User Review: Osprey Talon 44
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $120 at LL Bean
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.
- 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
- 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.
This is the pack along Fall Creek in Three Sisters, Oregon: