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Backpacks The Backpacks forum is for the discussion of backpacking packs (including front packs and pack accessories: hipbelt pockets, pack covers,...).


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  #1  
Old 08-11-2012, 07:58 AM
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Wildfield Wildfield is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Regular Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 131
Osprey Kestrel 48 Backpack

I purchased my first backpack in 34 years this past week. It replaces (or joins) my Kelty Tioga that I purchased back in 1978. I was pretty excited to receive my new pack along with a new sleeping bag and hopefully a tent next week.

I purchased an Osprey Kestrel 48 (OK48). I researched my purchase for the past couple of months doing searches on the net and various discussion forums including the PBF. I also talked to co-workers, friends and sales folks at various outdoor retailers. Finally, I tried on several packs and walked around stores for several hours (cumulatively) with weighted packs on my back.

The OK48 actually holds 46 liters; I purchased the small/medium size. It seems quite a bit smaller than my old Kelty. I selected a smaller pack intentionally. I’m 25 years older than I was the last time I backpacked. The thought of carrying 40 pounds wasn’t appealing back then and even less appealing now. I figured it would be better to select a small pack first, then limit myself to what I could fit in it, rather than pick out all my gear first and find a pack that can fit it all. Maybe bad logic…we’ll see.

What I like and looked for:

1. I liked the fit and feel of this pack with about 25 pounds packed in it, the best of all the packs I tried.
2. I wanted a separate sleeping bag compartment, with separate zippered access.
3. I considered weight, but this is not a super light-weight pack. It weighs about 3.4 pounds according to my kitchen scale.
4. Functional compression straps.
5. Has plenty of separate and assorted pockets – some mesh, some on the lid, some on the sides and hip belt.
6. Adjustable torso fit.

What I wish it had but doesn’t:

1. I was hoping to find a pack with top and panel loading access but the panel loaders I tried, didn’t happen to fit me as well.
2. Lighter weight would have been nice; but I guess that is the trade-off for the durable materials used, adjustable torso fit, back ventilation system, etc.

I also received a nice 15 degree sleeping bag (Sierra Design Ridge Runner) this week. It fits nicely in the sleeping bag compartment. I get my tent next week (Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1). I am slowly accumulating gear that I hope will all fit into this neat pack.

Short term, I’ll start wearing my pack (filled to 20 or 25 pounds) on my evening and weekend day hikes to get used to the weight and to increase my level of fitness. I’m hoping to build up to a weekend hike at one of the local state parks. No sections or through hikes in the near future, but who knows further down the road.

By the way, my 15 year old daughter saw me unpacking my recent purchases. She asked me what I was planning to do with this stuff. I explained…she said, “Hey, can I go, too???” Cool! Maybe I have a hiking partner.

Thanks for letting me blather on.

Wildfield
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:03 PM
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FatTires FatTires is offline
Practical Backpacking™ New Member
Backpack: Mountain Hardware Kanza 55
Sleeping Gear: Slumberjack Ultimate 30
Shelter: REI Passage 2
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Chicago, IL suburbs
Posts: 8
I'm excited for you. I'm just getting started with backpacking & my son (a Cub Scout) is interested in tagging along too. We'll probably car camp & day hike for now when we go together. I intend to build my fitness & backcountry skills up on my own so our trips will be even more fun when the kiddo gets older.

Good luck with your gear setup. I look forward to hearing how it all works out.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:47 AM
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Wildfield Wildfield is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Regular Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatTires
I'm excited for you. I'm just getting started with backpacking & my son (a Cub Scout) is interested in tagging along too. We'll probably car camp & day hike for now when we go together. I intend to build my fitness & backcountry skills up on my own so our trips will be even more fun when the kiddo gets older.

Good luck with your gear setup. I look forward to hearing how it all works out.

Likewise FatTires...best wishes camping and backpacking with your son. My daughters and I have been enjoying car camping since the youngest was 5. Great way to introduce them to the outdoors. Hoping to get my family to the next level sometime soon.

Best regards,
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Old 05-07-2014, 07:30 AM
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RckyMtnDrmr RckyMtnDrmr is offline
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Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2
Wildfield, I am considering buying this same backpack as my first pack. Will it hold a bear canister in addition to a 1-person tent, sleeping bag and limited gear for a 1-2 night backpacking trip?
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:57 PM
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Wildfield Wildfield is offline
Practical Backpacking™ Regular Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by RckyMtnDrmr
Wildfield, I am considering buying this same backpack as my first pack. Will it hold a bear canister in addition to a 1-person tent, sleeping bag and limited gear for a 1-2 night backpacking trip?

I recently purchased a Garcia Model 812. I have not gone backpacking with it yet, but I have loaded up my pack with this bear canister, plus all my other gear. Not a problem for 3 season backpacking, as far as I can see...but it takes up a lot of space. I can fit my sleeping bag, Exped air mattress, Big Agnes 2 man tent, and all else (water filter, rain gear, etc.) but it's definitely a squeeze.

For me, I'm sticking with this size for now. My biggest fear is packing too much stuff and getting a larger pack will allow that.

Btw, one thing I learning to not like (about the Kestrel 48) is the sleeping bag compartment. Not a huge problem...but I'm thinking that the separate space instead of just one big compartment might be limiting in terms of how I pack my gear.

Recently, I purchased the latest version of the Osprey Exos 48. It's lighter and has the same capacity. I haven't had a chance to hike with it yet, but hoping to go out in June. I'll write up a review of it, once I have a chance to take out it on a trip.

Hope this answers your question.

P.S. So far, I really like Osprey's quality and designs.
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