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Osprey Kyte 46 Review

The Kyte 46 is a small, but mighty pack, built for a more advanced user. The comfortable wear allows you to tackle rough terrain with ease.
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Price:  $180 List | $134.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Durable, comfortable even with heavier loads, streamlined features, great attachment points at outside of pack, integrated rain cover
Cons:  Main compartment is a little narrow, water bottle holster is awkward, requires thoughtful packing
Manufacturer:   Osprey
By Meg Atteberry ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 4, 2019
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 16
  • Comfort and Suspension - 45% 9
  • Organizational systems - 20% 4
  • Weight - 20% 7
  • Adjustability - 15% 7

Our Verdict

We love the ability of the Osprey Kyte 46 to handle extra technical gear with ease. It gets the highest marks for comfort, with its airy suspension and dream-like hip belt. As one of the smaller-volumed packs in our test, packing and getting things right can be a bit tricky, especially for a beginner. However, if you're the type of person that needs the support to carry technical gear, but doesn't want a bulky pack, or you've got a light-and-fast backpacking setup, look no further than the Kyte.


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Osprey Kyte 46
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Price $134.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$255 List$202.46 at Backcountry
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Pros Durable, comfortable even with heavier loads, streamlined features, great attachment points at outside of pack, integrated rain coverComfortable, supportive suspension, simple design, large pockets, durable, customization from manufacturerHuge main compartment, customizable compression straps, super lightweight, comfortable with heavy loads.Comfortable, plush padding, wide range of fitting options and adjustments, good number of pockets, easy-to-remove top lid,Comfortable, lightweight, good set of features, large stow pockets
Cons Main compartment is a little narrow, water bottle holster is awkward, requires thoughtful packingNon-ventilated back panel, less organizational featuresDark material makes pack contents difficult to see, hip belt difficult to adjust, rigid padding might not last over time.Large, spring loaded waist band is hard to get into, suspension can feel bulky, expensive, hip belt can sag uncomfortably on some usersSimple suspension, lacks support
Bottom Line The Kyte 46 is a small, but mighty pack, built for a more advanced user. The comfortable wear allows you to tackle rough terrain with ease.The ULA Circuit is a durable bag with all the right pockets and suspension that will keep your back, hips, and shoulders comfortable all day.The Blaze does the unthinkable with the combination of a lightweight pack that can haul heavy loads and still feel comfortable.This pack has stood the test year after year with its robust feature set, comfortable straps, and a strong yet light suspension featuring an incredibly ventilated back panel.The Octal 55 is light, simple, and still provides for tons of storage space.
Rating Categories Osprey Kyte 46 Circuit Blaze 60 Osprey Aura AG 65 Gregory Octal 55
Comfort And Suspension (45%)
10
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9
10
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9
10
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8
10
0
7
10
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7
Organizational Systems (20%)
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4
10
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8
10
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6
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8
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6
Weight (20%)
10
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7
10
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8
10
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8
10
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4
10
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8
Adjustability (15%)
10
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7
10
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4
10
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5
10
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9
10
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3
Specs Osprey Kyte 46 Circuit Blaze 60 Osprey Aura AG 65 Gregory Octal 55
Measured Weight (pounds) (medium) 3.42 lbs 2.68 lbs 2.63 lbs 4.65 lbs 2.58 lbs
Volumes Available (liters) 35, 45 68 60 50, 65 45, 55
Organization: Compartments Lid, mesh side pockets, hip belt pockets, lid pocket, front mesh pocket, internal sleeping bag pocket, main compartment Side pockets, front pocket, hip belt pockets, main compartment Lid, front pocket, main compartment Lid, front pocket, side pockets, dual front pockets, hip belt pockets, main compartment Lid, front shove-it pocket, main compartment
Access Top, bottom Top Top Top, side, bottom Top
Hydration Compatible Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rain Cover Included Yes No No No Yes
Women's Specific Features Women's specific fit S-Curve Shoulder Straps Women's Specific fit & sizing Women's specific fit Women's specific fit
Sleeping bag Compartment Yes No No Yes No
Bear Can Compatible tight fit Yes - Vertical yes Yes Tight fit
Main Materials 210D x 630D Nylon 500 Cordura 210D HD nylon Nylon Nylon
Sizes Available XS/S, M/L S, M, L, XL, Kids Short, Regular XS,S,M XS,S,M
Warranty Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Lifetime Limited lifetime

