Owner Review by Jennifer Estrella
Name: Jennifer Estrella
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: Orange County, California, United
into the outdoors scene camping while 4-wheeling and day-hiking,
I switched to backpacking in the early 2000's. I have backpacked
extensively in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho along with California,
Pennsylvania and Nevada. I have slowly been cutting my base
weight to be able to go longer in duration and distance. I
have done so mainly by using better gear and dumping heavy
luxuries. (I also married a Sherpa to help.) I backpack year
round in all weather, and usually take a free standing tent
and a gas stove on all my trips. I love trying out new gear.
Web Site: www.ospreypacks.com
Product: Talon 11
Year Manufactured: 2008
MSRP: Not indicated on the manufacturer's
Available 2009 Colors: Spicy Chili,
Reviewed Color: Moonlight Blue
S/M: Capacity: 600 cu in (9 L); Weight: 1 lb 5 oz (598g);
M/L Capacity: 700 cu in (11 L); Weight: 1 lb 6 oz (640g)
Size Reviewed: S/M
Actual Weight : 1 lb 5 oz (598 g)
Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 5 in (46 x 20
x 13 cm) Measured height, width, depth.
Warranty: From manufacturer's
website "Osprey will repair for any reason, free of charge,
any damage or defect in our product – whether it was
purchased in 1974 or yesterday. If we are unable to perform
a quality repair on your pack, we will happily replace it.
We proudly stand behind this guarantee, so much so that it
bears the signature of company founder and head designer,
The manufacturer claims that the Talon 11
is indicated to be used for hiking, mountain biking, and trail
running. This pack is part of the Active Light Pursuits series
in the Osprey pack line. The manufacturer states the following
on their website in regards to the Talon 11: "A great
pack for everyday activity, the Talon 11 will fast become
your regular companion. A laced bungee cord with fabric wings
keeps extras secure while a mesh hip belt keeps the pack stable
without encumbering your mobility."
I purchased the Talon 11 in the early summer
2008. Since my purchase Osprey has changed the color line,
they added quick release buckles for the load lifters, added
pockets to the hip belt, and added the BioStretch hip belt
with mesh covered, slotted foam. This BioStretch component
of the hip belt is similar to the harness straps on my model.
Those are the only changes that I can see from viewing the
The Talon 11 is a panel loading day pack.
It has dual zippered main panel (compartment) access. There
are no main compartment dividers inside the Talon 11. The
main compartment has a 6.25 x 5.25 in (16 x 13 cm) pocket
with a hook and loop closure. This pocket is sewn at the top
seam of the pack and rests against the back of the main compartment.
Inside hook and loop closure
The main material of the pack body is blue
70D x 100D nylon shadow check. This material has a small check
pattern; making it look like a checkerboard. The base and
sides of the pack are gray 160D x 330D nylon shadow box. This
material has a pattern of small filled squares. On each side
of the pack is a stretch woven side pocket that measures 5
in (13 cm) wide and 6 in (15 cm) deep.
Side view of the Talon
This pack has an AirScape Backpanel which
is a feature on all the Talon packs. This is a mesh covered,
4 mm HDPR ridge molded foam backpanel with integrated air
AirScape Panel and harness
The harness and hip belt straps have strapkeepers
that prevent excess webbing from flapping. This system has
C-clips that are sewn on the strapkeepers which are intended
to be easily clipped over the hip belt or the harness webbing.
I found it very easy to keep my straps from flapping by using
the C-clips. However, sometimes they magically become undone.
There is a smaller pocket on the front of
the pack just below the main compartment access. This is a
stash pocket that is mesh lined on the back panel. There is
a red key clip inside this pocket. The Osprey logo is embroidered
below this pocket on a type of patch.
Front of pack pocket with
The front of the pack has a bungee-laced
compression system which helped me store larger items that
could not fit inside the pack (such as a helmet and my snorkeling
gear). This bungee system has a quick release buckle towards
the top of the pack and consists of a cord that is fastened
(by small webbing loops) to fabric panels that run lengthwise.
These fabric panels have silver reflective raptor talons on
each side. The bungee system has a cord lock to keep it in
place when it is cinched to my desired position. At the base
of the bungee system are slots to hold a blinker light. Below
the blinker light slots in silver reflective lettering is
"TALON 11". The Talon 11 has a top grab handle located
at the very top of the pack. There is also a tow loop on the
pack that is sewn near the base.
