Why We Chose The Osprey Kestrel 58 Backpack: Design features, carrying comfort, adaptability.
You can often tell how you’re going to get on with a backpack
from the moment you put it on. The best ones are the ones that fit with your contours like a glove and seem to integrate with you rather than hang off you. Our testers had just that with the Kestrel 58 by Osprey.
The Kestrel and women’s-specific Kyte series have become of Osprey’s most popular models for hiking and this latest iteration, though not radically different, still builds on that legacy well.
Available in a range of different capacities from 36-litre to 68, there’s a model to fit any type of multi-day adventure, from weekend micro adventures beyond the city’s boundaries to full-blown expeditions in the Yukon. This one we’ve been testing, the Kestrel 58, is the kind of size we’d want for hiking a long-distance trail with – say, the Pennine Way, or even the Pacific Crest Trail.
First of all, there’s a big compartment with loads of different access points to it which obviously makes finding that tucked away bit of kit much, much easier. These include a toggled drawstring entry at the top, a zip that opens up the entire base, and then a long U-shaped zip across the whole of its front. It’s a floating lid design so there’s also that added volume up top for those really big loads.
In terms of pockets, you’ve got one under the lid and one over it (with a useful key clip in the latter), two generously sized zipped pouches on the hipbelts for your wine gums, two stretch mesh ones on either side of the main compartment, and then a front ‘shove-it’ pocket for sticking your down jacket and/or waterproof.