Osprey Talon 22 Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Tons of features, fully adjustable, comfortable, well ventilated, separate hydration compartment
Cons: Runs small, side mesh pockets are debatably small
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Osprey Talon 22
|Price||$100.90 at Amazon|
Compare at 3 sellers
$139.00 at REI
$59.95 at REI
|$69.95 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
$159.95 at Amazon
|Pros||Tons of features, fully adjustable, comfortable, well ventilated, separate hydration compartment||Comfortable and stable, intuitive and functional design, modular set-up, utilizes recycled materials||Lightweight, only the necessary features, comfortable suspension for the weight||Simple, lightweight, versatile||Sturdy suspension, excellent ventilation|
|Cons||Runs small, side mesh pockets are debatably small||Non-adjustable frame, large size for minimalist outings||Uncomfortable with heavy loads, not durable||A little small, lacks high-end features||Heavy for the small volume, bulky, restricts movement during dynamic activities|
|Bottom Line||This pack offers a time tested versatile design that is ready for any adventure||Top comfort and stability make this pack the right fit for hauling your gear on any outdoor excursion||This pack is an excellent value, providing all-around performance for light and fast activities at a bargain price||A simple and lightweight hiking backpack that serves a dual purpose with a laptop sleeve||An excellent and carefully tailored backpack for the avid day hiker|
|Rating Categories||Osprey Talon 22||REI Co-op Traverse 32||REI Co-op Flash 22||Osprey Daylite Plus||Osprey Stratos 34|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Osprey Talon 22||REI Co-op Traverse 32||REI Co-op Flash 22||Osprey Daylite Plus||Osprey Stratos 34|
|Volume (liters)||22 L||32 L||22 L||20 L||34 L|
|Measured Weight (ounces)||30.7 oz||41.0 oz||12.6 oz||20.6 oz||50.8 oz|
|Back Construction||Vented, contoured||Contured, foam pad||Simple foam pad||Mesh over vented foam||Suspended mesh panel|
|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|
|Hipbelt||Broad, padded, with pockets||1 3/8" webbing, countoured padding, ventilated outer layer||3/4" webbing removable||3/4" webbing, removable||Broad, padded, seamless|
|Number of pockets||10||7||5||6||10|
|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 top loader, 2 side stretchy mesh, 1 top lid zippered, 1 outer zippered||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 main zippered, 2 elastic top mesh side, 2 waist belt zippered, 1 back zipper and velcro closure, 2 top zippered, 1 bottom zippered, 1 bottom zippered for rain cover|
|Materials||Nylon||Nylon||Nylon||420D nylon packcloth|
|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||Ice axe loop and bungee holder, daisy chains, attachment loops around back panel||Side compression strap||Sleeping pad straps (bottom), ice axe loop and bungee holder, front-side pole carry bungee loops|
|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 and hip belt straps, attachment loops to add compression cords||Compatible as an attachment to other Osprey packs||Bottom compartment is very large but takes up space in main compartment|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Osprey Talon 22 wins one of our top awards because of its excellent blend of comfort, versatility, and ease of use. Our experts put this pack through the wringer in various conditions and found it to be useful for almost any situation.
The back panel is fixed with Osprey's updated AirScape design and consists of a mesh-covered, ridge-molded foam. The update helps prevent curving of the back panel when both the main compartment and a hydration bladder are full. Air passes through these rear panels well, keeping our back cool. The BioStretch harness and hip belt of the Osprey Talon 22 wrapped our hips like a big, comfortable hug. Osprey, with all of their packs, does very well with the suspension system and comfort. They manage to make packs that keep heavy loads stable and well-distributed across the hips and torso. It is the comfort of the Talon that earns it our highest award. Few other small daypacks have anywhere near as comfortable suspension.
While we liked this mesh-covered ventilation design, it falls short of some of the super breathable suspended-mesh back panels we tested. We never found ourselves suffering from a sweaty back, and this more flexible AirScape design has important benefits for range of motion and flexibility.
The flexibility of the Talon's frame allowed us an almost full range of motion, unheard of with most hip belt-equipped packs. This made the pack great for dynamic activities and enabled us to have a great range of motion while mountain biking. While the hex-mesh material on the back panel and hip belts is rough for bare skin, it helps the pack keep from slipping during dynamic activities like scrambling.
All the extra features on this pack add a little weight, and the Talon weighs in at 30 ounces with 22 liters of volume, which puts it among the heavier daypacks in this review. It uses a relatively thick, tough, PFC-free DWR nylon fabric and certified bluesign fabric. We appreciate these features and the effort for sustainability, but the design certainly adds weight.
