The Osprey Tempest is the brand’s women’s-specific take on the excellent Talon mountain all-rounder. It’s a slimmed-down, multi-pocketed lightweight that’s still decked out with loads of cunning Osprey technology and features, but in a women-friendly package. You could use it for walking, biking or even a bit of lightweight climbing.
And most importantly, our tester Jody Appleton, a Peak District-based walker and climber, absolutely loves it as an all-day, every-day, mountain companion.
- £85 / 850g
- Airscape back panel with vented foam ridges
- Stretch mesh side pockets with InsideOut™ compression
- Stretch front pocket / Twin zippered hip belt pockets
- Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachment / twin axe loops
- Adjustable torso length
- External hydration access
- LED bike light attachment point / reflective trim
- Sternum strap with emergency whistle
I’ve really put the Osprey Tempest 30 through its paces. The pack falls into Osprey’s hiking category, so I decided to take this to the extreme, by not only hiking, but city hopping over to Luxembourg and hanging out in a tipi for a weekend.
Before we get onto the nitty gritty of how the pack performed, Osprey really does deserve some kudos for the Tempest’s aesthetic design; it’s an indisputedly stylish bit of kit.
The Tempest is the woman’s version of Osprey’s Talon range, to some brands, this would mean taking a product and then either covering it in swirls and flowers, or only having it available in purple or magenta, erm or pink… if you don’t like those colours you are often screwed.
Well designers take note, I like green – and this is a gorgeous green woman’s backpack that doesn’t sit on your back screaming “I’m a lady!”.
As I was getting used to it, I used it for my 10K walk to work. Not really a hike, more of a foot commute, it adapted to my needs well. It easily fit in my laptop, extra clothes and my water bottle in one of the many (and they are abundant) pockets to stash your wares.
For longer hikes, there is the “quick access hydration sleeve”, which sits neatly between the adjustable airspace mesh panel and the pack itself. So not only can you easily refill your reservoir on the move, you can reduce the chance of a lovely pack shaped sweat panel on your back when you take it off. Though if you don’t get one, you’re clearly not working hard enough!
Multi-functional Feature Fest
Up until receiving the Tempest, I’d been using the same rucksack for a long time. So much so that it’s falling apart. So when this one landed, I have to admit that I needed to go onto the website to check what all the loops and pulls and zips were for.
But once I got my head around it, I realised just what a multifunctional bag this is and how utterly rubbish my old faithful rucksack was by comparison. I’ve been seriously missing out on some superb features that make walking with a pack a much easier and pleasant experience. Notable examples are the unique-to-Osprey walking pole loops to stash them away easily when unneeded and the LED bike mount attachment point for when cycling.
As I discovered from continued use, the Tempest is as useful on a day hike, as it is bunging your stuff in and heading to work. But the test I wanted to put it through, was city hopping across Europe with some outdoorsy action at the end. I only wanted to take one bag, and I wanted it to work for everything I had planned.
The 30l size is perfect for a long weekend, its fairly similar to Mary Poppins’ carpet bag, in that it seemed to never stop expanding even with all my tech and a full weekend’s worth of clothes in there. Yet it still fits comfortably within the size restriction for hand luggage.
The fit is great, once the waist and chest-straps are fastened, there’s no strain on the back as even weight distribution means the load doesn’t simply weigh down on your shoulders. It’s super easy to adjust and take on and off.
Handy pockets on the waist belt, mean that you don’t need to take it off to access a bit of money, your passport or your phone, and the mesh pocket on the front is ideal for books and and an extra layer that can be easily accessed on your journey without you having to open the pack and delve through your clothing.
Moving through two airports with it to get to Luxembourg was a breeze, getting across Schiphol is a hike in itself. I learned this the hard way last time I was there by having to kind of drag a tantrumming toddler across half a mile of polished floor to get to the next gate. The pack in comparison was a pleasantly trauma-free experience.
Fire Up The Barbie…
Once I landed it was just a case of getting to the tipi and firing up the BBQ. From a camping (well – glamping) perspective, my stuff was dry and easily accessible all weekend and I could use the mesh pocket on the front to keep clean and dirty clothing separate.
Downsides? I’m struggling to think of many, but the position of the upper strap isn’t fab across my boobs. It would be alright if I were a bit smaller, but I think if you were really chesty, this may cause minor discomfort.
I’d absolutely recommend this pack to anyone that was looking for a smaller rucksack that they planned to use regularly. For £85, the amount of use you can get out of it is vast, especially with it being within hand luggage size restrictions. I’ve found that I’m using mine most days for one reason or another and it has definitely earned it’s 5 out of 5 stars
Would I buy it? – Yes. Would I let anyone borrow it? – Not a chance, it’s staying with me.
- Women’s-specific design
- Mary Poppin’s-like capacity
- Awesome aesthetics
- Multiple compartments
- Light, comfortable, versatile
- Easy access to hydration system
- Chest strap positioning won’t suit all
- Nothing much otherwise
Full details at www.ospreyeurope.com.