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ProView – Osprey Talon Pro 20

Spring in the central Cascades is a time of thawing, oversaturation, and lastly, soft trail systems with verdant hills and proliferation of wildflowers. This is one of my favorite times of the year to hit the trails for hiking, shed hunting, trail running, and mountain biking. For the past month I’ve been testing the Osprey Talon Pro 20 primarily as a light day hiker. I’ve also used it a few family shed hunts thrown into the mix.

Osprey Talon Pro 20

Product Description: The Talon Pro 20 was developed for pursuits that prioritize lightweight and freedom of movement. Light but tough Nanofly® fabric makes this panel-loading pack ideal for fast day hikes and bikepacking excursions. An injection-molded AirScape® backpanel and a continuous-wrap harness and hipbelt allow the pack to move with you whether you’re hiking or biking. Attachment for trekking poles, an ice axe, bike helmet and blinky light make this pack perfect for daylong endeavors. Constructed with ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene ripstop, GRS-certified recycled materials and PFC-free DWR coating.

Offer price: MSRP: $180.00

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (4)
  • Fit
    (5)
  • Durability
    (5)
  • Eco-Friendly
    (4)
  • Breathability
    (4)
  • Style
    (5)

Summary

The Talon Pro 20 is a well designed, comfortable, lightweight backpack ready for a day hike in the woods or to serve as your daily bicycle commuter around town. Osprey’s AirScape suspension is the highlight of the backpack allowing excellent ventilation and cooling with any activity. The Talon Pro 20 construction contains bluesign approved recycled materials and a PFC-free DWR coating. As with all of Osprey’s products the Talon Pro is backed by its lifetime All Mighty Guarantee. If you’re looking for a new backpack I would recommend checking out the Osprey Talon Pro 20 at your nearest outdoor store or the Osprey website.  

Overall
4.6

Pros

  • Lightweight Daypack
  • Excellent breathability/ventilation on back
  • Comfortable load distribution

Cons

  • Frame and harness noise
  • Difficulty inserting hydration bladder
  • Only available in a single color scheme

Fit/Comfort

The Talon Pro 20 is a lightweight comfortable backpack due to the Osprey’s BioStretch harness and hipbelt. The seamless lumbar-to-hipbelt body wrap provides excellent load distribution while remaining dynamic during hiking, scrambling, and conceivably biking, although I was not able to test this function thanks to some ankle tendonitis. A standout with this backpack is the injection-molded AirScape die-cut foam in the back panel which creates multiple ventilated airflow channels. As I have mentioned in prior reviews, I tend to “run hot” and the AirScape ventilation kept my back dry and cool on multiple day hikes during 70-80 degree days. The Talon’s hipbelt is more cushioned and beefy than I typically see in the 15-20 liter backpack range which contributes to the pack’s overall comfort. The wide hip belt features spacer mesh over die-cut foam for a breathable and comfortable ride.       

Features/Construction

The Talon Pro 20 features a main compartment with dual zippers that utilize reinforced large plastic loops for glove use in colder temperatures. The main compartment has an internal zippered mesh pocket with a key clip which worked well to store my wallet and wait for it….car keys. There is a smaller top zippered slash pocket where I kept my Garmin mini and snacks on day hikes. Externally, the Talon Pro has a large woven stretch front panel pocket, two deep side woven stretch pockets that snugly accommodate a thirty-two ounce Nalgene bottle, two ice ax/trekking pole attachments with bungee tie-offs, LidLock bike helmet attachment, blinker light attachment (light not included), side compression straps, external hydration reservoir sleeve, and dual-zippered hip belt pockets.  

Durability  

Osprey states the construction of the backpack utilizes “Nanofly fabric which integrates ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene ripstop and 100D nylon, creating an incredibly light fabric with remarkable abrasion resistance.” I have only had the pack for just over a month so I cannot speak to its long term durability. However, thus far, the backpack has not shown any tears in the fabric despite being placed on sharp rocks, trunks, and bouncing around in vehicles. As a consumer of multiple Osprey backpacks (Atmos 65, Kestrel 48, and Daylite Plus) prior to testing the Talon Pro 20 one of the attractions of Osprey gear is the company’s great lifetime “All Mighty Guarantee” should a repair be necessary in the future.

Room for Improvement

Overall I feel Osprey constructed a great backpack but I do have a few small gripes I want to point out. First, I wish the top zippered slash pocket had a small amount of padding or soft fabric on the inside of this pocket as it seems designed for electronics (phone, gps, etc..) and I would also like the pocket to be a few inches deeper. Secondly, I wish the Talon 20 Pro line had multiple color choices. I personally like the dark gray and maroon colors on the pack but other consumers may wish for a variety of colors. Lastly, the external hydration reservoir sleeve is a tight fit with even a small 1.5 liter reservoir, placing a 3-liter reservoir in the sleeve is a knuckle scraping drag-out wrestling match if you need more water for a long day out. The hydration reservoir sleeve issue is something I deal with in all three of the Osprey packs I own and feel this needs to be addressed by the brand in future models.      

     

Earth-Friendliness

Osprey’s values are listed on their website as Innovation, Integrity, Quality, Respect, and Sustainability. Their Sustainability value is based on three pillars, Materials, Chemicals, and Social Responsibility. For materials, Osprey selects only high-quality materials with the lowest environmental impact for their products. The Talon 20 Pro contains bluesign approved recycled fabric on the accents and bottom of the backpack. Osprey also states the recycled material construction in the Talon Pro 20 is GRS-certified recycled which requires a minimum use of 20% recycled material. With its chemical use, Osprey has “adopted the bluesign Restricted Substances List, which promotes using the safest chemistry for our environment and our customers.” The Talon Pro 20 has a PFC-free DWR (durable water repellent) coating application on the backpack. I did note there is a proposition 65 warning on the Talon Pro 20 website that the backpack can expose you to dimethylformamide which California has found to cause cancer. While the warning raises some concern I would like more transparent information on what my overall risk is from using the backpack so I can make a more informed decision. 

The last pillar of Osprey’s sustainability is their commitment to social responsibility. Osprey meets this ideal by “treating the whole supply chain, from labor to consumer, with the utmost care.” Osprey supports “progressive social and environmental policy and programs via direct contributions, advocacy and programs that extend the life of our products and keep them out of landfill.” I will note again, that while I like how all this sounds, I was unable to find clear documentation on their website of specific programs the company is utilizing to meet this pillar of sustainability.

The Final Word

The Talon Pro 20 is a well designed, comfortable, lightweight backpack ready for a day hike in the woods or to serve as your daily bicycle commuter around town. Osprey’s AirScape suspension is the highlight of the backpack allowing excellent ventilation and cooling with any activity. The Talon Pro 20 construction contains bluesign approved recycled materials and a PFC-free DWR coating. As with all of Osprey’s products the Talon Pro is backed by its lifetime All Mighty Guarantee. If you’re looking for a new backpack I would recommend checking out the Osprey Talon Pro 20 at your nearest outdoor store or the Osprey website.  

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About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
Ryan Beachy
Search and Rescue

Ryan Beachy is a Physician Assistant and volunteer SAR member.  You can find him outdoors hiking, running, biking, and shooting photography.  He lives in Washington State with his wife, two daughters, and a feisty cockapoo.  You can connect with him on Instagram at @cascadia_argonaut.

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