Osprey Kestrel 48 Review

May 11, 2013
Osprey Kestrel 48
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
83
Comfort
6
Stability
6
Capacity
7
Organization & Access
7
Features
7

The Good

  • Adjustable torso length
  • Loads of pockets and exterior carry-capacity
  • Rain cover included

The Bad

  • Most extra pockets are useless if main compartment is full
  • Hipbelt is too large for waists 32” and narrower
  • Harness connection to upper pack feels sloppy
THE VERDICT

Exhibiting good adjustability and an impressive number of pockets, the Kestrel could have been one of the most versatile packs we tested—if its many features had only been more carefully designed.

FULL REVIEW

Comfort/Adjustability
Easy harness adjustment and standard back panel ventilation keep the Kestrel’s lightweight suspension comfy for most users—unfortunately, those with waists narrower than 32 inches will find that the hipbelt is simply too big.

Stability
Load-lifter straps connect somewhat narrowly to the ¾ perimeter frame, allowing the upper pack to swing around more than expected. Lack of lumbar definition at the back panel was also a stability issue for some testers.

Capacity
The big main compartment is prone to barreling when fully loaded, though using Osprey’s hard-backed Hydraform water reservoir helped to minimize the problem. The external pockets lack the expansion to be useful when the main compartment is full.

Organization/Access
This pack has so many pockets! However, the Kestrel is at its organizational best when carrying a smaller load.

Features
Handy add-ons like Osprey’s Stow-On-The-Go trekking pole attachment and an included rain cover round out a mostly well-built pack. Small issues (plastic zip-pulls breaking in the cold, awkward zips on hipbelt pockets, the non-removable lid) keep it from scoring higher here.

Value
The Kestrel is a good all around value for a variety of recreational hikers.

 


Continue Reading
WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$170.00
ALSO AVAILABLE AT
$180.00
$180.00
$180.00
$180.00
*Your purchase helps to support the work of Gear Institute.
USER REVIEWS

No reviews have been posted for this product.

post