Osprey Talon 22 | Preview - Outdoors Magic

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Osprey Talon 22 | Preview

Osprey's all-round lightweight Talon daypack range has had a makeover for 2017 with sleeker lines and a revised back system.

Osprey’s Talon 22 is a big deal for the market-leading pack brand. Here’s why: the Talon is the daypack you’d pick from Osprey’s range is you wanted just one lightweight sac to do anything from hiking through to mountain biking with a bit of climbing and commuting thrown in.

And the 22-litre size hits that Goldilocks target size square on. It’s roomy enough to carry everything you’re likely to need for a day’s hiking, but not so big that it flops and flaps around if you don’t fill it to seam-bulging capacity.

Updated For 2017

Which means over the years, Osprey has sold a bunch of Talons to people who want one pack that’ll work for a whole range of activities. For 2017 the Talon and its female counterpart, the Tempest, have had a makeover and we thought you’d like an early look before we bring you a full review shortly.

A fair bit of the pack remains recognisably the same on the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ principle. The rear view and profile haven’t changed much and from the front, it all looks pretty similar to the original with a big front stash-pocket, side stash-pockets, a zipped panel opening and Osprey’s simple, but effective bike helmet carrier that fits through a helmet vent to locate your lid.

Turn the pack round though and it’s all change….

Sleek lines haven't changed with a flexible back system working well for anything from walking through to climbing and biking -image: Harsharn Gill
The Talon gets Osprey's neat Stow-on-the-Go pole holder which holds trekking poles across the front of the pack - image: Harsharn Gill
Buckles that double as an emergency whistle feel old hat now, but Osprey was one of the first brands to use them - image: Harsharn Gill
Zip-open back panel gives easy access to the contents while keeping the pack streamlined - image: Harsharn Gill
No shortage of storage - the big elasticated mesh front stash pocket is ideal for anything from gloves through to wet shells - image: Harsharn Gill

Overhauled Back-System

The main change for the new version of the pack – and others in the Talon/Tempest family – is to the suspension system. Like the old-style version which used ridged foam behind a mesh panel, the new version is badged ‘Airspace’. And like the original Talon, there’s no stiff structure behind it, just a flexible foam insert to add some cushioning. But the details have changed:

The updated Airscape suspension system abandons the ridged foam of the original for a diamond design that increases the amount of air in contact with your back – image: Harsharn Gill

As you can see, the original ridged foam is replaced by a diamond -shaped network which allows more air to reach the back, but also has a softer feel to it increasing comfort. The other obvious change is the wrap-around hip-belt arrangement which Osprey describes as ‘Seamless lumbar to hipbelt body wrap’ and gives a really nice, soft, but connected feel.

Finally, and unusually for a relatively small capacity pack, the Talon 22 has an easily adjustable back length so you can get it ‘just right’. The top mount just Velcros into place and sits in the handy independently accessed hydration reservoir slot. Nice, particularly if your back length differs from average.

Handy shoulder strap stretch pocket is ideal for stashing a gel, bar or small banana - image: Harsharn Gill
Shoulder straps use lightweight, laser-cut, ventilated foam for improved breathability - image: Harsharn Gill

Osprey Talon 22 – First Impressions

So far we’re liking the new Talon 22 a lot. It’s decently light at just 840 grammes, but comes fully loaded with Osprey’s arsenal of storage solutions, neat features and clever design touches. You won’t run out of pockets any time soon either.

The updated AirScape back system works brilliantly. It sits organically close to your back, but the vented panel takes the edge off any sweatiness and the pack moves with you in a connected, stable way. No swaying about or digging in. All helped by that seamless belt fabric panel arrangement.

That makes it great for anything from hiking through to biking. The one downside of the lightweight back system is that it struggles with heavier loads, but non-climbing days out, it does a great job. The ability to adjust the back length is a bonus.

Full review to follow, but so far we’re impressed with the Talon’s mix of multi-sport versatility, carrying and stowage smarts and mix of comfort and lightness. It retails, by the way, for £90.

More Information

See www.ospreyeurope.com/shop/gb_en/talon-22-17 / video overview: www.youtube.com

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