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An uber-functional pack with a place for everything.
- Integrated rain cover keeps your pack and its contents dry on a soggy hike
- Stretch front and side pockets give you extra storage and organization options
- A plethora of external loops and straps hold gear like skis, poles, and a sleeping pad
- Exterior-access hydration compartment you fill up without unpacking
- Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment lets you quickly tuck your poles out of the way without stopping to unload
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Great pack - even for women!
I thought this pack might be too large for me - I'm 5'4 and thought I might need to go with the smaller Kestrels but decided to step it up and give this one a shot. I'm really glad I did.
My favorite feature is probably having accessible zip pockets on the hip belt. I can keep things I need to access often there - knives, flashlights, energy bars, etc. and not have to remove the pack or stop my hike to access these smaller items.
The straps for a sleeping pad are not quite big enough for the pad I bought (it may be too thick), and the sleeping bag pocket on the bottom is pretty tight with my Aleutian stuffed in there but not completely unmanageable.
The external straps, trekking pole straps, extra side pockets and overall fit of the pack are great. There is easy access to my 2L camelback (which you can barely tell is there) which is rather nice as well.
Enjoyed reading the reviews. Was wondering...
Enjoyed reading the reviews. Was wondering how it fits a taller person. I'm 6'3" with fairly broad shoulders. Any info or feedback on how it fits and adjusts to a larger framed individual?
At 6'3", you most likely have a longer torso. Osprey recommends a M/L for anyone with a 19"+ torso when measured from the C7 vertebrae to the iliac crest. If you can find a M/L - Backcountry does not have them in stock right now - you can probably make it fit. However, you will likely get a better fit from a pack like the Osprey Argon 70. It's has a slightly larger volume, but also comes in a larger range of sizes, up to the XL which fits a 22" torso.
So, measure first, then shop.
The Aether 70 or the Atmos 65 are also great options with torso adjustability and are more delineated in size.
If you are indeed very long in torso--21"-22"--you should go with a better sized pack. Just because you are 6'3" doesn't mean you have an extra-large torso though. My boss is 5'10" and has a Large torso and our friend is 6'2" with a Medium torso...
So definitely measure your torso: http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/web/sizing_and_fitting
Great pack! Very comfortable!
The kestrel is a great series. I really like the way they fit and distribute the weight of the load. I dry camped with mine, so I was carrying 14 pounds of water alone and it held the extra weight great. My total pack weight was 45 pounds including water and food, and I had no issues at all.
There are plenty of compartments for very easy access to your gear with tons of space inside the main section as well. The side pockets stuff to the inside, so they are a bit of a pain to pack once the main compartment is full, but not too bad. I really like the hydration sleeve being on the outside. You really don't notice that the bladder is even there (I use the Osprey Hydraform). It is a bit of a pain to pull in and out with a full pack though.
Lot's of places to clip on gear if you need to, including a very convenient place for your trekking poles. This pack really has everything I would need in a backpack. And you have got to love the integrated rain cover! All in all this is a great pack that will do well on an extended trip.
Checkin the view
Kestrel 68 review
This is my first video review of any product. I forgot to mention the rain cover, which I love. I hope you enjoy.
Awesome Pack for an Awesome Price
I've used this pack a few times already and I love it. It's a great size for the weekend trips that I have gone on, and there was plenty of room for more stuff if I wanted to go on a longer trip. The main compartment is great, it seems like it doesn't have a bottom the way you can keep piling stuff inside. The top compartment is also very spacious, and the mesh pocket on the underside is awesome. The pack is extremely comfortable, the hip pockets are great, and the sleeping pad straps on theback are excellent. One of the best things about this pack is that it's an internal frame but has tons of straps and buckles on the outside. This pack is clearly a five star, and I would recommend it to anybody.
I just got this pack and am very pleased...
I just got this pack and am very pleased with how it fits. Does anyone know how hard it is to remove or insert the osprey 3L bladder from it's spot with a full load? I like that it is external as well, but does that make the pack feel different when it is full? Do you have to keep adjusting it as you empty your bladder?
The Osprey bladder has a rib that helps it keep it's shape as you empty the water out, which is great. Even so, I've never found a pack that allows easy removal or replacement of a full water bladder to/from a full pack. The rib should make it much easier to use than a camelbak though. The external pocket is really meant for a jacket or gloves or something, not your water bladder. Putting it on the outside will really screw up the balance of the backpack, bad idea.
