View Full Version : Osprey Kestrel vs Osprey Aether, Opinions?

09-06-2011, 19:28
After a bunch of research, I was pretty much sold on the Osprey Aether 70, that was, until we went and had my wife sized for a new pack today and she bought the Kestrel. Looking at them side by side, I was really drawn towards the Kestrel 68, although they didn't have either in my size to try on.

I plan to mostly do some weekend and day hiking but the occasional week long trip is in the plans for next summer. I am not into the ultralight thing, and prefer to carry a little more to allow myself some creature comforts.

Anyways, hoping to get some opinions from those that have some knowledge with the 2 packs. The guy at the backpacking store told me he thought the Aether was more hard core and probably overkill for what I wanted.

Look forward to seeing some responses. Thanks

09-06-2011, 20:19
I've looked at both, my preference is toward the Kestrel (58 for me). Go to a smaller pack and you will reduce your load. I'm considering 30# the max load I am willing to carry.
The Aether has better shoulder straps, the Kestrel shoulder straps are lighter. I carry around 90% on my waist, so that is not a big deal for me. Both have about the same adjustability, and both seem to have the same waist belt. The Kestrel is over 1# lighter than the Aether (in the same size).
The Kestrel has a rain cover integral and included.
I also looked at the Atmos too, but both waist belt and shoulder straps are much lighter, and all have a very limited adjustability.

09-06-2011, 20:45
I have an Aether 70 and a Exos 58. One of the guys I hiked with for a few months used the Kestrel 58. I can say that I really love the Aether. The only downside is that I don't use the hydration bladder and getting a bottle out of the side pockets is darn near impossible without taking the pack off. I fixed it by clipping a bottle to the front. My buddy loves his Kestrel. It appeared to me that he had no problem retrieving water bottles while walking. I also like the pocket hip belts (which the Exos also has). I liked his pack as well but didn't think it had a large enough capacity to hold my gear (Hubba Hubba tent, food bag, clothing bag, sleep system, etc.). I switched to the Exos 58 in PA because I wanted to lighten my load (swapped out the tent for a Hennessey Hammock).

So now I figure I have a summer system (Exos and hammock) and a three season system (Aether and tent). If I had to choose just one, I'd go with the Aether.

It really depends on how much weight you want to carry and how comfortable you want to be, in my opinion.

09-06-2011, 20:46
Oh yeah, and welcome to Whiteblaze! :)

09-06-2011, 20:56
My wife has an Ariel (the women's version of the Aether), and I used to own an Aether 60. I have a Kestrel 32 for heavy day hikes. Both are great packs, well made, etc., and I think they'll carry about as well with the same loads, too, though of course I can't test that with such differently sized packs. Really, it comes down to different features - either pack will work well.

Oh, and consider carefully the 58 or 60 liter versions. 70 liters is really big, and you'll end up carrying too much stuff -- way more than "creature comforts."

09-07-2011, 00:24
I'm in my 4th season with the Aether 70. Very rugged, if heavy, and I carry it well on my 5'6" frame. That said, i'm heading toward a smaller pack now that I have downsized to a Big Agness Seedhouse SL2, a small sized Thermarest neo air, and l/w 20* down bag. My tendancy was to carry more food than necessary and more clothes. Now those elements are right sized for a week long 3 season hike and I have too much pack. Up side is that it all fits inside with no external add on cept for tent poles in one side pocket, a 1L Nalgene in the other and camp shoes in the rear pouch. My last month trip to Glacier NP had me loading a Bear vault 500 in the pack with 6 days of solo food and still room to spare. With water, my starting out load was 45 lbs. Creature comforts like a DSLR camera, book, iPod and Oreo's put me over my typical 40lbs.

09-07-2011, 00:53
Thanks for all the great relies! I'm definitely second guessing the size. Maybe a 60 would be enough! The one thing I REALLY like about the kestrel is the little pockets on the waist belt. I'm not sure it that's something I could add onto the aether or not. Sure makes sense to have some easy access items nice and handy without having to remove the pack. Does anyone know if these can be added on?

09-07-2011, 06:58
I have the 60 and it is plenty big. You can always add on pockets to the waist belt if you like.

09-07-2011, 07:28
I'm selling a brand new womens Deuter here on WB. http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?76656-Deuter-and-EMS-backpack
If you're interested, send me a PM.

09-08-2011, 20:56
Pulled the trigger on the Aether 60! Supposed to arrive tomorrow! Can't wait! Thank you all for you're great input!


09-09-2011, 13:15
I have a Kestrel 48, bought it just a mouth ago. I found it to be good for 3-5 days of AT. trail hiking. I think this size would be good for your wife, & Kesterl 50 or 58 would be the right size for you, the 70 would be to big.