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


We examined this pack inside and out, and the Kyte 46 impressed us with its small-but-mighty abilities. We loved taking this pack in all sorts of terrain from the alpine for a romp in technical terrain with a compact backpacking setup to the rim of the Grand Canyon and even overseas. The Kyte has features where you need it, and despite its small volume, it still has ample room for most backpacking trips. Backpackers with lightweight gear would find this pack plenty spacious but if you have heavier, bulkier gear or plan to go on winter trips, this may not be the model for you.

The Kyte is the perfect workhorse pack for those looking to go light and fast for multiple days in the alpine.
The Kyte is the perfect workhorse pack for those looking to go light and fast for multiple days in the alpine.

Comfort and Suspension


The Kyte wowed us with all-day comfort, even when trekking up steep, snowy inclines with crampons. The LightWire frame suspension system easily transfers heavier loads to your hips and made the pack feel light as a feather. The integrated hip belt offers to cushion where you need it without feeling bulky. The shoulder straps are well-padded and wide, giving you plenty of comfort. Osprey still included it's famous AirScape system in this pack, to keep the sweat at bay.

Weight


The Kyte weighs about average compared to the other packs in our lineup, mostly because of the extra-durable material the pack is made from, which is perfect for carrying technical gear. Also, you can't trim down this pack the way you can with some models, what you see is what you get. The tradeoff for a slightly heavier pack is that it can handle heavier loads and last over rough terrain.

Adjustability


We've mentioned how there isn't too much room for customization in the Kyte, but what it lacks in adjustable features, it makes up for in an adjustable suspension system. The torso height can quickly be adjusted, and the compression straps do an excellent job of keeping the pack close to your body. The hip belt doesn't offer the extension like some models we tested, but we found it to be one of the most comfortable hip belts we tested.

The Kyte has an expandable exterior pouch perfect for extra gear or stashing a few handy items.
The Kyte has an expandable exterior pouch perfect for extra gear or stashing a few handy items.

Organizational Systems


We loved the unique axe carry and large front mesh pocket in the Kyte. What the pack lacks in main compartment storage space, it makes up for in compression straps and roomy mesh pockets. Furthermore, the pack isn't overly complicated to use. As one of the smaller packs we tested, packing can be a bit of a challenge for the newly initiated. Osprey combats this by adding a separate sleeping bag compartment, as well as a roomy brain, removable rain cover, two large, side mesh pockets, and hip belt pockets. When you're first loading the pack, certainly pay attention as there are a few features that you should remember. First, the water bladder storage is actually on the outside of the pack, hugging the back panel. This position keeps the weight close to you, but your bladder needs to go in first. We weren't in love with this feature, and we also felt that the side mesh pockets didn't store a water bottle that well in holster mode — the bottle kept hitting us.

We love how the Kyte works with a more minimalist setup but still has room for extra items  making it a great choice for the more experienced backpacker.
We love how the Kyte works with a more minimalist setup but still has room for extra items, making it a great choice for the more experienced backpacker.

Value


At less than $200 this is an extremely budget-friendly option. It is a durable workhorse with a sleek design to handle everything you need. If you're looking for a pack that can easily double as burly day-hiker, carry your climbing gear to the crag, and still contends with a regular backpacking outing, this pack is well worth a look.

The incredible suspension system on the Kyte makes even mountaineering gear feel light as a feather.
The incredible suspension system on the Kyte makes even mountaineering gear feel light as a feather.

Conclusion


If it weren't for the small volume and strategic packing situation, the Osprey Kyte 46 would likely be an award-winner. However, if you're looking for something to keep you comfortable mile after mile over rough terrain while easily handling the abuse of technical gear, this pack is for you.


Meg Atteberry