Osprey Tempest 30 backpack on the Camino Portugues

Osprey Tempest 30: Backpack Review

It can be difficult to know where to start in choosing a backpack for the Camino especially if, like me, you read about a million reviews before making a decision about anything!

A backpack is likely to be one of the biggest single expenses you’ll have, bar your travel costs. Good backpacks don’t come cheap and you don’t want to skimp on quality. It would be a long and painful journey if you bought the wrong one.

Choosing the right backpack for the Camino

When choosing your backpack remember that, unless you’re taking advantage of the luggage transfer service, you’ll need to carry it daily for anything from five days, if you’re doing one of the shorter routes, up to two months or more if you’re doing a longer walk, which is why it’s so important to get the right one for you.

The general rule of thumb is that your backpack, when packed, shouldn’t weigh more than ten per cent of your body weight so, for the average woman, a 30 litre backpack should be more than enough.

If you go for a backpack any bigger than 40 litres there’s the temptation to fill it with things that you definitely won’t need – remember, unnecessary weight is your enemy when walking the Camino!

It also doesn’t matter whether you’re doing a short five day hike or walking for a month or more. A longer hike doesn’t translate to a bigger pack – just carry the same amount of gear and wash it regularly.

However, you will need to take account of the time of year that you’re planning to walk. If you’re walking during the summer months you can get away with lightweight clothing. Walking during spring and autumn you’ll probably want to carry an extra fleece or lightweight jacket without adding too much weight to your backpack. However, if you’re walking during the winter months where you’ll need warmer (and therefore most likely heavier) clothes you might need to upsize your backpack.

Regardless, the 10% rule still applies. When I was fully packed mine weighed just under 6 kgs (not including water).

A walker wearing the Osprey Tempest 30 backpack

After much research I eventually settled on the Osprey Tempest 30 and, so far, I’ve used it for the Camino Portugués Central route, part of the Camino Portugués Coastal route, plus various hikes around my hometown in Andalucia, and it still looks as good as the day I bought it.

Osprey Tempest 30 Warranty

All Osprey products come with an “All Mighty Guarantee” which, according to their website, means that “should you find any defect in the way your pack has been built, we will repair or replace it without any charge, within its reasonable lifetime.”

When you’re spending a lot of money on a product that’s likely to be put through its paces, it’s good to know that, should it get damaged, Osprey will repair or replace it for free.

The Tempest range has been specifically designed for women (the male equivalent is the Talon range).

Read on for my honest review about the Tempest 30 so you can decide if it would be the right one for you.

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Osprey Tempest 30 Features

The Tempest 30 has loads of attractive features whether you’re a novice hiker or you’ve been walking for years. These include:

  • Top load access to main compartment
  • Fixed top lid with external zippered slash pocket and under lid zippered mesh pocket with key clip
  • Large stretch mesh front panel pocket
  • Tuck-away ice axe attachment with bungee tie-off
  • Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment
  • Dual upper and lower side compression straps
  • Stretch mesh side pockets
  • External hydration reservoir sleeve
  • Easy-access, expandable stretch mesh harness pocket
  • Dual-zippered fabric hip belt pockets

Osprey Tempest 30 Size Guide

The backpack comes in two sizes – XS/S and M/L – with sizes based on the length of your torso. However, it does have an adjustable torso length making it even easier to get the perfect fit.

As I’m only 5’3” I opted for the XS/S. However, my torso is long in comparison to the rest of my body so I adjusted the pack for the perfect fit. Adjusting the torso length was easy and was simply a matter of moving the Velcro panel that holds the shoulder harness in place. Once you’ve got it to your liking you just need to pull the shoulder, sternum and load lifter straps until you get the perfect fit.

Check the Osprey website for their complete sizing guide to all their backpacks

Osprey Tempest 30 – First Thoughts


After my first trial run before the Camino I decided to adjust the torso length and, once I’d done this, it was a great fit.

There are adjustable load lifters on the shoulder straps which, combined with the hip harness and the sternum strap, meant that when I set off on the Camino Portugués I had the backpack fitting exactly as I wanted.

The sternum strap can be moved up and down to a comfortable position (especially handy if you’ve got big boobs and don’t want them to get squashed) and also comes with a built-in emergency whistle. Thankfully I never had to use it, but it’s a nice touch and would provide some comfort on the stretches of the Camino when walking solo.


Osprey’s Airscape foam back panel has been created to allow a breathable, close to body fit. In layman’s terms this means that, when you’re wearing the backpack it will fit comfortably to the contours of your back and move and flex with your body.

Thanks to this and the BioStretch harness and hip belt you get a stable fit with even weight distribution.

Perhaps more importantly, the Airscape Suspension allows for ventilation between your body and the back of the pack so you can say goodbye to a sweaty back – important when you’re walking in the heat.


The Tempest 30 is a top-loading backpack which means it’s great for weight distribution – important when you’re on a long hike as the weight goes on your hips rather than on your back.

It has a large top lid which has a decent sized external zipped pocket plus a smaller internal zipped mesh pocket with a key clip.

The main body of the backpack opens with a drawstring and there’s plenty of storage space inside. As it’s a single compartment I used packing cubes to separate my gear. This made it easy to load and unload each day and find what I was looking for.

You can pay as much or as little as you like for packing cubes – Osprey have a set of three or you can buy a non-branded set. I have a cheap set and they do the trick but, as with everything, you get what you pay for, so I don’t expect mine to have as long a life as the Osprey ones.

Whether you’re planning to use packing cubes or not, your heaviest items should go at the bottom, and your most used items at the top so they can be easily accessed if needed.


