Backcountry Edge Gear Specialist Steven "Leon" Lutz and Osprey Product Line Manager Chris Horton discuss the Osprey Kestrel and Kyte series of backpacks.
Steven: I am Steven Leon Lutz, gear specialist at Back Country Edge.
Chris: And I am Chris Horton, product guy at Osprey packs.
Steven: Chris and I are talking about Osprey’s Kestrel and Kyte series of packs. At Back Country Edge we have always prided ourselves on being the big pack guys. If you are headed out on extended back packing trip, we have got all the packs for you. And sometimes we overlook some of the smaller packs for day hiking or any other types of trips that might be going on. And Chris is going to tell us a little bit more about the Kestrels and the Kytes.
Chris: That is right. We can’t back every weekend. Well, we could, but some of us don’t for some reason. So for those quick day hikes or going climbing, going to a farmer’s market, traveling, you know, you can do all of that with one pack and that is kind of what Kestrel was designed off to be that quiver of one. Whatever your activity is today, might be different tomorrow and you still want to have the same use. So with that comes lots of features, lots of good fit, lots of good durability to basically accomplish anything.
Steven: And a great price, too, on the Kestrel and the Kyte. The Kyte, again, being the women’s specific versions of the Kestrels, correct?
Chris: Exactly. Women’s specific fit, smaller torso sizes are available, but same feature set. You know, this model, the 36 and the 38, the Kyte 36, the Kestrel 38, stretch mesh pockets, bungee attachment for an ice axe loop or trekking poles or camera tripod, sleeping pad straps, sleeping bag compartment, daisy chain, attachment loops here, pocketing on the top, hipbelt pockets, adjustable torso. I mean, the list goes on and on and on. That is kind of the great thing about this. We even have the hidden features like a built in rain cover where just stored inside of this pop it out, you can throw it out on rainy day. Not something you have to buy separate or remember. It is always going to be there. That is kind of that thing is no matter what you run into, this is going to be able to handle it.
Steven: Now the Kestrel and the Kyte come in a lot of different versions as far as capacities, some top lidded, some without. The suspension system on the back, is that consistent throughout the line?
Chris: It varies. When you are carrying like our smaller 28 liter and then you go up to the 32 and then 38, 48, the suspension changes. You get either a frame or a thicker frame sheet. The padding also changes. So it is all specific to the pack. Everything is really thought of down to the detail.
A huge feature set so we ... the larger ones come with a lower sleeping bag compartment if you want to go back packing. All of them come with a built in rain cover, dual ice axe loops with a bungee tool tie off, the daisy chain. In fact, the buckles, the compression side straps are reversible. You can actually bring them around and connect them to themselves. So if you want to carry a snow board, snow shoes, extra camera gear, anything like that, you can just bring those around.
Steven: That is on the lower portion, too, or just up top here.
Chris: The lower portion as well, yeah. Do the same exact thing. And then you have the front and side stretch mesh pockets, water bottle, things you want to keep handy like snacks. And then on the back side, you know, big lid and then a hip belt compartment.
Steven: The suspension system in the packs, is it the same throughout the series? I know we have got larger versions, we have got smaller versions. Is that consistent throughout?
Chris: Yeah, the interior constructions will change based on like load range, you know, smaller volumes carrying less weight, larger volumes carrying more weight. But as far as adjustability, full hip belt, all have the same. So the men’s come in two sizes, a small medium and a medium large. The women’s will come in a extra small and a small and a small medium. And they are both fully adjustable with a big four inch range of adjustability. Again, even though it is a day pack and maybe you are only carrying 10 pounds sometimes, you still want a really good fit, because that does add to the level of comfort.
Steven: Sure. Large hip belt pockets. That is consistent as well throughout the line?
Chris: Yeah. You have good access. You know, while you are hiking you want access to certain things, whether it is a camera or food. So we want to give you that access with the side pockets and hip belt pockets. There is nothing to it. Like when you are out and sometimes you are scrambling. You have got to go up or you have got to grab something. You are... you know, if you are hiking with your kids you need to get a hold of them. If you have got trekking poles, which are very handy when you are hiking. They save the knees. There is an easy way to basically store those quickly and we have a stow on the go system. You have an attachment on the side so that poles will go through there and then you attach the handle loops right on your harness. So then your hands are free to do whatever you need to do, take a photo, eat and they can just grab those, extend them back out and keep on hiking. So, again, really well thought out features so that when you go, you know, whatever you are going to run into you are going to be all set.
Steven: Just so much versatility built into the Kestral and Kyte. I guess it is almost hard to come up with an activity that they won’t work for.
Chris: Yeah, exactly, exactly. You know, great all around pack. If you just want to buy one and don’t know what you are going to run into, just buy the Kestral or the Kyte.