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Osprey Talon 22 Review

This pack offers a time tested versatile design that is ready for any adventure
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Osprey Talon 22 Review (Even when loaded up with a full spectrum of cycling essentials, we still felt comfortable and had a full range of...)
Even when loaded up with a full spectrum of cycling essentials, we still felt comfortable and had a full range of motion.
Credit: Jacob Clark
Price:  $160 List
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Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Jacob Clark & Dan Scott  ⋅  May 18, 2023
78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 12
  • Comfort - 25% 9.0
  • Versatility - 25% 9.0
  • Ease of Use - 25% 7.0
  • Weight - 15% 5.7
  • Durability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

Our preferred panel-loading daypack, the Osprey Talon 22, continues to win awards. Despite another year of tough competition, it remains the best lightweight daypack for fast and light adventures and performs exceptionally well in almost any activity. Thanks to its outstanding ventilation, adjustable fit, and Osprey's updated AirScape back panel design, the Talon is still one of the most comfortable backpacks we've tested. This pack includes a helmet attachment, bungee attachments for trekking poles, an ice axe loop, and a blinker clip patch. You can easily carry a typical day pack load and even use this bag for mountain adventures, commuting, or travel. Except for extra-large loads, we enthusiastically recommend this pack. Check out our full best daypack review to see how it compares next to other top daypacks.
REASONS TO BUY
Tons of features
Fully adjustable
Comfortable
Well ventilated
Separate hydration compartment
REASONS TO AVOID
Runs small
Side mesh pockets are debatably small
Editors' Note: We updated this review on May 17, 2023, to adjust the metric weighting and to provide additional buying advice.

Compare to Similar Products

 
osprey talon 22
This Product
Osprey Talon 22
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $113.53 at Amazon
Compare at 4 sellers
$159 List
$111.29 at REI
$60 List
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$69.39 at Amazon
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$50 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Bottom Line Time tested and a top pick for versatility, this pack once again earns one of our top awardsBig pack function in a do-it-all daypack form, ready for any anythingA clear Best Buy winner, the updated Flash 22 is lighter than ever while still providing excellent versatilityThis is a pack that works almost equally well for hiking and for carrying your work suppliesIt makes sense that this model is so popular, considering its low price tag and weight
Rating Categories Osprey Talon 22 REI Co-op Traverse 32 REI Co-op Flash 22 Osprey Daylite Plus REI Co-op Flash 18
Comfort (25%)
9.0
10.0
5.5
7.0
5.0
Versatility (25%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
5.5
6.0
Ease of Use (25%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Weight (15%)
5.7
3.9
8.7
7.5
9.5
Durability (10%)
7.0
9.0
5.0
6.0
4.0
Specs Osprey Talon 22 REI Co-op Traverse 32 REI Co-op Flash 22 Osprey Daylite Plus REI Co-op Flash 18
Volume 22 L 32 L 22 L 20 L 18 L
Measured Weight 30.7 oz 41.0 oz 14.0 oz 20.6 oz 9.5 oz
Back Construction Vented, contoured Contured, foam pad Removable foam pad Mesh over vented foam Simple foam pad
Hydration Compatibility Externally accessed sleeve, holds up to 3L, bladder not included Internal hydration sleeve, hook and loop attachment point Internal hydration sleeve Internally accessed sleeve, holds up to 3L, bladder not included Internal hydration sleeve
Hip Belt Broad, padded, with pockets 1 3/8" webbing, countoured padding, ventilated outer layer Broad, not padded. 3/4" webbing, removable 3/4" webbing, removable
Number of pockets 10 7 5 6 2
Description of Pockets 1 main compartment zippered, 1 stretchy mesh shoulder strap pouch, 2 waist zippered, 2 side stretchy mesh, 1 back stretchy mesh, 1 top zippered, 1 open hydration reservoir pocket behind back panel, 1 internal mesh compartment zipper 1 main combo top-loader/side panel zip, 1 internal mesh w/ overlap closure (inside of lid), 1 external zip on top of lid, 2 mesh side bottle w/ button closure/expansion, 2 oversized hipbelt zip 1 main compartment, 2 mesh side bottle pouches, 1 side zippered pocket, 1 top pouch 2 stretchy mesh side, 1 interior padded laptop sleeve, 1 back zippered with internal mesh dividers and key clip, 1 back expandable waterbottle, 1 back zippered. 1 cinched main compartment, 1 outer zippered
Materials Nylon 300D recycled ripstop nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon
Outside Carry Options Bungee helmet tab, blinker light patch, ice axe loop and bungee holder, front-side pole carry bungee loops Trekking pole lash points, ice axe attachments, daisy chains,attachment loops, compression straps Tool loop and bungee holder Side compression strap 1 exterior daisy chain, ice-axe loop
Whistle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Other Notable Features Blinker patch, front-side pole carry loops Steel frame w/ 1 internal stay, hydration tube holder on shoulder strap, included rain cover, water bottle pockets angled forward to allow on the go access Removeable foam back panel doubles as sit pad, removeable sternum, removeable Packmod bungee Compatible as an attachment to other Osprey packs Removeable foam back panel doubles as sit pad, removeable sternum and hip belt straps

Our Analysis and Test Results

Our team of experts found the Osprey Talon 22 to be an excellent pack that combines comfort, versatility, and ease of use, which is why it receives one of our top awards. This pack has been put through rigorous testing in various conditions and has proven useful in almost any situation.

