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Osprey Tempest 20 Review

This pack can comfortably do-it-all with excellent features, strong durability, and impressive adjustability
osprey tempest 20 daypack women review
Credit: Osprey
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $150 List | $135.00 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great features and pockets, easy to use, adjustable torso length
Cons:  Water bottle pockets are a bit small, front stow pocket is a bit small
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Madison Botzet & Maggie Nichols  ⋅  May 13, 2022
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82
SCORE

RANK
#2
of 13
  • Comfort - 25% 9.0
  • Versatility - 25% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 25% 9.0
  • Weight - 15% 6.0
  • Durability - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Osprey Tempest 20 packs a punch. It's a versatile little daypack with an adjustable torso length along with great features and impressive durability. It was one of our favorite small daypacks overall. Though it's not the cheapest pack we tested, it holds some seriously impressive value as being a pack that can just about do it all. It's large enough for a full-sized laptop and securely stores your bike helmet on the back, while still full of technical features for your weekend hikes. The pack comes in two base sizes and the velcro-adjustable torso length adds versatility. The Tempest is also one of the comfiest packs we tested. It's a versatile, feature-filled model that we love to wear and use.

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osprey tempest 20 daypack women review
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Osprey Tempest 20
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $135.00 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$160 List
$119.93 at REI
$130 List
$121.07 at Amazon
$80 List
Check Price at REI
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Bottom Line This pack can comfortably do-it-all with excellent features, strong durability, and impressive adjustabilityLook no further for one of the most comfortable daypacks in our test group for heavy loads and big days outAll the comfort and security of a full backpack in a bite-sized daypackA durable, versatile pack that's both easy to use and easy on your wallet
Rating Categories Osprey Tempest 20 Gregory Jade 28L Gregory Juno 24L REI Co-op Trail 25
Comfort (25%)
9.0
10.0
9.0
7.0
Versatility (25%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
Ease of Use (25%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Weight (15%)
6.0
5.0
6.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Osprey Tempest 20 Gregory Jade 28L Gregory Juno 24L REI Co-op Trail 25
Measured Weight 31 oz. 42 oz. 31 oz. 30 oz.
Volume/Capacity 20L 28L 24L 25L
Back Construction AirScape backpanel; large spaced horizontal padding bars covered by large-holed mesh Crossflow suspension VaporSpan ventilated mesh HDPE framesheet
Hydration External hydration sleeve Internal hydration sleeve Internal hydration sleeve Inner hydration sleeve
Hipbelt Yes Yes Yes Yes, removable
Compartments 1 1 1 1
Rain Cover No Yes No, but DWR finish Yes
Additional pockets 8 6 6 5
Outside Carry Options Lidlock helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, large stretch front pocket, ice tool loop with bungee tie-off, side pockets, hip belt pockets, sunglasses shoulder stow, bike light loop External stretch pocket, trekking pole holders, ice axe attachement, sunglasses loop and bungee, hip belt pockets, hydration hose clip Lare exterior stretch pocket, 2 stretch side pockets, 2 zippered hip belt pockets, 1 zippered pocket, hiking pole storage, ice axe loop Pole fasteners, side mesh pockets with elastic enclosure
Whistle Yes Yes Yes Yes
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes No
Materials 70D x 100D nylon body, accent and bottom 420HD nylon packcloth 210D nylon body, 420D nylon bottom 210D Honeycomb Cryptorip nylon, 420D reinforced bottom Recycled nylon
Notable Features Helmet attachment, trekking pole quick-stow, sunglasses quick-stow, bike light loop, shoulder strap pocket, stowable ice axe loops Adjustable torso length, internal pocket, cinch straps, sunglasses quick-stow Sunglasses stow loops, hydration hose attachment, trekking pole attachment Ability to add REI Trail 2 Waistpack for more storage, contoured foam harness, raincover included, bottom is reinforced to be abraison resistant

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Osprey Tempest 20 is a reasonably lightweight daypack with some great features for light day hikes and commuting. It's made of both 70-Denier and 100-Denier Mini Shadow Brick nylon, with a 420HD nylon packcloth bottom, and weighs 31 ounces. It comes in two sizes: XS/S (13 to 17-inch torso length) and S/M (16 to 20-inch torso length), both of which have adjustable torso lengths.

Like the Tempest but need a bit more room for longer day hikes?
Check out the Osprey Tempest 30. It has many of the same features that we loved in the smaller model, but with ten more liters of carrying capacity and a top lid. Need even more room for one or two-day backpacking trips? The Osprey Tempest 40 will do the trick.

Performance Comparison


osprey tempest 20 daypack women review - the newest model of the tempest has an updated back panel system. it...
The newest model of the Tempest has an updated back panel system. It threads the needle of the support of a frame, breathability, and minimalist design.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


The frame of the Tempest is very supportive yet flexible enough to move with you — it rides the line between comfort, support, and minimalism - which we love. The AirScape back panel is reasonably breathable, which we appreciate on a summer bike commute. Speaking of breathability, the BioStretch harness is padded with breathable mesh holes that keep you comfortable in the heat. The hipbelt is lightly padded but large enough to swaddle a variety of sizes of hips. It's integrated into the back panel to provide a continuous wrap around your waist (no seams between the belt and the bag touching you). We also love how soft the whole harness and back panel of this bag are. They're quite pleasant to wear against your skin on a warm day and do a solid job of flexing with you as you move. It distributes the load really nicely and our testers found it to be incredibly comfortable.


