Over the past couple of years of walking I’ve gone through a fair amount of gear, so I thought I would share some feedback for stuff that’s tried and trusted. Hope it helps.
What is it?: Osprey Talon 22 daypack
How much?: $150 CAD + tax, plus $35 + tax for the rain cover
Where, when, how do I use it?: I bought this recently, in spring 2020. Partly this was because I wanted a bigger pack for day hikes than the Deuter RaceX 12L pack that I also use. Partly it was simply because the Osprey was on sale, so I ended up getting it for about $60 off the combined price of the pack and the rain cover.
I’ve used it multiple times in just the first few weeks, for hikes as well as shopping runs, where BTW the extra bottle wine capacity (6-8 bottles versus 4-5 for the Deuter) is a useful feature. I’m planning to use it as my go-to day-hike pack. I like it for several reasons:
- It’s the right Goldilocks size, not too big nor too small.
- It comes in sizes, so I was able to get the long one that fits my long torso.
- It has a semi-rigid frame-like structure, meaning it’s stiff enough to feel like it’s got a frame but it doesn’t actually have one which keeps weight down
- The waist belt has side pockets, useful for little things like COVID-19 essentials (face masks and hand sanitizer), Clif bars, Swiss Army knife, etc.
- The outside mesh pockets are big enough to hold a 1L Nalgene bottle
- There are lots of pockets inside and out to organize your stuff, and it’s got a hydration sleeve with a port for the tube as well.
- It will hold a laptop no problem in the hydration sleeve.
- It’s relatively water resistant even without the rain cover, and really good with the cover on.
Compared to the smaller Deuter bag, the Osprey bag is heavier of course, but not by as much as you’d think. The Talon holds 22L in volume versus 12L, but it weights only 810g versus 550g, a decent tradeoff of weight for load, and you can carry up to around 8 or 9kg with it.
The biggest thing for me is the adjustability of the strap system. While I like my Deuter RaceX bag too, the Osprey just fits me better because it’s longer. I took it out for a 4 hour hike the other day, carrying 2L of water plus snacks with an ice pack, rain jacket, sun glasses, a seat cushion, and COVID-19 masks and hand sanitizer, so pushing 4kg with the weight of the bag itself, and once I had it adjusted it rode well up and down hills and stairs feeling light and comfortable the whole time. And that was on a 30C day when I was perspiring a lot – the mesh back system really helped.
Would I buy it again?: Yes, I like this bag. Since it’s new and I’ll likely get years out of it, by the time I’m ready for a new one Osprey will have some other model out. That said, I’d definitely look at their products again.
Disclaimer: This is not a “review”. I don’t go around sampling things, instead this is a summary of my own experience with a product I have used a lot. All opinions contained in this post are my own. I offer no warranties or assurances for your experiences with the same product. I bought the gear with my own money and have not received any form of compensation from the manufacturer. Take my feedback as given – caveat emptor.