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Osprey Talon 22 Review

This pack offers a time tested versatile design that is ready for any adventure
osprey talon 22 daypack review
Credit: Osprey
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $150 List | $123.48 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Tons of features, fully adjustable, comfortable, well ventilated, separate hydration compartment
Cons:  Runs small, side mesh pockets are debatably small
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Jacob Clark & Dan Scott  ⋅  Oct 28, 2021
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78
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 9.0
  • Weight - 25% 6.0
  • Versatility - 25% 9.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7.0
  • Durability - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Osprey Talon 22 continues as an award-winner for our favorite panel-loading daypack. After another year of tough competition, it again emerges as the best daypack for light and fast adventures and excels in almost any activity. Due to exceptional ventilation, the ability to easily adjust the fit, and Osprey's updated AirScape back panel design, the Talon remains one of the most comfortable backpacks we've tested. With features like a helmet attachment, bungee attachments for trekking poles, an ice axe loop, as well as a blinker clip patch, you can carry a typical day pack load with ease and even use this bag comfortably for both mountain adventures and commuting or travel. For everything but extra-large loads, we heartily recommend this pack.

Compare to Similar Products

 
osprey talon 22 daypack review
This Product
Osprey Talon 22
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $123.48 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$139 List
$139.00 at REI
$60 List
$59.95 at REI
$63.17 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$40 List
$39.95 at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Tons of features, fully adjustable, comfortable, well ventilated, separate hydration compartmentComfortable and stable, intuitive and functional design, modular set-up, utilizes recycled materialsLightweight, only includes essential features, comfortable suspension for the weightSimple, lightweight, versatileAffordable, minimalist design, lightweight, super packable
Cons Runs small, side mesh pockets are debatably smallNon-adjustable frame, large size for minimalist outingsUncomfortable with heavy loads, lacks durabilityA little small, lacks high-end featuresFew extra features, thin shoulder straps and hip belt
Bottom Line This pack offers a time tested versatile design that is ready for any adventureTop comfort and stability make this pack the right fit for hauling your gear on any outdoor excursionThis pack is an excellent value, providing all-around performance for light and fast activities at a bargain priceA simple and lightweight hiking backpack that serves a dual purpose with a laptop sleeveA simple pack that's easy on the wallet, ultralight, and super popular
Rating Categories Osprey Talon 22 REI Co-op Traverse 32 REI Co-op Flash 22 Osprey Daylite Plus REI Co-op Flash 18
Comfort (25%)
9.0
10.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
Weight (25%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
10.0
Versatility (25%)
9.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
7.0
9.0
5.0
6.0
4.0
Specs Osprey Talon 22 REI Co-op Traverse 32 REI Co-op Flash 22 Osprey Daylite Plus REI Co-op Flash 18
Volume 22 L 32 L 22 L 20 L 18 L
Measured Weight 30.7 oz 41.0 oz 14.0 oz 20.6 oz 9.5 oz
Back Construction Vented, contoured Contured, foam pad Removable foam pad Mesh over vented foam Simple foam pad
Hydration Compatibility Externally accessed sleeve, holds up to 3L, bladder not included Internal hydration sleeve, hook and loop attachment point Internal hydration sleeve Internally accessed sleeve, holds up to 3L, bladder not included Internal hydration sleeve
Hip Belt Broad, padded, with pockets 1 3/8" webbing, countoured padding, ventilated outer layer Broad, not padded. 3/4" webbing, removable 3/4" webbing, removable
Number of pockets 10 7 5 6 2
Description of Pockets 1 main compartment zippered, 1 stretchy mesh shoulder strap pouch, 2 waist zippered, 2 side stretchy mesh, 1 back stretchy mesh, 1 top zippered, 1 open hydration reservoir pocket behind back panel, 1 internal mesh compartment zipper 1 main combo top-loader/side panel zip, 1 internal mesh w/ overlap closure (inside of lid), 1 external zip on top of lid, 2 mesh side bottle w/ button closure/expansion, 2 oversized hipbelt zip 1 main compartment, 2 mesh side bottle pouches, 1 side zippered pocket, 1 top pouch 2 stretchy mesh side, 1 interior padded laptop sleeve, 1 back zippered with internal mesh dividers and key clip, 1 back expandable waterbottle, 1 back zippered. 1 cinched main compartment, 1 outer zippered
Materials Nylon Nylon Nylon Nylon
Outside Carry Options Bungee helmet tab, blinker light patch, ice axe loop and bungee holder, front-side pole carry bungee loops Trekking pole lash points, ice axe attachments, daisy chains,attachment loops, compression straps Tool loop and bungee holder Side compression strap 1 exterior daisy chain, ice-axe loop
Whistle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Key Clip Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Other Notable Features Blinker patch, front-side pole carry loops Steel frame w/ 1 internal stay, hydration tube holder on shoulder strap, included rain cover, water bottle pockets angled forward to allow on the go access Removeable foam back panel doubles as sit pad, removeable sternum, removeable Packmod bungee Compatible as an attachment to other Osprey packs Removeable foam back panel doubles as sit pad, removeable sternum and hip belt straps