Though this pack is loaded with features for your comfort, it wouldn't be the best bag to load up super heavy. If you are looking for a pack to schlep heavy gear around, we suggest a pack with a bit more capacity and support. However, we can't think of another bad thing to say — this small pack provides full support and is ready take on any adventure comfortably.

osprey tempest 20 daypack women review - the tempest hip belt pockets are another great feature on a...
The Tempest hip belt pockets are another great feature on a comfortable, versatile bag.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Versatility


There are a lot of great features on the Tempest that make this a super versatile bag for commuting, day hiking or mountain biking. Every time we used it we noticed something new. The main compartment has one small internal mesh pocket with a key clip for stowing your essentials, and there's a separate top pouch that's rather large for things that you'll want quick access to, like snacks or a light layer. Then there's an external mesh pouch for a rain or wind jacket. This pack has two water bottle pockets and an internal slot for a hydration bladder (with a hook to hang it). There's a small vertical pocket on the left shoulder strap that can hold your GPS unit and an elastic Stow-on-the-Go loop that easily holds sunglasses. It also features two hip belt pockets and a great commuter feature: the helmet LidLock. This is our favorite feature on this pack, as it's a quick and easy way to secure a bike helmet without having it bang all over the place. You pull the plastic piece vertically through the slots in your helmet and then rotate it so that it lays flat on top. The bungee cord creates enough tension to hold it in place, with no flopping around.


There's also Osprey's "Stow on the Go" attachment for trekking poles, which carries them between your shoulder strap and hip belt. If you plan to hike a while with your poles stowed like that, we recommend fiddling with the poles to find a comfortable fit. Finally, there's an ice axe loop with a bungee strap holder for the shaft, a bike light loop, and a whistle on the sternum strap clip. There's no rain cover, though, so if that's a priority for you, pick one up separately.

Take the time to adjust your poles so that Osprey's "Stow on the Go" attachment for trekking poles is comfortable for many miles on the trail.

osprey tempest 20 daypack women review - for bicycle commuters and mountain bikers, the lidlock on the...
For bicycle commuters and mountain bikers, the LidLock on the Tempest is a dream come true.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

One of the only potential downsides to this pack is its capacity. This isn't the pack for you if you plan to go on winter adventures where you might bring a ton of extra layers and food. That said, our testers think that 20L is still a very solid size daypack for the needs of most day hikers.

osprey tempest 20 daypack women review - osprey's stow on the go system is a quick fix for getting your poles...
Osprey's Stow on the Go system is a quick fix for getting your poles out of your hands during a temporary scramble on the trail. If you don't take the time to adjust the fit, it may not be comfortable. But after some tinkering, it can be comfortable enough for a long-term solution.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Weight


At 31 ounces, this is about the average weight among fully-featured packs that we tested.


We tested both the XS/S (18 liters) and M/L size (20 liters). The M/L size is 2 liters larger and in addition to the extra capacity, it's also a bit heavier. This weight doesn't include any extras like a rain cover or hydration bladder. Or, obviously, the things that you'll carry around with you on your adventures.

osprey tempest 20 daypack women review - the tempest feels lighter than it is and has a ton of handy features...
The Tempest feels lighter than it is and has a ton of handy features like a sternum clip whistle and sunglasses stow pouch.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Ease of Use


The Tempest is packed with a bunch of features and they are all surprisingly easy to use. The main compartment zipper has the ability to zip quite far down the sides, making it easy to pack full and find what you need without pulling everything out. The exterior hydration pocket is simple to use and compatible with pretty much any hanging hydration bladder (not just Osprey's). This pack has all the adjustments we've come to expect from a more technical daypack and does a great job evenly distributing weight for a comfortable and balanced carry, no matter what you bring along.


One feature we wish was better is the front expandable pocket. It's narrow compared to other daypacks, and we prefer a little extra room to jam a whole puffy and snacks in there if we want. However, the Tempest is amongst our favorites overall for how intuitively easy its awesome features are to use.

osprey tempest 20 daypack women review - a versatile clip can hold most hydration reservoirs - though this...
A versatile clip can hold most hydration reservoirs - though this pack can only take smaller bladders.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


This pack earned a great score for durability. We didn't experience any issues with this pack during our field testing and couldn't find any durability complaints in online user reviews. It's made of a 70-Denier x 100-Denier Mini Shadow Brick nylon body and a 420HD nylon packcloth bottom.


We like that this pack has beefier, 420-Denier nylon on the bottom, but compared to many others we tested, its main body is on the thin and light side. If you live in an area with lots of pokey plants and sharp rocks, like the desert southwest, you might need to be careful what you scrape against. But if your intended usage is more on the "average" side of activities, this pack is a solid choice.

osprey tempest 20 daypack women review - both side pockets can accommodate a standard 1-liter nalgene of water.
Both side pockets can accommodate a standard 1-liter Nalgene of water.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


This bag is average regarding the prices of packs we tested. It's far from the cheapest, but also nowhere near the most expensive. We think that it offers an exceptional level of versatility and usability and a good level of durability that makes it very worth what you'll pay.

Conclusion


There's a lot to love about this daypack that packs a punch. The Osprey Tempest 20 is comfortable to wear and has some great, easy-to-use features. It's on the smaller end of packs, but we think that its design ingenuity makes up for that. We like this pack for commuting in the city thanks to the bike helmet attachment point and low-profile design. Oh, and it works great on day hikes as well.

osprey tempest 20 daypack women review - we love the relatively lightweight, feature-filled versatility of...
We love the relatively lightweight, feature-filled versatility of the Tempest.
Credit: Maggie Brandenburg

Madison Botzet & Maggie Nichols

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