Detail Images

  • Osprey Packs - Kestrel 38 Backpack - 2197-2319cu in -

Current Color

  • Osprey Packs - Kestrel 38 Backpack - 2197-2319cu in -

Osprey Packs Kestrel 38 Backpack - 2197-2319cu in

Temporarily Out Of Stock

Don't get too bummed. This item is on the way and will be available for purchase as soon as it rolls into the warehouse.

Can't wait? Consider one of the other Overnight Backpacks (2000 - 2999 cu in) we have in stock.

View Similar Products

22 Reviews


No pain, all gain.

When you head out for a marathon all-day hike or even a quick overnight, you know you won't be hearing from your back or knees when you carry your gear in the Osprey Kestrel 38 Backpack. The Kestrel's ergonomic design, light weight, and plethora of stowage features deliver on-trail comfort, enabling you to shoulder loads of up to 35 pounds without a second thought.
  • AirScape back panel circulates more air to keep you cool and features LightWire peripheral frame that stabilizes the load and transfers weight close to your body
  • Stretch front and side pockets give you extra storage and organization options
  • External loops and front daisies with bungee tie-offs give you plenty of places to stash equipment
  • Integrated rain cover keeps your prepared for sudden rainshowers
  • Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment lets you quickly tuck your poles out of the way without stopping to unload
  • Zippered hip-belt pocket keeps your digital camera and energy gel packs close at hand
  • Sleeping bag stashes in the external zip compartment, or can be attached to the outside with a removable strap
  • Item #OSP0251

Tech Specs

nylon packcloth (420D), nylon (210D, double diamond ripstop)
LightWire frame
Shoulder Straps
Hydration Compatible
Reservoir Included
1 front stretch, 2 side stretch, 2 hip-belt, 1 top, 1 under-lid mesh zip
Sleeping Bag Compartment
Rain Cover
yes, integrated
Max Weight Capacity
30 lb
(S/M) 3 lb 1 oz, (M/L) 3 lb 3 oz
(S/M) 2197 cu in, (M/L) 2319 cu in
Recommended Use
backpacking, hiking
Manufacturer Warranty

Tech Specs

  • Reviews
  • Q & A

What do you think about this product?

Have questions about this product?

Waist belt is too large

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I'm 6'1" and have a size 31 waist. The size S/M of this pack is far too short for my torso length, but the hipbelt on the M/L is too big for me. With both straps cinched as far as they will go, it just barely feels snug, and I know that once on the trail, I'm definitely going to want it tighter. I'm returning this pack with disappointment, because otherwise it seems like a really great bag. I love the color, the features, and the feel of it on my back, and the included raincover, which I would otherwise need to spend $30 on, makes this one of the best value backpacks on the market.

An Osprey pack that doesn't fit is fairly unusual--usually they are really excellent about this, and many of their other packs even come with removable hipbelts, so you can swap them out for different sizes. The hipbelt on this pack is, sadly, sewn on. What was going on when you designed this pack, Osprey? Were all of the skinny gear testers on vacation?

I will be getting an Exos instead. Though the Exos is undoubtedly a superior backpack, I'm concerned that it won't be as durable on rough bushwacks. I wish the Kestrel had worked out.

Great day pack

    Just spent the weekend trying out my new Osprey Kestrel 38
    at Olympic National Park, Loaded this baby up to the max slipped the rain cover on and off we went. Very comfortable belt and straps.
    The cover did its job. Then we headed to the winter side of the mountains, a little snowshoeing and again it stayed in place the whole day. Look forward to using on a over night or weekend hike.

    Excellent daypack, can do overnights

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    This is my go-to day pack when I know I'm bringing along gear like poles, snowshoes, extra water, etc. Hip belt is comfortable and does a good job of transferring load onto hips. On occasion, I've used it adequately as my quick overnight bag while out doing a quick backpack trip. Originally, I bought this because I was doing stints at the hospital (where I work) and wanted to bring along stuff for the evening in the on-call room. Works well and fits great (I am 5'10", 190 lbs, purchased the M/L version of the Kestral 38)

    It works

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

    I enjoy this pack so far and got it at a very good price. The 38L works well for a lighter set up for a 1-3 day outing in the back county. It is able to hold all the necessary gear plus a bit extra. I have mainly used the pack for typical backpacking scenarios. The area were the bladder is stored is a bit awkward. If you put a completely full 2 L bladder there, it bulges into the main compartment of the pack. .The lower side pockets are a bit shallow. The lid of the pack is secured on the back side. This can make it hard to secure items on top depending on what your needs are. The lid itself has two compartments; one inside and one outside. There is also a bottom zipper to accesses the main part of the pack.On the outside back there is a open, topped mesh compartment for quick storage. Although when the pack is full, it can be difficult to store certain items there. I guess I had mainly used it for storing small clothing items (hat, gloves, frog toggs). Directly under the mesh is a small, separate zippered compartment . I think this is were Osprey hides the rain fly originally? I would say the bag is suitable for day hikes, 1-3 day hiking trips (gear dependent) and for travel. I have just recently switched over this bag for most of my trips and look forward to further testing. Seems pretty solid right now.

