APPLICATION TO TEST OSPREY TALON 33 DAYPACK - Jo Ann Moffi
- APPLICATION TO TEST OSPREY TALON 33 DAYPACK
Date: October 30, 2007
Closing Date: November 6, 2007
Note: The Osprey Talon 33 Daypack will also be referred to throughout
the application as 'the pack' for convenience.
I have read and understand the requirements for testing as outlined in
The BackpackerGear.org Bylaws v 0609, including Chapters 4 & 5. I
agree to comply with the testing and report requirements. I have
signed and submitted my tester agreement to the address indicated on
Name: Jo Ann Moffi
Height: 168 cm (5 ft, 6 in)
Weight: 84 kg (185 lbs)
Email address: jomoffi AT gmail DOT com
City, State, and Country: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
I was introduced to backpacking about 15 years ago when I met my
husband. We have been backpacking, canoe camping, car camping, hiking,
and participating in all sorts of outdoor activities ever since. We
live in a border town (US & Canada), so we spend lots of time in both
countries for our outdoor excursions. When making a decision on gear,
I like to go lightweight and practical. I don't like to carry around
extraneous bits and pieces.
Proposed Gear Testing Locations: Northern Ontario and Michigan
Description of Locations & Planned Trips:
Lake Superior Provincial Park: Lake Superior Provincial Park (LSPP) is
a 1600 sq km park located in the transition zone between the Great
Lakes Deciduous and Boreal forests. It's vegetation is comprised of
sugar maple and yellow birch in the hardwood areas, white spruce and
white birch in the uplands and white cedar, black spruce and tamarack
in the lowland areas. The harsh climate and topography has a
significant effect of the climate and conditions in the area,
especially along the shore of Lake Superior, where wind, waves, and
spray create a challenging growing environment for vegetation and a
strenuous hiking experience for humans. The highest point is just
northwest of Old Woman Lake at 594 m (1950 ft).
LSPP Coastal Trail: As the name implies, the Coastal Trail is a 48.5
km trail that follows Lake Superior's eastern shoreline from its
southern end beginning at Agawa Bay to its most northern point at Warp
Bay and Devil's Chair. This is a breathtakingly beautiful area,
although it can be a tricky hike as much of the trail along the
coastline of Lake Superior is craggy outcroppings, sheer rock faces
that drop down into the lake, as well as long stretches of sandy and
rocky beaches. The rocks are lichen covered and can be very slippery,
especially when wet with dew or rain. Some sections require squeezing
through canyon walls littered with fallen rocks and logs. Often the
wind coming off of the lake has blown trees over that obstruct the
trail. There is inevitably a period every afternoon where the wind
picks up considerably. Most evenings are calmer, and some nights can
get pretty breezy as well.
The Hiawatha Highlands is a 3000-acre wooded area. There are 50 km (31
mi) of maintained trails as well as many more unmaintained trails
requiring navigational skills to wind through. This area contains a
range of forest types including red and white pine old-growth forests
and dense boreal stands of jack pine and spruce linked by a network of
rivers, lakes, and wetlands.
Voyager Hiking Trail:
The Voyager Hiking Trail is an over 500 km (311 mi) discontinuous
trail that extends from the Nipigon River Recreation Trail beginning
just north of Red Rock, Ontario and ending at South Baymouth on
Manitoulin Island in Ontario. Each area has it's own local club that
maintain and add to the trail every year with the goal of a
continuous, non-motorized trail extending across Ontario.
Somewhere South of Home:
This year I have two weeks to get away from home and have a taste of
warmer weather for backpacking. Our plans have not firmed up yet, we
are considering Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Florida,
Georgia, etc – you get the idea. Our only requirements so far are
warmer than here and having backpacking areas of interest to us. Don't
get me wrong, I love my winter activities, but this will be a little
reprieve from our long winter here in Ontario.
The winter weather in Northern Ontario can range from cold sunny days,
blustery overcast days with snow squalls, to the magical, quiet snow
dump days where we get 15.24-30.48 cm (6-12 in) within a couple of
hours, and just about everything in between (no hurricanes or tornados
here though!). We average 15 days of snowfall per month from December
to March. The average annual snowfall for the Algoma district exceeds
3 m (10 ft). In addition, both the Michigan and Ontario shores of Lake
Superior are subject to lake effect snow. Frequent and unexpected
large volume snowfall is common over and above the average snowfall
for the area. This trend occurs to about 12.42 km (20 mi) inland from
the lake. January and February bring bitter cold temperatures. From
mid November to mid April, the temperature does not usually creep
above 0 C (32 F). December brings very little sunshine, averaging only
60 hours for the whole month.
