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Osprey Tempest 20 Review – Full Featured Day Pack | Average Hiker

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Osprey Tempest 20 Review

The Osprey Tempest 20 Backpack is a versatile daypack that will accommodate all of your gear on almost any day hike. With its numerous features and comfort, this is a durable backpack that will become your grab-and-go day pack, whether hiking, biking, skiing, or just heading into town.

The innovative Tempest 20 has features – bike helmet attachment, exterior hydration sleeve, etc., found on more expensive backpacks. Combined with lightweight and comfort, this is a pack that you should consider for your daily trips, on or off the beaten path.

Osprey Tempest 20 Summary

Size: WS/MWeight: 1.65 lbs.
Volume: 20LMax Carry: 20 lbs.
Main Fabric: 70D/100D NylonFabric Bottom: Nylon Packcloth
Load Type: Top LoadFrame: No
Torso Adjust: YesWaterproof: No
Pros: Comfortable, Versatile, DurableCons: Small, No pack cover

Backpack Requirements

Below are my requirements when purchasing a backpack.

  • Light Weight – I like to keep my daypacks at around 20 ounces or less.
  • Durability – A durable pack is critical since I often go off-trail on day hikes.
  • Size – A pack around 20L is usually sufficient for my needs, but not any smaller. Since I go off-trail or for long hikes, I often carry contingency gear.
  • Water-Resistant – This is not critical since I don’t usually day hike unless the weather is good.
  • Mesh Pouch – A large mesh pocket on the rear of my backpack is a “must-have.” I often lunch in this pocket.
  • Frame – No frame is necessary since I keep the weight low.
  • Water Bottle Pockets – I need water bottle pockets since I don’t use a hydration system.

Tempest 20 Competitors

Camelback RR 2226 oz22L$100Padded
Hyperlite Daybreak19 oz17L$195Padded
Gregory Miwok 2430 oz24L$120Padded
Arc’teryx Brize 2532 oz25L$159Webbing
Patagonia BH 2523 oz25L$129No
Salomon XA 2515 oz29L$189Strap
BD Bolt 2433 oz26L$139Padded
REI Co-op Flash 2213 oz22L$55Strap
Deuter Speedlite 2018 oz20L$75Strap

Compare Prices

Tempest 20 – First Glance

Out of the box, the Tempest 20 looked small, but once I adjusted the torso pad and packed what I needed for the day, the backpack fit well, and I had the room I needed.

The only thing missing from the backpack was the sternum strap whistle. One did not come with my pack, but I’m fine without it.

The backpack was light and appeared well-made. Although not a priority, it is a good-looking backpack, and it has plenty of pockets and straps to add gear or compress the load.

Osprey Tempest 20 – Fit


The Osprey 20 does not have a frame, but the back panel is part of its Airscape System that gives the daypack enough rigidity to comfortably hold up to 20 pounds. I filled a 2L hydration sack and carried a 1L water bottle in each side pocket with no problem.

The Airscape System includes the backpack panel with foam ridges, covered by mesh fabric. This system provides good airflow and keeps you much cooler in warmer temperatures or when you are working hard.

One nice thing about this backpack is that it has an adjustable torso pad with two velcro sections. I extended the torso pad to its maximum length, loaded up the pack, and the torso pad never slipped. The adjustable pad allowed me to fit the backpack to exactly the size I wanted.

The backpack’s width was slightly narrow for my back, but after hiking for a couple of hours, I stopped noticing. This pack does seem to run a little bit on the smaller side. Overall, the fit was good, and I found the backpack comfortable.

Shoulder Straps & Hipbelt

The shoulder straps on the Tempest 20 are very comfortable. They are designed for a woman’s chest and turn out instead of cutting into your chest. The straps are lightly padded and covered with mesh to keep you cool and don’t absorb a lot of moisture when you are sweating.

The shoulder straps are attached to the back pad and have a top strap, which is attached to the backpack, so you can further adjust the fit. The strap on the bottom of the shoulder straps that are attached to the pack is also adjustable.

I found the hip belt comfortable. The belt is wide, lightly padded, and covered with a single piece of mesh. Attached to the backpack and mesh on the back of your pack, the belt wraps around your hips and holds the pack firmly in place with the large buckle on the front of the hip belt.

Additional Pack Straps

The Tempest 20 has numerous straps to add gear and compress the pack, or potentially to secure items in the side pockets. There is also an ice ax loop to secure an ax if needed.

The sternum strap that goes across your chest is fixed. It would have been nice to be able to adjust this strap or slide it up and down the shoulder strap, but the location of this strap works well for me.

Osprey Tempest 20 Review – Storage

This backpack has many convenient pockets and locations for small items. I was able to pack everything I needed for a day trip, even my winter items.

