Osprey Backpack Review: Talon 44 vs. Exos 48

When it comes to awesome outdoor packs, Osprey backpacks are always an excellent choice. My Osprey pack is an indispensable part of every trip, from urban jet-setting to international moves to long stays in the great outdoors!

However, there are so many different Osprey options that it can be hard to choose. When it comes to smaller, one or two day packs, there are two main options: the Talon 44 and the Exos 48. So which is better? Read on and find out!


 Osprey Talon 44Osprey Exos 48
Images
SizesSmall/medium (26 x 12 x 11 inches),Medium/large (28 x 12 x 11 inches)Small (26 x 14 x 12 inches),Medium (28 x 14 x 12 inches),Large (30 x 14 x 12)
Weight2.31/2.4 lbs.2.23/2.31/2.4 lbs.
Capacity42/44 liters45/48/51 liters
StrapsShoulder and hipShoulder and hip
Suspension SystemWire frame, head curve, foam back panelStrong suspension frame
PocketsFront, side, strap, hoodFront, side, strap
ColorsBlack or blueGreen or blue
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Osprey Talon 44

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isRxXgOShro

Osprey Exos 48

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NeTOxdiOTw

Sizes

The Talon 44 and the Exos 48 start out around the same size in the small versions, but the larger you go, the greater the size discrepancy. The small Exos 48 is just slightly bigger than the small/medium Talon 44. However, the Exos 48 has a distinct medium size, while the Talon 44 skips straight to medium/large. The large Exos 48 is several inches bigger than the Talon 44. If you have very specific sizing needs, this could make a significant difference for you.

One great feature of both of these packs is that you can adjust the size. The frame has torso adjustments that you can use to extend the height of your pack, if necessary. The frames also come in gender-specific models for maximum comfort.

Weight

While the Exos 48 is bigger than the Talon 44, the Exos backpack is actually slightly lighter, at least in the small version. The large versions are the exact same weight, however. While the weight difference isn’t that big, it does give the lighter Exos 48 a slight edge over the Talon 44, as far as the smaller sizes go.

Capacity

Both the Osprey Talon 44 and the Osprey Exos 48 have single main compartments. The Talon 44 can fit up to 44 liters, and the Exos 48 can fit up to 51 liters. In every size, the Exos wins in the capacity category. This is great, especially if you’re taking a full two-day trip!

A perk of the Talon 44 is that in addition to the 44 liter sack, it also has attachments for you to strap your sleeping bag. The Exos 48 does not have this, so if you are taking a sleeping bag, it will have to go in the bottom of your pack.

Another benefit of the Talon 44 is that there is a space between the frame of the pack and the back for you to slip a hydration pack. The Exos 48 does not have this feature.

Straps

Both the Exos 48 and the Talon 44 Osprey packs feature similar shoulder and hip straps. These are made with technology that makes them comfortable and breathable, so you won’t have rubbing or excess sweating. The hip straps double as a hip belt and feature two zipper pockets, while one small pocket is located on a shoulder strap. Both also feature compression straps, although the Talon 44’s compression straps are much more versatile.

Suspension System

The suspension system on both packs is excellent—after all, what else would you expect from Osprey? However, there are some differences between them, which are simply a matter of preference. The Osprey Talon 44 Day Pack suspension has breathability and comfort. It is made of metal wire, and is backed by foam.

The Exos 48 actually boasts a suspension system superior to that found in the Talon 44. It’smore comfortable and has better airflow, and the system is built more durably. Perhaps the lack of a hydration system leaves more room for a better suspension system.

Pockets

The Talon 44 pack may lose points in the suspension category, but it definitely wins in the pocket category—as long as you like lots of pockets! While both packs have Osprey’s signature stretchy front mesh pocket, two water bottle side pockets, and the pockets on the straps, the Talon 44 has bigger pockets as well as two additional pockets on the hood.

Speaking of hoods, the hood on both packs is removable. If you don’t need the extra protection, you can take it off in order to make your pack lighter.

Another benefit of the Talon 44 is that is has both a spindrift collar opening on top, and also a zipper pocket on the bottom that allows you to grab things from the bottom of your pack.

However, if you like to travel in a minimalist style, the Exos is may appeal more to you. It is more streamlined, with fewer places for things to get lost.

Verdict

Both the Osprey Talon 44 Day Pack and the Osprey Exos 48 are excellent backpacks for travel, backpacking, hiking, and more. If I had to pick my favorite, though, I would go with the Exos 48. It doesn’t have all the fancy pockets and straps, but it gets the job done with less hassle and more comfort.

In my opinion, a superior suspension system wins every time! I’d rather have comfort than another zipper or two. It’s also bigger, and cheaper. Of course, if you are going to be taking a longer trip, the sleeping bag attachments and hydration system of the Talon 44 may make the extra cash worth it for you. After all, it is also very comfortable!

However, I think the choice should really come down to which pack fits you better. It doesn’t matter how awesome a pack looks or sounds—if it doesn’t fit right, it’s just not going to work. The best way to pick is to try both on and see what you’d want to walk around with for days at a time.

Breana
 

Chief editor here at Sky-Liners, Breana is a former expat and outdoor enthusiast who grew up on camping, hunting, and hiking. If she could live anywhere, it would be a tree fort in the woods. For now, she's surviving on weekly hiking trips and monthly mountain breaks. You can read more about Breana's adventures on her blog at 3rdCultureWife.

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