Product review

09 Jun, 2020

Osprey Kestrel 68L

Tested by: Russ

Cost:

GBP

Weight:

g

Miles used:

Miles

Times replaced:

Replacements

Watch the review

Review

Pack your bag and get ready for some long-term world travel and extended backpacking trips with the Osprey Kestrel 68L backpack. This monster pack will enable you to take enough gear and equipment for you and even another traveller. Packed with features and at a reasonable price, it saw me well for my first ever backpacking trip around South East Asia. While it’s not as light as my ULA Circuit and it’s probably got far too many features for a thru-hike, not all gear I test and review is specifically for the light-weight minimalist traveller, so how did it do?

 

Why the Osprey Kestrel 68L backpack?

For my first ever extended trip backpacking around South East Asia, I was your typical first-time traveller and packed quite a fair amount of gear for 6 months. I had my laptop, iPad, an entire wardrobe of clothes and hiking gear. I took it all and the Osprey Kestrel 68L backpack was able to carry everything and still had room for the odd souvenir. While it’s not the lightest of packs out there or the best looking, its function is to carry heavy loads and help to compartmentalise everything inside. It did this very well and very comfortably.

 

Build and quality

The Osprey Kestrel 68L backpack is very well-made. It’s solid and capable of carrying heavy loads so you can head off on your travels with enough room for camera equipment, hiking gear, electronics, hardware, clothes and more without worrying about it failing.

 

How did it carry

Even under really hefty loads, the Osprey Kestrel carried comfortably. These days however I travel very light and went around the world on just hand-luggage, making travelling much easier, faster and with less stress on your back. But if carrying more is your thing, the 68L are carried very well on this backpack.

 

Is it waterproof?

No, the Osprey Kestrel 68L backpack isn’t coated or seam-sealed,  but it does come with an integrated rain cover in a zippy pocket on the bottom. The attachment cord and elasticated hem on the rain cover sadly failed on me after a few months of travel and I ended up needing to purchase another pack liner which didn’t fit quite as well.

 

Value for money

The sheer amount of features make this pack good bang for your buck and it’s going to last you many years and many miles of long-term travel. For a thru-hiker or ultralight backpacker, it wouldn’t be the preferred choice, but you could certainly take this beast on a thru if you wanted. A better alternative at a slightly heftier price for a roomy and robust pack for a thru-hike would be the ULA Circuit backpack.

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Overview

  • Durability 90% 90%
  • Comfort 80% 80%
  • Capability 80% 80%
  • Value for money 70% 70%

BPros

  • Very durable
  • Good value
  • Carries for two
  • Good for the first-time traveller

CCons

  • Heavy
  • Many features not required

Specs

Price:

From £120 / on amazon.co.uk

Weight:

From 1.8kg (63.4oz)

Volume:

68L

Load limit:

Not specified

Materials:

210D x 630D Nylon, Mesh, Spacer mesh

Features

  • External hydration access
  • Front mesh pocket
  • Breathable back panel
  • Detachable rain cover
  • Sleeping bag compartment
  • Dual zipped hip belt pockets
  • Suitcase opening
  • Adjustable torso length
  • Brain lid
  • Zip pocket in top lid
  • Trekking pole attachment
  • Sternum strap and whistle
  • Sleeping pad straps
  • Internal top load compression strap
  • Side compression straps
  • Stowable twin ice axe loops
  • Mesh side pockets

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