Monday, 18 March 2019 10:55

Osprey Kyte 46L Women’s Fit Rucksack tested and reviewed

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In 2019 Osprey are celebrating 25 years of making women's specific fit packs. To coincide with the celebration we took a 46l Kyte out to Austria in February to put it through some serious testing.

Sizing and fit are necessary to ensure that you use the full potential of your pack. Sizing and fit both allow your pack to distribute weight throughout the body and in turn provide the best possible comfort. The size affects the back length, harness and hipbelt of your pack while the fit adjusts these aspects to meet the dimensions of your body. 

What Osprey say:

With a proven legacy, the Kyte 46 is a rugged, high performance backpack, designed to be a true outdoor workhorse.

Kyte 46 is designed for medium duration backpacking trips, or adventures where you’re carrying a moderate amount of gear. This spacious pack provides room for plenty of gear for your multi-day adventures. Accessing this gear is easy through a large side-zip access point, stretching from the lid to the lower compression straps. This provides an easy way in to access your equipment or find exactly what you’re looking for. Kyte 46 also feature upper lid access with a drawcord closure, alongside a lower sleeping bag compartment with a removable divider.

Kyte’s backsystem has been designed for comfort and stability, featuring Osprey’s tried and tested AirScape backpanel and a sturdy hipbelt and harness design, these packs will comfortably carry a heavy load. An adjustable design allows you to personalise the height of the backpanel with ease, using a hook-and-loop torso panel. Kyte also features a women’s specific backsystem design.

Kyte 46 features numerous locations to store your backpacking essentials, including nylon-reinforced water bottle pockets, dual zippered hipbelt pockets, a large front shove-it pocket, top lid pocket, under lid pocket with key-clip and external-access hydration sleeve.

Finally, Kyte 46 comes equipped with all of the essentials for life on the trail; an integrated and detachable raincover, Osprey’s Stow-on-the-Go trekking pole attachment, multiple compression straps, sleeping pad straps, ice-tool attachments and multiple lashing loops.

Kyte 46 9

Whether tackling mountainous terrain, deep forests or winding trails, these packs set a definitive benchmark in backpacking comfort and performance.

Features:

  • 15mm side compression straps
  • Adjustable torso length
  • AirScape™ backpanel with foam ridges for comfort and fit
  • Designed for Women
  • Dual access fabric side pockets with InsideOut™ compression cord
  • Integrated & detachable raincover
  • Internal hydration sleeve
  • Internal top load compression strap
  • Removable sleeping pad straps
  • Side compression straps
  • Single zipped side pocket
  • Single vertical zippered side access point
  • Sleeping bag base compartment with internal divider
  • Sternum strap with emergency whistle
  • Stow-on-the-Go™ trekking pole attachment
  • Stowable twin ice axe loops
  • Stretch front pocket
  • Top lid access
  • Twin zipped side pockets
  • Zip pocket in top lid

Osprey Kyte 46L Women’s Fit Rucksack on Test:

When planning a trip that requires multi-day packing, or you simply need a backpack to fit all your outdoor gear in, the Osprey Kyte 46  is a typical ‘bigger than it looks’ performance-based pack. If Mary Poppins had to carry an outdoor bag it would probably be an Osprey Kyte.. It isn’t necessarily the lightest, but yet is a surprisingly adaptable bag that ensures there’s enough room to stow a last minute kit rearrangement.

With a trip to the Austrian/ Italian Alps planned, the Osprey Kyte 46 was tested as part of my journey to the Alps in winter to try snowshoeing. In search of powdery snow for snowshoeing, the bag needed to be able to withstand testing carrying snowshoes on the outside, a decent amount of winter kit including avalanche safety probes and shovels, and all the normal items such as a hot tea flasks and food that need to be readily accessible.

I was particularly impressed with the bag’s additional loops which allowed me to attach my snowshoes onto the front of the pack rather than sticking out of the main compartment - bonus!

Whilst the Kyte 46 isn’t necessarily designed just for winter use, it’s certainly a bag with the multi-disciplinary, experience led outdoor consumer in mind. Testing the Kyte 46 on a Winter Snowshoe course in alpine conditions, meant the bag needed to have a number of features that could be removed or adapted depending on the need.

Women’s Specific Fit  

I was interested to see what features a women’s specific pack would include, with fit being one of the key features. The first thing I noticed was the adjustable torso length. As someone who has a fairly long torso in relation to the rest of my body, the bag has an adjustable back panel which can be easily asjusted for the correct length. Features also included an Airscape backpanel making it was super comfortable to carry bulky and heavy kit, with foam ridges for comfort and fit.

