User Review: Osprey Kestrel 38
Design: top and bottom load access
Size: 38 liter medium large
Number of Pockets: 5
Max. Load Carried: 25lbs
Height of Owner: 5ft 10in
Price Paid: $109
Last year I made the choice to go light, not to be confused with ultralight, and started the process of buying lightweight gear. A new pack was on that list and I was having a hard time making a choice. I borrowed a few different packs from friends, GoLite and Gossamer brands, also tried Gregorys and BD.
Then I used the Kestrel 38 and found the one that works for me. Though a little heavy compared to the more ultralight models out there this thing is way more comfortable than any of them. Weight is important but if your pack does not ride well nor carry your load in comfort what good is it. Remember I am not a sub 10lb packer. More in the 15lb to 20lb class. Like shoes if this pack fits you it will join your gear.
This is my second Osprey and if they keep up the good work not my last. Five stars for comfort, quality and features.
Update: September 16, 2009
Every time I think I have my gear all sorted out and just the way I like it something changes that picture. I have been using the BD Speed 40l for light backpacking for up to 3 or 4 days but never cared for the lack of ventilation against my back. Decided to try the Osprey Kestrel 38.
Stunning is all i can say. Yes its weight is a little over a pound more but it is both much more comfortable and feature rich than the BD. Granted i still use the BD for climbs and skiing but for anything that calls for hiking light weight in comfort the Osprey can not be beat.
Very adjustable and nice features for stashing jackets and granola bars, pockets in the hip belt. If this pack fits you i would highly recommend it.