Osprey Kestrel 48 | 2023 Review

February 26, 2023

By Nate


The Osprey Kestrel 48 has proven itself over a long period of time. Hikers adore it, and reviewers adore it as well. The brand new edition is even better than the previous one. Short hikes with a tent are made possible with this backpack. Alternatively, for extended hut trips.

So, let’s do a Q&A type article and learn how the osprey kestrel 48 might be your perfect travel companion.

It's significantly lighter than other Backpacks (like Aether)!

With a weight of almost 3.4 pounds, it is far lighter than my Aether. And 48 litres is plenty for a long journey. In addition you can even add extra clothes and important equipment without any hesitation. There’s always some space in your osprey kestrel 48!

Finished at a high standard!

Similar to the Osprey Aether, the Osprey Kestrel performs just brilliantly: high-quality materials have been utilised to construct the backpack, which is jam-packed with useful compartments, and the shoulder straps are constructed of a super-comfortable mesh cloth for maximum comfort. And the craftsmanship can be seen in every element of the Kestrel, which is impressive. Stitching, zippers, drawstrings, and tension straps are all done to a high standard of excellence.

Can Fit almost Every Inch of Your Camping Gear.

What I'm most concerned about is whether or not everything I need will fit into this small, lightweight backpack. To my astonishment, I don't have to be concerned about anything because all of my camping gear fits into the Kestrel as if it were custom-made for it.

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Perfectly Accessible Compartments!

The backpack has two large primary compartments, both of which are easily accessible by robust zippers, which is a wonderful touch. Even though the bottom one is designed to hold your sleeping bag, I personally use it to store my camping goods in case it gets wet later on.

It's as comfortable as a glove!

I feel that the Kestrel is a perfect match for me when I'm out trekking over the mountains. Hip straps and shoulder straps are soft and comfy, even when you're carrying them around for 7 hours or more, uphill and downhill, in all conditions. Despite the fact that it sits snug against my back, there is still enough area for the ventilation to perform its work.

Rain Cover Pocket

In this way, the Kestrel shares some characteristics with the Aether in that they both have features that make walking more enjoyable. The top compartment is incredibly big, allowing you to keep your most important belongings close at hand at all times. The rain cover is conveniently positioned in its own compartment at the bottom of the Kestrel, making it easy to access when needed.

Side pockets made of mesh, as well as pockets on the hip belt!

The wide mesh side pockets are particularly roomy, and I always keep a water bottle in each of them for convenience. In addition, the zip pockets on the hip belt are great for holding my GPS device on the left and my cell phone on the right, respectively. Everything is within your grasp. The life of a walker is suddenly transformed into a bed of roses.

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Extremely Convenient!

Two other characteristics have been carefully considered: the huge zippers on the sides and the padded shoulder straps. The left zipper provides access to an expanded and capacious compartment, which may be used to store items such as a warm cardigan and a few muesli bars, among other things. The main compartment can be accessed by the right zipper. That is extremely convenient because it allows you to quickly access items that are located at the bottom of the main compartment.

Drawbacks of the Kestrel

You might be wondering that how can everything be so positive about this backpack. Well, your wishes cam true! Here are some of its negatives.

Many Compartments!

The drawback of having so many distinct bins is that you have to keep track of where you have hidden something. You'll be seeking for quite some time if you don't. That places a high demand on your ability to manage people and resources. However, if you have established a strategy that works effectively for you, you will reap the benefits of it throughout your life.

Storage walking sticks for the Osprey Kestrel 48 trekking backpack!

There was one feature that I had to seek for with a magnifying glass, and that was the method by which you can attach your walking sticks to the Kestrel. In the end, the ‘Stow on the Go trekking pole attachment' proved to be a practical solution for this.

I personally do not need walking sticks because I am still youthful and tough. As a result, I haven't had a chance to put this into practise yet. However, it appears to be convenient: you can quickly store your walking sticks without having to remove your backpack from your back. This allows you to keep your hands free. For example, while climbing a steep mountain. Alternatively, you may wrestle with a grizzly bear.

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Freedom of Movement

There are of-course various challenges faced by climbers while climbing steep hikes. But even in that case, the benefit of a small and lightweight backpack is immediately apparent: I am able to move much more freely than I am accustomed to, and I am able to take significant steps up or to the side without the Kestrel getting in the way. Super!

The Bottom Line

In a nutshell, the Kestrel 48 performed admirably in my rigorous testing. And to mark the occasion, I blow the high-pitched emergency whistle that is attached to my chest strap. It surely has advanced to the next round of the competition!

Learn More About the Back Pack on Amazon

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