As spring approaches, the snow turns to rain and nature's 'spring
clean-up' begins to wash away the inevitably dirty snow. We get an
average of 10 days a month of rain from March to May. Late spring in
Northern Ontario can still bring some cold nights. We frequently have
below 0 C (32 F) nights until as late as May. In April, the wind
direction changes, coming from the Northwest and averages 13 km/h
Climate normals for Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and area during the test period:
MONTH: AVG MIN TEMP; AVG MAX TEMP
November: -2 C (28.4 F); 4 C (39.2 F)
December: -10 C (14 F); -2 C (28.4 F)
January: -14 C (15.8 F); -5 C (23 F)
February: - 15 C (5 F); -4 C (24.8 F)
March: -9 C (15.8 F); 1 C (33.8 F)
April: -1 C (30.2 F); 9 C (48.2 F)
MONTH: RAIN; SNOW
November: 52 mm (2.05 in); 41 cm (16.14 in)
December: 17 mm (0.67 in); 81 cm (31.89 in)
January: 6 mm (0.24 in); 85 cm (33.46 in)
February: 5 mm (0.2 in); 54 cm (21.26 in)
March: 29 mm (1.14 in); 34 cm (13.39 in)
April: 49 mm (1.93 in); 15 cm (5.91 in)
Most of my backpacking trips are on a whim. I find it challenging to
plan far in advance for my backpacking trips, but I am always looking
for time to escape into what Mother Nature offers. I do not anticipate
getting out for any snow camping or winter overnighters until the
weather starts to warm up again in March/April. However, many day
hikes, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing excursions will occur on
trails in Upper Michigan and in the Hiawatha Highlands and Voyageur
Trail system, both within a 5-minute drive of my home. My husband and
I are also toying with the idea of backpacking in a southern area over
the Christmas holidays this year – most likely involving a couple of
2-nighters in different areas, we haven't firmed up where we are going
yet. All I know is I have two weeks off planned at the end of the year
and we are driving somewhere warmer than here to hike!
Other activities that I have planned for the fall are mountain biking,
canoeing, running, and orienteering. The mountain biking and canoeing
will most likely finish around the end of November. The running and
orienteering I will continue to do all winter. The winter months will
see me cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding. Although I
don't have any adventure races planned for the near future, there is a
sprint race in January as well as several late winter/early spring
ones I am considering. Regardless, the preparation I plan on for the
spring and summer races I would like to do will have me active and
outdoors in all types of weather and using the pack to it's fullest
The activities I participate in have me carrying around pack to stash
additional clothing, snacks, the ever-important hydration system, and
other small items like wallet, keys, headlamp, maps, etc. When I am
out for a day hike or skiing for the afternoon I like to have my gear
on my body somewhere just in case I need it. This means of course that
I need to carry a pack to put it all in as my pockets just don't cut
it! At a capacity of 33 L (2000 cu. in.) or recommended weight
carrying range of 9-13.5 kg (20-30 lbs), the Talon 33 would fit
perfectly into my pack needs this winter.
As a side note, I have been drooling over this series of packs from
Osprey every time I am in an REI, Moosejaw, or any other gear shop
that carries Osprey packs. I think I almost know Ray's Talon reviews
by heart I have read them so many times! I haven't bit the bullet yet
because I can't decide between the 22 and the 33! This certainly would
be the decider - 33 it is! Or maybe I'll just have to buy the 22 so
that I can use them both! (But hon… Ray has both!)
Some aspects and questions I will consider if chosen to test the
Osprey Talon 33 Daypack:
Fit and Comfort:
How easy is it to get the pack fitted to my body? Can I easily get a
good fit from the start or does the pack require constant adjustments?
Are adjustments to fit easy to do in the field?
I know the shoulder harness of this pack has a 'rip and stick' Velcro
attachment to move the harness up or down depending on the wearer's
preference. How well does the Velcro hold up? Hopefully it won't start
to pull away from the pack when it is fully loaded with a hydration
reservoir and gear.
