Which Osprey pack is best?
Heading out on a hike? You’ll want a sturdy and reliable backpack to comfortably carry all of your gear, accessories, food and water. Osprey is a well-known and trusted brand in the outdoor industry and their popular packs are used by both day hikers and long-distance hikers around the world.
Two of the most popular Osprey pack options are the Atmos 65 and the Talon 22. While the Atmos 65 is ideal for longer backpacking trips, the Talon 22 serves as a perfect day hiking companion.
What to know about the Osprey Atmos 65
If you’ve spent any time out on popular thru hiking trails such as the Appalachian trail or Pacific Crest trail, you’ve likely seen hikers using an Atmos 65. With a capacity of approximately 65 liters, this large but comfortable pack is meant for longer trips, primarily those lasting a week or more.
The Atmos 65 usually costs $270 when not on sale. While this may seem a little pricey to some people, for others, the multitude of features and comfortable suspension system are more than enough to justify the purchase.
Osprey Atmos 65 pros
- Large capacity: The 65-liter capacity means you’ll have plenty of room to store your tent, bear canister, sleeping bag, cooking supplies and everything else you’ll need for an extended stay in the wilderness.
- Anti-gravity suspension: The ventilated suspension system allows you to achieve a custom fit while simultaneously reducing pressure and stress on your shoulders and back. This pack can effortlessly carry loads 30-50 pounds.
- Padded straps: The cushioned mesh shoulder and hip belt straps keep you comfortable and well-ventilated throughout your hike.
- Sleeping bag compartment: A separate sleeping bag compartment located at the base of the pack makes for easy access to one of your most important pieces of gear.
- Hydration reservoir sleeve: The Atmos 65 is compatible with a hydration bladder up to 3 liters in size.
- Multiple organizational pockets: You won’t have to worry about not having enough storage areas for your gear, as there are a number of secure zippered pockets strategically placed throughout the pack, as well as stretch mesh pockets on the front and sides.
Osprey Atmos 65 cons
- Pricey: The high cost is not always practical for all budgets.
- Somewhat heavy: When empty, the Atmos 65 weighs approximately 4.5 pounds. While it may not seem like much, hikers concerned with their base weight may want to look for a lighter option.
- Unnecessary for shorter hikes: Being a multi-day pack means that day hikers or those going on short overnight trips likely won’t need all the extra capacity or bells and whistles the Atmos 65 provides.
Atmos 65 accessories
This slide-sealing reservoir is a smart way to keep yourself hydrated on difficult hikes and great for storing extra water on long dry stretches. It includes a fast-flowing bite valve and on-off switch.
When the weather turns, you’ll want a waterproof pack cover to keep all your essentials from getting soaked. Made from 40D ripstop nylon, this model weighs only a few ounces and won’t take up much room when not in use.
What to know about the Osprey Talon 22
Unlike the Atmos 65, the Talon 22 isn’t built for a thru hike, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own unique benefits. Sporting a lightweight and breathable design and with enough storage capacity for an all-day outing, the Osprey Talon 22 is one of the top daypacks available.
While still not one of the cheapest daypack options, the $130 price tag is more affordable when compared to the Atmos 65. This pack is especially worth it if you also want a pack to use while cycling. To check out other hiking pack options, take a look at the BestReviews hiking backpack guide.
Osprey Talon 22 pros
- Best multi-sport option: One of most appealing aspects of the Talon 22 is the fact that it’s multifunctional, seeing as there are bike helmet and blinker light attachments for cyclists, as well as a secure ice axe loop.
- Lightweight design: Weighing approximately 2 pounds means you won’t have to carry much extra weight while attempting steep switchbacks or pedaling up challenging hills.
- Plenty of storage: The organized hiker will love the exterior and interior zip compartments, as well as the side mesh pockets and hip belt pockets.
- Hydration compatible: Just like the Atmos 65, the Talon 22 is also compatible with a convenient hydration reservoir.
- Sustainably built: The durable material used to build this pack is actually recycled high-tenacity nylon.
- Decent suspension: While it doesn’t use the same anti-gravity suspension as the Atmos 65, the Talon’s AirScape suspension system still provides needed breathability, comfort and stability on uneven terrain.
Osprey Talon 22 cons
- Limited capacity: Anyone looking to carry bulky or large gear may not find the needed space with this 22-liter option.
- Not great for heavy loads: The suspension system and pack materials are rated to comfortably carry a load weighing 10-20 pounds. While this shouldn’t be an issue for most day hikers, it may not be best for those carrying heavy equipment.
- Small pockets: The side mesh pockets are not overly large but can still fit an average-sized water bottle.
Osprey Talon 22 accessories
The small, high-visibility pack cover will protect your Talon 22 and all of its contents from inclement weather while also making it easier to spot at night or in emergency situations.
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For superior rain and water protection in wet climates, you may want to consider keeping your dry clothes, food or any electronic devices inside an ultralight waterproof dry bag.
Should you get an Osprey Atmos 65 or an Osprey Talon 22?
There really is no right answer as to which of these Osprey packs is best, as it all comes down to preference and which model best suits your lifestyle. Backpackers and thru hikers will undoubtedly want to choose the Atmos 65 due to its large capacity and premium suspension. Casual Day hikers are better off using the Talon 22, as it will cut down on unnecessary bulk while providing plenty of storage space for your essentials.
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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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