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Osprey Talon 22 wins one of our top awards because of its excellent blend of comfort, versatility, and ease of use. Our experts put this pack through the wringer in various conditions and found it to be useful for almost any situation.

Performance Comparison


osprey talon 22 daypack review - the talon's back panel is very comfortable while riding and didn't...
The Talon's back panel is very comfortable while riding and didn't impact our riding position or range of motion.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Comfort


The back panel is fixed with Osprey's updated AirScape design and consists of a mesh-covered, ridge-molded foam. The update helps prevent curving of the back panel when both the main compartment and a hydration bladder are full. Air passes through these rear panels well, keeping our back cool. The BioStretch harness and hip belt of the Osprey Talon 22 wrapped our hips like a big, comfortable hug. Osprey, with all of their packs, does very well with the suspension system and comfort. They manage to make packs that keep heavy loads stable and well-distributed across the hips and torso. It is the comfort of the Talon that earns it our highest award. Few other small daypacks have anywhere near as comfortable suspension.


While we liked this mesh-covered ventilation design, it falls short of some of the super breathable suspended-mesh back panels we tested. We never found ourselves suffering from a sweaty back, and this more flexible AirScape design has important benefits for range of motion and flexibility.

osprey talon 22 daypack review - a look at the airscape back panel that is constructed from...
A look at the AirScape back panel that is constructed from ridge-molded foam covered in breathable mesh.
Credit: Jacob Clark

The flexibility of the Talon's frame allowed us an almost full range of motion, unheard of with most hip belt-equipped packs. This made the pack great for dynamic activities and enabled us to have a great range of motion while mountain biking. While the hex-mesh material on the back panel and hip belts is rough for bare skin, it helps the pack keep from slipping during dynamic activities like scrambling.

osprey talon 22 daypack review - even when loaded up with a full spectrum of cycling essentials, we...
Even when loaded up with a full spectrum of cycling essentials, we still felt comfortable and had a full range of motion.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Pay close attention to make sure you buy the correct size. We found that this pack runs a bit short on the average male frame but fits more petite female frames well. If it's too short, the load lifters won't work as well. Also, the awesome padded hip belt was a bit snug on some of our larger male testers. Luckily, Osprey offers two sizes in this pack (S/M and M/L).

Weight


All the extra features on this pack add a little weight, and the Talon weighs in at 30 ounces with 22 liters of volume, which puts it among the heavier daypacks in this review. It uses a relatively thick, tough, PFC-free DWR nylon fabric and certified bluesign fabric. We appreciate these features and the effort for sustainability, but the design certainly adds weight.


The weight of the Talon seems appropriate, given its comfort and expansive feature-set. While a heavier pack might slow you down a bit in a race, for most daytime activities, a pack's suspension just needs to be appropriate for its weight and capacity. In the case of the Talon, you get a durable, extremely comfortable pack. With how great this suspension is, we doubt that you'll notice this pack's weight at the end of the day.

osprey talon 22 daypack review - while the talon is on the heavier end of our lineup, it makes up for...
While the Talon is on the heavier end of our lineup, it makes up for that with its impressive feature set and comfortable design.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Versatility


This pack is loaded with features to make it the perfect option for almost any scenario. Whether you're a weekend warrior or living a dirtbag lifestyle, the Talon will easily take you wherever you need to go. From the office, travel, and to the outdoors, this pack excels.


All of the extra carrying features add to the versatility. With the helmet attachment, you can bring this pack on a commute, and there is no need to try to stuff your helmet inside, as you can rig it to the outside.

The front side trekking pole carry feature on the Talon lets you quickly go hands-free and get your poles out of the way without ever taking off the pack. However, we noticed that the loops slipped when running with big poles, unlike those on larger Osprey packs. For winter warriors, stash your avalanche gear in the pack, put your crampons in the stretch pocket, and attach your ice axe to the loop. However, don't try to strap snowshoes to this pack - they just don't fit.

osprey talon 22 daypack review - the exterior helmet attachment is just one feature that makes this...
The exterior helmet attachment is just one feature that makes this pack so versatile for hauling an assortment of gear.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Ease of Use


Due to all of its features, the Talon 22 lost a couple of points for ease of use because of the slight learning curve. Don't overlook the amenities just because you feel overwhelmed; learning to use all the bungees and adjustments took us only a few uses.