    It works

    Good Long Day Pack

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    Have used this pack on several long day trips (10+ miles) and have overall been fairly satisfied with the pack.

    The suspension and straps seem to fit my body size well (5'-7", 160 lbs) and may be a little large, but I appreciate the extra capacity that the larger size offers.

    As far as capacity goes, I have found that I have been able to pack pretty much everything I have needed in the pack, including a complete spare pair of winter clothes for snowshoeing/winter hiking.

    The compatibility with Osprey's hydration packs is great and I have a 3 liter hydration pack that fits nicely in the pack and has not seemed to bother my back the way others have complained. The air mesh on the back panel too has been great and the pack doesn't seem to get too warm while hiking, although it does tend to heat my hydration pack some.

    As far as drawbacks on the pack, I will say that some straps and/or attachments points would be useful around the back pouch and the elastic/mesh side pockets could stand to be a bit larger to better fit conventional (Nalgene*) sized water bottles.

    Consider this was the first pack I purchased after many years away from hiking/backpacking, I have overall been satisfied with my pack.

    As a brand, I really like the Osprey packs compared to some of their competitors and have no complaints as far as workmanship and/or materials are concerned.

    Good Long Day Pack

    Perfect Adventure Pack

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    This is a perfect mid-sized backpack for all manner of adventures. I've spent a lot of time traveling with mine and I find it works well on one to two week trips where I'm just carrying clothes and some souvenirs and it fits wonderfully in overhead compartments of airplanes, trains, and buses.

    It's also great for one to three day back country trips where you're carrying technical gear. I've used mine on short backpacking/camping trips and on one-two day stints climbing, mountaineering, and back country snowboarding. I find osprey packs really adjustable and comfortable to wear when weighted. Plus this little guy holds a pretty good amount of gear. It has two gear loops for ice axes/tools, vertical and horizontal straps that you can use to attach a thermarest for backpacking or your skis/snowboard when your boot-packing. It has two zip pockets on the hip belt where you can put your compass, sunscreen, chapstick, passport, keys, and all types of odds and ends. Plus it's got side pockets for water bottles, a slot for water a drom, and a decently sized mesh pouch on the back where you can keep avey probes and most styles of shovels.

    All around sweet.

    Perfect Adventure Pack

    Get's the job done

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Nothing special, just a meat and potatoes day pack.

    Enough room for a quick day hike or slingin' a fly on the river. I use mine anytime I am out for more than a couple hours or if weather is a big concern.

    I think this pack is a better choice than a 25-30 liter pack. You can easily fit the bulky winter layers that can be a pain in a 25 liter daypack

    bottle pocket

    here you can see that the side pocket is very shallow - I use a carabiner to prevent my nalgene from constantly falling onto the ground. This happens no matter how much or little stuff is in the pack - I've seen reviews saying this happens when it's "overpacked" - but the nicer packs I have don't have this problem regardless of how much stuff is in there!

    bottle pocket

    Not as good as it seemed

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    This pack seemed to have everything - external bladder, built in rainfly, sleeping bag compartment to potentially use pack for a quick overnight.

    I've had it since October and I keep trying to like it but I just don't.

    The suspension is mediocre and would be tolerable BUT when you put a bladder into the back it PUSHES hard into your back - this is a disappointment because the 48 doesn't do this (I've used my dad's 48 extensively and that's why I wanted this pack).

    The pack itself is very tall for a 38 and very THIN width wise - so it's really hard to get in there and get what you want out. The lid is permanently fixed so it really limits how much you can over-stuff and it makes it hard to shove something like a pad under the lid. The pocket on the underside of the lid is a nice feature - and might be the best thing about the lid. The pocket inside the lid is small and difficult to access compared to other packs in this size and price range.

    The kangaroo pocket on the front is nice but a common feature. The side pockets are small and shallow. If you bend over at all your nalgene will slip right out of these - so now I throw a nalgene inside or clip to the back - seems like such a waste. If you're going to have these, make them work for the most commonly used bottle with ease. I also struggle getting my nalgene back into the pockets when I insist to myself that I should give the pockets another shot.

    The pockets on the hipbelt are a little far back to be super convenient (my MHW packs with pockets are MUCH easier to get to).

    The pack isn't TERRIBLE - but for the price and features I'd be much happier with any other number of packs. I think I would have been much happier with the 48 or the 32 if I went with a kestrel .

    Packs are such a personal thing! If it works for you great - but this just wasn't the right purchase for me. And I REALLY REALLY tried to love it to justify the $ I dropped. Bummer for me. Now I gotta figure out what to do with it.

    Not as good as it seemed

    I agree with much of Lauren K's input. The primary detractor for me is the fixed lid. When choosing a pack this size, a free-floating lid is ideal since you may need to overpack.