Kyte 46 1

Weight 

At 1.54kg, the Osprey Kyte 46 can seem a bit heavier if you’re used to carrying a more ‘Alpine’ fit style bags for the majority of the year. That said, with the multiple compression straps and moulded back panel, the bag feels relatively light as the weight is taken on the hip straps which easily adjust from a middle buckle using two opposing straps.

Kyte 46 2

Even when full, the weight of the pack felt evenly distributed across the hip straps, and multiple compression straps ensured that the bag wasn’t packed awkwardly with big gaps which might have thrown the balance off.

Size and Colour

Like many overly optimistic holidaymakers at the time of booking I decided that 15kg of hold luggage would surely be enough... I soon realised during packing that I needed my hand luggage to be used as an expanding component in my luggage. The Kyte 46 was a positive addition to my travelling kit, small enough to get away as cabin luggage without any questions.  It also helped that the bag was a subtle enough colour to not look too ‘outdoorsy’ and flashy. Personally, I liked the colour of the bag, which was ‘Mulberry Purple’ which was a blue enough colour  to not look too feminine and girly, whilst the other two colours , Icelake Green and Siren Grey were attractive muted jewel tones that equally appealed, without looking too brash.

Kyte 46 3

Versatility

Feature wise, the Kyte isn’t short of useful features for those that do more than one sport.  For example, for mountaineering and walking there’s two stowable Ice axe loops attachments (easy to tuck away when not needed) as well as Osprey’s ‘Stow on the Go’ Trekking attachments that allow ski/walking poles to be attached onto a little toggle loop below the shoulder/ chest strap to prevent leaving them behind. There’s also the Hydration sleeve and Sleeping bag base compartment with internal divider which are definitely useful features for summer multi-day hiking trips. A sternum strap which equalises weight across the shoulders also comes with a built in emergency whistle. These extra bag features are exactly what Osprey excel in, meaning the bag is much more likely to be come out again for a future summer/ winter trip where having a larger bag allows for greater versatility. 

Kyte 46 4

Pockets

Fans of Osprey bags will know that plenty of straps and pockets this is one of the positives of owning an Osprey pack, however I’ve never been a huge fan of bags with too many dangling straps – all the more things to whip you in the face when windy- and noted that the compression straps often looked a little messy if not done up properly. However, the side straps functionality outweigh the faff of doing them up - they could also be used to stow bulky items into place, for example when were carrying a rope, or a spare karrimat could be strapped to the exterior of the bag.

Kyte 46 6

If you’re hiking in winter conditions chances are you’ll be carrying a flask as well as a water bottle. The Kyte 46 has super useful dual access, fabric side pockets , roomy enough to accommodate a standard 750ml flask and deep enough to prevent the flask accidentally rolling out of the pocket down a slope. In standard wintry conditions, where I tend to favour use water bottles and flasks over a hydration pouch, side pockets are an important function of a bag to maintain easy access to hydration throughout the day.

Kyte 46 7

Hip pouches were also large enough to stow away key items and are a popular design feature across many of Osprey’s bag. This included roomy pockets that can fit everything from Cadbury crème eggs to packets of tissues for when snot rockets hit! A waterproof raincover is also discreetly zipped into the base of the bag for when weather conditions change. 

The Kyte 46’s main pocket is the top lid access. Roomy enough to fit a map case and easy access to food on the hills -the size is perfect if you want to access lunch with gloves on without needing to open up the main compartment.

Kyte 46 5

The stretch front pocket was super accessible and also doubled as a place to store a map/ spare cord to attach my snowshoes onto the loops on the front of the bag which provided an additional way of attaching kit onto the outside of my bag. It also was deep enough that I could put ‘flimsier’ items such as food packaging, snowshoes ties in the pouch and remain confident that they would stay put until I removed them.

With the Osprey Kyte 46, there’s also a compression straps which can narrow this pocket space, so worth ‘loosening’ off if you have bulky items you need storing in this pouch.

Kyte 46 8

Final thought

The Osprey Kyte 46 Women’s Specific fit is definitely a contender as a bag for multi-activity outdoor consumers. It felt practical as it was big enough to store all my winter kit in, sensible to be used in day to day civilisation and comfortable enough for carrying a full day’s worth of kit in the mountains as a relatively lightweight load.

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