Thanks for the answer James. I am not sure if I am misunderstanding your answer regarding the pocket for the bladder. There is an external pocket that Osprey specifically says is for a hydration system right against the back, behind the foam padding. Are you saying that the pocket is better used for something else, or were you talking about the mesh front pocket?
So, James is thinking of the stretch pocket on the front and not of the external pocket for hydration.
Due to the frame sheet on the Osprey reservoir, it will be easier to slip in and out of the hydration pocket with the pack full. That said, it will still be a shimmy to get it in but not like with a frameless reservoir. Also, there is no adjustment needed as the reservoir gets less and less full.
And if you refer to it as a reservoir, it doesn't sound like you are peeing on yourself when you say "as you empty your reservoir." Just saying.
i am trying to decide between the rei...
i am trying to decide between the rei passage 65 and the Osprey Packs Atmos 65 Backpack any advice?
Try them both on with weight in the store and just walk around for at least 15 minutes, should give you a good feeling of which is right for you. It's hard to go wrong with an Osprey pack.
On the off chance you're looking into other options, the Gregory Baltoro 65 is an amazing pack!
How does this product fit for women? I am...
How does this product fit for women? I am torn between the Women's Ariel 65 and the Kestrel 68, and I don't know if it is worth getting a custom women's fit, or if a pack would adjust to my size all the same, whether it is for women or not. I like that this has zip pockets on the hipbelt and more pockets on the outside. And, a raincover.
Two things. One, you will be so much more comfortable in an Ariel than in a Kestrel. Between fully adjustable/interchangeable shoulder harness, heat-moldable interchangeable hipbelt, and basic pack design, you'll do yourself a favor in spending the extra money.
Two, whether you make the decision that the extra money is worth it should be based on how important the rest of what I say is to you.
1. If you are on either extreme of torso length (http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/web/sizing_and_fitting), and with ladies you'll probably be on the shorter torso length side (women tend to have short torsos and long legs), then I'd strongly suggest the Ariel. If you are between a Medium and Small, then you'll be more fine with the Kestrel.
This is because the closer a pack fits to your torso size, the better the carry will be. Because the Kestrel is S/M or M/L, there is a limited fit to this pack. The Ariel is available in XS, S, M, L so you'll find something that better represents your torso length especially on the shorter side.
2. If you find yourself with a longer torso, but still needing a small hipbelt and/or small shoulder harness (or vice versa), you can achieve that with the Ariel--they have interchangeable features. So you can get a M Ariel, but then retrofit a Small hipbelt on the pack to better fit your body type. Again, the more closely the pack fits all of you, the better it will carry and you're gonna have a better time.
3. The other features of the Ariel that may make your life easier: shoulder harness and hipbelt that curves with a lady's curves, big stuff pocket on the front of the pack, three ways to access the interior (Kestrel only has 2), two water bottle pockets, lid that becomes a hipbelt pack, and the hipbelt that is heat moldable (think ski boot liner--it is a really awesome way to make the pack fit you that much better).
4. Last (I promise) what is the intended use of this pack--how long are you carrying this pack on your back? Mostly over-night trips? Multiday? International travel (so 30 min at a time multiple times a day)? The longer the pack is on your back, the more you'll benefit from the Ariel. If at most you are doing overnights, the Kestrel may be the way to go (price versus benefit)...
Hope this novel helps you in your decision!
Does it have side water bottle pockets?
Does it have side water bottle pockets?
It sure does! stretch mesh on the sides will hold bottles well.
Not What I hoped
I hoped this pack would be what Osprey calls a quiver-of-one. But it turned out to be less than expected. I've been using an Atmos 50 and wanted something a little bigger for extended trips. I loaded the pack up with 40lbs and walked around the house. It does carry the weight very well, but I thought the pack looked small. I laid it down next to the Atmos 50 and the bags were the same length and circumference. I couldn't see where the extra 18 liters came from. Then I examined the external pockets. I really have no idea what they would be used for. They zip all the way open and billow to the inside of the pack. This basically reduces the volume even further. My final test involved filling up my 2 liter platypus bladder and putting it in the designated space between the pack and back panel. There was no way it would fit without bulging out the back panel. I returned the product the next day.
LOVE IT. brought it on an eleven day climbing trip from Bellingham, WA to Joshua Tree, CA to Malibu Canyon, CA to Red Rocks NV, and back to Bham and had zero complaints.
