Osprey Talon 44

13 reviews
5-star:   5
4-star:   5
3-star:   3
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Specs

s/m m/l
Weight 2 lb 6 oz / 1.09 kg 2 lb 10 oz / 1.18 kg
Capacity 2600 cu in / 42 L 2700 cu in / 44 L

Reviews

4

Relatively lightweight internal frame pack that is…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $120 at LL Bean

Summary

Relatively lightweight internal frame pack that is much heavier than other frameless ultralight options, but does not provide the stability/suspension of heavier internal frame pack options, so I feel that this pack choice would be an in-between option of the two alternatives listed above.

Long-term durability may be of potential concern, since wear marks began appearing after just one use after an overnight in the Angeles Forest. Belt fit is way too big (I'm 6' 150) for tall/slim builds. Side pockets are impacted by side compression straps and have limited capacity when the pack is full.

Pros

  • Relatively lightweight for an internal frame pack with this capacity
  • Good in-between compromise between UL frameless options and heavier internal frame options
  • Has the capacity for multi-day thru hikes depending on gear selection
  • Nice ventilation through the AirSpace back panel

Cons

  • Belt size too big for those with long torsos but slim builds
  • Based upon the large belt size, it takes some adjustment (as well as tightening the belt to the smallest setting) in order to correctly adjust the pack for tall/slim builds
  • Side pockets are impacted by side compression straps and capacity of side pockets are limited when the main compartment is at capacity
  • Lighter materials used on the bag scuff easily
  • Location of sternum strap is high

I've used this pack on a variety of trips including a recent hike up Mt. San Jacinto near Palm Springs/Idyllwild.  The pack has enough capacity, based upon gear selection, for multi-day excursions. I typically pack a Sierra Designs Ridge Runner 30 down-fill bag, a Thermarest Neo-Air Trekker, a Sierra Designs Lightning HT 2 tent in my Osprey Talon 44, which makes up my Big Three.  

The capacity of the pack is adequate for my other gear (first aid, extra puffy, base layer, socks, canister stove, and food) with sometimes room to spare (depending on the trip planned). For quick overnights, the pack capacity for the Osprey Talon 44 is perfect.

Comfort is OK and I have hypothesized that the sizing of the pack is a factor in this. I have a long torso but a very slim mid section which makes me fall in-between the two sizes offered (s/m and m/l). I went with the m/l based upon my long torso, but I will often have to tighten the hip belt to its smallest setting in order to achieve a manageable level of comfort.  

I have often thought while using this bag that if the hip belt was smaller, I could achieve a higher level of comfort when carrying the pack, while alleviating some of the pressure from my shoulders when carrying a full pack.  Furthermore, the placement of the sternum belt is quite high as compared with other packs.

The bottom zip is a nice feature for this pack as I am able to access my sleeping bag quickly when setting up my tent and sleep system. It allows easy access to materials I first like to take out while setting up camp. The side pockets have limited capacity when the pack is full. I often will stuff either baselayers or extra socks in these limited capacity side pockets, as they are the only things that fit when my pack is full.

Long-term durability may potentially be an issue since wear marks began to appear only after slight abrasions. However the bottom of the bag is made with tougher material, which aids in the durability of the bag.  I have noticed in other reviews with users that the plastic clips/snaps/closures are somewhat susceptible to damage due to the selection of lightweight materials/options used for the pack.. but so far, I have not had an issue with this.

The AirSpace back panel provides nice ventilation while carrying the pack and helps keep my back relatively cool, depending on weather conditions.  There are hip belt pockets as well as two small pockets on the shoulder straps, which are nice when stowing small energy bars for quick access.  While there are a variety of compression straps to assist adjustment of various loads, the compression straps do impact the side pockets, which are already limited in capacity when the Talon 44 is packed with full loads.

