Osprey Talon 44 ReviewAugust 25, 2016
- Excellent back ventilation
- Long feature list
- Loads can bounce during aggressive hiking
- Limited to moderate weight loads
The Osprey Talon 44 has the best ventilation system of all the packs tested and is laden with numerous features that increase comfort and convenience. Plenty of volume and a moderate load carrying capacity make this a front-runner for multi day three season outings.
The Osprey Talon 44 “Airscape” suspension system utilizes a ridged and channeled foam back panel covered in mesh maintains air space between the pack and user. This proved extremely effective during Texas summer training missions. The height adjustable “BioStretch” shoulder harness and hip belt have openings die cut into the foam and are covered in stretch mesh, allowing added ventilation and mobility. All this ventilation and harness mobility makes for a very comfortable pack when the temperatures are high and corresponding loads are moderate with the upper limit being about 28 pounds.
The Osprey Talon 44’s Airscape suspension system, combined with the compression abilities of this pack, stabilizes bulky loads well. The shoulder harness is connected to a horizontal T6061 aluminum tube. This tube directs the load through two vertical aluminum “LIghtWire” stays to the hips. The limiting factor is the thin and stretchy hip belt and shoulder straps; some bouncing can occur on aggressive terrain and sagging can ensue as loads approach 28 lbs.
The 44L, top accessed pack is shorter and deeper than most in this category. This makes the Osprey Talon 44 much easier to pack with bulkier items like bear canisters. The pack is adorned with stretch pockets almost everywhere you look: shoulder straps, hip belts, both sides and front of the pack body, and has an access zipper at the bottom, further enhancing carrying capacity and ease of packing. The removable top lid has two zippered pockets; the pack doesn’t have an extension sleeve but the lid is extendable to cap a slightly overstuffed pack.
The Osprey Talon 44 is the second lightest pack in this test, the pack body volume is the second largest, and the feature set is long. Normally there is a tradeoff achieving low weight and often it is durability. The use of light 70x100d main fabric, minimalist buckles and other weight saving features might cause concern, but the pack displayed no weaknesses during the duration of this test and it wasn’t babied along the way.
The extras list for the Osprey Talon 44 is long: stretch mesh pockets on both shoulder straps and hip belts, large stretch mesh pocket on front of pack, stretch mesh pockets on both sides of pack (“InsideOut” compression straps can be routed on the inside or outside of these pockets), ice tool loops, sleeping pad straps, “Stow-On-The-Go” trekking pole attachment, external hydration bladder sleeve and hang strap, gear loops, ice tool loops/straps, and the top lid is removable/extensible. Every one of the features proved usable during the test. Another worthy feature is Osprey’s “All Mighty Guarantee;” Osprey will repair any damage or defect, for any reason, free of charge, regardless of when, how or who purchased it. If they cannot repair it, they will replace it.