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Osprey Kestrel 38 Backpack Evaluation

Osprey Kestrel 38 Backpack Review

The Osprey Kestrel 38 Backpack is well-sized for gear-intensive climbing and is constructed with extra sturdy materials and options that make it appropriate for on-trail, off-trail, and winter climbing. It’s an adjustable torso-length backpack with an exterior pocket for carrying a hydration system, a sewn-on high lid pocket, a zippered backside hatch, and facet zipper entry to the primary compartment. A rain cowl can also be included. However better of all, the Kestrel 38 carries very properly, particularly if that you must haul extra gear, meals, or water, with a inflexible body that gives good load switch to the hip belt.

Specs at a Look

  • Gender: Males’s (Ladies’s model is the Kyte 36)
  • Kind: Inside body: wire perimeter loop, and framesheet
  • Closed pockets: 5+ fundamental compartment
  • Open pockets: 4
  • Entry: high drawstring, backside zipper, facet zipper
  • Hydration appropriate: Sure (exterior hydration sleeve)
  • Load lifters: Sure
  • Weight reviewed (with out rain cowl):  51.3 oz  / 1454g (measurement M/L)
  • Rain cowl (elective, included): (3.1 oz)
  • Torso vary: 16″-23″, two sizes out there
  • Waist/hip vary: 27″-55″, two sizes out there
  • Materials: 210D x 630D Nylon Dobby (fundamental), 420HD Nylon Oxford (accent) ,
  • Max Advisable load: 30-35 kilos

Backpack Storage and Group

The Kestrel 38 has loads of pockets and attachment points
The Kestrel 38 has a great deal of pockets and attachment factors

The Osprey Kestrel 38 has 5 closed pockets and 4 open pockets so you’ve got quite a lot of storage choices. There are additionally 3 ways to entry the primary compartment: from the highest, the underside, and the facet via zippers, letting you undertake a zonal strategy to packing and making it very simple to retrieve the gear you need.

Closed Storage

A high lid is sewn to the entrance of the pack and has two zippered pockets, one on high, and an inner mesh pocket on the underside with a key fob inside.

The Kestrel has an external hydration pocket behind the shoulder straps
The Kestrel has an exterior hydration pocket behind the shoulder straps

The primary compartment closes with a drawstring however doesn’t have a hydration pocket. As a substitute, there’s a spot behind the shoulder straps for storing a reservoir, so that you don’t need to unpack and repack your backpack each time that you must refill it. You additionally by no means want to fret a few leak making all of the gear in your fundamental compartment gear.  This exterior pocket has a grasp loop on high and is a key differentiator in the event you’re evaluating the deserves of the Kestrel 38 to different backpacks.

The primary compartment has a flap inside which might be folded as much as create a separate storage space for holding a sleeping bag or different much less regularly used gadgets you wish to segregate out of your different contents.

There is a rain cover in a pocket at the base of the pack.
There’s a rain cowl in a pocket on the base of the pack.

A rain cowl is housed beneath the primary compartment in a small zippered pocket on the backside of the backpack.

The hip belt has a pair of large zippered pockets
The hip belt has a pair of enormous zippered pockets

The hip belt has two massive solid-faced zippered pockets that may match a smartphone and quite a few snacks. I desire sold-faced pockets over mesh ones as a result of they’re way more sturdy and waterproof.

Entry strategies

You possibly can entry the primary compartment in three other ways, which may be very helpful in the event you’re carrying pictures gear or chilly climate layers and wish to pack them away into zones for straightforward entry.

  • via the highest utilizing the drawstring closure below the lid,
  • via the underside utilizing the zipper exterior the sleeping bag compartment,
  • and thru a facet zipper below the fitting compression straps.

If you end up having to unload all the things in your present backpack pack to search out one thing, these zippers are going to make your day as a result of it’s a lot simpler to search out what you want.

Side zipper access makes it easy to retrieve items in the middle of the pack.
Facet zipper entry makes it simple to retrieve gadgets in the midst of the pack.

