Will Renwick looks at Osprey’s revamped Talon rucksack
The Talon collection has been one of Osprey’s biggest hits over the last 10 years. Previous versions have certainly gone down well with The Great Outdoors team – check out this review of the 33-litre Talon from back in 2013 when we gave it our Best Buy award.
For Spring 2017 an updated Talon and women’s Tempest collection of 9-litre to 44-litre packs has been released. I’ve been testing the 22-litre version over the last few months and it’s been excellent.
The back system
It’s one of the most comfortable day packs I’ve worn. The back system really molds to your contours and it doesn’t feel the slightest bit intrusive. The design of this system is the main difference between this model of the Talon and the previous versions. It originally featured horizontal, ridge molded foam and now the foam has a honeycomb shape. I wouldn’t say there’s been a dramatic change in comfort, but there might be a slight improvement in ventilation to the back with this new design.
There are also changes to the hipbelt. It’s now much more smoothly integrated with the back system so the meshing that covers all of the back now continues right around the hips. It’s like a much more simplified adaptation of the wrapping design Osprey pioneered with its impressive Atmos AG bag last year (review here), and it works really well with this model.
As with the previous Talon, the Velcro panels make back length adjustment very quick and easy.
There are lots of pockets of various sizes. Inside the spacious main compartment there’s a mesh pocket big enough for plenty of small items like car keys, a headtorch, and a First Aid Kit. There’s another zipped pocket on the outside of the pack that’s a good size. This is designed to hold a rain cover – you’ll need to purchase this separately.
On the outside there are also a number of stretch mesh pockets. There’s one big enough to keep a rain coat or insulated jacket in, two side ones for water bottles, one on the shoulder strap that’s perfect for a mobile phone and two stretch ones with zips on the hipbelt.
As with many of Osprey’s packs, the space for a hydration bladder is on the outside of the bag in a cavity behind the framesheet.
Keeping with the previous Talon, this version for 2017 still features the ‘Stow-on-the-Go’ pole holder on the shoulder straps and an ice axe attachment. It’s also retained the helmet clip on the front and the built-in whistle on the chest strap clip.
The updates to the Talon are largely aesthetic. However, the small changes that have been made are progressive nonetheless – the back system being the main example. It remains a great bag that fits very comfortably and that’s perfect for keeping all your kit organised. A good, lightweight bag for a day in the hills.
(Photography: Fergus Townsend)