Osprey Sirrus 36 vs Kyte 36 - which is better?
Ah, the Sirrus and the Kyte – quite possibly two of Osprey’s most similar hiking backpacks with different names.
Which isn’t always the case, as we’ve seen with the Stratos series.
But while trying to understand the naming of Osprey’s various products might require a doctorate in astrophysics – they do make very, very good backpacks for hikers of all shapes, sizes and competency.
The Sirrus and the Kyte are no exception. Designed specifically for women, they provide the highest levels of comfort, access, and durability.
As an aside, ladies, any of Osprey’s ‘women-specific’ backpacks do really make a difference in terms of the fit on your back – so definitely consider sticking with one of them rather than going for one of the non-women-specific options.
Now – do you suffer from a sweaty back when hiking? Most do..
But not anymore. Not with a Sirrus or a Kyte, the padding and ventilation is just superb.
At 36L these packs fall somewhere in the middle of a daypack and multi-day backpacking pack, if that make sense!
In other words, they’re geared towards backpacking, rather than day hikes, but you’ll need something bigger if you’re away for more than a few days.
For day hikes, both the Sirrus and the Kyte have side compression panels which ‘cinch down’ making the bag manageable for short excursions.
They provide a good amount of space for packing items inside the bag as well as attaching different tools to the exterior. Good organization is a priority for these bags as they provide various stowing compartments for different items as well as zipped and stretch pockets.
However, the hip belt pockets are too small to fit most smartphones, which is a real shame.
The bags are equipped with hydration bladder pockets (though located differently), they come with their own rain covers and feature compartments to stow a sleeping bag.
Each pack is designed for good suspension and adjustability to fit the pack specifically to the individual user.
Overall, while the backpacks are very similar, the Kyte is going to be the better option for most of you. It’s slightly lighter and just a bit more versatile than the Sirrus.
Why? We’ll get to that – and a possible third option – in the buying guide below.
Want more options? Check out our best hiking backpacks buying guide.
The Kyte 36 at 3.2lbs is only slightly lighter than the Kyte 36 weighing in at 3.7lbs. Since the packs are also comparable in capacity there really isn't any great different between them weight wise.
The Kyte 36 is fitted with a light-weight aluminum frame which holds the pack in place, and is covered by padding and a ventilating mesh providing good airflow in hot conditions. The Sirrus 36 has what Osprey calls a LightWire frame, it features some foam padding across the back but not around the side belt, where it instead has mesh for increased airflow. For this reason, the Kyte might be more suited to those needing extra padding and comfort in the lower back. Both packs can adjust to fit different torso lengths, making them suitable for women of varying sizes and heights.
Both packs provide a pocket for holding hydration bladders although neither pack actually comes with the hydration bladder included, it must be purchased separately. The Kyte 36 locates the hydration bladder pocket on the back externally. This is great because it doesn’t take up additional space inside the bag and it cannot leak on other contents. The Sirrus 36 has a hydration bladder pouch on the interior of the bag which means it is not quite as easily accessed but is likely preferable if you are not carrying large amounts of gear.
The Kyte 36 has an extra feature of paneled daisy chain loops for attaching extra equipment to the exterior. This is useful for the hiker who wants the ability to carry lots of additional equipment clipped onto the outside. Both the Sirrus 36 and the Kyte 36 also have additional bungee ties and ice tool loops making them great for more difficult hikes or walking across tougher terrain.
The Sirrus 36 has slightly more color options; black, blue, green and purple. They appear to be a brighter more colorful range. The Kyte 36 however comes in three different colors, blue, grey and what they call purple but looks more like a dark red to me. This color range may be preferable for those who want something a little more subtle.
A big competitor to the Sirrus and Kyte is the Kelty Women's Redwing 40 (link to Amazon).
It’s arguably better value for money, given its price and the extra space you get – you wouldn’t realise the Redwing has an extra 4L capacity if you sat it down next to the Osprey Sirrus or Kyte. And like the Osprey bags, it should just about squeeze on as a carry-on if you plan to use it for travel. But be sure to check with your airline first. (More info on this here: flying with backpacking gear)
The Redwing is also comparable to the Sirrus 36 and Kyte 36 in terms of comfort and load stabilizing.
The Redwing’s hip belt is provides decent comfort and suspension, however it does not have as many size adjustment options as the Osprey packs.
It has comparable organizational pockets, space for a hydration bladder and additional loops for ice tools.
However, it doesn’t have a specific sleeping bag compartment or raincover included.
Overall, it appears to be a slightly lower quality bag in terms of materials and additional items however a good price for what it does offer and a great choice for those who don't require such a precision fit as the Osprey’s offer.
Related Post: Kelty Redwing 44 vs 50
Osprey Sirrus 36 vs Kyte 36: Our verdict
Here’s what you need to know: The Sirrus 36 and Kyte 36 are extremely similar Osprey backpacks. You really shouldn’t lose sleep over this choice..
However, for us the Kyte wins out because for most ladies its frame provides just a bit more comfort than the Sirrus.
Plus, the Kyte has additional padding on the waist strap which might be more suitable for those hiking longer distances or needing extra comfort and support.
The Kyte is also more suitable for those who hike with electronic equipment as the hydration bladder is located on the outside, keeping liquids safety away from other items.
The Sirrus 36, however, might be more suited to those with a smaller framed body as the waist belt is slightly less bulky. But either would be a solid choice for a serious hiker for whom a comfort fit is important.
And remember, if you’re off on a lengthy trip, whether hiking/backpacking or travelling overseas, consider something a bit bigger. The Kelty Redwing 40 might be a better choice. =ZIP=