Osprey Kestrel 38

Osprey regularly comes up with fresh ideas, so it is perhaps of no surprise to find some unique features on this 30-40 litre rucksack. Most interestingly of all is the Stow on the Go trekking poles holder system that allows poles to be attached to the shoulder strap and body of the sack in seconds, say when you need to scramble over a rocky outcrop. Also you get additional base access to the main compartment, rather than front access, which I found very useful for stashing wet waterproofs in the bottom of the sack. The back system is a unique moulded unit that allows extra airflow while ensuring a close fit. Another great feature is the hydration bladder pocket that is located outside the main compartment between the back system panel and body of the sack, which allows it to be fitted and filled without emptying the sack. A great all-round day sack. But this feels a bit heavy compared with some; however it is made of very robust fabric and has useful extra features. You may feel the extra features are not worth having, though. Of course there are lighter and lower-priced sacks too. But not a lot wrong if you like the features.

 

Capacity: 38 litres
Fabric: 420D nylon, 210D x 330D nylon
Features: Airscape padded back system; top tensioning straps, external and internal lid pocket; compression straps; twin ice axe/pole attachment points; unique pole holder; hydration system-compatible; stretch front stash pocket; base access; removable rain cover (96g)
Weight: 1575g
Made in: Vietnam
Stores in the UK: 14

Verdict: A day sack for walkers and scramblers who like a blend of great features together with durability and comfort at a reasonable price, with the only drawback being the weight.

 

First published in Trail magazine, May 2008