User Review: Osprey Kestrel 32
Design: front-loading internal
Number of Pockets: 7
Max. Load Carried: 20#
Height of Owner: 5'8"
Price Paid: $90
This is my third pack and I bought it for fast overnight trips and extended day trips where my North Face Prophet 45 is too big and my North Face Hammerhead is too small.
Size wise, the Kestrel 32 is perfect for what I needed it for. The panel loading design made it easy to load my sleeping gear, tent (MSR Microzoid with the poles and pegs strapped outside), and cooking gear with some food, and a couple pieces of extra clothing into the main compartment.
I loved the pockets on the hip belt for small stuff like my keys. I also liked the hoop and catch for the trekking poles but they only work when the poles are shortened down to their storage length.
The suspension system on this pack works very well. I'm 5'8", 150# and the S/M pack fit me perfectly. A couple of adjustments with the straps and I was able to adjust the fit when I dropped off the sleep gear for a days worth of hiking.
I really felt the air flowing between my back and vented back panel which was awesome considering I was in Joshua Tree NP in the low 90's.
My only gripe is that the externally accessible water bladder pocket loads the bladder into the main pack compartment taking up space. I don't know if there is a way around that design but with the pack fully loaded, it pushed on the bladder.
PS: Osprey's customer support is awesome too. I lost the included rain cover and they were able to provide me a replacement at minimal cost.