In this Osprey Kestrel 38 review, I present a pack line which has been developed to cope with any trail and any season, suitable for various outdoor activities. This is a part of the series which includes several sizes: 28 liters pack, 32, 38, and 48.
This pack comes in two sizes S/M (for torso length below 19 inches, 48 cm) and M/L (for torso above 19 inches).
Note, there is a new version of this pack, see the summary of the most visible changes below.
Where to buy
- The best place regarding the price and shipping conditions is usually Amazon.
- In EU please check at Bol.com.
You will be able to carry up to 35 lbs (16 kg) in this rucksack, so this is a medium size, truly suitable for weekend tours. I have been using a Deuter pack of this size for many years now, and I can say pretty much about the volume of this size packs.
The pack is with an internal aluminum frame and this is accompanied with Osprey’s AirScape flexible and breathable back panel with foam ridges for ventilation and a mesh over it. Not bad at all, but I must say I have seen better solutions for the packs of this size, see for example Deuter Futura from the table below.
The padding on the harness and the hip belt is good enough but it is made lightweight indeed.
The whole harness is easily adjustable and you can fit it for any torso length, see the picture here on the right. The sternum strap is height-adjustable, and load lifters are on the shoulder straps.
Osprey Kestrel 38 pack is hydration compatible, with an external pocket for water bladder behind the back panel.
The access to the main compartment is from the top. The lid has a large zippered external pocket and an internal zippered mesh pocket beneath it.
A large stretch pocket is on the front of the pack, and 2 pockets of the same material are on both sides, for water bottle(s) or for anything else. One pocket for the rain cover is below the big pocket on the front. 2 zippered pockets are also on the hip belt.
Other nice features are stow-on-the-go attachment loops on the shoulder strap and on the side of the pack, attachment loops on the bottom paired with cords higher up for poles or for ice-axe, daisy chain loops on both sides, some attachment points on the top of the lid, 2 compression straps on the two sides, and detachable straps completely on the bottom for carrying a sleeping pad, etc.
Both pairs of the side compression straps are in fact reversible. This means that you can take the straps from the two sides and connect them on the front. This can be used to attach some larger peeces of equipment on the front of the pack.
Summary of features
- Weight (M/L): 1.44 kg.
- Maximum dimensions L x W x D (cm): 70 x 30 x 28.
- AirScape back panel with foam ridges for ventilation.
- Adjustable torso length.
- Sternum strap with emergency whistle.
- Integrated & detachable rain cover.
- Bottom compartment for sleeping bag.
- Removable sleeping pad straps.
- External hydration pocket.
- Top lid access.
- Side compression straps.
- Mesh stretchy side pockets.
- Fixed top pocket with dual zippered compartments.
- Internal zippered mesh pocket under the lid.
- 2 zippered hip belt pockets.
- 2 ice axe loops.
- Front tie off points.
- Several nice colors:
Here is a comparison table with Osprey Kestrel 38 pack and several packs from other brands:
PRO SL 40
The table contains only a few basic features, but my ranking is based on overall impression and features. I give the same rate to Osprey Kestrel 38 pack and to Gregory Savant 38.
I wish to stress that there exists a women version of this pack, this is Osprey Kyte series, with a shorter torso and with all the same features.
What is new in the 2016 version of the Kestrel 38 pack
Both 2015 and 2016 versions presently exist on the market. Here are some differences:
- In the new version, there is only one attachment loop on the bottom, as compared to 2 loops in the previous model.
- The back padding is redesigned, with quite different ventilation channels introduced in the new model.
- The rain cover pocket is moved to the bottom. It was on the lower front section in the old version.
- Different choice of colors:
– New version: dragon red, jungle green, ash gray.
– Old version: fire red, talus gray, tarn blue, conifer green.
- There are differences in the price, dependent on the size S/M, M/L, and on the color. The links given in the text point to the new version.
Here is a video about Kestrel 38 pack, by Osprey:
With this, I conclude my Osprey Kestrel 38 review. This is a very good pack with great features, optimal price, and quality. I do think that its suspension is not a match for the Deuter models from the table given above, but see the price.
If you need something smaller from the same series, please check this Osprey Kestrel 32 pack. Thank you for reading. I hope this text was useful to you. Leave me some comment in the box below, I love to hear from you.