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The Osprey Kyte 36 Backpack Review: Carry-on Friendly Hiking Pack for Women

Osprey Kyte 36 backpack review

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The following Osprey Kyte 36 backpack review was submitted by Emma. Check out more female travel backpack reviews.

If you are looking for a backpack for your next hiking adventure (like the Camino de Santiago or the Inca Trail Hike) then look no further than the Osprey Kyte 36 Backpack.

Emma loves her trusty travel companion, the Osprey Kyte 36 Women’s Hiking Backpack, and uses it on all her travel adventures. She is a Danish veterinarian and loves experiencing nature through hiking and trekking.

She has used her Osprey Kyte on skiing trips, a long weekend in London, camping with friends, and hiking in both Norway and Spain.

Osprey Kyte 36 Backpack Quick Review

Osprey Kyte 36L Women's Backpacking Backpack
$149.95

Top pick for: Women who love going on multi-day hikes or overnight backpacking trips. The Osprey Kyte Series is designed for women for all-day comfort while trekking. 

Pros

  • Comfortable - follows the natural curve of the spine
  • Great back and hip support
  • Carry-on friendly

Cons

  • The hipbelt may be a little long for petite women
  • If packed higher than the frame it is is no longer carry-on friendly 
  • The mesh outer pockets get a little loose when stretched out for long periods
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/18/2024 09:17 am GMT

Take a look at Emma’s Osprey Kyte 36 review:

Best Features of the Osprey Kyte 36 Backpack

Fit

The fit was the most important factor for me! When searching for my new backpack, I researched from home. I thought a lot about which other features were important and which would just be nice to have.

I then made a list of these important features and went to a few stores to try on lots of bags until I found the one that felt the best to wear.

The Osprey Kyte 36 fits me like a glove, making it comfortable to carry for long periods. When packed pretty full of my usual stuff, it usually weighs about 11kg (24.25 lbs), which is the ideal weight for me (disregarding carry-on restrictions and not including a laptop).

Osprey Kyte 36 backpack review
Emma exploring the outdoors with her Osprey Kyte 36

Comfort

The Osprey Kyte 36 is incredibly comfortable! When I first tried on the bag in the store, I was just amazed by the level of comfort compared to other backpacks I tried.

I am slightly sway-backed, which makes a lot of other bags feel awkward like they sit only on my hips, lower back, and shoulders. The Kyte follows the natural curve of my back nicely, making it very comfortable to carry. The mesh of the back panel provides ventilation and makes it very breathable, and the sternum and shoulder straps have padding and don’t annoy my bust at all.

Another important feature was a good hip belt and a weight-carrying frame, so I could get as much weight as possible off my sensitive shoulders.

Size

It was very important to me that my backpack would fit the measurements of strict carry-on restrictions. I actually brought a measuring tape with me to the stores to double check.

Knowing I wanted to go carry-on only in the future, I wanted the bag to be as large as possible within these carry-on measurements. A lot of the bags I was shown in the store were only 20L, which was way too small for me.

The size is just about perfect for me. I don’t care much for tenting and prefer to stay in huts when hiking. So it doesn’t bother me that I probably couldn’t pack full camping gear and a tent in it. I can pack all that I need, but not much more, limiting my overpacking tendencies.

After using my backpack for a few trips I’ve grown to know it pretty well, and found ways to optimize my packing. For example, I found out that if I attach the strap of my DSLR camera to the little strap on top of the bag, I could stuff the objective of the camera into one of the mesh pockets on the side to carry it hands-free but still easy to reach.

There is even a little compartment just behind the back panel to store a CamelBak. This makes sure your other items won’t get wet if you get a leak.

Emma has taken her Osprey Kyte 36 (right) on city trips as well as hiking trips.

Bonus Features

It is just beautiful! The color and shape of the Osprey Kyte 36 is so pretty, it actually still makes me smile a little.

