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Meet Marina Fleming and Her Osprey Talon 44

Marina at Glacier National Park

This post is part of a series in which ladies on the road offer a review of their backpack. Today’s post comes from my friend Marina, who has ridden her bike across the country and volunteered for Americorps.

Hello hello! My name is Marina and I was bitten by the travel bug at a young age. My current goal is to visit all 50 states and I’m quite thrilled to have already traveled to 38 of them. Outside of the US, I’ve traveled (in order) to Mexico, Canada, Honduras, Bahamas, Belize, Spain, France, Monaco and England. I just returned from a trip to New Orleans, LA and have high hopes to visit the New England area in January. Long term, I plan to travel extensively in South America starting next fall.

What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?

I have an orange Osprey Talon 44. I got it about two years ago from REI for about $130 after a 20% off coupon. I’m not sure I could have justified the splurge otherwise. However, it’s been worth every penny.

>> Get an Osprey Talon 44 on Amazon

How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?

Over the past couple years I’ve only traveled domestically with my pack, mostly on outdoorsy type adventures. The shortest trip I’ve done is a simple overnight, with the longest being a 10 day backpacking/cycling trip around Glacier National Park. It is large enough to carry the essentials for a long tour (sleeping bag, sleeping pad, one pair of running shoes, flip flops, two changes of clothes, a puffy jacket, hat, toiletries and food) but light enough to not be a hassle for just a weekend. All the straps are great for cinching things down and I really love the outside, front stretchy pocket for my smelly running shoes or muddy Chacos. While less frequent, I’ve also used it for short weekend trips outside of the woods and have even worn it on my back to a wedding, stuffed with flowers coming out of the top.

Marina's backpack and things

What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack? How did you come to choose this one?

My first narrowing factor was size; I needed something between my larger extended trip Gregory pack and smaller day packs. The second and third narrowing factors were weight and the way it fit my body. The Talon is super light weight, all of the straps are super form fitting and cushy enough to not feel like they are digging into my hips or shoulders. I chose the Osprey because of all those aspects and I chose to purchase at REI because of their stellar return policy in the event that it didn’t work out like I had expected. Thankfully that hasn’t been the case!

>> Read our Ultimate Female Guide to Picking a Backpack for further assistance

What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?

It sounds really superficial but I love the color of my bag. The orange stands out in the woods, in the dark, in other piles of bags that it gets squished in with and is easily identifiable. I love that. I also love how size adaptable it is. If I want to cram it to it’s gills I can and it might weigh somewhere in the 30lb range, but if I want to travel light weight I can tighten it up so it doesn’t feel loose or cumbersome at all.

Marina with her Osprey Talon
Marina with her Osprey Talon

Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.

My bag is not a women’s specific design but I haven’t found that to be a problem at all. It’s a size medium which has worked well for me (5’7, 130ish lbs), and you can tighten or loosen the straps a great deal for wiggle room. My boyfriend has used it before and it fit him too (6’2, 170ish lbs). Additionally, it’s always been super comfortable. The only exception was when I carried it on my back during a near 300 mile bicycle tour. In hindsight that was a terrible idea and no pack could be expected to be ideal for those conditions!

If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?

Yes, I have squeezed it into many a overhead compartments, much to the dismay of certain Delta flight attendants.

Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?

It’s perfect! But the right size all depends on your purpose for the pack.

Overall, would you recommend your backpack?

I love my Osprey and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a similar use pack.

>> Read about the Osprey Ariel or the Osprey Aura backpacks, too.

Thanks Marina for your insight and sharing your experiences with your backpack. Marina doesn’t have a blog, but if you have any questions for her about her backpack or her travels, be sure to leave them in the comments!

>>Check out more of the best travel backpacks for women.

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking! – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. Lisa Samani says

    I loved this review! I bought this pack for my 3 week trip to New Zealand this year….mainly using it to hike the Milford Track. I have the other sizes of the Talon also and I love them all……the 11,22 and 33. They are the most comfortable backpacks that I have ever worn. Now that I have all of the sizes I should be set for a lifetime of travel. Just took the 11 to a hiking and biking trip in Ohio.

  2. Judy says

    I have one of these and I have managed to get it into the overhead bin on smaller regional jets (CRJ) on many trips as long as it’s not filled past the level of the internal frame. Once at your destination, you have plenty of extra room to carry food, water, and other supplies. It’s super light and extremely comfortable. My few gripes are that it’s a top loader and has little internal organization – it’s basically one big cavity with a small brain pouch on the top. So sometimes you have to rummage to find what you need. That said, I recommend it highly. If you want better interior organization and easier access to your stuff, the Osprey Sirrus 36 is superb (although a bit smaller) and it comes in purple. 🙂

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