The Osprey Kitsuma 3 is a women's fit backpack with a focus on hydration – it features a large, 2.5 litre bladder and very little else. It's light but moves around on steep descents, and there's nowhere specific to stash tools or snacks.
The Kitsuma 3 sits between Osprey's smaller Kitsuma 1.5 pack and the larger Salida 8. It gets a 2.5L bladder and small top pocket for extra storage. Dubbed a pack for 'liquid movement,' that's exactly what it's good at – and nothing else.
As with other Osprey women's packs I've tested, the comfort and fit are excellent. It gets Osprey's alternative cut to the shoulder harness that better lies on the chest, and – like the others – it's a little shorter and narrower than 'regular' versions.
This particular pack is a centimeter shorter, one centimeter narrower and two centimeters less deep than the men's pack. When you're just 160cm tall, like me, then this is of benefit.
The Kitsuma 3 is designed to be light yet carry a large amount of water in a slim package, and it does this well. The ventilated rear mesh and shoulder straps work well and don't trap much heat, at least during the autumn / winter weather of the test.
As with other Osprey packs, though, there's nothing with which to secure the excess strap webbing. I use zip ties to keep nuisance ends out of the way.
The chest strap secures the shoulder straps in place and holds a magnet for the bite valve. In the usual Osprey functional way, it's easy to use and locate when riding hard.
The reservoir sits in the main compartment, so if you want to store anything that won't fit in the small, zipped outer pocket, you need to shove it in alongside.
I put a pump and shock pump in mine and, whilst it's not the most secure place – there's no zip on the main compartment, just two clips that keep the bladder secure but leave large gaps – I never actually had anything fall out.
Put anything smaller than a pump in, though, and you'll be scratching around trying to find it again, as it'll fall to the bottom and end up hiding behind/underneath the bladder.
The small pocket on top is big enough for a phone, keys (on the clip) and a small snack. There are two open-topped stuff pockets up the sides, too, which can house a packable jacket or similar if it folds up reasonably well.
The flat, low-profile design of the Kitsuma means it sits quite stably on your back when riding... at least until things get steep, when it slides up towards your head. There is no waist strap to hold it in place.
While it carries a full litre more to drink than, for instance, the Camelbak Chase Vest, it's far less secure and doesn't offer any of the nifty storage features.
The Kitsuma 3 is a very finely focused pack – it's for people who want to carry hours of water but very little else. Perhaps this is why, by the time this review was complete, Osprey had removed all mention of it from its site and, presumably, discontinued it.
The Kitsuma 3 is still widely available from retailers, though, and may well start getting decent discounts.
The Kitsuma 3 is well built and does what it sets out to do, even if that purpose is curiously narrow. It's perhaps best for long, hot rides in the summer when you need water, don't need to much extra clothing, and have secreted your tools and snacks elsewhere around your bike.
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