The Osprey Tempest 20 is a lightweight daypack with some great features for light day hikes and commuting. The primary material is both 70 and 100D nylon, and it weighs 26 ounces. It comes in two sizes: XS/S (13-17" torso length) and S/M (16-20" torso length).
Day hiking in the Adirondaks with the Tempest. Our Top Pick for Around Town works well in the woods too!
We felt a little mixed on the comfort of the Osprey Tempest 20. We had a hard time getting a good fit in this pack (see Ease of Use below), and as such it wasn't very comfortable for our main tester. She passed it on to a slightly shorter lady, and the reviews were good, but beware that if you are on the "longer" side of Osprey's sizing scale, (19" or longer), this pack might not feel so comfortable.
Here's what we did like about the pack that made it comfortable. The hip belt and back are nicely padded and made of mesh for added ventilation. The shoulder straps are also adequately padded, even though the padding has cutouts to reduce weight. What we didn't like too much was how the back pushed in on us when the pack was full. This problem has always bugged us a little, and now that a few daypacks are using the suspended mesh back system that keeps the entire pack off your back, you get more airflow and nothing pushing into you. Check out the Gregory Jade 28, Deuter Futura 22 SL and the Osprey Sirrus 24 for examples of that new technology.
The mesh back with cutout padding does help to increase airflow, though it still left us sweatier than some of the newer totally open mesh backs on other packs.
There's a lot of great features on the Tempest that make this a super versatile bag for commuting and living life on the go. Every time we used it we noticed something new!
The main compartment has one small internal mesh pocket with a key clip for stowing your essentials, and there's a separate top pouch that's rather large for things that you'll want quick access to, like snacks or a light layer. Then there's an external mesh pouch for a rain or wind jacket. This pack has two water bottle pockets and an internal slot for a hydration bladder. There's a small vertical pocket on the left shoulder strap that can hold your sunglasses (as long as they are not Jackie O sized) or GPS unit, and a pocket on either side of the hip belt for other quick access items, like your phone or lip balm.
There's also Osprey's "Stow on the Go" attachment for trekking poles, which carries them between your shoulder strap and hip belt (not the most comfortable carrying method for long distances, but convenient if you need to navigate a boulder field or steep section of the trail). Finally, there's an ice axe loop with a bungee strap holder for the shaft, and Osprey's "Lidlock" bike helmet strap. This is our favorite feature on this pack, as it's a quick and easy way to secure a bike helmet without having it bang all over the place. You pull the plastic piece vertically through the slots in your helmet and then rotate it so that it lays flat on top. The bungee cord creates enough tension to hold it in place, with no flopping around. Genius! There's no rain cover though, like on the Osprey Sirrus or Gonex 35, so if that's a priority for you look to one of those packs instead.
The "Lidlock" helmet attachment is a clever feature. Is secures your bike helmet quickly and easily with no flopping around.
This is one of the lighter packs that we tested. The chart below shows the actual weight in ounces of the different models in this review.
At only 26 ounces, this pack is a full pound lighter than the Osprey Sirrus. That "weight loss" is achieved by using a lighter material with no framing or rain cover. We tend to appreciate lighter things here at OutdoorGearLab, but if you need a rain cover or hike in an area with sharp rocks and plants, you may want to consider a slighter heavier pack that uses a thicker material.
Hiking around at the top of the Jackson Hole Gondola. A lightweight pack like this one is appreciated, particularly on quick sightseeing hikes.
Ease of Use
As the chart below shows, this is the one category that the Tempest scored the poorest in, tying with the Mammut Lithia Speed 15. We found it decently easy to pack and unpack but have some complaints about its adjustability.
It does come in two sizes (XS/S and S/M), and we ordered it in the S/M since that seemed to fit the range of our back size (16"-20"). However, this pack felt very small, and the hip belt kept wanting to sit on our waist and not our hips. We'd loosen the shoulder straps, get the hip belt situated in the right spot, but then as soon as we tightened the shoulder straps a little the hip belt popped right up onto our waist. Perhaps this is just an issue with the geometry of the pack not quite fitting with the personal dimensions of our tester, but it did affect the comfort a bit, as we mentioned above. Also, our tester is only 5'6 and does not have an exceptionally long torso, so any taller or longer-torsoed ladies out there might have a challenge finding a good fit in this pack. Finally, the hip belt barely reached around enough to cover our hip bones, and we are on the petite side, so anyone that is even slightly larger in the hips might not get adequate coverage from this belt. Perhaps Osprey will start making it in a M/L size? (Hint hint…)
The hipbelt was one of our least favorite things about this pack. It kept wanting to ride up onto our waist, and was really small. Here it is show on a woman who wears a size 4 pant, and it barely covers her hipbones.
This pack received a great score for durability. We didn't experience any issues with this pack during our field testing, and couldn't find any durability complaints in online user reviews. As the chart below shows, we did score it slightly lower than the Osprey Sirrus due to the thinner material used on the Tempest.
We liked that this pack has a beefier nylon on the bottom, but if you live in an area with lots of pokey plants and sharp rocks, like the desert southwest, you should consider a pack with a thicker material than this one for longer-term durability. Osprey does have a great "All Mighty Guarantee" warranty that will replace or repair defects or broken parts, but that doesn't include "cosmetic wear and tear," meaning that if you get a bunch of holes in the material you're probably out of luck, and/or will need to patch them yourself.
We like this pack best for using around town and commuting, hence our Top Pick award for those applications. The ability to secure a bike helmet to our pack (quickly!) and not have it flop all over the place is revolutionary. And its small size is perfect for a laptop, a light sweater, a water bottle, and not much more.
This daypack worked well for a variety of uses, including commuting, sightseeing, and light day hiking.
This bag retails for $110, which puts it in the middle of the "pack" price wise for this review. If you don't need a super technical bag and want to save a few dollars, check out our Best Buy award winner, the Gonex 35L which is only $37, and does the job.
There's a lot to like about our Top Pick for Around Town. The Osprey Tempest 20 is lightweight, comfortable (if it fits), and has some great features. We liked this pack for commuting in the city, thanks to the bike helmet attachment point and low-profile design. And it works great on day hikes as well!