The best yet.
How do you make a classic even better? You could add bacon, and while that's almost always an improvement, it's probably better that the designers at Kelty kept the pork products away from the Redwing 44 Backpack. Instead, they outfitted this overnighter with a new hydration sleeve that doubles as a laptop pocket when your travels are in the airport instead of on the trail, and hooked up a new front pocket that makes it easy to stash a rain shell or fleece when you're on the move in variable conditions.
The rest of the Redwing is unchanged from the rugged polyester fabric, to the single LightBeam aluminum stay, and the strong but flexible HDPE framesheet. These help stabilize your load and disperse the weight between your shoulders and hips, while the breathable Hex Mesh backpanel, shoulder straps, and hip belt keep you cool when the trail is hot and dusty. You can also remove the hipbelt if you feel the need to go light and fast on your way to the summit, and stash your trekking poles and ice axes in the loops for easy scrambling. Kelty topped the Redwing off with pockets at the sides, front, and back for easy access to all your key gear, and even built in a hideaway daisy chain that lets you strap sleeping pads and wet layers onto the outside of your pack.
- LightBeam aluminum suspension and HDPE framesheet
- Hex Mesh back panel, shoulder straps, and hip belt
- Removable hip belt
- Dual-use laptop and hydration sleeve
- Ice axe/trekking pole loops
- Hideaway daisy chain
- Side, water bottle, top, and front pockets
- Item #KEL004U
- Q & A
Perfect. Fits everything and more
Everything Inside or Attached
The ropes took up the bulk of the space. Was able to put those in first, put the climbing rack on top and then find various ways to strap down helmet, dromedary bag, and the guide book fit but, couldnt get the zipper all the way, enough that it didnt open and fall out, it was SO close! Harness, shoes, chalk went on the outside pocket.
Almost got Everything Pictured Inside!
Was almost able to get everything in this picture securely attached or inside. Had to leave out my girlfriends shoes, harness, and her Patagonia 25L summit pack.
What I did get inside was
2 - 8.0mm Half Ropes 60m
1 - 9.5mm Single Rope 68m
Harness, double rack of protection, 4 Pro Bars, 4 Shot Blocks, med kit, chalk bag, climbing shoes, Patagonia Houdini Jacket, Red Rocks Climbing Guide, 3L MSR Dromlite (full), Camp USA Speed 2.0 helmet.
Everything You Need Plus Some
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I dont usually use backpacks like the Kelty Redwing. I am a big fan of minimalist packs without any kind of support, or padding in the back, mostly because they are so light. I was able to demo this for a day and I might change my mind about what kind of packs I use in the future.
For how many bells and whistles it has, I think its pretty light. Seems like an endless amount of pocket options, with multiple access points. I used it climbing and I packed way too much into it but, my pictures show what it is ultimately capable of carrying.
I really like the shoulder straps, mesh padding/fabric they use is really comfortable. When the pack was over stuffed with 3 ropes and a double climbing rack I could feel it on my hips but, then I took out some gear as we werent using all those ropes. It carried really well, I didnt really feel any pain on my hips or strain on my shoulder. All the weight was perfectly sitting on my hips. Scrambling around to get to the climb I was happy to see that the pack didnt really move around or force you off balance, it stayed close and tight on my back, moving with me.
There are some side sleeves that would hold trekking/tent poles perfectly. You dont have to strap them down or anything you just slide them, same goes for the 1.5 L Nalgene bottle we had. Pretty unique feature that has multiple uses depending on your creativity.
The way the main compartment opens makes it easy to organize and get things out. Able to stack things top to bottom and get to the bottom gear without totally pulling out everything above it.
A pack like this is also great to wear around town. Before taking it climbing I was just using it for the grocery store on my bike. I liked all the little pockets so I could separate things like glass bottles and eggs. My minimalist packs dont do this well, they are essentially a nylon bucket!
Some small details like elastic loops on the adjustment straps, big rigid finger loop on main compartment, and hidden handle in the middle make the pack easy to get in and out of and move around. The handle doesnt seem like a big deal but, when pulling a pack out from under something, or out of a trunk its nice to have a big sturdy handle to grab onto.
I have the helmet on the bottom of the pack in the picture just to give you an idea of its height.
If you need help choosing pack shoot me an email! Let me know what you want to get out of it so I can narrow down the best options for you. Also if you have any questions about the Redwing, dont hesitate to ask.
Does not dissappoint
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I have my very first big hiking trip planned for the summer and did extensive research on the top three things: Backpacks, Shoes, and Sleeping bags. I did so much research on backpacks that for a while I was a bummer at parties. This is a great deal and is a great fit for ladies. I love the storage it offers, it has extra exterior (bottom) hooks to carry more. I love the way it opens from the top and still has a top compartment. The side pockets are definitely big enough to hold my Nalgene, and there's a sleeve to hold a 3L water reservoir. Overall has everything that I needed and desired (except a rain cover).
Kelty Redwing 44 Overview
Awesome, tough backpack
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
I bought this pack for carting around field gear and copious amounts of water for long work days as a field research technician in desert environments. It proved invaluable for the entire season and stood up very well to the punishment I gave it. It was banged around in truck beds, weighted down with liters upon liters of water as well as bulky field equipment, slung on and off my back repeatedly, knocked up against and snagged on jagged rocks and spiny vegetation, and emerged with no more than negligible signs of wear. It distributes weight evenly and can be snugged up easily if there is extra room. The mesh and padding on the straps and back of the pack is as sturdy as the rest of the pack and is very comfortable to wear for hours at a time. I would definitely recommend this pack!
If I had to come up with a complaint, the narrow elastic bands on the shoulder straps did get a little stretched out early on, but not without me stuffing and hanging all manner of awkward and heavy objects from them first.
Is the bag all black or does it have the grey straps and mesh side pockets for water bottles?
James, The photo we have is old, and we will get it updated asap. The current black is all black, with no grey accents. Contact me if you have any other questions.