This Osprey Kestrel 48 pack review is about the new version of the very popular pack which has been around for many years now. Read here about its new features.
Best place & price to buy
- The best place regarding the price and shipping conditions is usually Amazon.
- In EU a great alternative is Bol.com.
Kestrel 48 is a great pack for overnight and weekend hiking and mountaineering tours, as well as for day tours. Its 48 liters volume are more than enough for this. It has all features necessary for such a trip.
This is a pack with an adjustable AirScape suspension system. It is based on an internal peripheral aluminum frame, and a back panel with EVA foam. The panel is with air flow channels. Though I must say I find them rather tiny for the pack of such a size.
The harness can be adjusted by breaking the velcro connection on the back, and by sliding the structure up or down.
Shoulder straps are with spacer mesh cushion. The same mesh and foam padding you have on the hip belt and lumbar area padding. On the shoulder strap, you have stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment, a standard and great feature of these Osprey packs.
If you are not familiar with it, this is to temporary put away your poles if you want to take a photo, to eat or drink something while on the fly. This implies a bungee cord on the shoulder strap and a loop on the side of the pack. You can see the loop on the picture above and the bungee cord is seen in the pictures below.
The sternum strap is adjustable as usual, and with an emergency whistle.
Loading and pockets
This is a top loading backpack with the lid and the collar beneath it. There is a compression strap securing the entrance to the main compartment.
The other access is through the zippered entrance on the bottom where you have a sleeping bag compartment and a removable divider between the two compartments.
Apart from this, you have an additional side entrance to the main compartment. This is a long zipper which is positioned vertically beneath the side compression straps.
On the front of the pack you have a very large stretch mesh pocket. It is not secured with a buckle on the top, so this is a negative point from me.
One large zippered pocket is on the hood, with the entrance from the back side. Yet another zippered mesh pocket with a key clip is on the underside of the hood.
Two very large stretch pockets are on the two sides of the pack. There are also two zippered hip belt pockets, one on each side.
On the left side of the pack, you have yet another, very large zippered side pocket, with the zipper symmetric with the side entrance on the other side of the pack, which I mentioned above.
On the bottom, you have only one attachment loop, and this is to be used together with a tuck away bungee which is higher up on the side of the pack.
Daisy chain attachments are on the front, on both sides of the stretch mesh pocket. Two removable compression straps are over the bottom entrance. There are attachment points on the top of the hood. On the bottom of the pack, you have a zippered pocket with an integrated rain cover.
The side compression straps are in fact reversible, so you can connect them on the front of the pack with the straps from the other side. This you will use to attach some gear or just to compress the pack differently if you wish so. This is a useful feature indeed.
You have an external hydration sleeve on the back of the pack. Here is a short promotion video about Osprey Kestrel and Kyte series:
Technical specifications & summary of features
– 3.51 lb (1.59 kg) (S/M).
– 3.68 lb (1.67 kg) (M/L).
- Max. dimensions: 28 x 15 x 16 in (72 x 38 x 40 cm).
– Small/Medium: 2807 cu in (46 L).
– Medium/Large: 2929 cu in (48 L).
- Torso fit:
– Small/Medium: 16 -20 in (41 – 51 cm).
– Medium/Large: 19 -23 in (48 – 58 cm).
- Maximum weight: 40 lb (18 kg).
- Aluminum internal frame.
- Material: 210 D nylon ripstop and 420 HD nylon packcloth.
- Die-cut spacer mesh hip belt and harness.
- Adjustable torso length.
- Access: top, bottom, side.
- Sleeping bag compartment.
- AirScape back panel with foam ridges for ventilation.
- Integrated and detachable rain cover.
- Hydration compatible; external hydration access.
- Reverse Straightjacket compression straps.
– Stretch front pocket.
– Twin zippered hip belt pockets.
– Top pocket.
– Under lid zipped mesh pocket.
– Stretch mesh side pockets.
– Single vertical zippered side access pocket.
- Removable sleeping pad straps.
- Side compression straps.
- Sternum strap with emergency whistle.
- Single ice axe loop.
- Dual daisy chain.
- Web attachment points on the lid.
- Internal key attachment clip.
- 3 colors:
Pros & cons
I dislike the single side pocket asymmetric design. First, the pocket itself is such that when full it partly takes the space of the main compartment. Second, when full, the asymmetry of the pack becomes obvious to me.
The added side entrance on the other side is unnecessary for such a medium size pack. Yet another side pocket (which was there in the old model) would be much more useful.
The rating of the previous version by Amazon customers is with a remarkable 4.8/5 average rate.
What is new in the new model
- The back panel is re-designed.
- One pocket on the lid is removed.
- Rain cover pocket positioned completely on the bottom, instead on the front.
- One attachment loop on the bottom instead of 2, and 1 bungee cord above.
- Extra side entrance, instead of one of the side pockets.
Comparison with other brands
|Zippered side pockets||no||yes||yes, 1|
To conclude this Osprey Kestrel 48 pack review, I am sure that there may be no issues with the quality of this pack. I have a few objections regarding its design, but if you do not find this a problem then this is a great pack for you. You might want to check also the previous version of this pack, you can see it here.
Thank you for reading, I hope the text has been useful. If this is so please share it with others. For updates about the price please check the links above. You might have a free shipping as well.
I shall be happy to have some comment from you, there is a comment box below.