Once we figured how to appropriately and efficiently use some of the features, like the ice axe carry and trekking pole attachment, the pack ended up being pretty fantastic. The good news is that, once you learn all the features, none of them impede the others. For instance, the externally accessed hydration sleeve allows for water fill-ups without disturbing your carefully packed main compartment. Also, the generous horseshoe-shaped main compartment zipper is unfettered by straps. The panel-loading design makes this an excellent travel pack that is very easy to organize from the plane to the trail.

The Talon's assorted features are extra useful because they don't...
The Talon's assorted features are extra useful because they don't interfere with each other.
The external helmet attachment is quick and easy to use once you...
The external helmet attachment is quick and easy to use once you figure it out.

The helmet attachment is an excellent addition for bike commuting and is super easy to use; it works best with a helmet designed for biking but can also be used with a climbing-specific helmet, though a little less secure. To attach your helmet, just slide the plastic end through a ventilation hole, flatten it out, and you're done. It works best if you've already loaded the pack, and there is an option to tighten the internal bungee cord for added security.

There is also a stretchy mesh stash pocket covering the sides and back of the pack. This is handy for quickly stuffing an extra layer or even crampons (appropriately protected, of course). The blinker attachment is fixed at the base of this pocket, meaning that there's an open drain hole ideal for drying out wet socks from water crossings or even sandals while you continue to hike.

osprey talon 22 daypack review - the trekking pole loop is surprisingly comfortable and a handy...
The trekking pole loop is surprisingly comfortable and a handy attachment point.
Credit: Jacob Clark

The harness is not only entirely adjustable, but it's one of the easiest to adjust. You can customize the shoulder straps by undoing the Velcro inside the hydration compartment and moving the straps to where you want them. You can also use the load lifters on top of the shoulder straps to adjust the load, as well as a fully adjustable and padded waist belt.

osprey talon 22 daypack review - accessing the main compartment of the talon 22 is quick and easy.
Accessing the main compartment of the Talon 22 is quick and easy.
Credit: Jacob Clark

The stretch-woven side pockets are equipped with Osprey's InsideOut compression straps. These compression straps allow you to secure the main compartment without compromising the function of the stretch mesh pockets. These pockets are great for smaller items, like sunscreen bottles, but they do prove problematic with some larger water bottles. The pockets are large enough to accommodate a traditional 1-liter wide-mouth Nalgene. However, the compression straps can snag easily, creating some difficulty in getting the bottle back into the pockets without taking the pack off.

The newly added stretch-woven shoulder strap pocket is useful for bars or other small items. When filled too full (i.e., phone or sunglasses), the button closure tends to pop open. The fabric, despite the closure failures, didn't let items fall out.

Durability


This pack held up well in all of the situations we tested it under. From the desert, snow, bushwhacking to road biking and in-town commutes, this bag excelled without any signs of wear. We've been testing versions of this bag for years, and even our older models (which we frequently loan out) have yet to show much wear.


The zipper covers help keep out water, and the new PFC-free DWR fabric helped improve the Talon 22's performance in our hose testing. It doesn't come with a rain cover; however, the fabric does a decent job keeping water out for a limited time or light rain. If you live in a particularly rainy environment, consider Osprey's Hi-Vis Raincover, or use a dry bag to line the pack.

Value


Not only does this pack come jam-packed with features, but you'll also be getting a pack with fantastic adjustability and comfort. You're getting a great deal. It is a bit spendy, but it is one of the most versatile and highest-performing products in our lineup. Regarding value, we like to think of the "cost per day" of a product. Combined with how nice it is to use, the Talon provides great value.

Conclusion


It was easy to grant the Osprey Talon 22 one of our Editors' Choice awards. It has earned this honor before, but we don't rest on that conclusion. In each update, we secure the latest version and compare it to the rest of the field. Whether updating or starting from scratch, our critical evaluation scheme shakes the best to the top. And the Talon 22 is at the top of this category.

osprey talon 22 daypack review - sunset hike with the talon 22. plenty of room for layers on a crisp...
Sunset hike with the Talon 22. Plenty of room for layers on a crisp evening.
Credit: Jacob Clark

Jacob Clark & Dan Scott
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