    Suspension is also meh. It just doesn't have enough structure in it to distribute the weight to the hips.

    I bought mine on a whim to use as a daypack that my girlfriend could also use for overnighters and I am very thankful that I only use it for a day at a time. Just not as comfortable as the other Osprey pack that I own.

    My go to pack

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    This pack is perfect for day hikes. It gives you enough space to bring all the gear you might need throughout the day or a picnic lunch. It feels great on your back and has all the features you would expect from an Osprey. The included rain cover is nice having it there just in case. I love having the treking pole holders on Osprey packs.

    If you are doing an untra light overnight trip this pack will work as well. You will need to make sure you are only bringing what you need though. Overall this pack is really nice and is the quality you expect from an Osprey.

    Kestrel Series Kicks Butt!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I'm in LOVE with this pack! I picked it up based on reviews I've read and time and time again this is the pack that gets pulled out of the closet when I'm headed out. When shopping or evaluating other packs I measure them up to this pack. It's feature set is so well thought out making this the definition of a Multi-Use pack. Climbing - check, Overnighter - check, Ultralight weekend - check. In short, you can do just about anything with this thing. If the 38L size isn't sufficient, Osprey offers these in various sizes to suite just about any size load you'll need to carry.

    I find the 38L to be the perfect go-to for overnight peak bagging assaults or ultralight 2-3 day backpacking trips. Works great for getting me too and from the crags with my ropes and rack.

    Absolutely feature packed design! I'm most impressed with the external hydration sleeve. I wish more packs had this feature. One of my other packs has the traditional internal sleeve which just annoys me..

    This pack is sure to please. At the price point you simply won't find a better pack - PERIOD. The Osprey warranty, quality materials, feature packed design, and refined layout make this a winner in all categories.

    If I had one complaint, it would be that optional sized shoulder straps and waist belts are not offered (minor gripe). I'm a stocky built guy and while the fit is sufficient for the load this pack is capable of, having the option to size the straps would be the icing on the cake even if it meant a small weight/price penalty. Beyond that, this pack is flawless!

    Is this pack good to A-frame a pair of ski?

    Would this pack serve well as a cragging...

    Would this pack serve well as a cragging pack? I'm looking for a relatively cheap pack I can use for climbing as well as multi-day (3-4) hikes.

    Best Answer

    I think it'd do ok for cragging as it carries well and has a fair amount of volume. The downsides would be that the face fabric isn't super burly so it will likely get a little thrashed if you are dragging it over rocks or tossing it about at the base. Additionally just having the one access point can be a pain in the but when you want something out of the bottom and have to take everything else out to get to it.

    For comparison I use the Arc'teryx Miura and the Metolius Crag Station as my dedicated crag packs and they address the durability and ease of access issues for me. But if you are looking to get a pack that does cragging and backpacking fairly well, you can make this work and avoid getting two packs.

    Does the Kestrel 38 have enough room for...

    Does the Kestrel 38 have enough room for a tent, sleeping bag, and some smaller items necessary for a overnight hike (ie. hydration bladder, couple nalgenes, rain jacket, snacks)?

    Reviews seem positive on this site and others!

    So I am thinking about getting this pack...

    So I am thinking about getting this pack for a good multi purpose day/overnight pack. I have also considered the Talon 33 and 44. So I am just wondering what others takes on the size of these packs are for day/overnight packs.


    Of the three, I prefer the Kestrel. I generally consider somewhere in the 35L size as the perfect overnight pack. 44L is getting a bit too big, although nobody says you have to fill it completely (although we do have some sort of psychological need to at least try). As a daypack, unless you need or want to carry a lot of gear, and maybe someone elses ,too, all these are pretty big. I know you want to try to get an all-in-one thing going, but sometimes it's better to break it down based on your personal preferences and a selection of the right pack for the right job. Hope this helps.

    So this would be for daylong hikes. I have a Camelbak cloud walker (20L) and an Osprey Daylite (13L) and I cannot pack all the gear water and lunch that I need to take on a long day hike. I probably wouldn't pack this completely full for the day hikes (25L-30L depending on enviornment )

    If you need the volume, don't mind that it feels a little larger than what you're used to, and that partially loaded packs just feel kind of funky in how they carry sometimes, then this will fit the bill. All a matter of personal preference. Order it, try it. The worst that can happen is you send it back and try again. These are really comfortable and functional packs though.

    Whats the difference in S/M and M/L when...

    Whats the difference in S/M and M/L when ordering a size. I have a small frame 5'6 150lbs and would love the extra cubic inch that the M/L has but dont want something thats not gona fit my body. Does it just speak of cubic inch or does it suggest body size as well

    Best Answer

    Great question Matt, the sizing chart was confusing. The Kestrel pack does have different sizing for your body size. S/M is if your Torso is Less than 19 inches and the M/L size if your Torso is Greater than 19in. Hope this information helps. You may want to go with the smaller size but measure for the best fit.

    are the shoulder straps detachable?

    are the shoulder straps detachable?