4/5 | Overall Rating
The Osprey Talon 33 is a well-rounded daypack; it is lightweight and compact for a pack that’s on the larger end of the spectrum, and it packs a number of great features.
As always, larger daypacks tend not to be as versatile when it comes to day activities, but they do have that added benefit of being large enough to get you through a night, but not too large that they get in the way.
Capacity is really down to your own preference when you’re looking for a daypack, so if you think you’ll be needing that extra space, then this pack should perform well enough for you.
Osprey have developed a reputation of creating some really high-quality products, and the Talon series of packs has been no different. The Talon 33 is, essentially, just a larger version of the Talon 22 that we awarded our best overall daypack award; with just a few minor differences. For starters, the Talon 33 has all of the same features as offered by the Talon 22: multiple gear attachment options, 8 exterior pockets, and that same hydration sleeve separate from the main compartment.
The pack isn’t perfect, however, and the flaws mostly seem to come with the larger size. For example, the side stretch-mesh pockets on the Talon 33 are almost unreachable while wearing the pack, an issue not found on the smaller Talon 22. Another downside that the 33L version has is that it’s top-loading, which makes it difficult to access the gear within the pack. It does, however, now have an additional flap that straps over the top to provide extra protection, so you do get that bonus.
We found this pack to work best for longer trips outdoors where moving fast isn’t an issue, as the larger size just got in the way when we tried to use it around the city or for fast-paced activities. Like we said, it’s down to your own preference, but we find smaller packs like the Talon 22 to be far more versatile for general use, and therefore more worth the money. If you know you need a pack only for long hikes or overnight trips, however, then the Talon 33 is the one for you.
Osprey somehow managed to achieve what many others have failed at: they created a durable, feature-filled, large daypack all in an extremely lightweight package. At only 908g, it’s easily lighter than most of its larger competitors, and it packs more features than most of the heavier ones. If you’re using a 33L pack like this one, you’re probably going to be carrying a lot of gear anyway, so the weight of the pack itself will hardly be noticeable.
As for the capacity, we’ve said pretty much all there is to say: we prefer smaller packs. 33L is a bit of an awkward capacity, because it isn’t small, but it isn’t really large enough to get you through more than just one night at best, either. Unless, of course, you travel super light.
The Talon series excels in this area; it was one of the reasons we loved the Talon 22 so much, and the same goes for the Talon 33. The suspension system used is one of the best we’ve ever tested on a daypack, and it will easily allow you to overload it with weight and still be comfortable. The hipbelt carries the load well, and the torso straps are highly adjustable to fit a huge variety of body shapes.
The ventilation design of the back panel is pretty standard: it’s just a ribbed mesh-covered foam design. It’s not bad, but it’s definitely the most breathable design we’ve ever tested. The same goes for the shoulder straps, which are nicely padded and won’t give you any issues. It’s good enough, though, so it should be sufficient even for all you sweaty people out there.
Another category where the Talon 33 is definitely above average. It has 8 external pockets, including the ever-vital side stretch-mesh pockets for water bottle and snack storage. Also, there are small pockets on each side of the hipbelt, perfectly sized to store a smartphone, snacks or a GPS device. The external hydration sleeve is also a nice design choice that Osprey made, as it protects your gear from water if your reservoir springs a leak.
The Talon 33 includes Osprey’s Stow-On-The-Go trekking pole attachment system, as well as their LidLock helmet attachment, LED light attachment, and ice-tool attachment points. These make the pack highly versatile and simple to use in a number of activities. Finally, as a nice added bonus, the chest strap has a built in emergency whistle that might come in handy (if not just to annoy your friends).
Overall, we like the design of the Talon 33; everything seems to be just where it should be and nothing is unnecessary.
The only thing we don’t like, as we said, is that it’s a top-loading design. If you need access to the things in your pack on a regular basis, it becomes excessively annoying to have to unpack it to reach the bottom. That’s one of the main downsides to this pack, in our opinion. There is a benefit, however, in that you can really stuff it full of gear, and the flap that straps over the top provides a good bit of weather protection.
The Talon 33 is made from 70D and 100D nylon, the same as most of Osprey’s products. It’s a tough and lightweight nylon, and it held up well to all of our testing. The only issue we had was the lack of a rain cover, so be careful with your gear if you venture into wetter climates. All-in-all, however, a very well-built product that should hold up to good amount of abuse over time.
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