The weight of the Talon seems appropriate, given its comfort and expansive feature-set. While a heavier pack might slow you down a bit in a race, for most daytime activities, a pack's suspension just needs to be appropriate for its weight and capacity. In the case of the Talon, you get a durable, extremely comfortable pack. With how great this suspension is, we doubt that you'll notice this pack's weight at the end of the day.
This pack is loaded with features to make it the perfect option for almost any scenario. Whether you're a weekend warrior or living a dirtbag lifestyle, the Talon will easily take you wherever you need to go. From the office, travel, and to the outdoors, this pack excels.
All of the extra carrying features add to the versatility. With the helmet attachment, you can bring this pack on a commute, and there is no need to try to stuff your helmet inside, as you can rig it to the outside.
The front side trekking pole carry feature on the Talon lets you quickly go hands-free and get your poles out of the way without ever taking off the pack. However, we noticed that the loops slipped when running with big poles, unlike those on larger Osprey packs. For winter warriors, stash your avalanche gear in the pack, put your crampons in the stretch pocket, and attach your ice axe to the loop. However, don't try to strap snowshoes to this pack - they just don't fit.
Ease of Use
Due to all of its features, the Talon 22 lost a couple of points for ease of use because of the slight learning curve. Don't overlook the amenities just because you feel overwhelmed; learning to use all the bungees and adjustments took us only a few uses.
Once we figured how to appropriately and efficiently use some of the features, like the ice axe carry and trekking pole attachment, the pack ended up being pretty fantastic. The good news is that, once you learn all the features, none of them impede the others. For instance, the externally accessed hydration sleeve allows for water fill-ups without disturbing your carefully packed main compartment. Also, the generous horseshoe-shaped main compartment zipper is unfettered by straps. The panel-loading design makes this an excellent travel pack that is very easy to organize from the plane to the trail.
The helmet attachment is an excellent addition for bike commuting and is super easy to use; it works best with a helmet designed for biking but can also be used with a climbing-specific helmet, though a little less secure. To attach your helmet, just slide the plastic end through a ventilation hole, flatten it out, and you're done. It works best if you've already loaded the pack, and there is an option to tighten the internal bungee cord for added security.
There is also a stretchy mesh stash pocket covering the sides and back of the pack. This is handy for quickly stuffing an extra layer or even crampons (appropriately protected, of course). The blinker attachment is fixed at the base of this pocket, meaning that there's an open drain hole ideal for drying out wet socks from water crossings or even sandals while you continue to hike.
The harness is not only entirely adjustable, but it's one of the easiest to adjust. You can customize the shoulder straps by undoing the Velcro inside the hydration compartment and moving the straps to where you want them. You can also use the load lifters on top of the shoulder straps to adjust the load, as well as a fully adjustable and padded waist belt.
The stretch-woven side pockets are equipped with Osprey's InsideOut compression straps. These compression straps allow you to secure the main compartment without compromising the function of the stretch mesh pockets. These pockets are great for smaller items, like sunscreen bottles, but they do prove problematic with some larger water bottles. The pockets are large enough to accommodate a traditional 1-liter wide-mouth Nalgene. However, the compression straps can snag easily, creating some difficulty in getting the bottle back into the pockets without taking the pack off.
The 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. The fabric, despite the closure failures, didn't let items fall out.
This pack held up well in all of the situations we tested it under. From the desert, snow, bushwhacking to road biking and in-town commutes, this bag excelled without any signs of wear. We've been testing versions of this bag for years, and even our older models (which we frequently loan out) have yet to show much wear.
The zipper covers help keep out water, and the new PFC-free DWR fabric helped improve the Talon 22's performance in our hose testing. It doesn't come with a rain cover; however, 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.
Not only does this pack come jam-packed with features, but you'll also be getting a pack with fantastic adjustability and comfort. You're getting a great deal. It is a bit spendy, but it is one of the most versatile and highest-performing products in our lineup. Regarding value, we like to think of the "cost per day" of a product. Combined with how nice it is to use, the Talon provides great value.
It was easy to grant the Osprey Talon 22 one of our Editors' Choice awards. It has earned this honor before, but we don't rest on that conclusion. In each update, we secure the latest version and compare it to the rest of the field. Whether updating or starting from scratch, our critical evaluation scheme shakes the best to the top. And the Talon 22 is at the top of this category.
— Jacob Clark & Dan Scott
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