Do the shoulder straps allow enough room for an averagely endowed female?
Is the shoulder harness comfortable? Do I feel areas of excess
pressure from the harness?
Is there enough padding on the hipbelt? Do I feel any pressure areas
from the hipbelt?
Do I feel like the load is distributed evenly onto my hips?
Does the AirScape Backpanel provide enough ventilation to keep my back
cool on warm days?
External Hydration Compartment:
I love the idea of being able to put in and take out a reservoir from
the outside of the pack. All the other packs I've owned thus far you
have to access from inside the main compartment.
Does my current hydration reservoir fit into the pack?
How easy is it to move the port over to the opposite shoulder?
Does the back panel keep any condensation away from the other items
inside the pack? What about keeping any dampness away from my back?
Can I feel the lump of my reservoir when wearing the pack?
Does the warmth of my body warm up the water inside the reservoir?
Is there enough room in the main compartment for all my gear?
Is it roomy enough for a 2-3 day backpacking trip?
Additional Pockets and Carrying Features:
How accessible are the zippered side pockets while wearing the pack?
Can I get more than just an energy gel in the pockets on the sternum straps?
Can the twin mesh side pockets accommodate a water bottle or two? How
about snacks and other small items?
How stretchy are the front and side woven pockets? Can I fit a bike
helmet into the front pocket? How much can I put into the side
Can I strap on ski poles, hiking poles, and/or other items easily with
the side compression straps?
Will I find the bungee tool tie-offs useful?
Is the key fob clip easy to use? I know that the clip is made of
plastic. Is the clip durable?
How abrasion resistant is fabric of the pack? Does it catch easily on
branches, rock outcroppings, or other such obstacles?
There are several different fabric types used in certain areas on the
pack: stretch woven Nylon with Lycra on the front and side pocket
panels, 70D x 100D Nylon shadow check on the top pocket, and 160D x
330D Nylon shadow box for the bottom of the pack. Is there a reason
for the different fabrics? I can understand the want of a stretchy
fabric for pockets, but the rest I would want to see in person to
determine why those fabrics were chosen for the areas they are used
How do the zippers hold up during the test period?
How does the stitching hold up? Are there areas where it is reinforced?
Do the straps fray after multiple uses?
How easily does the blinker patch lend itself to a bike light? Is it
easy to get the light on and off? How durable is the strap? I will
have my husband or friends follow behind me to determine if it is
effectively placed on the pack.
Are the seams taped for moisture resistance? Does the pack keep out
light rain or snow?
Does the pack bounce around on my back when I am moving quickly on the trail?
Can I compress the pack down when there is little in it? How flat will
the compression straps make the main compartment?
Is there a spot for me to strap my snowshoes onto when I'm not wearing them?
How easy is it to keep clean?
Can spills be easily wiped up?
How quickly do liquids absorb into the fabric if something spills on the pack?
I'm sure more questions will arise if I get the opportunity to test this pack.
Previously Written Reports:
I have written nine owner reviews since joining the BGT, my most
recent being in response to the August 2007 Owner Review Call for
Hydration Systems. I am a monitor, a mentor, and a test manager. I
also helped out with the 2007 BGT spring-cleaning.
Reviews Written by Jo Ann Moffi:
Tester Detail Tracking Page:
Gear I'm Currently Testing and It's Progress:
MontBell Wind Jacket (LTR due January 8th)
Tifosi Q3 Eyewear (FR due January 8th)
Outdoor Research W PL400 Gloves (FR due early January)
Spiro Sport Foods Spiro Bites
Integral Designs Penguin Bivy
Larabar Jocolat Bars
I have sufficient time to test and report on the Osprey Talon 33
Daypack, as outlined above. Thank you to BackpackGearTest for
considering my application to test the Osprey Talon 33 Daypack.
- --- In email@example.com, "Jo Ann Moffi"
>Great, hubby is going to blame me...
> (But hon Ray has both!)
I just got the Talon 44 when I was in MN. Watch for a review next
spring or early summer. I am going to use it this weekend for the first
I do love these packs. Dave used mine one time and went and bought one.
I want them to go one more size up so I can replace my Auspex for week-
- The Larabar Jocolat Call is closed.
Thanks to all who applied.
I have applications for
Jo Ann Moffi