User Review: Osprey Kestrel 38
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130
A high-quality pack rich in features that melds comfort, function and style.
- Less than optimum access to water bottles
The Osprey Kestrel 38 is my go-to pack for its versatility and functionality.
I'm typically a budget shopper for gear and don't feel it necessary to pay for a 'name.' But there are some things I won't skimp on; namely boots and packs. And when you purchase an Osprey, and their killer lifetime guarantee, you can be confident that the 'name' is backed up by performance.
I'm a four-season day hiker and I find the Kestrel 38 to be great in the summer when I'm not carrying as much gear due to the innovative compression straps that allow two-way versatility. And the floating top with two pockets allows for additional space if needed in the winter. The 'rip and stick' back panel allows you to dial in the perfect torso fit and the molded foam back panel has never delivered anything less than a comfortable ride.
The Kestrel 38 also has a separate sleeping bag compartment and sleeping pad straps which makes it a nice choice for a light overnighter. I've gone out for as long as three days with the ample opportunities to strap gear to the pack. The integrated rain cover is a nice touch as is the smart and functional 'stow and go' trekking pole feature.
My only complaint would be the side mesh pockets which, while functional, don't allow you to access a bottle easily without taking off the pack. While it is hydration bladder compatible I prefer bottles. But in all honesty I've learned that sometimes it's good to stop, take off the pack, sit and drink. Sometimes a built in break isn't a bad thing.
The last thing that any hiker or backpacker wants is to have their most important gear let them down at an inopportune time. I've never felt anything less than confident with my Kestrel and can highly recommend this product to anyone who demands quality in their gear.