Enclosed is my photo with the pack in Mt San Jacinto:
ec61fc14d16811e2a7ab22000a1f97eb_7.jpg

This is the pack along Fall Creek in Three Sisters, Oregon:


IMG_20130806_140214.jpg

Wearing my pack in Three Sisters, Oregon (I have to cinch the belt VERY tight with my size 30 waist):


i-1.jpg

G00SE MODERATOR

Man, I want to hike in Three Sisters. That last picture is awesome.


4 months ago
3

This pack has some great features and is a great size…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90

Summary

This pack has some great features and is a great size for overnights and weekend backpacking. However, I did not find this pack to be very comfortable, especially with a heavier load.

Pros

  • Roomy side, shove-it, and hip belt pockets
  • External hydration compartment for easy refilling
  • Good compression for smaller loads

Cons

  • Sleeping pad compartment separated by a small flap
  • Digs into back/hips when holding a medium load
  • Hip belt not built for slimmer waists

I bought this pack thinking it would make a great smaller pack when I'm not carrying enough to need my Deuter 60+ pack.  The bag seemed to have great stowing power for a 44 liter.

It has a sleeping bag "compartment" with its own zipper, two deep side pockets, a stretchy front shove-it pocket, and big hip belt pockets on both sides. It also has a detachable top with two big pockets. This does not turn into a hip-pack like some Osprey packs. It's really easy to organize your gear, and fit everything you need.

I did not like the separation between the sleeping bag and main compartment — it's just a flap held in place with a few straps. I like to stuff my sleep sack compartment and I really like it to be fully separated with a zipper so that was a bit of a disappointment.

It does have sleeping pad straps, ice axe loops, and a "Stow on the Go" system for trekking poles. Overall, the organization is pretty good. The air-contact system uses some suspension and mesh to keep your back cool and I found it pretty effective. No sweaty back, even when I was shlepping up a hill.

The compressibility is great. It has several adjustment points where it can be cinched in and keeps everything very close to your body when the bag is less full. When putting in a larger load, it expands comfortably upwards, and doesn't give you that feeling of bumping into the back of your head.  

My problem with this bag came from the fit and comfort. I know this bag is 'male specific' but I have read other reviews, and I'm not the only one with this impression.

The first time I used this bag it was for a day trip, a winter climb up Mt. Washington. The hip belt is pretty wide with big pockets, so I had to tighten it all the way, and I mean pocket to buckle. I'm not really that tiny, either. It definitely won't work for very thin waists.

Other than that it was fine — cinched down for the small load, held all my tools for easy access, and seemed very comfortable. The hip belt. It definitely won't work for very thin waists. However, once spring hit I took it out for a weekend backpacking trip. I had a load of approx. 20 lbs and by 4 or 5 hours into the hike the pack was killing my lower back. It felt like the metal frame was digging right into my love handles and I was really uncomfortable.

This is well within the weight limit of the bag as listed on the website and I was really disappointed. I tried it once more and got the same result.  This wasn't the normal tenderness that comes from pressure over time. It was a sharper, poking pain that I've never got with my Deuter, even with heavier loads.

I can't speak to the durability of the bag because I ended up selling it. It just didn't work out for me. It can have all the features in the world, but if it's not comfortable they don't matter.  

Winter use on Mt. Washington:
IMG_0073.jpg

Air-contact system keeps your back cool:
IMG_0952.jpg

G00SE MODERATOR

Thanks for the good review, Irene. I love the Mt. Washington pic!


4 months ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for sharing this review, Irene. What's your Deuter pack you like?


4 months ago
Daniel Oates

Great review, Irene! Cool winter pic!


4 months ago
Irene Guda

I have a Deuter ACT Lite 60+10 SL. It's about 4 years old and lacks some features like sleeping pad straps, but I can't find another bag that swallows gear and is this comfortable for long days and heavy packs. I'm reviewing it next.


4 months ago
Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks, Irene. I also like Deuter's women's packs a lot. I'll look forward to reading your review.


4 months ago
1

Great transitional bag! I'm 5'11" with a slender build…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100 (on sale)

Summary

Great transitional bag!

