Nothing quite like a painless and hassle-free TSA experience to set the wanderlust in motion. Although, more literally, a good set of wheels puts things into motion just fine. Unlike the majority of airport patrons, I’ve resisted owning any wheeled carry-on bags because they looked like more hassle than they are worth. (A large backpack usually does the trick: it’s portable, it’s relatively flexible and it can occupy odd-sized spaces.) But a long weekend getaway may have just changed my perception of wheelie bags, thanks to the Osprey Shuttle 22-inch pack.
Reaching the maximum dimensions of TSA-approved carry-ons, the Osprey Shuttle 22-inch is a 40-liter (2,440 cubic inch) wheelie bag that stores plenty of necessities for a casual weekend (or a full week if you’re a minimal packer) without having to fork over extra cash for checked baggage. Osprey engineered the Shuttle 22-inch with many airport features in mind, particularly the awkward-shaped overhead storage bins – a design that allows the pack to slide effortlessly into the bins, no matter which way it’s facing. The smooth wheels glide across slick terminal floors, and a grippy, retractable handle makes navigating airport crowds manageable.
For the tidy traveler, the Shuttle 22-inch is packed full of organizational pockets and features to make sure your gear departs and arrives intact. Internally, there are three zippered pockets and a set of compression straps to bundle your clean or dirty laundry together. Three external zippered pockets and a low profile magazine sleeve leave plenty of space for small vials of liquids, travel documents and other random essentials that inevitably find their way into your bags.
The small storage features But the best part of the Osprey Shuttle 22-inch came a few hours after I landed. Expecting to dig out a sweatshirt from the depths of the bag, I realized that “digging” is a necessity – and also a disadvantage – that comes with being a dedicated backpack traveler. Clothes stayed organized, toiletries were easily accessible and I wasn’t blindly searching for the one item I needed. And that’s an upgrade I could get used to.