Sometimes, packing is a bit like Russian dolls, you know you fit one into another, as you often need smaller bags for hiking or cycling. This can really add to the weight so it’s vital that these are light yet strong. I always try to cram everything into one cabin bag avoiding the anxiety of wondering whether my luggage will arrive at the carousel. I also don’t like wheelie cases so I usually take something that converts from a case to a rucksack, useful for making a quick getaway.
Hopefully, If you’ve read my previous articles about carry-on bags, then you’ll know I’ve used different versions of this to travel the world over the years. The 2019 incarnation has a separate laptop compartment, a reduced front pocket, with organiser and key holder, plus a sternum strap to stop it slipping off the shoulder. It’s lighter too, as the back panel has changed and the hip belt is no longer padded.
Otherwise inside it still has a large main compartment plus a separate mesh compartment and an outside zipped cover conceals the padded shoulder straps and hip belt. There’s always a danger of trying to fit too much in but the zips seem strong enough to take the strain of containing the bulk. Don’t be tempted, though, to stuff the upper mesh compartment as the bag can expand to exceed the airline maximum dimensions.
Dimensions (cm): 54 x 33 x 18
Volume: 40 litre
Weight: 1.30 kg
Osprey Talon 18
I’ve also had larger sizes of the Osprey Talon but this 18-litre version is perfect for day hikes. It can easily take waterproofs, thermals, maps, your sandwiches and most important a hydration pack. I think it could also be used for hiking between mountain huts when you need a sleeping bag, change of clothes and sandals.
The mesh covered accordion foam back panel, combined with the hip belt, increases airflow, keeps the load close to the body and spreads the weight evenly around the hips. As usual with Osprey packs there are plenty of pockets, two zipped on each side of the hip belt, two stretch mesh on either side and one inside the lid for small items. There’s a quick access external hydration sleeve but no rain cover as they wanted to keep the weight down.
Dimensions (cm): 50 x 27 x 25 cm
Volume: 18 litre
Weight: 0.63 kg
Get the Osprey Tallon for just £68.45 (31/5/19)
Osprey Syncro 12
The slimline Syncro 12 is ideal for biking but works just as well for hiking. Ventilation is a major feature with the back system and frame allowing maximum airflow to keep you cool during the hottest rides. Even the straps have air holes and a hip belt, as well as a sternum strap, give extra stability.
There are two stretch mesh side pockets, ideal for flasks or water bottles, a front compression pocket and a top pocket for your phone or GPS. What’s almost overkill are the three zipped compartments, the front with internal organiser for storing bike specific tools and spares, the middle for bulky clothing and the back for a hydration bladder. There’s a clever bracket for your helmet, an LED light attachment point and an integrated rain cover.
Dimensions (cm): 46 (l) x 27 (w) x 23 (d)
Volume: 12 litre
Weight: 0.78 kg
Tell Me More About Travel Packs For Hiking And Biking
It’s unlikely you’ll need to take all three, two should be enough, and all come in a range of colours. It’s worth exploring the Tatonka and Osprey websites to see if there’s anything else that might be more suitable for your needs – mountaineering or trail running have their own packs.