Review: Osprey Talon 11

I’ve long been a fan of the Osprey brand. Solid build quality, thoughtful features and friendly customer services team and more combine to create a top quality range of packs.

Now then, this Talon 11 – In my opinion the smallest useful pack of the Talon series – has served me flawlessly these last 2 years. It’s small and light enough to carry a day’s worth of hiking kit without weighing you down, yet big enough to carry a change of clothes (including approach shoes) and my lunch on the commute ride into work!

The features on this pack are well positioned and thought out:

  • 2 Small zipped hipbelt pockets – Great for snacks, a mobile, keys, money, etc.
  • Small, zipped front pocket
  • A buckled, laced bungee cord with fabric wings  front compartment – Ideal for sticking waterproofs or a mid layer in for rapid access
  • Adjustable LidLock system for securing cycle helmets
  • Full length hydration bladder compartment between the AirScape back pad and the main body of the bag
  • Elasticated pouch on both shoulder straps – Phone/GPS sized
  • Comfortable and fully adjustable chest strap
  • 2 small size pouches
  • Internal zipped security pocket
  • Trekking pole retainer (One side only)

A fair few features to cram into a small rucksack but it all comes together well and maintains a slim profile, while above all remaining very comfortable.

Some may worry about the AirScape back panel as not being airy enough to deal with the eternal problem of the sweaty back. I know I’m definitely one for a good case of sweaty back during exercise and hiking, but when partnered with an effective wicking base layer the pack remains comfortable and relatively cool to wear. The materials used are light, tough and quick drying and so can stand up to a respectable amount of abuse on the bike the hills. For those that are more active and like to get an unhindered, full range of motion while doing their outdoor pursuits then few can match the fit of the Talon 11. It has a tall, thin profile allowing full arm movement, while the shoulder straps and hip belt keep the pack comfortably in position. As long as the hip belt is positioned and tightened properly it will minimised your clothing riding up your back, which can be very annoying and inconvenient at times.

With all the great things about this pack, combined with the lifetime warranty that Osprey bestows unto their whole range the Talon 11 ranks among one of my most used and favourite pieces of kit. The only nagging downside I have found is the excessive length of straps that have been used on the pack, Osprey does like its straps! But it’s nothing some gear tape doesn’t fix and stow away nicely.

A great range of colours helps make the choice of buying one of these easier for anyone and very reasonable price seals the deal when the quality and multi-sport useability is considered. Although this review is just focused on the Talon 11, many aspects can be taken to the Talon 22, 33 and the 44 variants with only a few features changing throughout – it’s a well established range of packs to suit the needs of almost every outdoor enthusiast.

RRP: £60
Weight: 620g (S/M), 650g (M/L)

Talon 11

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