Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Osprey Talon 5.5

So for the 15 trigs, I decided not to take my tried and trusted berghaus bladdered- which is now, somewhat disappointingly discontinued, and managed to blag the Talon 5.5 from Lynne to run with. It was a slight gamble having only walked with it once before, and never having actually run with it for a short while, let alone a long run.

Looking at the bits and bobs that I was going to need for the run, it normally all fits quite well into the 8+2 of the bladdered, but would it fit in the Osprey-when it only allegedly takes 5.5 litres.
All packed up and ready to go

3litre bladder, food, spare hat and gloves, a map, waterproof and a minimalist first aid kit (with spare socks). The osprey swallowed it all very well indeed, though with the 3 litre bladder full, it was a little uncomfortable- at least until some of it was consumed, and then it sat very well on the back indeed.

For food on the go, the Talon boasts 2 elasticated pockets on the shoulder straps- just like all other Talons, and that is the only place you can really store stuff- there are no pockets on the hip belts- which is a real shame- I know that it is meant to be pretty minimalist, but even an elasticated one like on the Raptor series would have been a really good touch- nevermind. I could fit 3 geobars in each of the shoulderstraps, so that was potentially about 6 hours food there without stopping anyway.

Geobars stuffed in the front pockets and you can see the full bladder in the pocket- bulging out the back panel
I was wearing the Small/medium back length sack, which was just about perfect for me, Medium/large would have pretty much swamped me, though being pretty much a Medium fit means that I can get away with either.
It was a comfortable fit as soon as I put it on- except for the minor issue with the overfull waterbladder- and I have to say that as time went on and I refilled a couple of times, it was always a bit of an issue getting the bladder in and out of the section made for it.
(I should point out here that I was using an Osprey 3 litre Hydraulics bladder with the slightly re-enforced back to help it retain a specific shape as you fill it up - as opposed to being a sack of water- but I think that it detracts from the concept especially as it just felt like it was causing a pressure point against the middle section of my spine which a camelback would not have)
Maybe I would have been better off with a 2 litre bladder which wouldn't have filled out so much space in the pack- however, it worked, if with a bit of pain for a short while every time I filled it up to the brim.

The harness fit snugly around me, and I was astonished to find that as we ran, my top did not creep up my back. No matter which rucksac I have used for running with in the past, I have always had that annoying issue of my top slowly riding up my back so that I end up with flesh pressed against the rucksac. The way to prevent this was always to crank the harness down as much as I could- which actually ended up melting a couple of my t-shirts because of the friction. (I still use them, its just that they aren't quite as photogenic anymore)!

It was comfortable, held all the bits and bobs I needed it to, it didn't melt my top, or let it ride up, however, it would be perfect if it had a few more little pockets around the bag which you could get to as you are wearing it, instead of having to take it off everytime you want to get hold of something else other than chocolate bars and water. (like a camera or such like).

A good running bag, but not perfect- and if you use it with a bladder, use a 2 litre one, or a 3 litre that isnt quite full.

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