Review: Osprey Mutant 38 backpack

Osprey Mutant 38

he 5th generation of the Mutant is a reliable, intelligent (climbing) backpack for the whole year. It is a light, flexible, comic and versatile backpack. You can trust this climbing partner. When doing climbs in cold weather conditions, you will appreciate the back, the ski loops on the side and the Dual ToolLock ™ system, which allows you to quickly and safely attach an ice axe.

The main compartment of the Mutant 38 can be reached via a removable top compartment, which means that you can overload your backpack like a packhorse. Or completely remove the top compartment for more space at the head and lower weight. Equivalent climbing backpacks often have minimal protection and compression capabilities in this mode, but not the Mutant 38. Use the built-in FlapJacket ™ that offers a weatherproof closure and keeps your equipment fully compressed.

In the top compartment, you will find a quick storage mesh for wearing a helmet. The lap belt with reverse winding and integrated material loops offer you comfort, minimalism and a place for your equipment. Rock climbing in the summer or ice climbing and ski tours in the winter, the Mutant 38 is your perfect partner in your activities.

Osprey’s promises

The Osprey brand was born in 1974 in California at the seat of a single sewing machine, with a head full of ideas and a desire to design and build innovative backpacks to the highest quality. Today, Osprey products continue to pioneer, making use of the highest mountains to the most distant islands and everywhere in between.

Test conditions Osprey Mutant 38

The circumstances in which I tested the Osprey Mutant 38 were different. For a more extended period, the Mutant 38 was my partner during trips. Trips such as hiking and climbing activities. I have not tested the Osprey Mutant 38 with rainy or bad weather so I can not say anything about that.

Review Osprey Mutant 38

My first impression was very positive. When I unpacked the Osprey Mutant 38 at home, the first thing I noticed was the weight, material and of course its sturdy look. The Osprey brand is known to me for its quality. That is something that immediately stands out when you see and feel the Osprey Mutant 38. The finish and the choice of materials is beautiful. The eye for detail is visible and the possibilities of the Osprey Mutant 38 are infinite.

So…. First check some things. The weight of the bag was somewhat disappointing because after measurement the bag weighed more than 1200 grams. How could I lower that weight. After some research, the back was removed together with the top compartment. This reduced the weight considerably to 740 grams. I also saw many attachment points for various purposes.

With the fitting of the Osprey Mutant 38, I immediately felt the pleasant fit. The shoulder straps are shaped so that they feel incredibly comfortable. Furthermore, the Osprey Mutant 38 feels good on the back. This is partly due to the hip belt that makes the bag feel like a whole.

Going out with the Osprey Mutant 38

The bag went everywhere: Belgium, Germany, Austria, Croatia, France and of course the Netherlands. During the various walking tours I used the bag and what amazed me about the enormous space. In addition to the enormous space in the bag, the top subject of the Osprey Mutant 38 was also great.

The Osprey Mutant 38 has a tough look. This is partly due to the color composition, dark blue with the orange accents. The inside of the bag is therefore very dark. Also here is thought by Osprey because there are orange accents so that your things are clearly visible.

The carrying system of De Osprey Mutant 38 is perfect. I tested the bag with different loads from 6 to almost 11 kilograms. What I noticed was the comfort. The Osprey Mutant 38 is well adjustable by means of hip, chest and shoulder straps.

Osprey Mutant 38 was also tested during single climbing sessions. Here I noticed especially that the bag was not a hindrance and felt like a whole while climbing. Again, the shoulder straps are no obstacle. The hip belt with material loops are well placed and offer plenty of space for your required materials.

As I mentioned earlier, the top subject is great. At full load, you can experience some annoyance during vertical climbs with a climbing helmet. It struck me that it limited me in my freedom of movement. In practice, however, I would totally strip the bag during climbing and or top attempts at all times and it would not be a nuisance to me.

Product characteristic

Applicable: single or multi-day climb, alpine, hiking and ski touring Model: unisex
Content: 38 liters
Max. weight: 1220 grams
Min. weight: 740 grams, top pocket and back.
Waterproof: no
Includes rain cover: no
Hip belt detachable: no
Material: 420HD Nylon Packcloth

Compatible with the Hydraulics ™ and Hydraulics ™ LT reservoir
Daisy chains front offer flexible fastening options
Dual ToolLock, for attaching ice axes
FlapJacket ™ top cover for use without lid
Glove-friendly buckles
Integrated material loops on lap belt
Integrated ski / climbing helmet storage
Internal compartment for hydration bag
Key confirmation
Removable HDPE frame sheet with aluminum housing T6061


Osprey Mutant 38 is available in two sizes, sizes S / M and M/L.
I tested the M/L, the measurements are (cm): 73 (l) x 32 (w) x 30 (d), my height is 180 cm and I have a slim figure.

The fit of the Osprey Mutant 38 is perfect. It fits seamlessly and the shoulder straps offer sufficient comfort. The attachment of the chest strap is adjustable, the way in which is ideal. It is not a sliding system, but a fixed adjustment. In short, you put the chest strap on the right size and the chest strap will not move if you do not want to.


  • opportunities
  • fit
  • applicability
  • price


  • weight, completely built up

Short conclusion

The Osprey Mutant 38 is suitable and applicable for many activities. That is why this is an excellent backpack to complement your material. But if the backpack is fully built with back and top pocket, the backpack has a weight of more than 1200 grams. For me personally, that may be slightly lighter.

Would I recommend the Osprey Mutant 38? Yes, as I said before, this all-rounder is an asset to many.
Whether you go hiking, climbing or ski touring.

Review overzicht

Danny van Haaften
Danny van Haaften
Buitensporter, ik ben werkzaam bij de overheid en in mijn vrije tijd hou ik mij bezig met verschillende disciplines van de buitensport. Sinds 2000 ben ik actief als wegatleet in competitief verband en heb ik afstanden tot aan de marathon gelopen. Omstreeks 2007 ben ik tevens gegrepen door het survivalrun virus. Sindsdien heb ik vele survivalruns als wedstrijdatleet in binnen en buitenland gelopen. Als rode draad hier doorheen ben ik actief als berg-buitensporter in verschillende disciplines o.a. rotsklimmen, meerdaagse bivak-wandeltochten en fietstochten. In 2016 ben ik gestart met DH Buitensport om mensen te motiveren meer naar buiten te gaan.

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