On the list of (very) nice-to-have features are side pockets for water bottles, trail snacks, and nick-knacks. All of which I like to have within my reach at a moment’s notice without having to stop to take off the pack.

I also wanted a backpack with a top lid for the one stupid reason that I think they’re prettier. It seems silly, but if I’m spending this much on a bag, I want it to look good.

Features: The Osprey Kyte 36 Backpack has a breathable AirScape ridged foam back panel with an adjustable torso length, zippered hipbelt pockets, a removable raincover, an external reservoir sleeve, ice-axe loops, a zippered sleeping bag compartment, removable sleeping pad straps, mesh water bottle holders, and a trekking pole attachment with 36 liters of capacity.

Take a look at some of the other features in this Osprey Kyte 36 review below:

Osprey Kyte 36 Backpack Downsides

I can find only minor downsides to this bag, besides the price being a little steep. While I love the blue color, travelers who want to blend in with the crowd might want to go for the grey one instead. I think the blue is great because it’s easy to spot in the luggage compartment of buses.

The mesh outer pockets tend to get a little loose when stretched out for longer periods, but after leaving them empty for a few hours they tend to go back to normal.

Lastly, the little zippered pocket on each side of the hipbelt tends to bulk out. This can be slightly annoying for my arms when not wearing sleeves. All these things are just small details though, and would in no way keep me from buying The Osprey Kyte 36 again if I had to replace the one I have!

I am quite small at 160cm tall and wear European size XS clothing. The adjustable back panel can definitely accommodate petite women, but the hipbelt is a little long. I am just big enough around the hips for this not to be an issue, but if you have narrow hips make sure it fits before you buy!

The whole point of a good backpack is lost if you can’t carry the weight on your hips because the belt isn’t tight enough.

Osprey Kyte 36 backpack review
The Osprey Kyte 36L backpack.

Osprey Kyte 36 Backpack Recommendation 

Would I recommend this backpack? I’m sure you can tell from my Osprey Kyte 36 review, it’s a big yes! I am absolutely in love with this backpack, and would recommend it to anyone!

Of course, you should always try it on before you buy, but I have heard only good things when different sized members of my family have used it.

The Osprey Kyte 36 is the perfect size for Emma. She can still pack everything she needs in it!

Osprey Kyte 36 Backpack FAQs

Is the Osprey Kyte 36 carry-on size?

Yes, if I don’t stuff it higher than the frame. This was a must when I purchased it, and I’ve done it several times since. When traveling carry-on only, I usually bring the Kyte and a medium-sized purse as my personal item. I can then put the personal item in the top of the backpack when it doesn’t need to be within the measurements anymore.

How much does a Kyte 36 weigh?

1.45 kg or 3.2 lbs 

Is Osprey a good brand for backpacks?

Osprey’s packs are well known for their durability, comfort, and innovative features and are a great choice for travelers who love adventure. 

Is the Osprey Kyte waterproof?

While the Osprey Kyte 36 is not waterproof, the integrated raincover means if you get caught in a rain storm, you can easily protect your backpack.

Osprey Kyte 36 backpack review
Emma loves the fit of her Osprey Kyte 36 backpack.
Osprey Kyte 36L Women's Backpacking Backpack
$149.95

Top pick for: Women who love going on multi-day hikes or overnight backpacking trips. The Osprey Kyte Series is designed for women for all-day comfort while trekking. 

Pros

  • Comfortable - follows the natural curve of the spine
  • Great back and hip support
  • Carry-on friendly

Cons

  • The hipbelt may be a little long for petite women
  • If packed higher than the frame it is is no longer carry-on friendly 
  • The mesh outer pockets get a little loose when stretched out for long periods
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/18/2024 09:17 am GMT

About Emma: Emma is a Scandinavian veterinarian. Having caught the travel bug at an early age traveling with her parents all over Europe and Africa, she is always looking towards the next adventure, big or small! You can follow her travels and daily life in Copenhagen on Instagram.

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