Review: Osprey Kitsuma hydration pack
Designed specifically for women, the Osprey Kitsuma is a small volume, lightweight hydration pack. (There is a men’s version called the Katari.)
The main part of the pack is the integrated 2.5l Hydraulics LT reservoir. The water feeds through a tube, with a magnet to connect it to a partner magnet on the sternum strap.
The water tube valve can be opened and closed with one hand – and you drink via a bite system valve – so that you can take in water while you are on the go.
It is a warm-weather pack with a ventilated mesh harness, back-panel and webbing hip-belt that helps to keep the pack in place on the back without feeling too sweaty.
I have used the pack for walking and mountain biking. I have running packs, such as the Salomon Adv 5, that fit me far more neatly for running (I hate packs that move about while I am running) but it is likely that the Osprey Kitsuma would work well for many runners, too.
- Female design
- External hydration access
- Internal hydration sleeve
- Removable webbing hipbelt
- Sternum strap buckle with magnet
- AirScape™ mesh back panel with central ventilation channel
- Vertical centred zip to main compartment
- Side mesh stash pockets
- Zipped scratch free pocket for phones etc
- Internal organiser for bike specific tools and spares, or any bits and pieces
- LED light attachment point
- Reflective graphics
- Webbing grab handle
- 7l, 3l and 1.5l
- Men’s version called the Katari
- £50 to £70 depending on size
On test: Osprey Kitsuma 7l hydration pack
The seven-litre size pack is the largest in this collection. It is not big!
It is the sort of pack you would use in the summer or for shorter outings when you only need to carry one extra layer or a lightweight waterproof jacket, for example.
You could pop in a couple of snack bars, too, plus a few other items such as a spare bike pump, inner tube and tyre levers. But that’s about it.
Plus, of course, there is the 2.5l hydration reservoir. This is a great size of water bladder for a few hours of mountain biking or a hill hike. I know people who seem to get through several litres of water in one outing but I rarely do and so 2.5 litres is more than enough for me.
There are a couple of useful mesh pockets inside the main compartment of the pack and also two larger mesh pockets on the outside.
Unusually, the main compartment zip is vertical. This actually gives easy access to the pack.
The reservoir pocket is separate and to the rear of the pack. The bladder is held up by a clip system to stop it slumping inside the pack.
The packs fits me well. I like that Osprey have made a female specific version to fit the (on average) slimmer shoulders of women.
It is easy to wear and easy to like. In fact, it hardly feels like the pack is on your back.
Another feature that I really like is the large grab handle at the top. Many smaller packs do not have this, instead they have a tiny loop which is not easy to hold.
It’s the small details that set Osprey apart from other rucksack brands.
One feature that could be improved is the size of the scratch free pocket. In fact, I totally overlooked the pocket, neatly placed at the top of the reservoir compartment. I can only just fit in my iPhone 6 plus and with phones seemingly growing in size it would be useful to have a slightly wider zipped pocket in this rucksack.
I also think the Osprey Kitsuma is a little pricey. The 7l is £70 and for that sort of money I might expect a bit more in terms of the size of a pack. Still, it’s a versatile pack with lots of details and it can be used for a range of activities so perhaps that makes it ok.
It is also an attractive rucksack, especially in the turquoise, if that is what is important to you!