“With age comes wisdom, and behind all wisdom there’s a whole lot of great stories.”
Since 1974, we’ve strived to create innovative packs and gear designed for adventure –- and one of the most rewarding and inspiring outcomes of more than 40 years of pack innovation is when we hear from you, see your photos, read your stories, share your journeys.
We receive so many heartfelt letters and emails, photos and phone calls from Osprey fans around the world who want to tell us about the life-changing experiences they’ve had with Osprey on their back, at their side and along for the ride. These stories are always interesting and often inspiring – and they deserve to be shared. Share yours with us here.
My name is Dan and I’ve been a big fan of Osprey backpacks since the day my mom bought me my first day-pack when I was 13. I want you to know that as an outdoor professional, I run my gear through the ringer. Nothing I own lasts more than a year. I work an 8×10 schedule; that’s 8-ten hour days in a row (per 2 week pay period) working as a Biological-Science Technician in the backcountry of our National Parks (someone’s got to do it).
Rain, shine, fire, snow, summer, fall, winter, spring, I work hard. And I play even harder during my off time. I purchased a Kestrel 38 last September and this bad boy has seen everything, and I mean everything. This bag has endured the unforgiving elements of The Mojave Desert (110+ degrees) heat for weeks at a time. It’s been frozen solid in the Canadian Rockies in sub zero temperatures. This bag has been overloaded, dropped, sunken, soaked, sun-bleached, and beaten to death on the Colorado River (I’m also a river guide on my off weeks).
This bag is saturated in Chainsaw Bar Oil as I’ve carried it close to 100 miles with a Stihl 461 Chainsaw held over my right shoulder, whilst deforesting our public lands of non-native invasive Salt Cedar trees, and it’s coated in herbicide from numerous Exotic Plant Management operations. I’ve carried it on my back for thousands of miles en route to vegetation rehabilitation sites. I’ve traversed and scrambled up mountains, ran from Africanized Bees, rattle snakes, and flash floods with this epic day-pack carrying everything I need for a hard day’s work. I’ve even glissaded down Northern California’s strato-volcano, Mt. Shasta, using the Kestrel’s rain fly as a sled; it worked pretty well keeping my butt dry.
The backpack is badass.
What’s the damage you ask? Certainly there has to be something broken on this rucksack by now. To be honest, the only flaw in this backpack that I’ve noticed is the stitching along the draw string lining is beginning to fray (only a little, and to be honest, I’m not sure if that’s even a manufacture defect), and the mesh lining of the elastic backing has a few superficial tears due to a careless decision to store extra sharp chainsaw chain there. I also accidentally shut the door of my truck on the hood-strap buckle (which only caused superficial damage) but the thing still works just as good as the day I purchased it.
In other words, one month from now, your product will have lasted me a year — which says a lot about Osprey’s equipment and the industry and lifestyle I represent. So thank you, Osprey for not selling out and for using quality materials for your gear. I’ve still got the 16 year-old Osprey pack my mom bought for me many moons ago in my shrine of retired gear.