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The versatile Osprey Kestrel 38 is designed to transport 30-40 pound loads anywhere you care to go. With a separate zippered sleeping bag compartment and external sleeping pad straps, it’s a fully functional overnight pack. Or cinch down the StraightJacket™ side compression straps and take it out for a day of canyoneering in Utah’s San Rafael swell.
Whatever you put inside, Osprey’s LightWire™ frame transfers the load to a comfortable spacer mesh harness and hipbelt. This innovative suspension system ensures all-day carrying comfort, especially in warm conditions when the Airscape™ mesh backpanel comes into play.
When it comes time to unpack, the main compartment has top loading or side zip access providing multiple portals to get at your gear without struggle.
Other storage features include top-lid and under-lid zippered pockets, side and front stretch mesh pockets, and two zippered hipbelt pockets.
Along with the extensive pocketry, there are dual front daisy chains and web attachment points on the top lid for anchoring gear to the exterior.
Other useful features include an external hydration sleeve, tuck-away ice tool loops, and Osprey’s Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachments. The entire pack can be shielded from the elements by deploying the integrated raincover.

Key Attributes


Durable, comfortable and technically advanced, these packs are ideal for multi-sport enthusiasts.

Adjustable Harness

Adjustable harness provides custom torso fit. *Not included in Kestrel 28.

Integrated Raincover

An integrated raincover protects your gear from foul weather. When the sun returns, it stows away in its own external pocket at the bottom of the pack.

Additional Features

  • Sleeping Bag Compartment - Wide mouth access sleeping bag compartment with divider stows your bag out of the way
  • Sleeping Pad Straps - Adjustable and removable sleeping pad straps provide secure extra carry
  • Side Zipper Access - Side zipper access to main compartment allows easy accessibility to the inside contents of the pack

Carry Information

LightWire™ Suspension

  • 3.5mm LightWire™ peripheral frame effectively transfers the load from harness to hip belt (not included on Kestrel 28l)
  • Atilon framesheet spreads load across the entire backpanel to the peripheral frame

Airscape™ Backpanel

  • Mesh covered ridged foam allows maximum ventilation while keeping the load close to the body

Spacer Mesh Harness and Hipbelt

  • Soft, edgeless padded mesh offers a soft breathable contact surface and large load support
  • Adjustable sternum strap with rescue whistle


Load Range
25 - 40 lbs.
11 - 18 kg
  Volume Dimensions Weight
S/M 2197 in3 / 36 l 26h x 15w x 16d in. 3.02 lbs.
M/L 2319 in3 / 38 l 28h x 15w x 16d in. 3.13 lbs.
S/M 2197 in3 / 36 l 66h x 38w x 40d cm 1.37 kg
M/L 2319 in3 / 38 l 71h x 38w x 40d cm 1.42 kg
210D Nylon Double Diamond Ripstop
420HD Nylon Packcloth
420HD Nylon Packcloth
Product Manual Additional languages available here �


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KESTREL 38 depicted in image
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Zippered Hipbelt Pockets

Dual zippered hipbelt pockets provide secure storage for often needed items

External Hydration Sleeve

External hydration sleeve in backpanel simplifies refilling and protects pack contents from spills

Stretch Mesh Front Pocket

Large front stretch mesh pocket for quickly stashing extra gear

Tool Attachment

Tuck away tool loops with bungee tie-offs provide secure tool carry

Front Panel Daisy Chains

Dual front panel daisy chains allow for extra external attachment points

Integrated Raincover

An integrated and removable raincover protects your gear from foul weather. It stows away in its own external pocket at the bottom of the pack

Compression Straps

Upper and lower reverse StraightJacket™ side compression straps stabilize load and also serve as external gear carry straps

Stow-on-the-Go™ Trekking Pole Attachment

Osprey’s unique Stow-on-the-Go™ system allows users to tuck away trekking poles quickly without having to remove their packs
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Exceptional Carry for Long Day Hiking or Loaded Down