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Loads well
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Exterior pockets could use more stretchiness
  • Load lifters slip while putting the pack on
  • Removable lid doesn't convert to waist pack or small Day pack

I'm 5'11" with a slender build @ 162 lbs. I bought the bag at the beginning of the 2014 spring season with the intent of doing lightweight trips up to 5 nights. On a 1-2 night cool-weather trip, I carry 27 lbs of gear (including a full 3 liter hydration bladder and 1 change of clothes), minus food. For longer cool weather trips, an additional change of clothes and larger fuel bottle brings it to 30 lbs of gear, minus food.

The bag handles this very well, is light, quite comfortable for me, and is durable (keep in mind the price of the thing as opposed to a similar sized pack from a cottage industry manufacturer). The straps allow for cinching down and I have no load shifting.

The lid compartment offers quite a bit of space for things you want quick access to but are too large for the belt pockets; it also can be fully removed from the bag if you don't need the space and want to save a couple ounces of weight. The sleeping bag access that unzips at the bottom is handy for any top loading bag, and if your sleeping bag compresses really well, it is handy for more than just access to your sleeping bag.

The outer pockets offer decent additional storage, and is where I keep my rain gear, pack cover, and plastic alcohol fuel bottle (better for any leaks that might occur).

I find the load lifters on the shoulder straps will loosen if I'm not careful about how I pick up the bag when putting it on, but are easy enough to re-tighten. The outer pockets would be better if they had a little more stretch to them so that my travel coffee mug or water bottle fit a little better while the pack was loaded.  They also aren't that easy to access while wearing to make good use as water bottle pockets. These are annoyances, however.

What would make this a 5 star bag is if the removable lid could also double as a waist pack or small day pack for doing some exploring after getting to camp; I suppose with a little ingenuity, that could still be accomplished, but I haven't taken the time to investigate.

I like this bag. A lot. As with any backpack, you must make sure it is adjusted properly for your body -- the first time I had this out on the trail (a dry run) I was certain I was going to return it because I was in a fair amount of pain inside just a couple hours. Realizing it just needed to be re-adjusted properly solved that problem and all 4 trips I've taken in it have been good ones, including a 5-day hike on the Ozark Trail.

Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Welcome to Trailspace, Eric! Nice first review. Thanks for sharing it.


1 month ago
Ashleigh MODERATOR

Thanks for the helpful review, Eric! Welcome to Trailspace!


1 month ago
Eric Owens

Thanks!


27 days ago
0

It is relatively light and versatile for a wide range…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150

Summary

It is relatively light and versatile for a wide range of activities. The harness system is comfy and durable. Perfect for ultralight backpacking trips.

Pros

  • Weight
  • Harness system
  • Versatility

Cons

  • Easily over-weighted with gear
  • Only two sizes

Fit:  This is the pack that we chose to do a 12 day JMT hike. We decided on this because of weight and most importantly fit. The harness system makes it easy to mold to your body and the hip belt was perfect for the load (36 lbs).  

Comfort: With the fit comes comfort due to its multiple adjustment points. This pack must be tried on first because there are no adjust straps to pull the load closer to the hips. My wife loves this pack for her body too.

Capacity:  The simple structure of the pack makes it easy to store and locate gear. The flexible pouch on the front and the sleeping bag zipper on the bottom are priceless. We fit our gear, including bear kegs, with little to no issues.

Ride:  The load is up to you to fit. The harness provides ample opportunity to fit whatever load within the weight limit.  You must pack according to gear weight though.

Features:  The hipbelt pockets are essential. They make getting a snack easy. I carry a waterproof PAS camera in there during our activities (e.g. hiking, backpacking, canyoneering).  

Durability/Conditions:  My pack has lasted over 6 years. In those 6 years? Over 1300 trail miles, 30 canyon descents, international/domestic travel, school, and many other small adventures. IMO the best pack in its class

G00SE MODERATOR

Welcome to Trailspace, Tanner. Did you do the entire JMT in 12 days? If so, I'm impressed, given the elevation.


