Thursday, 02 February 2017 11:44

New 2017 Osprey Talon 22 tested and reviewed

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Osprey's legendary multi-discipline Talon 22 has had a bit of a tweal for 2017, building on the reputation of one of the most versatile small capacity packs on the market.

What Osprey Say:

Building on 10 years of iconic design, the next generation of the iconic Talon series is here. Talon 22 features clean, modern design and stunning performance no matter what your adventure. When it comes to a perfect all-rounder the Talon 22 won't disappoint, after all it's designed to cling to your back like a frightened monkey.

The cleverly designed new AirScape™ accordion foam backpanel combined with a seamless lumbar-to-hipbelt body wrap increases air flow and provides an even more comfortable carrying experience, by keeping the load close to the body and spreading the weight evenly around the hips.

Talon 22 features an adjustable back length, ensuring the pack fits well to your body and enabling the most comfortable carrying experience. The pack is complete with innovative solutions such as Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachment, LidLock™ bike helmet attachment, single ice-axe attachment and InsideOut™ compression straps. The zipped pockets on each side of the hipbelt allow quick and easy access to smaller items such as phone, snacks and GPS. On the top of the pack you will find another conveniently placed pocket, ideal for small items that you need easy access to. On the front of the pack is a large PowerMesh™ pocket, which is ideal for a wet jacket or extra layer of clothing. Keeping hydrated during activity is essential and re-filling your hydration reservoir has been made easy with the quick access external hydration sleeve with reservoir hanging loop.

Talon 22 is compatible with all Hydraulics™ reservoirs and the size Small High Vis Raincover.

Talon 22 is built to be lightweight, comfortable, durable and exceptionally versatile. No matter the adventure, Talon has your back.

Osprey Talon 22

Features:

AirScape™ mesh covered accordion foam backpanel

Seamless lumbar to hipbelt body wrap

Zippered panel access

Adjustable torso length

External hydration access

Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachment

Weight: 0.81 kg (M/L)

Maximum Dimensions (cm): 51 (l) x 28 (w) x 28 (d)

On test with My Outdoors:

I have been lucky enough to have a Talon 22 on test since Autumn 2016. I can assure you it's not necessary to take this long to write a review, nor to understand just how good this day-pack is, but I do like to feel acquainted with the kit I use.

If you're reading this as a convert of Osprey packs, then there is little I can do to convince you how well they carry a load and make a day on the hills or travelling so much easier. The new version for 2017 is now on sale. Many of the changes are cosmetic from what I can see, but Osprey get this pack so right there is little need for any major overhaul in design.

Storage:

Firstly, for a 22 litre pack it seems huge inside. I can get everything I need for a winter day on the hills, including extras of essential insulation, food, emergency shelter and there is still room in the top to keep stuffing unwanted jackets in. Once you've exhausted the inner, you can use the Powermesh pockets side and back and these are useful for the ever changing UK weather conditions. The inner has a smaller mesh pocket good for keys, phones etc. There is a larger top pocket that is zippered and this is large enough to take a medium sized tablet.

Osprey Talon 22 3

The single ice axe attachment is a standard design and works fine. I'm not a walking pole fan, but I have used the stow-on the-go system and it's great for changing terrain when you need to keep swapping about and you're required to use all points of contact. If like me you enjoy climbing, then it's a toss up between having the poles stashed upright as on most packs and out of the way. I found on a more technical scramble the poles are just in the way with the stow-on the-go attachment. It is possible to stash a pole in the side mesh pocket and through the compression straps as a temporary fix to this issue.

The hip belt pockets are a decent size and one each side. There are many packs out there that only have one pocket on the hip belt and apart from a mild imbalance, I always think why? I can fit a battery pack and a Samsung S6 in one pocket and snacks/gels in the other. The side mesh pockets are big enough to take a 2 litre pouch bottle of water if the pack isn't too stuffed. There is also a small mesh pocket on one shoulder strap; you can just fit sunglasses or a compass in this. The neat bike helmet storage remains on this years Talon, but you do need a helmet with open vents on the top to use it properly, as you must thread the elasticated stay through from inside the helmet.

Osprey Talon 22 pocket

The back-system:

Crucial to how comfortable the Talon is, is the seamless mesh construction over the Airscape foam padding in the back panel. As Osprey say, it hangs on like a frightened monkey. The load just easily conforms to your back and torso. I know the Talon will take more, but I'd suggest that 7kg is the upper limit you'd want to load it with before comfort becomes an issue. The shoulder straps are die cut lightweight foam and are very comfortable. There is a reassuring flexibility to the shoulder straps and hip belt, so as you cinch the load in, there remains a good degree of flex, which is useful for scrambling and cycling for example. The Airscape foam does keep you cool, but like all packs the harder you work the more heat builds at your back. I've found it fine when wearing just a baselayer and pushing uphill, but put more insulation between you and it does get pretty warm. Not too sweaty however.

Osprey Talon 22 2

The adjustable torso length is dealt with by a simple yet strong velcro system. You just unhitch it then stick it back down easily. The Talon 22l in a medium has a generous back area, so as a small guy I have it set pretty short, but there's a lot of flexibility in the sizing to play with.

Overall, I really enjoy using the Talon 22. It is a versatile pack, capable of mountain work, cycling and it is comfortable enough for running and even mountain marathons. It's just the right size as a pack for daily commuter use or as a carry on for a plane journey. I have used it for an ultra-light overnight camping pack, as there always seems somewhere to keep stuffing gear. My only fault I have found with it and doesn't affect functioning in any way, is that the transfer lettering has worn off pretty quick. Purely a cosmetic issue.

The main benefits of using the Talon are the even load transference, easy adjustment on the move, excellent storage and the attention to detail is brilliant. I've used it for over 4 months and I'm seeing very little wear. I find no truer test of a good pack when it is a pleasure to put on and it feels like part of you and the activity and Osprey have got this right with the Talon.

Last modified on Thursday, 02 February 2017 13:35