Osprey Talon 44 $250
Used by: Former deputy editor George ‘cram-it-in’ Driver
Used for: Three years
The Talon is light, versatile and filled with numerous features, and at $175 on special, it was a steal.
At first, I was hesitant to buy such a small pack – it has a capacity of just 44l – but I’ve since found it can comfortably fit in everything I need for a multi-day tramp.
The key is the external straps at the bottom which can hold a tent, while a sleeping mat can be wedged under the straps which secure the lid. A large external mesh pocket is also useful for extending the capacity.
It has a number of handy pockets to make gear accessible, with zips at the bottom of the main compartment for easy access, a large top hatch for regularly-used items, an internal mesh stash pocket for smaller essentials, hipbelt pockets for snacks or sunscreen, drink bottle holders and even ice axe loops.
The pack weighs 1000g and can pack down to be used as a day pack. It’s also incredibly comfortable. I can wear it all day with a 14kg load and not get sore shoulders as the hipbelt efficiently redistributes the weight and it’s easy to adjust the fit on the go.
But the best part is its versatility. I’ve used it on a 20-day hike in Nepal, three months travelling through Asia, multi-day camping trips and day hikes.
Verdict: Lightweight, comfortable and with ample features, this is a great choice for the essentials-only tramper