In my opinion, hiking and sustainability go hand in hand. While practicing leave-no-trace principals on the trail is essential, it’s important to factor in the environment before you even leave your home.
Although I’m not perfect, I try to purchase clothes and gear that were created with our beautiful planet in mind. Osprey recently launched the Talon Earth 22: the brand’s first Bluesign-approved product and its most sustainably made backpack to date. Of course, I had to give it a try.
In short: Osprey unveiled the Talon Earth in August 2022. From zippers to webbing to labels, the Talon Earth is Osprey’s biggest stab at using (almost) all recycled materials — fabric, thread, and other components. (Roughly half of the plastic hardware is also Bluesign.) But anything can be made with more sustainable practices in mind. The Talon Earth goes a step further to provide an option for a technical, 22L pack that doesn’t sacrifice fit, comfort, or performance on trail.
What Is Bluesign-Approved?
Bluesign is a sustainability standard that is internationally recognized in countries including Europe, Asia, and North America. In order to carry the Bluesign certification, manufacturers must meet rigorous sustainability standards.
Bluesign aims to provide more sustainable textile production solutions by eliminating harmful substances at each step of the supply chain. Its standards also ensure that materials and production are safe for workers, customers, and the environment.
If something is Bluesign certified, then it is free from harmful substances, safe for businesses, consumers, and the environment. It also minimizes air emissions, reduces water emissions, increases resource productivity, provides manufacturing transparency, and a lot more.
Osprey Talon Earth 22 Review
Pack Components & Attachments
The Talon Earth has all the features you could hope for in a hiking backpack and then some, making it incredibly versatile. The backpack includes an internal padded laptop sleeve, a tuckaway ice axe attachment with bungee tie-off, a bike helmet attachment, and an external hydration sleeve.
Other thoughtful features include a light attachment, stretch mesh side pockets, dual zippered hipbelt pockets, and an AirScape back panel.
Osprey went all out with the Talon Earth to ensure that it was as eco-friendly as possible. Due to its high level of consumer safety, minimal impact on people and the environment, and responsible use of resources, it earned the Bluesign certification.
Made from as many recycled materials as possible, Osprey’s team worked to reuse instead of recreate in every instance that they could—the fabric, zipper chains, webbing, and labels are all made from recycled materials.
And about half of the plastic hardware is made from certified renewable natural gas (meeting Bluesign certification). It’s built with sustainability in mind, but also technical chops — and impressed us on both counts.
Hitting the Trail: Testing the Talon Earth 22
Although the Talon Earth sounded excellent on paper, I hit the trail to see if it was as good in practice as it sounded. I opted for a hike that included flat terrain, rock scrambles, climbing, creek crossings, and a waterfall to really put the pack through the wringer.
Upon fitting the pack to my body, I liked that it felt like a backpacking pack. It has a padded hip belt and a sternum strap, so it’s easy to get a secure fit — and, take some of the weight off your shoulders if you’re carrying a heavier load.
I live in a hot and humid climate, so the breathable AirScape backpanel was much appreciated and greatly helped reduce back sweat. I also really appreciate the zippered pockets on the hipbelt — they allow me to have easy access to my phone, chapstick, snacks, and other essentials.
All of the straps are adjustable. And while still comfortable, I found this pack to be a little on the bigger side, so best to check the size chart if you’re a more petite hiker.
The Talon Earth has two main zippered compartments as well as a small, zippered area, so it’s easy to divide and store your gear. And I drink a lot of water while hiking, so the fact that this pack has ample spots for hydration storage was a huge win.
Overall, I found the Talon Earth to be a great option for longer day hikes. If you plan on doing short hikes and want a lightweight pack, you may want to look at other options. But if you like lengthier hikes with lots of gear, the Talon Earth is comfortable and provides plenty of storage.
Available in three muted earth tones, the pack is sleek and stylish and ticks all my boxes. The fact that it meets Bluesign standards? Well, that’s just a bonus.