This is a lightweight, comfortable rucksack with a myriad of features. It comes in two sizes and the shoulder harness is adjustable so it should fit most people. The mesh covered ribbed foam back is less sweaty than smoother backs whilst being close-fitting and so more stable than curved frames that hold the load away from you. I think this back is the best compromise between breathability and stability. The shoulder straps and hipbelt are made from perforated foam covered by mesh so they too are quite breathable. Comfort with a load is good, the framesheet being stiff enough to transmit the weight to the wide hipbelt. There are ten pockets in total so plenty of gear can be stored outside the main pack. The front stretch pouch is especially useful for wet gear. The little shoulder strap pockets, described as energy gel pockets, will hold small phones/GPS units or snack bars (I didn’t try energy gels – I find them disgusting!). I found one ideal for my Kestrel Weather Tracker. The side stretch pockets will just hold a 700ml water bottle but I found it impossible to get it back in whilst wearing the pack. These pockets could do with being a little larger. A neat touch is that the compression straps can run over or behind the pockets so if the latter are full you can still tighten the straps round the main pack. I also like the external hydration compartment, which lies between the main pack and the framesheet, even though I don’t use a hydration bladder, as I found it a great place to store a map. The Talon 33 also has Osprey’s clever trekking pole holders that enable you to stow the poles without removing the pack plus separate loops for trekking poles and ice axes on the back of the pack.

The Talon 33 is made from light but tough fabrics and is very well-made with good attention to detail. It’s my favourite of the packs tested.

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