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Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Osprey Tempest 40 > Test Report by Amanda Tikkanen

Osprey Tempest 40
Test Series by Amanda Tikkanen
Initial Report
August 12, 2014

Tester Information

Name: Amanda Tikkanen
Email: amanda at uberpest dot com
Age: 32
Location: Southwest Ohio, USA
Gender: F
Height: 5' 4" (1.63 m)
Weight: 159 lb (72.10 kg)
Torso: 17.5"/44.5 cm

I have been hiking and backpacking since 2000. Always with a dog by my side, my current trail companions Ranger and Halo (both Louisiana Catahoulas) are helping me cover ground in southeast Indiana, southwest Ohio, and northern Kentucky. I've previously tramped around the upper Midwest, mostly in lower Michigan and northern Indiana. I document our adventures and misadventures on my website, UberPest's Journal. My base pack weight runs around 16 lbs (7.3 kg). My goal is to carry as little weight as possible without sacrificing comfort. My trips are typically 10-15 miles (16-24 km) per day, be it day hike, overnight, weekenders, or week-long treks. Lately I've been doing mostly day hikes, squeezing in longer trips as possible.

Initial Report

Osprey Tempest 40
Osprey Tempest 40 in use in South Carolina.

Product Information and Specifications

Manufacturer: Osprey Packs
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website:
MSRP: US$149.95
Listed Weight: 35 oz (1.0 kg)
Measured Weight: 35 oz (1.0 kg)
Listed volume (Women's S/M): 2441 cubic in (40 L)
Torso fit range: 16-20 in (41-51 cm) for S/M
Hip/waist fit range: 26-45 in (66-114 cm)

The Osprey Tempest is a lightweight backpack designed for use by thru-hikers and lightweight backpackers.

Osprey Tempest 40 Front Osprey Tempest 40 Harness

The pack, like most internal frame packs, consists of one large compartment for the majority of the user's gear. The pack is a top-loader and the main compartment opens and closes using one draw cord. The pack has a top lid, which is removable. The removable lid is held in place with a ladder lock as well as two side-release buckles and straps. The lid has two zippered areas, one under the lid for small items such as a wallet or ID, and a larger one that's accessible from just above the grab loop. The larger zippered compartment is large enough to store items such as navigation tools or snacks.

Osprey Tempest 40 lid main compartment. Osprey Tempest 40 stash pocket.
The main storage pocket in the lid.The under lid stash pocket.

The pack's harness consists of a frame sheet, shoulder straps, and a hip belt.

The frame sheet is a piece of stiff but flexible corrugated foam. The foam has a channel in the middle to allow air flow between the pack and the user's back. The foam is further covered with mesh fabric to prevent the user's back from coming in contact with the foam back panel. This is referred to by the manufacturer as an Airscape back panel. The suspension system also has a bent aluminum tube around the periphery of the pack. This is reminiscent of external frame packs, even more so when combined with the mesh back panel. The harness allows for fine tuning torso lengths using hook and loop panels.

The two shoulder straps are made of a lightweight foam similar to the foam in the frame sheet. The foam in the shoulder straps has holes cut into it instead of being corrugated. The straps are covered with a lightweight mesh. My guess is this is to reduce the weight of the pack while keeping the pack breathable and cool for the wearer. The left strap has a stretch mesh pocket that is in a spot that could be useful for snacks or the end of a hydration hose. My Samsung Galaxy S3 phone fits in this pocket, but just barely. The sternum strap buckles with a side-release buckle with a built-in safety whistle.

The hip belt is made from the same material as the shoulder straps and has one zippered stretch pocket per side. My small Olympus digital camera fits in either of these pockets. The belt buckles with a side-release buckle.

Osprey Tempest 40 hip pocket.
One of the hip belt pockets.

There is a gear loop on the left side of the pack that is part of the "stow on the go" trekking pole carrying system. The other attachment point for this is at the base of the mesh pocket on the left shoulder strap.

Each side of the pack has a mesh pocket for items such as water bottles or tent poles. The pockets have compression straps that can be routed on top of the pocket or inside the pocket.

The back of the pack features a large mesh pocket for quick access items. This pocket buckles closed under the pack lid. The bottom of this pocket has a thicker material, somewhat like vinyl, that has two slashes in it. This is to attach a safety light.

The pack has what's referred to by the manufacturer as a sleeping bag compartment. There is no real compartment‒the pack has a zipper here that allows access to the bottom of the pack. The bottom of the pack, on the outside of the sleeping bag access panel, is a pair of straps for attaching a sleeping pad. Near these straps there are two pairs of gear loops that allow for tools to be secured to the outside of the pack. The bottom of each pair of gear loops is webbing and the top is elastic.

All of the zippers on the pack except the zipper on the pocket under the lid are rigid plastic loops about the size of one of my fingers.

Osprey Tempest 40 Bottom Front
The bottom of the pack allows zippered access to the bottom of the pack.
Also shown: sleeping pad straps, tool loops, and safety light attachment point.

The pack is hydration compatible. Most packs seem to put the bladder inside the pack. The Tempest 40 has the bladder between the frame and the pack bag.

Osprey Tempest 40 Hydration Pocket
The hydration pocket is between the harness and the pack bag.

Initial Impressions

At a glance the pack appears to be a large technical day pack despite the manufacturer's claim that its niche is for thru-hiking and lightweight backpacking. It seems to me to be at the small end of an overnight/weekend pack, but that may be because I'm used to carrying my tent and sleeping pad inside my pack. This pack is designed for pads to be secured to the outside. During the test cycle I'll have to see how this works out. I use primarily lightweight equipment, but since I do take a few comfort items I may have to be creative with my packing if I want to take the luxury items on the trail with me. My main luxury item is an Exped Synmat Basic inflatable mattress that compacts down to about the size of a 35 oz (1 L) Nalgene bottle.

The location of the hydration bladder between the back panel and the pack body is new to me and I'm curious how it compares to my experience with other packs, especially with regards to filling an empty bladder.

Lately I've been hiking using only one trekking pole, but since my shelter relies on the use of two trekking poles I have to stash the second pole somewhere while I hike. The stow-and-go feature is one I'm looking forward to using in the field.

To me the materials feel lightweight, but they don't feel flimsy or cheap.

Trying It Out

I was able to do a quick walk with this pack while in South Carolina's Low Country to get an idea of its performance.

I hiked a flat trail in Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge. The temperature was about 90 F (32 C) and 85% humidity. Elevation for this hike was 10 ft (3 m). I hiked two miles while wearing a synthetic wicking t-shirt. I carried about 12 lb (5.4 kg), which is well below the manufacturer's comfort rating of 30 lb (13.6 kg) and under the max rating of 40 lb (18 kg).

While I hiked I noticed a definite breeze on my back, which is something I've never had with an internal pack. While I was sweaty when I was done with my walk my back was no worse than the rest of me. The pack carried well, but I felt it wasn't enough weight to keep it from bouncing. During the test period I'm going to see what I can do with weight and weight distribution to make this better.


The Osprey Tempest is a lightweight backpack that appears to span the gap of a long-haul day pack as well as a lightweight summer fastpacking pack.

I will update this report in approximately two months with my experiences of field use.

I thank Osprey Packs and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to test the Osprey Tempest 40.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Packs > Internal and External Framed Backpacks > Osprey Tempest 40 > Test Report by Amanda Tikkanen

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