I combined my REI dividend and 20% off coupon to grab a new pack. I really didn’t have a GOOD daypack for hiking, and I needed something I could mountain bike in for longer days. What I have works for short rides, but can’t carry enough gear well for an exploratory day.
The Osprey Talon 22 looked like it would fit for my needs. The M/L size is about 1300 cubic inches, which compares well to my Camelbak MULE at 600 cubic inches and my REI Lookout (more of a long day/light weekend pack) at 2700 cubic inches.
The Talon 22 doesn’t come with its own hydration bladder, but it’s got a sleeve for one. That’s okay because I have a Camelbak bladder that will fit just fine.
Upon fitting it after it arrived, I was able to get a much better fit than with most other daypacks I’ve used previously because not only does the pack come in two sizes, but the back panel is adjustable by a big velcro sheet to fine tune each size so you can get this thing to fit nearly perfectly.
Padding on the straps is minimal, and accomplished by simple dense CCF foam in the shoulder straps and hipbelt. The foam has large cutouts to keep ventilation at acceptable levels and prevent clamminess. The fabric around that foam is mesh for breathability. The pack uses foam of the same density on the backpanel for minimal padding, and it’s got a semi-rigid framesheet to give the pack some shape.
I happen to like minimal padding on my straps and such. Too much padding just makes a pack stiff and that inflexibility gives me sore spots and chafing.
It looks like my first chance to use this pack will be next Sunday on a group mountain bike ride. It’ll just be a local ride, which normally wouldn’t necessitate a pack of this size. But being that I want to test it out for stability, comfort, and breathability, I’ll be wearing it just because.