Osprey Talon 44 2008

A very popular modern sack from a brand with a wealth of innovative and lightweight yet functional designs. The Talon 44 is very lightweight with a good capacity for a variety of uses. The back system has a ridge-moulded foam panel to provide better airflow, and the hipbelt and shoulder straps have perforated foam padding to reduce sweat. The fit is close and comfy, and ideal for hill-walking. The sack has a main compartment with top and base access, which can be useful. You also get stretch wand pockets and a stretch front stash pocket plus compression straps, all ideal for stowing gear yet giving a clean profile. The lid can be extended and benefits from an internal and external pocket. A very useful set of features that make this useful for weekend lightweight backpacking as well as general walking. But the lower main compartment is not essential and some people may never use it. The lid is one of those floating designs that I find annoying, because I’ve known them to allow water into the main compartment if they are not fitted properly when the main sack is partly empty... so I never trust them.

Capacity 44 litres
Fabric 70Dx100D nylon, stretch nylon Lycra, 160Dx330D nylon (Magnesium colour is not available until January 2009)
Features Airscape back system; top tensioning straps; padded hipbelt; extending lid; main and base compartments; external and internal lid pocket, stretch wand pockets, compression straps, twin ice axe/pole attachment points; hydration system-compatible
Weight 1165g
Made in Vietnam
Stores in the UK 8Verdict
The weight and back system are superb for hill-walking and light backpacking but some may prefer a different lid and may not find the base entry necessary.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2008