Osprey Kestrel 48 vs Stratos 50

Osprey Kestrel 48 and Osprey Stratos 50 are both popular backpacks that people often choose for backpacking, hiking, and mountaineering. But what is the difference between them? Below, we try to compare Osprey Kestrel 48 vs Stratos 50 based on several aspects, including size and capacity, comfort, and features. Continue reading to determine whether it is Osprey Kestrel 48 or Osprey Stratos 50 that is the most suitable for you!

Size and Dimension
Interestingly, despite what the numbers in their names suggest, Osprey Kestrel 48 is actually a larger backpack than Osprey Stratos 50. The differences in the overall dimensions are quite significant. But they weigh similarly to each other. If you need something even bigger, check Osprey Atmos 50 vs Kestrel 48!

Osprey Kestrel 48 measures 15” wide and 16” deep. It is available in two sizes, Small and Large. The Small one is 26” tall, providing about 46 liters of gear capacity. Meanwhile, the Large one is 28” tall, providing about 48 liters of gear capacity.

On the other hand, Osprey Stratos 50 is 14.2” wide and 15” deep. Also available in two sizes, the Small size is 25.6” tall with 47 liters capacity whereas the Large size is 27.6” tall with 50 liters capacity.

Although the Kestrel backpack is larger, the total gear capacity is lower. This is apparently because the Kestrel is more feature-packed, so the additional features eat up more space.

Both are very rugged and durable. They are both rated to be suitable for carrying up to 40 lbs loads. They use the same fabrics; the main construction is 210D Nylon Crosshatch whereas the reinforcement is 420HD Nylon Packcloth.

If you are choosing between Osprey Kestrel 48 vs Stratos 50 for hiking or mountaineering, you will find that the Kestrel model is more comfortable than the backpacking-focused Stratos. This is because the Kestrel model is enhanced with more features and a better suspension.

Osprey Stratos 50 is equipped with the AirSpeed suspension, is ventilated to allow breathability and air circulation. This model also has a nice seamless hipbelt. On the other hand, though, Osprey Kestrel 48 comes with the AirScape back panel that allows for maximum ventilation while keeping your load close to your body. It also has the LightWire peripheral frame for enhanced weight distribution and stability. It feels more stable and comfortable, especially when carrying a full load.

Osprey Kestrel 48 is equipped with an integrated raincover, a sleeping bag compartment, and sleeping pad straps, which are indeed very handy. But some people will agree that the best feature of Osprey Kestrel 48 is the flexible compartment access. It has a side zipper for access to the main compartment, allowing you to easily reach for items at the bottom of the pack. There is also a vertical zippered side pocket for additional organization.

On the other hand, Osprey Stratos 50 has more organization features. That fits the theme; it is great for backpacking. It has dual side compression straps to keep your load stable, dual side pockets, an internal hydration reservoir sleeve, and several external pockets. It also has an integrated raincover.

Osprey Kestrel 48 vs Stratos 50

- Main 210D Nylon Double Diamond
- Osprey's stow-on-the-go trekking pole attachment
- An integrated and removable rain cover protects your gear
- Material: [main] 210D nylon [accent, bottom] nylon 420HD
- Volume: 47 - 50L (2868 - 3051cu in)
- Support/Suspension: AirSpeed (3D-suspended mesh)

In general, Osprey Kestrel 48 is more recommended. It is more versatile. It is fine for backpacking, and it is great for hiking and mountaineering. The comfort factor is the biggest reason to choose this model; it is very sturdy and stable.