2 months ago
0

Durable as everything. I love this bag so much. It…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new

Summary

Durable as everything. I love this bag so much. It has gone through a lot and I've never had a problem. I use it for 3 to 4 day backpacking trips and love it.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Strong buckles
  • Incredible warranty
  • Adjustable

Cons

  • Not much padding on waist

I've used this thing on several trips and I love it. I usually bring it on trips 3 to 4 days long. I have stuffed it full of gear and it has never ripped or shown any type of wear.

One feature I love about this bag is that it has a water pouch built into the bag for a Camelbak. Also this pouch has straps everywhere and is incredibly adjustable.

I love just about everything about this bag. Like I said earlier I've used it several times and never seen signs of wear on it. Even if I did the warranty that comes with the bag is incredible. Osprey offers repair of anything that is damaged for the life of the bag.

The only "problem" I've run into is the straps that go around your waist are thin and don't have any padding on them and when you're doing 10+ miles a day it starts to rub. I've made do by putting some padding on my waist when I buckle the strap.

Besides that I'm very happy with the pack and would definitely suggest Osprey to a friend.

G00SE MODERATOR

Thanks for the review, Caleb. How did you add padding? Was it just something tucked into the belt?


4 months ago
Caleb Turner

Yeah actually while I was hiking last time I found a thin piece of flexible foam I stuck in there, next time I'll try and come up with something better and maybe more permanent like sew it on.


4 months ago
Caleb Turner

Yeah actually while I was hiking last time I found a thin piece of flexible foam I stuck in there, next time I'll try and come up with something better and maybe more permanent like sew it on.


4 months ago
0

Functional and spacious pack. I use this pack most…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars

Summary

Functional and spacious pack.

Pros

  • Weight
  • Cost
  • Features / easy of use

Cons

  • Pocket material rips easier than I thought
  • Bottom is grey. That gets dirty (visibly) way quicker than another color
  • When empty-ish the top (Brain) is too floppy.

I use this pack most often for day hikes and for day work projects. I had a 3" rip appear near the side pocket. It still holds, but I'm afraid that someday it'll just fall apart. 

I think grey for the base and pockets just invites all the dirt to show. 

I like the weight and fit of this. I'm about a 17" torso length. Even though the pack I have is a men's/unisex, the width of the shoulder straps wasn't an issue. It sometimes can be. 

Great pack!

0

I just bought this pack, fits comfortably. Has great…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $140

Summary

I just bought this pack, fits comfortably. Has great side pockets for bars and quick snacks. Plenty of room.

Pros

  • Roomy
  • Light

Nice pack with plenty of room. It is lightweight, but will hold lots of gear.

0

I bought this pack to hold all of my climbing gear…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $140

I bought this pack to hold all of my climbing gear (ropes/quickdraws/caribiners/shoes/harness/gri-gri etc.) it does the job perfectly!!!! Plus enough to room to pack for at least overnight.

I usually end up carrying my wife's gear also (an additional harness/shoes). I also have packed lunch in there and a lot of other goodies!

I love this bag! It is probably my favorite bag that I have. I have also used it for some travel and it has flown fine on a plane.

The internal frame makes it a lot better than better than its little brother the 33 and I am so happy with it.

Update 3/8/13

Almost a year after I purchased this pack, I was riding my motorcycle to work when I got hit by a car. I skid 13 feet across the pavement and when I got up was only a little worse for the wear. I truly believe this backpack was the reason I didn't break any bones.

Also the pack survived with only a minor scratch! That impressed me the most. Great durability, great features, overall this is still my favorite pack both for outdoor adventures and vacations!

0

What I love most about this pack other than the impeccable…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Size: M/L
Max. Load Carried: 45
Height of Owner: 6'2"
Price Paid: $80

What I love most about this pack other than the impeccable construction and great styling is the fact that when I pack my stuff into my kayak's dry bay, I can roll this pack up and stuff it in with ease. Yet, when I fill this pack with a week's worth of supplies, it feels light and straight on my back during hikes.

