Osprey Kestrel 28
Design: Top loading rucksack
Size: 28 liters
Number of Pockets: 3
Max. Load Carried: 25 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'3"
I always liked top loading packs. The 25 liter range is difficult to get a good supportive yet light pack. I tried the Kestrel 28 as it is the ideal size for many of my long day hikes. I typically carry 20-25 lbs with me. The 28 is a nice pack with nice features. There is however one serious drawback to this pack -- it has no stay or wire system to give the back panel a little rigidity.
I have used the Kestrel 32 and like that pack but wanted something a little smaller so I tried the 28. The 32 has a wire system in the pack panel to give it rigidity and load transfer. The 28 does not. I like to carry as much weight as possible on my hips.
I loaded the pack with my typically carry and went off on a day peak climb. While the pack initially seemed comfortable the lack of any framing system really took its toll on me. The following day my back was very sore. If Osprey reads this, please develop some sort of wire or stay system for this pack like you have on the 32.
An overall nice pack with nice features but it needs some rigidity to transfer weight. Therefore, I can only give this one a 3.
Design: top loading internal
Size: 28 liters / about 1700 in^3
Number of Pockets: 2 side, 1 top, 1 kangaroo style front pouch, 1 rain cover
Max. Load Carried: 20 - 25 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'1''
Price Paid: $110-ish
I bought the Kestrel 28 (not the 48) pack for 2-4 day trips. I have three other backpacks that I have used for multi-day trips, but one is too big, one is to small and the other doesn't distribute weight to your hips very well.
I have taken the Kestrel 28 out twice and have had good experiences with it. I probably had 20 lb. of gear and food in it and it was a good fit. I tried to fit my tent inside but that was a little tight, although it fit the poles and a ground tarp on the outside. The pack was pretty comfortable, I didn't notice any pressure points on my back, the waist belt could be a little beefier but overall hugged my waist well. The built-in rain cover and designated pocked is handy if you like that kind of thing.
One of my favorite things about it is that the pouch for the hydration bag is on the outside and you don't have to open your pack to get at it to refill it. My biggest complaint is that when I tighten up the waist-belt I only have about 1 inch of room to tighten it up more. This leaves excess webbing hanging down to my knees that i had to knot up. If you know you can fit everything you need in this pack it's a good back for the price, and it's pretty comfortable.
|Weight||2 lb 12 oz / 1.26 kg||2 lb 15 oz / 1.33 kg|
|Capacity||1600 cu in / 26 L||1700 cu in / 28 L|
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