Follow Bristol Shop’s Josh as he takes the NEW Osprey Talon 11 for a walk in the woods and gives his thoughts on its features, performance and all new look.
Osprey are one of the world’s leading rucksack manufacturers, having been producing extremely durable rucksacks and luggage since 1974. I say this with confidence, as I’ve had my Osprey Aether 70 L rucksack for 6 years now and it is still going strong, having been around the world on various expeditions along with many of their dry bags and accessories. However, I’ve never tried out their day bag range before, so I was particularly excited when I was asked to test out their new season Talon 11 L rucksack. Although the Talon 11 is one of their smallest day packs, it is highly versatile and has many technical features not normally seen on packs of this size.
Weighing in at just 0.9kg, this pack is designed for active use, giving you freedom of movement even across the more technical terrain, with the ability to pack a lot in without weighing you down. The back panel features the Osprey AirScape™ Suspension, which is an injection-molded, die-cut foam, not only meaning this pack is incredibly comfortable to wear, but also allowing the pack to be close fitting to the body. This foam creates a series of ridges that sit against your back in a natural way, allowing equal pressure across your back and spine, meaning no matter what load you have in there, it’ll always sit comfortably. The mesh lining combined with the airflow channels along with the back support also allows for a high level of breathability despite sitting so close to the body.
Another feature of the pack leading to this industry-leading fit is the BioStretch™ harness and hip belt. Similar in construction to the AirScape™ back support, the gender-specific harness consists of mesh-covered, die-cut foam with sewn-in spacer mesh, allowing the pack to hug your individual body shape while once again allowing a high level of breathability combined with equal pressure across your hips. This system allows the pack to wrap the body from lumbar to the hip belt, meaning that the bag won’t move even during fast-paced activities such as trail running, cycling, or scrambling.
The bag itself is constructed from 100D x 210D Bluesign Recycled Robic Nylon with a PFC-free DWR coating, resulting in a more environmentally conscious, sustainably produced product. The Talon 11 comes with a variety of storage options, with two large mesh side pockets, front bungee storage, hip belt pockets, a small mesh pocket on the harness strap, and a scratch-free sunglasses and electronics pocket. The main compartment zips run down almost to the hip belt, meaning you can pack a lot into this compartment, with a separate internal pocket that comes with a key attachment clip meaning if you’re like me, you won’t have that panic at the car door anymore!
Talking about storage, there are some great features that allow the pack to carry larger technical gear safely without causing damage to the pack contents or yourself. The Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachment allows for easy pole storage down the harness straps without poking your or anyone else’s eyes out, making them easily available when you hit the steeper trails. For the winter climber, there’s a stowable single ice axe loop to safely attach your axe and also allowing quick access. Not forgetting the cyclist, the pack features the LidLock™ bike helmet attachment as well as LED light attachment point and reflective graphics, meaning that if you’re cycling in the city, country lanes, trails, or even running, you’ll always be seen. This pack really does have something for every activity.
Even when the pack is filled to the brim, the insideOut™ compression system means that you can get this pack as streamline as possible making your scramble, cycle, hike or commute that much easier. The external hydration access, compatible with the Osprey Hydraulics™ Reservoirs, results in more space in the pack for other items and reduces the risk of any wet sandwiches while making it easier to stay hydrated.
Unfortunately, lockdown 3.0 has stopped me from taking the Talon 11 anywhere extreme, but I have been managing to test it out both cycling and hiking in the many woodlands, gorges, and trails in and around Bristol. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I haven’t used a bag much smaller than a 20 L in the past, but I have quickly fallen in love with the Talon 11.
A normal day hike for me in our current cold temperatures means I will pack 2x 1 litre bottles, a spare jacket/fleece, buff, pocket stove/pan/gas, and a few other bits and pieces. Even with this amount of gear, there is still loads of room to pack even more in the Talon. Despite the weight of the pack, I do forget sometimes I have it on me due to the Airscape and BioStretch systems moulding nicely to my body shape and distributing the weight evenly.
Even though the Talon 11 is by no means waterproof, I have been caught out in some very heavy rain out in the hills and the pack stood up to it very well with barely any moisture breaking through. The overall build quality fills very robust, and having taken it through woods, gorges and hills and chucked it around a fair bit, there are very few signs of wear.
I’ve also taken it on a few cycle rides in and around Bristol and found it is suitable for both trail and urban cycling. With the reflective graphics and light attachment, I feel confident that drivers and pedestrians will spot me and unlike other bags, I find it sits comfortably and doesn’t ride up while on the road.
If you’re looking for a smaller, lighter weight pack that can fit a lot more than it looks that you can take cycling, scrambling, hiking, running, and everything in-between, then the Talon 11 is for you. To find a lightweight pack this versatile and durable is pretty rare, and at a good price too.
This review was written by Josh from our Bristol store. He is an accomplished travel photographer and blog writer and you can learn all about him and read up on his many adventures on his website here: https://joshrapermedia.co.uk/