Rated 5 out of 5 by gma220 Exceeded my expectations!
I am embarrassed to say I have never carried a day pack before. I was worried that the weight would exacerbate an old and sometimes painful degenerative back condition. I was pleasantly surprised that the pack was comfortable, useful, and absolutely exceeded my expectations in every way. The fit was perfect and the capacity totally adequate.
June 18, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by NewHampshireShopper Premium features, lightweight, not for the tall
In a nutshell: Great pack, worth the price, but see if you can find a place to try it on in person, as the gender-specific shaping makes sizing matter a lot, and the largest size may not fit a tall woman.
I took a leap of faith and ordered this pack after Backpacker magazine named it and the men's version (Talon# best all-around daypack. I spend time hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, as well as doing annual climbs of Mt. Katahdin, and need a pack with room for the provisions those environments require. In addition to food, water, safety gear, and various odds and ends, I typically carry at least one extra insulating layer, pants, jacket, hat, and mittens, even in the middle of the summer. For the last several years I've been hiking with a great "major outdoor outfitter" pack in the same price range and it's roomy and rugged, but doesn't have a gender-specific fit or as many adjustment points, and the ruggedness makes it more than a pound heavier than this pack.
L.L. Bean has some great packs of its own for a bit less than this Osprey pack, but the light weight of the Tempest 20 sold me. When it arrived, I was not disappointed. It has a lot of premium features which are often missing from daypacks, such as adjustable suspension at hip and shoulders, and roomy pockets on the outside of the hip belts. There are loops at the back for trekking poles, a loop at the front for whatever #ice axe, some other small tool, maybe even some sort of camera rigging# and an attachment point at the back for a reflector, blinker, or helmet. The back panel has the best airflow design I've seen, to keep your back cool while hiking. And, the pack has a great woman-specific ergonomic fit, making it really comfortable.
The not-so-great: When I first tried on the pack, I was convinced that it didn't fit me. I am a hair under 5'8" #tall, but not unusually so, and normal weight# and ordered the S/M, which I have confirmed is the largest size available anywhere for this model. Despite my height, I have disproportionately long legs, which means a disproportionately short torso, so many women my height would have longer torsos. The distance between the fixed top of the shoulder straps, and the fixed hip belt simply seemed too short for me. Making matters worse, or so it first seemed, was the fact that the hip belts are anatomically-shaped, flaring out slightly to rest on a woman's hips. If instead of resting on the hips they are up above the natural waist, they can't even be cinched tightly against the body. I wondered if perhaps, given all the adjustment points, I just didn't have it adjusted properly. Making minor adjustments helped a little bit, but it still seemed that the pack was simply too short for my back. Finally, I filled it up with gear #as it would really be used# and the weight of the gear finally made the pack sit properly. But, be aware, I think I am at the limits of what will fit. A taller woman or someone with a longer torso would do well to look for this in a store and try it on #packed with some gear# to make sure it fits.
The only other "not-so-great" - although this is clearly well-constructed of high-quality materials, and has great style, there is a reason it is so light-weight. All material is thinner than one might be used to, and this is most notable on the bottom of the pack. I'm not sure how well this will hold up to tossing onto or dragging across rocky terrain. I'm interested in doing some overnight backpacking using only a daypack, so shaving a pound off the weight of my pack itself is more important than extreme durability. And, the light weight is just so much more comfortable and cooler even on a day hike.
April 24, 2014