Performance Comparison


osprey talon 22 - the talon's back panel is very comfortable while riding and didn't...
The Talon's back panel is very comfortable while riding and didn't impact our riding position or range of motion.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Comfort


The back panel uses Osprey's updated AirScape design with a mesh-covered, ridge-molded foam that helps prevent curving when both the main compartment and a hydration bladder are full. The Talon 22's excellent ventilation keeps our back cool, and its BioStretch harness and hip belt provide great suspension and comfort. The Talon 22's comfort is exceptional and one of the most comfortable small daypacks we've tested.


While the mesh-covered ventilation design is good, it falls short of some of the super-breathable suspended-mesh back panels we tested. However, the Talon 22's flexible frame allows for almost full range of motion, making it perfect for dynamic activities. While the hex-mesh material on the back panel and hip belts can be rough for bare skin, it helps keep the pack from slipping during dynamic activities like scrambling.

Sizing Matters


Make sure to buy the correct size. The Talon 22 runs a bit short on the average male frame but fits more petite female frames well. If it's too short, the load lifters won't work as well. Also, the awesome padded hip belt was a bit snug on some of our larger male testers. Luckily, Osprey offers two sizes in this pack (S/M and M/L).

osprey talon 22 - a look at the airscape back panel that is constructed from...
A look at the AirScape back panel that is constructed from ridge-molded foam covered in breathable mesh.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Versatility


The Talon 22 is loaded with features that make it the perfect option for almost any scenario, whether you're a weekend warrior or living a dirtbag lifestyle. This pack is ideal for office, travel, and outdoor use.


The extra carrying features add to the pack's versatility, such as the helmet attachment that allows you to commute without stuffing your helmet inside. The front side trekking pole carry feature allows you to go hands-free and get your poles out of the way without taking off the pack. The Talon 22's avalanche gear stash, crampon stretch pocket, and ice axe loop make it perfect for winter warriors.

osprey talon 22 - the exterior helmet attachment is just one feature that makes this...
The exterior helmet attachment is just one feature that makes this pack so versatile for hauling an assortment of gear.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Ease of Use


Due to all of its features, the Talon 22 has a slight learning curve. However, once you learn how to use all the bungees and adjustments, it's pretty fantastic. None of the features impede the others, and the externally accessed hydration sleeve allows for water fill-ups without disturbing your carefully packed main compartment. The panel-loading design makes this an excellent travel pack that's very easy to organize from the plane to the trail.


The helmet attachment is easy to use, and the stretchy mesh stash pocket is handy for quickly stuffing an extra layer or crampons. The blinker attachment is fixed at the base of this pocket, making it ideal for drying out wet socks from water crossings or even sandals while you continue to hike.

osprey talon 22 - the trekking pole loop is surprisingly comfortable and a handy...
The trekking pole loop is surprisingly comfortable and a handy attachment point.
Credit: Jacob Clark

The harness is entirely adjustable and one of the easiest to adjust. You can customize the shoulder straps by moving them to where you want them, and the load lifters on top of the shoulder straps help adjust the load. The Talon 22's stretch-woven side pockets are equipped with Osprey's InsideOut compression straps, allowing you to secure the main compartment without compromising the function of the stretch mesh pockets. The pockets are great for smaller items, like sunscreen bottles, but they can prove problematic with larger water bottles.

The Talon 22's newly added stretch-woven shoulder strap pocket is useful for bars or other small items. When filled too full (i.e., phone or sunglasses), the button closure tends to pop open, but the fabric didn't let items fall out.

osprey talon 22 - accessing the main compartment of the talon 22 is quick and easy.
Accessing the main compartment of the Talon 22 is quick and easy.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Weight


The Talon 22 weighs 30 ounces with 22 liters of volume, making it one of the heavier daypacks in this review due to its extra features. It uses a tough, PFC-free DWR nylon fabric and certified bluesign fabric, which contributes to its weight.


However, the Talon 22's comfort and features justify its weight. The pack's suspension is so great that you won't even notice the weight at the end of the day.

osprey talon 22 - while the talon is on the heavier end of our lineup, it makes up for...
While the Talon is on the heavier end of our lineup, it makes up for that with its impressive feature set and comfortable design.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Durability


The Talon 22 held up well in all of the situations we tested it under, from the desert to snow, bushwhacking, road biking, and in-town commutes. Even our older models (which we frequently loan out) have yet to show much wear.


The Talon 22's zipper covers help keep out water, and the new PFC-free DWR fabric improved its performance in hose testing. While it doesn't come with a rain cover, the fabric does a decent job keeping water out for a limited time or light rain. If you live in a particularly rainy environment, consider Osprey's Hi-Vis Raincover or use a dry bag to line the pack.

osprey talon 22 - sunset hike with the osprey talon 22. this pack has plenty of room...
Sunset hike with the Osprey Talon 22. This pack has plenty of room to carry extra layers on a crisp evening.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Should You Buy the Osprey Talon 22?


The Osprey Talon 22 earns one of our Editors' Choice awards for its excellent blend of comfort, versatility, and ease of use. Its comfort is exceptional, and its features make it perfect for almost any scenario. While it has a slight learning curve due to its extra features, once you learn how to use them, it's fantastic. The Talon 22's durability is also impressive, and even after years of testing, it has yet to show much wear. Overall, the Talon 22 is a top-performing daypack that is worth the investment.

What Other Daypacks Should You Consider?


Although the Talon 22 comes packed with features, fantastic adjustability, and top-notch comfort, we recognize that it is a bit spendy. The overall best-value pack we tested is the REI Co-op Flash 22, and costs less than half as much as the Talon 22. For those looking for a more conventional daypack for use around town, check out the 20L Osprey Daylite Plus. If price is less of an issue, and instead you're looking for some additional payload capacity, then the award-winning REI Co-op Traverse 32 is our favorite heavy-duty daypack.

Jacob Clark & Dan Scott