Osprey Talon 6 Review
John Byers, March 11, 2018
I've spent the last few months cross country skiing like crazy. Unlike downhill skiing, I get super tired after just a few minutes, and end up sweating, and needing a drink. I used to bring a backpack with me while skiing, to keep my stuff in, and a water bottle. I noticed the other cross country skiiers tend to use fancy fanny packs instead, which makes sense for cross country skiing. I end up moving my arms like crazy and my backpack always ends up pulling my shirt up as my arms move. So I decided to try a fanny pack.
REI had a good selection, including some aerodynamic Amphipod and Nathan packs. Sadly, none of them were big enough to hold my cell phone (iPhone). The last option was the Osprey Talon 6.
The Talon isn't quite in the same category as the other fanny packs for skiing/running. The Talon is quite a bit bigger. It easily fits my cell phone, keys, wallet, with plenty of room to spare. It has a main pocket, a secondary pocket, and two pockets on the front for easy access. All have zippers, so your stuff won't fall out. You could definitely fit a large cell phone, sandwhich, chips, and have room to spare. Despite the large size, the pack is practically weightless. According to Osprey, it is 11.8 ounces. It comes with two water bottles, one on each side. There are two small clips on the back, which are very convenient for hanging a jacket or sweatshirt on. This is nice because I always start out skiing cold, but quickly get too hot, and can put my jacket on the back of the fanny pack.
I really hate water from a camelbak, and am definitely a water bottle guy. The bottles that come with the Talon 6 are ok. They are pretty generic, but are shaped like a wedge at the bottom, helping them fit into the pack nicely. You could use other water bottles with the pack, as long as they are roughly the same circumfrence. Having two bottles is awesome, as I usually go through both by the end of a few hours skiing. I don't know how the other skiiers do it with less, as they go a lot faster than I do. The dual bottle design is nice. Plus if you want to take a hike and you don't want to share bottles, you have one to share and one for yourself.
The Talon is extremely comfortable, I forget it is there. Cinching it to the right size is nice, Osprey's cinching mechanism is backwards, and extremely smooth. I am pretty skinny, and sometimes stuff doesn't fit around my waist snugly, but the Talon fits comfortably. It doesn't bother me at all during skiing, even when flailing my arms and legs like crazy as I try to get the right form.
The Talon is good. It stays out of my way, while holding all of my stuff. It is big enough for keys, a phone, a wallet, and more, plus a lot of water, so it meets all my fanny pack needs. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a cross country ski bag. I got mine at REI, but it is available on Amazon as well.