How I Packed My Tempest 20

  • Main Compartment: Down Jacket, 100 Weight Fleece Top, Toiletries, Sawyer Water Filter
  • Top Pocket: First Aid Kit, Headlamp, Toilet Paper
  • Side Pockets: One 1L water bottle in each
  • Zipper Pocket on OTT: Car Keys and Maps
  • Back Mesh Pocket: Lunch and rain gear
  • Hipbelt Pockets: Snacks, InReach Mini, Chapstick

The main pocket has plenty of room for my extra layers, with a stash pocket at the top. The stash pocket has a clip for my car keys and is a very roomy pocket. The back of the main pocket is lined with water-resistant material in case the hydration system leaks.

Above and behind the main pocket is a smaller zippered pocket with plenty of room for more gear when you want to grab something fast without unpacking, like first aid supplies, water filter, etc.

The large mesh pocket on the back of the pack is nice for holding wet items or anything you don’t want to put inside the backpack. I sometimes keep my rain gear in this pocket.

Additional storage pockets include the hip belt pockets and the small mesh stash pocket on your shoulder strap. The small stash pocket was too small for anything I wanted to put in it, and I put my InReach and snacks in my hip belt pockets.

Tempest 20 Review – Materials

The Tempest 20 is made with 70D and 100D nylon fabric. The bottom of the backpack and accents use 420HD Nylon Packcloth. The bottom fabric is tough, which is good since I tend to be tougher on my daypacks than I am on my multi-day backpacks.

Seams are not sealed or taped on the Tempest 20, but the inside of the front pocket and the hydration sleeve are water-resistant.

Tempest 20 – Additional Features

The Tempest 20 has an external hydration sleeve located between the back of the pack and the back pad. An external sleeve prevents you from having to unpack your backpack to fill your water, which is definitely a good feature on this pack.

Another cool extra feature is the bike helmet attachment clip on the back of the backpack to attach your bike helmet. It is effortless to use with a stretch cord to pull out and clip the helmet in place.

There are attachment cords on the side of the backpack for your hiking poles. These are ok for short scrambles, but I found them a little awkward for carrying my poles any distance.

Osprey Tempest 20 – Final Thoughts

The Osprey Tempest 20 backpack is a durable, comfortable daypack. The pack has many features that make it a versatile pack, and the pack is roomy enough to carry a full day’s gear thanks to its many pockets.

This pack runs towards the small side, and I found it slightly narrow for my back. This did not make it an uncomfortable backpack, though, and much like Osprey’s other backpacks, I find it comfortable over long distances.


  • Volume: The pack seems small initially, but with all of the pockets, I had plenty of room for my gear
  • Features: Good extra features like the bike helmet clip, external hydration sleeve, etc.
  • Comfortable: Comfortable hip belt, shoulder straps, and mesh-covered Airscape back to stay cooler.
  • Durability: The 70D Nylon was not the toughest I have used, but the 100D packcloth on the backpack’s bottom is more than adequate.


  • Size: It runs a little small on width for me.
  • Waterproof: If not using a more water-resistant fabric, Osprey should offer a small pack cover. You can always use a small trash bag.
  • Sternum Strap: I would like to see this adjustable on the vertical movement.

FAQ – Osprey Tempest 20

Is this backpack Waterproof?

The backpack is not waterproof, but the external hydration sleeve is waterproof to prevent leaking into the backpack.

Does this backpack run true to size?

This backpack runs slightly small and is definitely for women.

What are good activities for the Tempest 20?

Hiking, Biking, Skiing, Commuting, General Outdoor

How do I adjust the torso length?

The back pad has Velcro attachments at the top and bottom. You can slide the pad up or down and reattach these.

Average Hiker purchased this backpack and does not write sponsored posts or receive compensation for reviews. When you purchase through links on this website, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. If this review was helpful, please consider purchasing through the links above. Thank you

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7 thoughts on “Osprey Tempest 20 Review – Full Featured Day Pack | Average Hiker”

  1. Hello,
    I have a question about your used Osprey Tempest 20. The Osprey website says the sizes are XS/S and M/L. The size listed for the used pack states S/M. Can you clarify? Thank you. 🙂

    1. Hi

      This was the size tagged on this particular pack. They may have updated the size ranges on their site. I sold the pack last week, but check back. I’m always listing new, lightly used gear. In the near future I’ll be listing a Livingstone Daypack.


  2. Donna VanDerHorn

    I purchased the Osprey 20 for a recent week of hiking. I found it difficult to add a full bladder to the pack because of the frame for the back. I love the frame keeping the pack off my back, but I really struggled inserting a full water bladder to the water pocket. Anyone else? Any ideas to make it easier?

    1. Hi Donna

      I don’t use hydration bladders anymore but when I used to use them I would either fill them less or lay them in the pack if there was a hydration port for the hose. You are right though, the hydration bladders often take up a lot of room.

    2. I’m having the same problem! I can’t figure out for the life of me how to insert one while full and trying to fill it while it’s in the pack isn’t the easiest to do.

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