This pack makes me happy
After limited use I am very happy with this pack. I took it on a 4 day trip to the Red River Gorge in KY and
I like it for a few reasons.
1)Highly adjustable: It has an adjustable torso harness, which let me get a perfect fit.
2)Pack panel: I sweat a ton and it lets your back breath because the panel has ridges and curves slightly away from your back and covered in mesh. I have used the Osprey Atmos 50 and its back panel curves a lot more and takes up quite a bit of room in the pack and the Kestrel's panel barely takes up any.
3)Includes everything: Includes every perk I could ask for, Pockets galore, hydration sleeve, gear loops, rain cover.
The only issues I have are:
not a huge fan of sleeping bag compartment and wish there was side access pockets, but with some planned packing it hasn't been a problem.
One thing to note: Unless I am dumb and can't figure it out there is no detachable pack. I mean if I wanted I could remove the top but not in any efficient way.
Was torn between this and the Atmos 65. While there is nothing particularly wrong with this pack, it just seemed a little too slinky for my personal tastes and I didn't particularly care for the placement of the sleeping pad straps. I'm a Z-Rest user and it forces you to hang it out behind, making the whole assembly a little cumbersome. With an inflatable pad it may not be so bad or you could carry the pad inside the pack or even on top, so it may not be an issue for you.
Beyond that, the quality of materials, fit, and finish were very good as you would expect from Osprey, and there's enough adjustment that I could get comfortable with this pack (I'm 6'-0", 190#, 18.5" torso). It's just that for my particular preferences, I think the Atmos may be a better fit.
How does the pack compare to the Baltoro...
How does the pack compare to the Baltoro 70? Also, do either packs have waterbottle holders?
Great question, that could be debated from both sides pretty easily. I own the Baltoro 70 and love it, but was also considering this pack when I bought mine.
Here are a few things to consider. There isn't one single pack that fits all people better than another pack. Gregory packs fit me better than osprey packs, but you might be different.
The Gregory is on the heavy side weighing 5lb 5oz compared to this pack at 4lb 2oz. The Baltoro has an external water bottle pocket that fits a Nalgene perfectly as well as an internal hydration sleeve.
I like that the osprey has an external and accessible hydration sleeve. The built in rain cover is a huge plus as well, as I feel like they are extremely useful in wet conditions. They have to be purchased separately with the Baltoro.
I feel like this osprey beats out the Baltoro feature wise, so for me it came down to comfort. A slightly heavier and more comfortable pack can make your load feel 10lbs lighter than a lighter less comfortable pack, but if you are lucky this pack will be comfortable for you. The packs are similar enough to each other that comfort should be your deciding factor.
I would try to find local stores that carry these packs, so you can try them both on before making a decision.
Good luck and happy hiking!!
Interested in either this pack or the...
Interested in either this pack or the Osprey Aether 70. Currently have an Argon 85 but looking for something a little lighter for week long backpacking trips. Anyone have a preference toward one pack or the other? Both seem pretty comparable. Price is not an option; comfort and functionality are paramount.
There are lots of good things about this pack: quality materials, well made, just the right number of pockets and is comfortable. My only gripe is small, I don't like zippered sleeping bag compartments because in the Pacific Northwest it is necessary to line ones pack to keep things dry so it is useless, just a weak point in the pack that might leak. I cannot fault it too much though because I knew it had one before I bought it. The only other thing is I am not sure how well it carry heavy loads because I haven't loaded for a week or more trip yet.
i have owned the kestrel 48 for the past 3 years and love it, ended up giving it to my girlfriend so i upgraded to the 68. this pack is everything i loved about the 48 but with just more room.
the hipbelt pockets are large enough to hold camera/bars/knife without a problem. the outside hydration pocket works great and the built in rain cover is a must. just recently took this pack 5 days through zion and loved every minute of it. the adjustable torso really allows for almost a custom fit.
Could be better
I loved all the features on this pack! It's really an excellent deal! Osprey packs are all great quality and design. This is why I returned it and went with the Osprey Aura 65L. Osprey has even better packs to offer; I didn't think the Kestrel offered enough support on my hips and lower back when it was 40lbs in. If you don't have womanly hips, I think it'd still be great. However, you can't beat the breathable and form fitting backs on the Aura and Atmos packs!