Osprey is synonymous with backpacking and has been a trusted brand in the outdoor gear game since 1974. You’ll find their backpacks everywhere from the Pacific Crest Trail to the hostels of South East Asia. Their backpacks are versatile, durable, stylish, and all around bad ass.
The Osprey Talon 33 is mid-sized backpack offering a delicate balance of functionality and comfort. The 33 liter size is the biggest drawback, however, if you’re willing to sacrifice capacity you’ll find a high performance and versatile backpack.
If you’re in the market for a lighter backpack that works great for traveling and multi-day hikes, the Osprey Talon 33 might be the backpack for you. We took a deep dive into the good, the bad, and the ugly to help you make the best decision.
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Osprey Talon 33 Review
The Osprey Talon 33 is an ultralight minimalist pack that is perfect as a day pack, overnight backpack, or for travelers who prefer the ease and convenience of moving around the world from hostel to hostel with a carry on compliant bag.
The lightweight design is where this pack really shines, this pack has a weight of only 2 pounds and can handle a good amount of weight comfortably. The back panel of the Talon 33 delivers comfort, breathability, and flexibility. The mesh that covers the back panel, coupled with the shoulder harness offers serious breathability.
For adventures that you need to remain lightweight and agile, the suspension system on this backpack gives you the ability to move around seamlessly. There is just one large pocket, so packing cubes are highly recommended. Overall, the Osprey Talon 33 is a sleek and highly water resistant minimal backpack.
- Excellent ventilation on the back panel
- AirScape suspension system
- Hydration bladder compatible
- Carry on compliant
- Trekking pole attachment loops
- Small water bottle pockets
- Only top loading
- Water bottle pockets are challenging to reach on the go
Osprey Talon 33 Features
This lightweight backpack may be on the smaller end of adventure backpacks, however, it packs a punch in terms of the features. The best things come in small packages and the Osprey Talon 33 is has nearly all of the features found in it’s larger counterparts.
- Top loader access to the main compartment
- Fixed top lid with zippered stash pocket
- Zippered mesh pocket found under the lid
- Large stretch-mesh front panel pocket
- Side stretch-mesh pockets
- Stretch-mesh harness stash pocket
- 2 zippered hipbelt pockets
- Stow-On-The-Go trekking pole attachment
- Dual ice-tool loops with bungee tie-offs
- Lower InsideOut compression/carry straps
- External hydration sleeve (hydration reservoir sold separately)
The main compartment on this pack has top loading access with a fixed hood that can be unclipped to gain access to the top spin drift collar. There is only on large storage compartment on this pack and there’s no real built in organization. If organization and compartmentalizing is something that’s important to you, packing cubes or stuff sacks are the way to go.
- Top loading access with a fixed hood
- Only one main compartment with no built in organization
The back panel of the Osprey Talon 33 is one area that this pack really stands out. Osprey has taken this back panel and removed some of the materials used to save weight, minimizing the bulkiness without sacrificing performance and comfort. The foam is cut and then stretched across a semi-rigid frame sheet, giving the pack its structure.
- Back panel uses limited material while maintaining performance
- Foam is stretched across a rigid frame sheet giving this pack structure
External storage options
Even though this pack is minimalist in nature, there are a few external storage options. There are dual side stretch mesh pockets that you can use for water bottles or other items that you need access to on the go. There are inside out compression straps which you can reroute inside or out, depending on your needs. There is also a front stretch pocket which can be used to hold an extra layer or two.
- Dual side stretch pockets for water bottles or other items
- Front stretch mesh pocket which holds an extra layer or two
Trekking pole attachment
Osprey included their stow on the go trekking pole attachment so you can conveniently store your trekking poles for easy access. They are located on the lower portion of the shoulder straps so you can quickly tuck them away after a tricky scramble and put them away without stopping along the way. There is also a hook and loop on the sides of the pack if easy access isn’t necessary.
- Osprey’s stow and go trekking pole included
- Trekking pole attachment is located on the lower portion of the shoulder straps
The frame type of this backpack is similar to an internal frame with an innovative twist. The framing is achieved by using stretchy material over the foam AirScape backpanel, giving you support, breathability and comfort. Osprey did a great job limiting the material used which reduced the weight while maintaining the high quality and comfortable feel we expect from Osprey.
- Internal frame backpack
The main fabric is made of 70 x 100 denier nylon mini shadow brick which is a lighter weight ripstop nylon. Both the bottom and the accent panels on the pack are made of 420HD nylon packcloth.
- Main fabric is 70×100 denier ripstop nylon
- Body and accent is 420HD packcloth
Considering that you plan on loading up your pack full of gear, the weight is always an important consideration when considering a new backpack. The Osprey Talon 33 weighs just over 2 pounds and Osprey maintained a comfortable carry while reducing the material used in construction. It’s designed as an ultralight backpack and they excelled at minimizing the material to limit the weight.
- Osprey Talon 33 weighs in at just over 2 pounds
Hydration bladder pocket
Having quick and easy access to water is important, whether you’re on a summer hike in the Pacific Northwest or wandering through the streets in Indonesia. The water bladder pocket sits just behind the back panel and you can slide it in and the hose hangs just over your shoulder. The water bladder itself is not included, so you’re going to have to purchase one separately.
- The hydration bladder rests in a pocket behind the back panel
- Hydration bladder not included
Getting caught in a thunderstorm or unexpected shower without a rain cover can be a real pain in the ass if you’re not prepared. The Osprey Talon 33 doesn’t include a rain cover, however, they do make on specifically for their backpacks and you can find one here. The rain cover is going to cinch around the outside of the pack and secure tightly on the edges, so you don’t have to worry about leakage.
- Osprey Talon 33 doesn’t include a rain cover (bummer)
The Osprey Talon 33 uses its proprietary AirScape suspension system. The back panel is covered with lightweight mesh which rests on a bunch of small foam pads that pepper the back panel. This keeps the back panel close to your back while maintaining a good amount of airflow to keep your back relatively cool.
- Osprey Talon 33 uses an AirScape suspension system
Osprey’s warranty on their backpacks is a lifetime warranty known as Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee. They will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge, whether you bought it in 1974 or 2019. If for some reason, they’re not able to repair the backpack, they’ll replace it free of charge.
- A lifetime warranty known as the All Mighty Guarantee
- Will repair or replace any backpack, for any reason, forever
Is the Osprey Talon 33 right for you?
- External hydration sleeve
- Stow-On-The-Go trekking pole attachment
- Under top-lid zippered mesh pocket
- Top-loader access to main compartment
The Osprey Talon 33 is an ultralight backpack that weighs just over 2 pounds in total pack weight. The 33 liter size is perfect for those who count each and every ounce and prefer the minimalist approach to hiking or traveling. A 33 liter pack may be too small for some of us, but if you can get used to packing less it really makes a huge difference in overall weight and convenience.
If you’re looking for a backpack that’s lightweight and comfortable, and you’re willing to sacrifice capacity, the Osprey Talon 33 may be the perfect fit. It’s carry on compliant, so if you plan on taking a backpacking trip around the world you can be confident this bag will never leave your side.
Overall, the Osprey Talon 33 is a great midsize pack for people that desire ample carrying capacity paired with organizational option and a comfortable fit.