Gear of the Year: Luggage

Osprey Meridian 22

May 15, 2006
Outside Magazine
Osprey Meridian 22

Osprey Meridian 22

Stow Away
Wheel it, shoulder it, sit on it, kick it—Osprey's Meridian 22 adeptly adjusts to any adventure and absorbs every road-inflicted insult. It relieves you of attachment anxiety, since it's carry-on legit, but magically stows everything you need for an around-the-world journey. Can't resist picking up that wooden mask in Papua New Guinea? There's room for that, too.

Osprey Meridian 22 $279
1. On a five-week trip in India, this 3,700-cubic-inch carry-on convertible was impervious to 3,000 hard-knock miles by plane, train, rickshaw, boat, and one cranky camel. Credit the bag's ballistic-grade nylon fabric, Hypalon-reinforced wear points, and ultradurable ABS plastic base.

2. It took just a nanosecond to morph the wheelie into a trim side hauler that looked classy enough for a five-star hotel and easily negotiated narrow train and plane aisles, where the Meridian's plush foam-cushioned handles (side and top) made overhead stowage a snap.

3. When the going got rough, the backpacker in me loved how the curved retractable handle is integrated into Osprey's High Road Chassis to work like a traditional frame stay. In backpack mode, it has the best adjustable suspension I've seen in convertible luggage.

4. The ultrasecure (four buckles and a zipper) detachable pack is a day tripper's dream, with dual water-bottle holders, front zipper pouch, and zip-away back panel that accesses a hydration sleeve. It's big enough to hold a day's worth of supplies, including Lonely Planet's fat India guide.

5. After souvenir hunting, I sinfully overstuffed the main compartment, but it never surrendered. Even after sitting on the thing and muscling the oversize zippers—and actually breaking a sweat in the process—I couldn't find one sign of seam stress or hardware malfunction.

Filed To: Luggage

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