If you want your kids to feel like proper hikers then they need their own rucksack. Here’s our review of the Osprey Talon 11 Junior backpack – one of the best out there.
We’ve been walking and hiking with our boys since they were just weeks old, but those early trips either involved pushchairs or baby carriers. Then once they were old enough to start walking by themselves, we carried all of the gear ourselves to keep things simple.
But our eldest son recently turned five and announced he wanted to climb his first mountain! So before we headed up Cat Bells in the Lake District, we got our hands on the Osprey Talon 11 Junior backpack to give it a test run.
Scroll down for our review…
What’s good about it?
- The Talon Junior 11 is basically a shrunken version of the excellent Osprey Talon adult range. According to the Osprey website this 11-litre pack is aimed at boys, while the girls’ version is the very similar Tempest model.
- The Talon Junior is a multi-activity pack that’s equally at home hiking, biking or simply walking to school, so you’ll get plenty of use from it.
- It features a suspended AirScape mesh back panel that allows plenty of airflow between the pack and your child’s back. Which should reduce condensation and reduce sweat!
- The lightweight fabric means the Osprey Talon 11 Junior feels very light, but still every bit as durable as you’d expect from an Osprey pack.
- The chunky padded hipbelt wraps really nicely around the waist, giving it a cushioned and supportive feel.
- Your child gets plenty of pockets and storage, with one big main zipped chamber and a smaller scratch-free pocket for things like sunglasses and phones. On the outside of the pack there are two stretchy side pockets (great for drinks), a larger stretch pocket on the front (great for maps), plus smaller storage pouches on the hipbelt and shoulder straps (great for sweets).
- Other nice features include the LidLock bike helmet attachment, LED light attachment point and the emergency whistle on the chest strap (although we wish we’d never told him about that last one).
Anything we’d change?
So far, so good for us with the Osprey Talon 11 Junior backpack, although admittedly we haven’t tested its full capabilities yet. Even though we did climb a proper peak with it and Sonny carried it all of the way, it was only loaded with a few snacks, a map and a spare layer.
The price is fairly eye-watering at £80 but in my opinion there’s a big difference between something being expensive and good value for money when it comes to kids’ outdoor gear. If it’s a jacket they’ll grow out of in 3 months then £80 is expensive, but since this is a pack aimed at 6 to 14-year-olds, I’m certainly hoping we’ll use it for lots of great family adventures over the next few years.
Outdoor Dad Verdict – Osprey Talon 11 Junior Backpack
The Osprey Talon 11 Junior will always have a special place in our hearts as the backpack that powered our son up his first mountain. It’s basically a shrunken version of the excellent adult Talon packs, loaded with great features and Osprey’s trademark comfort. Top marks from us!
Disclaimer: Thanks to Osprey for supplying the Talon Junior pack to review.