Osprey Kestrel 68
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150
Nice balance of attributes.
Tried the whole 2012 Osprey line up and found the Kestrel 68 to be the best balance of weight, function, durability, capacity, and comfort for multi day trips.
2lbs less than the Baltoro I had been using was a significant drop in weight for me. Heavier than some of Osprey's models, but the Kestrel is made of durable 420D so I don't have to worry about tears when dragging it over rocks. Construction is top notch and mine is holding up well.
Osprey's promise to fix or replace any damage for any reason "All mighty guarantee" is stellar. That said, it would still be bad news for my pack to fail while in the backcountry. So the Kestrel's durability was a major consideration in my choice.
My personality thrives on organization and the Kestrel offers me that. Multiple exterior pockets to provide separation and quick access to gear. Unlike most packs, the lumbar belt pockets on the Kestrel are actually big enough to be useful. My Mountain Hardwear sleeping bag compresses to 12x7 and fits nicely in the sleeping bag compartment. The divider for this compartment is removable if you want to carry a bigger bag and don't mind giving up some pack space to do it.
I was initially skeptical of suspension system. My previous packs all had beefy aluminum stays and thick padding. However, the Kestrel carries my typical load of 28lbs well. I've never taken the time to see where it maxes out. The waist belt is low profile enough not to impede handgun carry, yet it's still comfortable.
There is no lumbar pad in the back. Instead the Kestrel rides and distributes weight evenly around the iliac crest. With a perimeter frame and pliable frame sheet, the pack forms a tight comfortable fit to my back keeping weight close to my center of gravity. The shoulder straps are nicely padded, but not overdone. They are comfortable and cause me not pressure points.
Mine is the S/M version and specs rate it as 66L. At first I thought that may be a little over stated. The pack does expand more than I expected and cinches down well for smaller loads. This adaptability makes it a versatile choice which can cover different occasions. It's just big enough to fit all my stuff inside for multi day trips, yet not cumbersome for day hikes when I want to carry extra JIC gear.
Personally I despise overly bright candy colored gear. I prefer a gray man appearance. The subtle "conifer" color scheme is perefect for my taste and needs. Blends well with both backcountry and urban environments. The stow and go trekking pole attachments along with the ice axe loops are useless to me so I removed them.
If I could change anything about this pack... I would like it if the stretchy water bottle pockets on the sides were 2in taller. Would also prefer beefier zippers like a #10 YKK on the sleeping bag compartment and #5s everywhere else. However I haven't had any issues with the zippers it has.
This has been a durable and versatile pack for me. Serving me well when traveling the back country and civilization.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $159
I recently purchased this pack to take on a week-long trip. The pack is extremely comfortable and was very roomy!! I love the external hydration access as well as all of the extra storage compartments as it helped to keep me organized! It was also fantastic that the torso could be adjusted for a custom fit! I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this pack to anyone.
- Extremely comfortable
- Easy to adjust for custom fit.
- Roomy and many storage compartments.
The pack is extremely comfortable and was very roomy!! I would rather have too much room than not enough. I love the external hydration access and I would definitely recommend purchasing the Osprey Hydraform reservoir to use with this pack, as it was so easy to access as needed to refill.
Many storage compartments to get me organized and help to keep me organized. It was also fantastic that the torso could be adjusted for a custom fit! It comes with a raincover that is stored in its own conveniently located compartment.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this pack to anyone.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
The Osprey Kestrel 68 provides large capacity and sleeping bag access for those longer trips. Two torso sizes and and a torso adjustable harness keep fitting easy while the AirScape backpanel with LightWire framing provide excellent comfort.
A multiday monster hauler for the backcountry, the Osprey Kestrel 68 pack sports a sleek, technical design with an adjustable torso and lightweight materials. Mesh-covered, die-cut EVA hipbelt saves weight and enhances breathability. Pack fits a wide variety of backs thanks to rip-and-stick torso-length adjustability: just rip it, adjust it and stick it. Lightweight AirScape(TM) back panel features ridge-molded foam with channels covered in mesh to allow airflow. LightWire(TM) peripheral-hoop alloy frame and HDPE framesheet provide a flexible and light structure. Top-loading design features a floating, removable lid with a pocket that allows ample gear storage. Externally accessible lower compartment accommodates a sleeping bag. Stow-On-The-Go(TM) trekking pole attachment lets you stow and remove poles (not included) while still wearing pack. Poles tuck away between your arm and pack; adjustable shockcord on left-hand shoulder strap and a side loop hold poles in tightly. Front and side stretch-woven pockets are ideal for stashing a jacket and other often-used gear. Hipbelt features 2 zippered pockets for stashing a digital camera and snacks. Hydration-compatible design features reservoir sleeve and drink tube exit port for on-the-go hydration (reservoir not included). 2 ice axe loops with bungee tool tie-offs let you lash extra gear outside. Dual sleeping pad straps on the pack's base adjust easily to hold a variety of shapes and sizes of pads. Side compression straps let you cinch down loads for jostle-free carrying. The Osprey Kestrel 68 pack features an integrated raincover that pulls out in a flash to protect contents from sudden rain. Closeout.
Extended backpackingThe Kestrel 68 provides large capacity and sleeping bag access for those longer trips. Two torso sizes and and a torso adjustable harness keep fitting easy while our an AirScape(TM) backpanel with LightWire(TM) framing provide excellent comfort. Airscape(TM) Backpanel AirScape backpanel with ridged foam, torso adjustable harness and diecut slotted hipbeltDual vertical zippered side pockets Offers even more storage for organizationExternal hydration pocket Easy access for holding your Osprey Hydraulics(TM) ReservoirHipbelt pockets Provide quick access to camera and other small itemsIntergrated Raincover Removable sleeping pad straps Adjust easily for a variety of padsReverse StraightJacket(TM) compression straps Allows extra compression for under utilized loadsStow-On-The-Go(TM) Trekking Pole Attachment Pull bungee cord at left bottom edge of pack and insert polesPoles are tucked away leaving both hands free for climbingStretch woven front pocket Poles are tucked away leaving both hands free for climbingTool attachment Secures ice ax, tripods, etc.Torso adjustable harness Features easily adjusts torso lengthZippered sleeping bag compartment Zippered access to the sleeping bag compartment with drop-down divider on the Kestrel 38, 48, 58 and 68
- Mountains Plus
The sleek , updated Kestral 68 Pack is one of Osprey's most versatile, do it all packs for backpacking. providing large capacity and sleeping bag access for those longer trips. It strikes a balance between good suspension, light weight and convenience and features an integrated rain cover and reverse straght jacket compression straps. Two torso sizes and and a torso adjustable harness keep fitting easy while the AirScape backpanel with LightWire framing provide excellent comfort. AirScape backpanel Top loadingZippered sleeping bag compartment Fixed top pocket with gear loops and zippered compartmentsUnder lid zippered mesh pocket Removable sleeping pad straps Dual vertical zippered side pockets Stretch woven front and side pockets Zippered hip belt pockets Front daisys with bungee tie offsDual ice axe loopsStow on the go trekking pole attachment Reverse straight jacket compression straps Integrated rain cover Number of pockets: 9Torso length: 420 D nylon packcloth , 210 durable ripstop nylonMaterial: 420 D nylon packcloth , 210 durable ripstop nylonSize: M-L 31" x 18" x 14"Weight: M-L 4 lbs , S-M 3 lbs 13 oz.Capacity: M-L 4028 cu in . , S-M 4150 cu in