Front view of the Talon
The harness is a fixed type that allows no
adjustment for torso length. The harness is called a BioStretch
harness which is mesh covered, slotted foam and has a stretch-woven
pocket on each strap of the harness. The pockets are intended
to hold energy gels. But, I was able to cram into the pockets
a small headlamp, my Jelly Belly snacks, and tissues. The
harness also has an adjustable sternum strap that can be attached
at three different height adjustments. The height adjustment
points have what appears to be a rubber-like material with
slots in it. All but one of these slots are located beneath
the energy gel pockets. The sternum strap is anchored on each
side with an oval plastic piece that is slid into the slots
by rotating it into a horizontal position and pushing it through
the opening. The buckle on the sternum strap is a quick release
type that has an integrated whistle. The Osprey name is embroidered
on a black tag on the right side of the strap when I am wearing
the Talon 11.
There is an external hydration compartment
on the Talon 11. This is located between the backpanel and
the main body of the pack. If I look at the top of the pack
there is a small tab that has a water drop stitch on it and
the letters H2O. There is a small webbing loop just below
this tab that has a quick release buckle; this serves as the
hanger for the hydration system if needed. There is a cord
attached at the base of the grab handle (on the pack body)
and a snap with a webbing loop on the backpanel. This serves
as the closure for the hydration compartment. To insert my
hydration bladder I unfasten the snap and move the cord out
of the way. I then insert the water bladder with the hydration
tube outlet at the base of the pack. I then route the tubing
so that it exits the top of the compartment. There is no slot
to pass the hydration tube through, but on the harness there
are elastic straps on the right and the left that the hose
can route through. Once I have the hose routed I close the
opening by fastening the snap with the cord in place. The
manufacturer states that a 3 L (101 fl oz) bladder can be
used in this pack. I use a 2 L (68 fl oz) bladder in the Talon
There is one tie-off loop on the Talon 11.
It is on the side of the pack near the top and is on my right
side when I am wearing the Talon.
This is a highlight of where I have used the Talon
11. I have used it in many more locations for day hikes and for
Millcreek Canyon, Utah: The pack
was worn on a sunny 5 mi (8 km) day hike. The temperature was around
67 F (19 C). The starting elevation was recorded at 5,600 ft (1,707
Neffs Canyon, Utah:
This was a 3 mi (5 km) day hike with lots of rattlesnakes on the
trail. We had to turn around because we did not want the dogs to
get bitten by the snakes. The temperature was recorded at 78 F (25
Nine Mile Forest Recreation Area, Wisconsin:
The Talon 11 was used on two 3 mi (5 km) day hikes (on two separate
days) in the early evening. The park elevation is 1,279 ft (390
m). I had no means of recording the temperature at the park. I would
estimate that the temperature was in the mid 70 F (21 C) range.
Hawaii: The most enjoyable use
was as a day pack in Hawaii on the big island. We spent 6 days hiking
to snorkeling or scenic spots that are hard to get to without a
boat. The hikes were anything from 0.5 to 3 miles (1 to 5 km) each
way. Temps were between 76 and 82 F (24 to 28 C) and terrain was
dirt, (lots of) lava, and sand.
Newport Beach, California:
The temperature was recorded at 55 to 57 F (13 to 14 C) with heavy
rain over a course of two days. During one of these days I wore
the Talon 11 on a day hike in the Newport Beach area totaling 4
mi (6 km).
Red Rocks, Nevada:
This was a three-day climbing/camping trip. At the locations where
we were climbing that there was no sun and it was about 41 F (5
C) with a light wind. The highs were around 55 F (13 C). The lows
at night were around 30 F (-1 C). I wore the Talon 11 on some day
hikes when we were not climbing.
Crystal Cove State Park, California:
This was a day hike for a total of 5 mi (8 km). The temperature
was recorded at 53 F (12 C) with light rain in the early morning.
The elevation here is just above sea level. I also used the Talon
11 for several days while mountain biking in this area.
Impressions and Performance
I am very happy with the Talon 11. I have used
it for short day hikes and for mountain biking. I really love this
pack for mountain biking because it is comfortable on my shoulders,
it gives me adequate space, and it is not bulky. But, I also love
the Talon 11 for day hikes. For mountain biking I can store a rain
jacket or a shell, extra tubes, my tire pump, snacks, sunscreen,
and other small essentials. Since I do not have a handle bar mount
for my GPS device I stored it in the side pocket during my ride.
