January 14, 2013

My favorite things: Opsrey Talon 22 daypack

I'm on a backpack roll here - I hope you don't mind.

Last week I talked about my beloved North Face Napali 50 pack for traveling.  It's great for carrying all your stuff, but this isn't the kind of thing I want to carry with me while I'm out and about looking at the sights, out on a day hike, crouched on a tiny plastic stool with a 40-cent beer at a bia hoi, or crashing a funeral.

For these things, I have another backpack that I rely on:  the Osprey Talon 22.  This is my favorite backpack of all time.  I might be in love with it.  If someone stole this thing, I would be much more upset at losing the bag itself than any of its contents.

I bought my beloved little backpack back in 2008 to take on a last-minute trip to visit a friend that had just moved to Hawaii.  My plans involved lots and lots of day hikes (I'm not a huge chill-on-the-beach-for-days person, plus I'm ghostly white with a sunscreen allergy), so I was in need of a tough but comfortable daypack.  Holy mai tais, did the Osprey ever make my day.

The straps are unbelievably comfortable, and they come with a mini-pocket on each one.  If you have an old-school cell phone, it'll totally fit in one of the pockets.  I drank the smart phone Kool-Aid a few years ago, so I stash my phone in one of the 2 mesh pockets on the hip belt and keep an LED flashlight stored in one of the strap pockets.

The back ventilation is top-notch, it includes an internal sleeve for a hydration bladder, it has side pockets for holding drink bottles, and it has a stretchy outside pocket that's perfect for storing your fleece or raincoat.  The zippers are tough but easy to move, and the backpack material is super tough. And thanks to its smart overall design, the bulk of the pack sits away from my arms so that I never rub against it while I'm out and about.

To put this as bluntly as possible, this daypack is downright amazing, and any daypack you might own is completely inferior. Boy, I wish Osprey was paying me to say that, but they aren't.  They just impressed the hell out of me.

I've taken this pack to Hawaii, Chile, California, South Korea, and South Africa.  I've hauled it on countless camping trips, hikes, and bike rides (hey, speaking of biking, it even has a built-in thingy to attach a blinker light).  It's still in great shape. The Talon also comes in other sizes, too:


You might have noticed that the Talon series is a tad on the expensive side.  But you totally get what you pay for.  I paid full price for my Talon 22 (something I rarely do - I'm a discount whore).  It was SO worth it.

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