0

Best pack I have ever owned. I use the pack every…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Size: m/l
Max. Load Carried: 30lbs
Height of Owner: 6'4"
Price Paid: $150

Best pack I have ever owned. I use the pack every day during the summer for research in the canyon lands of Utah (Zion, Capitol Reef, Cedar Mesa….). Very good in hot environments, but also use it for cross country skiing during the winter. Packs small enough for a day hike or large enough for a few days of light packing. I am 6’4”, 180 and love the fit of the m/l adjustable torso.

Best use would be for overnight hikes.

0

I picked up this pack last year but did not get a…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: front-loading internal
Size: 2500
Number of Pockets: 5
Max. Load Carried: 30 pounds
Height of Owner: 6 foot
Price Paid: $127.96

I picked up this pack last year but did not get a chance to use it until this fall. I did a two day trip across the Bigelows in Western Maine. I loved it! It was light and comfortable, I found that the belt fit my body better than other packs I have used in the past (no friction sores on the hips!)

The only downfall that I noticed was that the low number of external pockets makes made it harder for me to organize things the way I like to. Otherwise, the pack preformed great!

I found mine at Epic Sports in Bangor. If you are from the area you can try one on there--they have the only hip belt molder (that I know of) in Maine. They have a website too:

www.epicsportsgear.com

0

Just completed a 113 mile trip on the Continental…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Design: Top loading internal frame.
Size: 44 Liters
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 30 lbs
Height of Owner: 6 feet

Just completed a 113 mile trip on the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado in 4 1/2 days. Pack weight on day 1 was 30 lbs. I love everything about this pack but 1 thing, and that is the hydration "pocket". It was difficult for me to get my bladder in the pocket when the bladder was full and the pack was loaded. I was able to get the bladder in but it wasn't easy.

The pockets on the hip belt were perfect for storing many of the food bars I ate during the day. The pockets on the shoulder straps were perfect for more food bars of energy gels.

The stretchy pockets on the back and sides of the pack are nice but the side pockets didn't hold much. They were perfect to store my emergency kit in though. The back pocket was great.

I really liked the hipbelt and the way the belt is designed to be pulled. It is very easy to adjust. I thought the shoulder straps were sufficiently padded. I noticed no sore shoulders until the very last day of the trip when I did 30 miles and 5 passes. But by then my waist had gotten tighter so the hipbelt was slightly too big by then...so every couple if miles or so I would have to hoist the pack back into the proper position. On shorter trips I did not notice that problem.

If the hydration pocket between the shoulder straps was easier to use and if the side pockets could hold a bit more gear I would give this pack a 5 star rating.

Concerning weather proofness. On day 4 of the trip I got hit with s tough Colorado storm and had to hike 3 miles in pouring rain to get off an exposed pass. Since I was going lightweight I had no pack cover. I was amazed at how dry the inside of the pack was after the driving rain pounded it for just over an hour. The fabric dried really quickly once I got out of the rain.

Osprey did good on this pack.

0

I used this pack on what was supposed to be a weekend…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: Top-loading, internal frame
Size: 2500 cu. in.
Number of Pockets: 5
Max. Load Carried: 30+ pounds
Height of Owner: 5' 9"
Price Paid: $135

I used this pack on what was supposed to be a weekend backpacking trip into the Smokies that turned into an overnight trip due to our pace. The pack is really great. It's super light and versatile and has lots of loading options. It also loads and carries very well up to about 30 pounds; however, the reason I gave it 4/5 stars is because of the minimal padding in the shoulder straps.

I could really feel them on the second day and they left my shoulders a bit sore. I was probably pushing the design load though and believe that had I packed a bit more selectively, I would have had no problems. Overall, I am definitely pleased with the pack and can't wait to use it again!