The Tempest 30 currently comes in four colours. I opted for the cheerful purple backpack, but you can also choose blue, green and black (or to give them their official names violac purple, tidal atlas, jasper green and stealth black).  I didn’t see any other purple backpacks on my Camino, but I did receive lots of compliments on it!

Osprey Tempest 30 backpack placed against a Camino de Santiago way marker


There are pockets galore on the Tempest 30.

On the lid there’s a roomy external pocket where I stored my rain cover and poncho.

In the internal lid pocket I kept my Kindle, first aid kit, and buff – things that I might need during the day and could easily access without having to open the full backpack.

On the front of the backpack there’s a stretchy mesh pocket with a drain hole at the bottom which would be handy for any damp gear. I used this pocket for stuffing my jacket if I took it off during the day, but it would be good for storing any rain gear or an extra layer of clothing.

There are two stretchy mesh side pockets with reinforced bottoms. I used one for my water bottle and the other for a bottle of sunscreen. The only drawback was that, once I was wearing the backpack, I couldn’t reach the bottles. However, I used a hydration bladder (more on that later) so this wasn’t really an issue for me.

There are two zippered pockets on the hip belt – I kept my glasses case in one and a supply of granola bars, lip balms and hand sanitiser in the other. They’re big enough to take a phone or small camera but I also carried a bum bag for my valuables where I kept my phone and camera.

On one of the shoulder straps there’s a small mesh pocket with a snap closure but I didn’t use this as it was too small for most things I carried although I guess I could have used it for lip balm or hand sanitiser.

Hydration Reservoir

Between the back panel and the main compartment there’s space for inserting a water reservoir.

Although you can buy specific Osprey water reservoirs I used a generic reservoir which did the trick for the duration of my Camino, and which is still going strong. A 2 litre one was more than sufficient for my needs.

Having an external water reservoir means that you’re not forgoing space within the main compartment and there’s also no chance of accidental spillages, so you won’t get your gear wet.

What I also liked about the hydration reservoir on the Tempest 30 is that it can easily be filled without opening the backpack. There’s also a hook to hold it in place and stop it sliding to the bottom of the sleeve.

Compression straps

There’s a compression strap at the top of the pack under the lid which allows you to tighten your load which is ideal if you’re travelling light and don’t have a full pack.

The other compression straps are at the side of the backpack at the top and bottom so you can easily attach hiking poles securely when you’re not planning to use them. I was using retractable poles which secured easily and safely to the side when not in use.

The side straps use Osprey’s ‘insideout’ compression system which basically means that the bottoms straps can be placed either under or over the side pockets. Threading the straps under the pockets means you can compress your load while keeping the pockets free for water bottles. Threading the straps over the pockets secures any items you’ve placed in them.

‘Stow on the go’ walking pole attachment

This is one of my favourite features of the Tempest 30.

At the top of the left shoulder strap there’s a small stretchy rubber covered band with another at the bottom. These bands are to ‘stow and go’ with your walking poles meaning you can access them easily without needing to remove your pack or ask for help.

It was really easy to just thread the poles through the band at the bottom and then loop the band at the top over the handles to keep them in place and ready to remove quickly when I next needed them.

What I loved about the Osprey Tempest 30

The colour of course! I’m not saying black is boring, but I did love the cheerful purple that I opted for.

I liked that it was really easy to adjust the back for the perfect fit so I didn’t have any aches or pains for the entire Camino and it was also nice and easy to fill the hydration reservoir each morning without having to remove it from the backpack.

The ‘stow on the go’ walking pole system is excellent. I didn’t walk with poles every day and, even on the days when I did use them, it was never for a full day so being able to easily access them whenever I needed them without having to take off my backpack was great.  

I also loved that, for such a small backpack, there was so much storage space inside, and the exterior pockets were an added bonus for items that I could easily grab on the go as and when I needed them.

The size is also a bonus when it comes to flying as it can be taken on flights as a cabin bag and fits easily in the overhead lockers.

What I didn’t love about the Osprey Tempest 30

The Tempest 30 doesn’t have a rain cover. Some other Osprey backpacks come with built-in rain covers but the Tempest 30 isn’t one of them. In the grand scheme of things it’s not really a big deal but, for the price of the backpack, it would have been a nice addition. You can buy rain covers to fit and, although you can buy specific Osprey covers I bought a non-branded cover that did the trick on the few occasions where I was walking in the rain.

It’s not easy to reach water bottles in the side pockets. I’m glad I opted to use a water bladder as I drink a lot of water anyway, but even more so when I’m walking and, had I just been reliant on my water bottle would have had to keep removing the pack every time I wanted a drink.

They were really the only two negative points I had. Oh, and the tiny little pouch on the shoulder strap – I never did figure out what that was for!

Final Thoughts on the Osprey Tempest 30

It’s not a perfect backpack but it’s not far from it, and it met all my requirements for two weeks walking the Camino Portugués.

The size of the backpack was ideal for me as I stayed in private accommodation along the way so didn’t need to carry a sleeping bag. If you’re carrying a sleeping bag you might prefer to go for the Tempest 34 which has all the same features as the Tempest 30 and a bit of extra room.

The Tempest 30 is well made with good quality materials and has some excellent features including the handy hiking pole attachments and hydration bladder storage.

What’s more, it fits within most budget airline cabin bag guidelines so you don’t have to pay to check a bag on your flight.

Ready to buy?

Click the buttons below to buy your own Osprey Tempest 30 backpack for your Camino journey.

If you’ve got any more questions about the Tempest 30 please get in touch and I’ll be more than happy to answer them for you.

Happy hiking!

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A tried and tested review of the Osprey Tempest 30 backpack

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