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Osprey Tempest 40 Women's Backpack
Test Series by: Gail Staisil, Marquette, Michigan

Page Contents:

Initial Report - August 23, 2014
Initial Report:Author on Lake Superior
August 23, 2014

 Tester Information

 Name: Gail Staisil
Age: 62
Gender: Female

 Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 152 lb (69 kg)
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
Email: woodswoman 2001 AT yahoo DOT com

For over two decades, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Canada. My pack weight varies considerably but my base weight is below 18 lb (8 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages more than 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero temps.

Product Information

Tempest 40

Tourmaline Green (also available in Stormcloud Grey)

Women's (WS/WM)-Medium; also available in Women's XS/S)-Small
Manufacturer Weight (on tag)
2 lb 1 oz (0.95 kg)
Tested Weight 
2 lb 3 oz (0.99 kg)
Model Year

Initial Impressions and Product Description 

The Osprey Tempest 40 arrived in the color of Tourmaline Green (a very neat teal green) and the requested size of Women's Medium (WS/WM). My torso length of 19 in (48 cm) works perfectly. The workmanship on the pack is topnotch!

The Osprey Tempest 40 (2441 cu in) is a women's specific backpack. It is the largest of the Tempest series which includes six
packs ranging from 9 L (549 cu in) to 40 L (2441 cu in). Many of these smaller packs would be more suitable for day hiking or adventure racing. A comparable pack is called the Talon for men.

The Tempest is rated as a multi-use pack in that it can be used for short/light backpacking trips and or other adventures where more gear is needed. Osprey refers to these as "Active Light Pursuits". The pack is rated to up to 40 lb (18 kg). The body of the pack is fabricated with 700 X 1000 mini shadow nylon and 2100 dobby nylon. The pack is a top loader with a removable lid.

Design and Technical Features
Osprey Tempest 40 Backpack
Osprey does an amazing job with describing the features of the pack with down loadable manuals on the website. There are a huge amount of features on this smallish pack. The main features of the backpack are as follows:

The AirScape backpanel is a mesh-covered backpanel made of molded foam. The foam is applied or sectioned in three pieces (one is low and the others are on each side) on the rigid backpanel. It creates channels in it to likely make it more comfortable. The backpanel is reportedly lightweight and supportive with an aluminum frame. There is a hang loop just above the backpanel.

Behind the backpanel but opening on the exterior rather than interior is a hydration bag compartment that lies between the inside and outside of the pack. This provides quick access to a hydration bag without disturbing the actual contents of the pack. The hydration bag is not provided but there is a clip inside the pocket to secure it (bags up to 3 L would work with it).

The gender-specific BioStretch Harness adjustable harness is fabricated with mesh-covered die cut foam (eighteen holes per side). It also has an emergency whistle in the closure clip on the sternum strap. One shoulder strap of the harness has a narrow mesh pocket on it that might be handy for a small item such as sunscreen, etc.
The harness can be adjusted by loosening the load lifter straps and sliding my hand between the pack and harness to release the hook-and-loop closure. Re-position and press firmly to hold.

The Stow-On-The-Go feature allows me to secure my hiking poles when they are not needed without taking the pack off. The top part of the loop with cordlock is located on the left shoulder strap and the bottom holder is an integrated elasticized loop covering by plastic tubing located on the side stretch pocket on the left side of pack.
The basket end of the poles can be inserted into this by pulling the loop away from the pocket.
Backpanel, harness of Tempest 40
A BioShield hipbelt features a foam core with twelve cut-outs on each side and has zippered mesh pockets, one on each side of the center closure. The zippers end with a simple half-ring shaped rubber closure. The ErgoPull belt closure is easy to use while allowing a mechanical advantage and sports a very light plastic-like buckle.

Besides the hip belt pockets, there are several more pockets on the pack including dual-entry stretch side pockets on the body of the pack (can be accessed from both side or top). Incorporated are the InsideOut Compression straps which allow me to compress the contents of the pack without hindering access to the stretch pockets.
There is a hole located on each lower side of each pocket so that the webbing can be used either over or underneath the pocket. To change the location I needed to un-thread the webbing from the buckle and reposition the buckle and webbing on the side preferred. The stretch pockets are nice and deep at 9.5 in (24.13 cm). There is a convenient web tab on the top and side of each pocket that can be pulled out to place or remove gear.

The back of the pack features a large shovel pocket. A clip with adjustable webbing allows the contents to be secured as well as adapted for different amounts of gear. A removable top lid is featured on the top of the pack. Inside there is a clip to secure a key or other item such as a travel wallet. The underside of the pocket features a large zippered pocket as well.

There are reflective graphics screened on the back of the pack. This likely would be handy for night hiking as I doubt I would be using it anywhere that vehicle lights would bounce off of it.

Inside of hood features zippered pocketAt the bottom of the pack are sleeping pad straps. Although I don't normally carry gear on the outside of the pack, this might be handy as the inside of the pack likely won't fit all of my gear for a backpacking trip. Time will tell. A sleeping bag compartment is located at the bottom of the pack. It isn't so much a compartment in that there is no partition, but it allows access to the bottom of the pack. Since I usually keep my first aid supplies at the bottom of the pack, this might insure quick accessibility if ever needed.

As is standard on many packs there are ice axe loops with tie-offs. Each of the latter features a clove hitch-style bungee with a Y-Clip allowing an ice tool to be fastened with a cordlock. The cords fit neatly into notches in the Y-Clip to secure. 

The manufacturer suggests emptying out the pack as well as hanging it to dry after a trip. Nikwax products are recommended to clean the pack "now and then".

I really hope to try backpacking with this pack before I need to pack bulky cold weather gear. It will be fun to see if I can squeeze my normal three-season gear in it. Otherwise it will be welcomed for day activities including upcoming winter backcountry skiing and more. (Winter comes early here!)



  • Comfortable harness system
  • Lightweight
  • Women's specific fit
  • ErgoPull belt :)


  • Smaller volume than I am used to for backpacking
Tester Remarks 

Thanks to Osprey and BackpackGearTest for this opportunity to test the Tempest 40 Backpack. Stay tuned for my next two reports.       

First photo of pack: courtesy of manufacturer 

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