All our human seedlings failed this year, unfortunately.
It's all about the preparation of the ground and more importantly the fertilisation process! The missus says the ground must be warm/damp/receptive before fertilisation can take place ... I blame your technique
Compression is fine, straps at the sides both at the top and bottom. I was thinking smaller but had the same thinking as you. I've got the spectro for day/s and a big berghaus 65+10 for the serious stuff
You know what I had my heart set on an talon, did loads of reading etc. Bought it, packed it and wore it indoors. I hated all the bloody strappy cords hanging off it. When packed the described venting system in my opinion wasnt worth even mentioning. I was really disappointed, REALLY! Because I thought I'd finally found my perfect pack. Prior to that I had my Haglofs Breeze which is a brilliant pack but in my opinion just lacks a few more features.
I went for the spectro based on:
Front and top loading. Nothing more annoying than to unpack yr sac to get to something at the bottom. (yes some might say you should know how to pack it correctly but ...)
Airback system (these really are a breakthrough in my opinion), if it bothers you in winter just stick a rolled up fleece between the mesh and the pack.
side and front stretch pockets
nice top pocket
Yes the airback system is the main differance but I just got the feeling the talon has had everything a designer can think of thrown at it except an airback system ... but then I think you're into the osprey stratos (may have changed the model name now) if you want venting.
I did go to a shop and try the berghause similar pack and a couple of others. The spectro did it for me though. It's got very clean lines when it's loaded and a good profile.
Spectro all the way, brill pack, just lacks a rain cover
I've tried lots of 30ltr'ish mid to high end sacs and the one I've stuck with is the Deuter Spector. You should be able to pick one up for about £80 new. It's got the airback system that once tried ... you'll never go back, no matter how much venting the Talon says it has, once loaded it's virtually useless compared to airback systems. I didnt like the talon for it's "strappy" look but did like it's hipbelt pockets.