User Review: Osprey Kestrel 32
Design: Panel Loading
Number of Pockets: 1
Max. Load Carried: 25 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'3"
Got the pack for long day hikes and peak bagging. I often carry quite a bit of gear for peaks, especially if I have family with me. I have a 19" torso, so they say. I bought a M/L. I loaded it up and went out climbing.
I had 20-25 lbs in it b/w gear, food, and water. The compression system really cinched the load down well and kept it from moving as the pack was not completely full -- I was impressed. The load lifter straps kept the weight off my shoulders and the bag pulled tight against my back. I used the built-in rain cover as it did rain. The cover worked well. The trekking pole attachment also worked well and kept it out of my way.
I liked the external access for the hydration reservoir. The airscape back panel did its job I suppose - I was very sweaty from head to toe as I did a strenuous climb. The pockets on the waist belt worked well -- I put my camera in one.
The waist belt was comfortable but could be slightly "beefier" as I believe it is basically mesh. The weight of the pack was more or less supported across my hips and off my shoulders.
Not sure if I like the panel design though as compared to a top loader however it does make for easier access.
Overall I was pleased with the purchase.