For day hikes I can carry a trail book, jacket, extra layers, sunscreen,
snacks, and other essentials. During winter snowshoe day hikes I
carry a larger pack since I may need more layers.
I think what most impresses me with the Talon 11
is that it is a very simple lightweight pack. The backpanel and
the harness ventilation work beautifully. I still get some sweat
but not as much as some of my other packs that are not constructed
with a mesh backpanel or a mesh harness. The backpanel also does
not have seams except where it is sewn to the back. One of my other
packs has seams on the backpanel that give me pressure areas and
The hip belt and the harness are tightened with
just a quick pull that can be done one-handed and with gloves on.
The hip belt and the harness straps also release easily. The harness
straps have a flexible foam encased in the mesh and are comfortable
on my shoulders even after walking or riding for several hours.
The Talon 11 size S/M fits me well. The M/L size
was too large for me. The S/M is indicated for a torso length less
than 19 in (49 cm). Even though this is a fixed harness system the
Talon 11 fit me well.
The most I have carried in this pack is 11 lbs
(5 kg) and it was still comfortable. I usually carry around 8 lb
(4 kg) in this pack). I pretty much filled it to maximum capacity
while we were day hiking to snorkeling spots in Hawaii. I attached
my fins to the back of the Talon using the bungee system and placed
my snorkel in a side pocket and held it in place with the tie-off.
Hiking to a snorkeling spot
The main compartment is easily opened
by the large zipper pull tabs. This zipper can be easily opened
with gloves on. These pull tabs are designed with a cord loop and
a plastic piece over a portion of the cord. None of the zippers
has failed. Even when the pack was stuffed to capacity I could easily
open and close the zippers.
I generally store small less used
items in the inside hook and loop closure pocket or sometimes a
map. The pocket is easily opened by just pulling on the flap. The
hook and loop closure has always closed for me and has not lost
any of its original characteristics.
I can also keep small items in the
stretchy energy gel pockets on the harness. Sometimes I put a small
headlamp in there, some Jelly Belly snacks, lip balm, a knife, or
some tissues. They are small pockets but they have a lot of stretch.
I have yet to use the tow loop on
the pack. I do not participate in adventure racing and I have yet
to find a need for the loop.
I have used the blinker slots near
the base of the pack to secure one of my bicycle blinkers. I do
not have a light permanently mounted on my mountain bike and securing
it to the pack worked out perfectly. The blinker did not fall off
while I was riding.
I think the hydration system is great.
I can easily refill my bladder and place it in the hydration compartment
without removing the contents of my pack. Even with the water placed
right behind the backpanel I find that I am still comfortable no
matter what the water level is inside the bladder. The only comment
I have about this system is that I have to move the load lifter
straps out of the way to fit my bladder inside. The new Talon 11
has quick release buckles for the load lifters.
The side stretch pockets do have an
abundance of stretch. I can cram my camera inside the pockets without
any difficulty. I also put snacks, tissues, and small water bottles
inside these pockets. I can reach down into the pockets while I
am wearing the pack with no difficulty. I must have good shoulder
rotation. I like that the pockets only have an opening at the top.
Then I do not have to worry about items falling out. Some of my
other packs have side access to this type of pocket and I have lost
items with that type of design.
The pack has been exposed to light
drizzle and the main body fabric did repel the moisture. The side
stretch pockets became wet. In a downpour I would feel most comfortable
with some type of pack cover so my contents do not get wet. The
zippers are not designed to be waterproof but, they are covered
by the pack material to help prevent precipitation from entering
the pack. The zipper covers give the pack an appealing, finished
The fabric is in excellent condition
and there are only a few scuff marks on the base of the pack. Basically
the pack still looks like new. I think the Talon 11 is a well constructed
- Great size for day hikes and mountain biking
- Bungee system is great
- Hip belt and harness can be easily tightened or released
That Are So So
- No hip belt pocket (but there are now hip belt
pockets on the 2009 models)
I am very happy with my Talon 11. I am glad to
see that the new model had pockets on the hip belt. I will continue
to use this pack on day hikes and for mountain biking for many
years to come. The Talon 11 is a comfortable, lightweight pack.