Open Storage

There’s a stable face shove-it pocket on the entrance of the pack that’s good for stuffing layers or moist gadgets. It has a drain gap at its base. It has a stable entrance for sturdiness however isn’t terribly massive or stretchy like on some backpacks.

The front shove-it pocket is good for stuffing layers.
The entrance shove-it pocket is sweet for stuffing layers.

The facet water bottle pockets are mesh on high with stable material on the bottom for sturdiness, notably if you set the pack down on the bottom. They’ll swallow 1L Nalgene bottles or SmartWater bottles with ease and have entrance cutouts so you may pull them out from the entrance too.

Adjustable Size Backpack Body

The Kestrel 38 has an adjustable length torso.
The Kestrel 38 has an adjustable-length torso.

The Kestrel 38 is an adjustable-length backpack, which suggests you may change the torso size by elevating or decreasing the shoulder pads. For instance, elevating the shoulder pads will enhance the size between them and your hips, whereas decreasing them will lower it. The shoulder pads are related to the backpack by velcro so to lift and decrease them, you merely launch and reposition them the place you need.

The good factor about an adjustable torso pack is that you just get a customized match that’s utterly personalised. You even have way more management over the share of weight that rests in your hips or in your shoulders. As well as, you may dial that proportion between the 2 relying on how a lot weight it’s a must to carry. For instance, in the event you wanted to hold further water, you could possibly modify the torso size to be just a little longer than regular, to have extra of the load relaxation in your hips and fewer in your shoulders. I do that after I carry winter gear, which is significantly heavier than the gear I carry the remainder of the yr

The hipbelt is sewn directly to the pack providing a very responsive carry.
The hip belt is sewn on to the pack offering a really responsive carry.

The Kestrel has a light-weight wire body that runs across the perimeter of the pack. The again space behind your shoulder blades isn’t ventilated like a trampoline pack, however it’s coated with die-cut foam and mesh to assist cool your again and maintain it drier. The good factor about this adjustment system is that it sits nearer to your again than a trampoline pack with a giant air hole. This makes it extra environment friendly to hold as a result of is nearer to the large muscle groups in your hips and in addition makes it simpler to scramble with.

The Kestrel’s hip belt is sewn to the again of the pack making it very aware of your actions. The hip belt wings are padded with wicking mesh with a reasonable quantity of padding that’s snug and safe. The hipbelt has a push-forward cinching mechanism so you will get a safe match simply. There’s additionally a single massive buckle closure which does NOT clog with snow when winter climbing. It is a drawback with packs that use small buckles.

The Kestrel 38 includes a rain cover.
The Kestrel 38 features a rain cowl.

Compression and Exterior Attachment System

The Kestrel 38 has two tiers of compression straps on the edges of the pack. The highest strap closes with buckles however not the underside, which makes it troublesome to hold snowshoes alongside the facet of the pack. The highest strap is reversible nonetheless and the 2 finish buckles can join above the shove-it pocket.

The top compression strap is reversible, but you’ll probably want to thread a second strap through the gear loops.
The highest compression strap is reversible, however you’ll most likely wish to thread a second strap via the gear loops to safe snowshoes.

My choice is so as to add a second strap with some webbing I’ve laying round and thread it via the gear loops situated farther down alongside the facet of the shove-it pocket. The Kestrel 38 carries this further weight surprisingly as a result of the Airscape suspension is so near your again with out an enormous air hole. You should utilize this similar system to connect any cumbersome gear to the entrance of the pack.

There are additionally sleeping pad straps on the base of the pack and two ice axe loops that can be utilized to hold extra gear.


The Osprey Kestrel 38 is a durably made backpack that’s loaded with options which might be nice for day hikes, bushwhacking, and winter climbing. Regardless of its small measurement, it has quite a lot of organizational options usually discovered on bigger and heavier backpacks. With an adjustable size body and exterior hydration system pocket, it’s actually a simple backpack to get hooked up to in the event you wish to enterprise into harder terrain or want a pack that may face up to laborious use. Extremely really helpful.

Evaluate 3 Costs

Final up to date: 2022-12-06 18:36:22

Disclosure: The creator bought this backpack.

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