I'm a professional traveler in my day job and I absolutely love great bags. I use the very best I can afford; Tumi, LL Bean, TravelPro, etc. Having the right bag is an essential part of being super efficient and effective. That level thinking applies even more to backpacking and Osprey is unparalleled. I've been a backpacker since I was a Boy Scout, 25 years ago. I'm not an ultra-minimalist, but if I don't need it, I don't take it. I was carrying a Kelty bag for some time, had a North Face, and then, on a trip with my brother, he showed me his original Osprey. I fell in love with its simplicity and ease of carry as well as the customer service from Osprey. I ordered the Kestrel 38 about 4 years ago and can honestly say, I've never carried a more comfortable bag. Size your bag correctly and Osprey will carry better than any bag on the market, whether loaded down for a weekend or lightly loaded for a hike with the kids. The size is perfectly versatile; forcing you to think about your load on long weekends, and leaving plenty of room for day hikes. The long and short is that this is the best hiking back I've ever owned and based on the quality, build, and longevity; when it comes time for the next one--I'll be buying an Osprey.



One Issue


Nice comfortable pack for day hikes. However, since I bought my last Kestrel 38, you removed one of the ice axe loops and the bungee strap above it. I don't know when this happened, but WHY? I took it back to the store thinking it was a defect. I used both ice axe loops and the corresponding bungee cords above them to store my trekking poles away when I knew I was not going to need them for a few miles. Now I have to settle with storing one pole I guess. It was a great alternative to keep them neatly packed away rather than using that gadget on the side (stow & go?), which is good for more temporary storage. Did Osprey do it to cut costs? It's not like these two features were in the way.

Santa Fel, NM


Nice pack but not ideal for extended climbing sessions


I like this pack pretty well but it isn't big enough for my needs. I climb carrying a 70 meter rope, webbing and other gear for setting up a climb but this bag is mostly full once the rope is inside. For this purpose, I would recommend starting with something slightly larger. This pack is very comfortable to wear and fits very well. It is quite adjustable which is nice. I really really like that it has a side zip the length of the pack. I wish there was something like the front panel Daisy chains in the top of the inside of the pack. I found I wanted to hang carabiners or other gear at the top so they would stay up there but wasn't able to. The back stretch panel seems small and seems less flexible than something like the variant has I think (though I haven't seen it in person). I like this pack and would recommend it though something like the variant might suit my needs better. Would highly like something to hang things in the bag as mentioned previously.



One criticism


Only one criticism with this pack (maybe with other Osprey packs, as well?)... The divider between the main pack and lower (sleeping bag) compartment, is awkward (when you "unhooked" it to make one large compartment), as it hangs down in front of the zippered access panel and gets in the way. A better design would be to be able to tuck it away, some how!

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Great for overnights and long hikes


Thanks to osprey for making flawless products. I use this pack for long hikes and overnights, and it performs flawlessly. It is very comfy for loads up to 30 lb, for me that is enough gear for an overnight (ultra light tent included). Only complaint are the side mesh pockets. I mainly use them for 1l water bottles, but I have to take off my pack to reach them. I'd wish they were angled like the ones on other packs. To solve these I use 3l bladder in the specific reservoir compartment, and fill it with my water bottles when is empty. The materials and the overall manufacturing are very high quality. And I think the price is just right for what you get. I almost forget the great rain cover that was included ! Thanks for making these products so good.

Guanajuato, México


A Real Workhorse


The Kestrel series of packs are well designed, easy to use, and tough enough to haul your gear in a myriad of different outdoor environments. Basic features include a roomy rucksack with a separate bladder provision, adjustable compression straps, and a frame that balances heavier loads easily. Day in day out the Kestrel 38 handles it job with aplomb.



Great Pack one design issue


I upgraded my Kestral 32 (previous model) with the 38 as I needed a bit more room for my guides pack. This is a great pack series and I prefer a top loading pack which is why I went with the 38. One design frustration that has been driving me crazy is the divider flap. Since my preference is to not have two separate compartments and because of that, the flap just gets in the way as there is no way to stow it. Velcro (hook & loop) tabs would have been beneficial to keep the flap out of the way. Other then this one criticism, it's a great pack!

Calgary, Alberta, Canada



4.4 7


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