Pablo's trip to the Alps with the Osprey Kestrel 38

Pablo from Bristol took his Osprey Kestrel Backpack skiing and hiking in the French Alps. What did he think?

The Test

I was given the opportunity to test the Osprey Kestrel 38 and took it on a week long trip to Chamonix in the French Alps. I was going to be hiking and skiing so it was perfect for this. The landscape was beautiful and have summarised that in photos below.

I used it as carry on luggage and took everything I needed for the hiking part of the trip. Technically the dimensions are too long for cabin baggage but it didn't cause a problem on this trip.

The Features

  • The Airscape back panel - has been designed to let air flow between your back and the pack and reduce sweat build up on warm days. I didn't get the chance to test this out on this trip but will be in the summer months.
  • The 'stow on the go' trekking pole attachments are very handy and since a backpacking trip to Sweden I have learnt the benefits of walking poles (see the blog review here). These attachments mean that you can get your poles or carry them on the pack without stopping.
  • I didn't get to test the rain cover although it is integrated and detachable should you need it.
  • Organisation was key for this backpack.
    • It has generous pockets on the hip belt, perfect for storing snacks and items you may want quick access to.
    • The exterior has a good size pocket on the top of the lid and another on the underside of the lid with a secure key attachment.
    • It also has two stretchy powermesh side pockets useful for water bottles and flasks.
    • There is a daisy chain for attaching some carabiners when you need to carry a bit more or some items that are not ideal to stow in the pack.
    • The interior is made up of two compartments with no pockets, the main upper compartment has a very useful side access zip and the lower compartment is accessible with a separate opening, you can transform them in one large space if you prefer it.

The Verdict

To sum up how the pack performed in Chamonix, it was light and close to my body and felt very comfortable even when fully loaded due to the good hip belt.

I strongly recommend the new Kestrel 38 for everyone looking for a simple but technical, lightweight and really versatile backpack for all activities year round.

Pablo is from our Bristol store and enjoys hiking and skiing. He is also a keen climber and happy to boulder, sport climb, trad climb or just being outdoors with a real rock face!

Head back to the Taunton Leisure blog

Lots more helpful buying advice