up there and there is no schedule whatsoever. The spa and the indoor swimming pool may keep you from doing anything else. But having the best of both worlds is better. Outdoors there is so much beauty – not only here – so hiking is a must, at the very least. I was amazed at how much I could pack in the Ozone, and store in pockets. The internal compression strap system allows you to bring a lot, without your clothing coming out totally crushed. The rear panel pocket fits magazines or a book. In the large front panel a laptop can be stored (no extra padding, but it fits). And well, not to mention that extendable T-shaped handle, would skip one of the most valued features. Sturdy elegance, that’s what it is.
This new Osprey (launched August/September 2018) is the perfect ‘in the middle of the range’ option. You have your backpack, a (large) duffel bag, and a piece of travel luggage that will do a really good job, wherever you go.
Music from the mountains
Breathe in breathe out. No thinking. While you walk, the mind is on vacation. It settles in another, more comfortable mode. Shifting from thoughts to awareness, allowing you to just be there, taking it in, being part of it. I presume this isn’t exactly – or only – mindfulness. It is more. There is this attentiveness, that brings about the most wonderful moments. Simply put, you see more. The reindeer herd in the distance, or a grouse, appearing from nowhere and now in front of you. If you are really lucky, it is an encounter with that amazing creature which so much belongs to the Nordics. As beautiful as anything – and shy – the arctic fox.
There is this attentiveness, that brings about the most wonderful moments
It is fairly impossible not to feel happy and relaxed here. The rugged landscape, with heather giving a try at the first autumnal colors, stones covered with mosses in all different shades of green, brown, orange, and black in that typical camouflage pattern of the north. Competing with an ever-changing palette of grey, blue and white clouds. Clean, crisp air. And not a single sound. Only your own footsteps. Only the wind, transporting distinctive music from the mountains to the plains. It is a sound that cannot compare to anything else. Traveling through the air, it is a tune that speaks of seasons, of rock bathing in the summer’s sun, of snow-covered peaks in winter. All at the same time.
Note: this is not a review based on comparative product testing. What I have stated here is my personal opinion. No payment is involved, the same goes for my stay at Storhogna Högfjällshotel. The Ozone I could keep.
- Nordic, outdoor, adventure. There is an overlap between these three words and Nordic Adventours. My friends and fellow outdoor enthusiasts, unlocking the adventures of the north for those who step out of the urban and into the wild.
- Nature, spa, and good food at Storhogna Högfjällshotel & Spa, Vemdalen (Sweden)
- For more information on technicalities, visit the official Osprey Europe website