Kelty’s Redwing 32

Virginia, USA.

It’s spring 2020. You’ve got that Corona-cabin-fever. There’s no gym, but you need to exercise. So, you want to start hiking. Now you need a day pack…

-If you don’t want to read, go to the bottom and watch my YouTube video instead-

If you’re unfamiliar, Kelty makes great products. Somehow they made a great day pack and made it affordable. Bonus points for the price point, about $50.00. Price is also what makes this a great bag for people who aren’t sure hiking is worth a hefty price tag. Take a look here.

The TLDR version, I LOVE THIS BAG.

The long version...

Ellie our dog and I arrive at the top of Flat Top Mt. Peaks of Otter, VA, USA.

-For reference: I’m 5’9” and weigh 170 pounds-

Starting on the body side. I fit very well into the straps on this bag. I can see that there is a significant amount of room available given the length of straps on the body side of the bag. If you’re bigger in any direction I’m sure this bag is going to fit you.

The shoulder straps have plenty of padding and adjustments to keep you comfortable for hours on end. Including load lifting straps. My only gripe stems from the roughness of the material. This is a “shirt on” type backpack, unless you want to cuddle some 500 grit. Unlike other bags there are no pockets on the shoulder straps. Instead each shoulder has a single strip of elastic across it, which works well for hanging my sunglasses. I attach a lanyard to the right shoulder to keep a remote from getting lost…. again….

There is a chest cinch and it works great, even has about an inch of elastic which makes it forgiving. As seen in the above photo. The chest cinch can also move up and down on the straps for additional comfort. The buckle is plain, whereas other brands like Osprey have a whistle built in here.

Moving down to the hip belt, you’ll find that padding is minimal and there are no pockets. As a trade off, you can tuck the hip belt into the back under the padding. Personally I need the belt, I usually keep my dogs leash attached to it. So far it hasn’t ripped or shown any signs of damage. Although, my dog doesn’t pull that hard nor does she lunge.

The frame of the bag is an HDPE sheet. Essentially a large sheet of plastic. Which so far has been durable enough to maintain its shape, and flexible enough to move with me when I bend or twist. I leave my bag full all the time and have not seen any problems with it.

The air mesh on the back panel breathes pretty decently and dries at an acceptable rate. Which is much faster than any cotton shirt I’ve mistakenly worn. Not as good as an Osprey bag, but for half of the price? Can’t complain.

Where the waist belt tucks in.
Outer most pocket. Lots of organization.
Both sides have a water bottle pouch. Or a junk pouch, depending on the day…

There is no lid pouch or “brain pouch” on top of the bag but there is a zippered pocket. It’s plenty large for my usual keys, wallet, beanie and 2 Cliff bars. Inside the bag against the back panel is a padded laptop pocket or hydration pocket with a Velcro strap for keeping items from sliding out. I hang my hydration bladder from there. Above this pouch you’ll find a small pass through hole for hydration hoses or cords. There are also plastic hooks on each side of this pouch. I haven’t found a use for them yet.

The rest of the main space is just a cavern, ready for all the extra layers and whatever else you can fit inside. It’s plenty large for a 1-2 day trip in my opinion. The bag is also designed to be pulled open so you can get to items without completely unpacking it in a top down fashion.

There is space between the rear pouch and the main bag for items to be stuffed in, if you desire. I usually forget things if I put them in there. The outer most pocket, pictured above, has more organization for the lighter items that I travel with. Like a SAM Splint, camp knife, TP, ect.

The last 2 pouches on the flanks of the bag provide extra organization for small kits. Plus the space behind them is a pass though, allowing you to store longer items by passing them in through the top and into the water bottle pockets. Things like fishing poles, trekking poles, ect. could be put there.

Demonstrating the pass through on the side pocket.
Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Featuring Tops Knives.

One of the most imortant features, at least in my book, are the 4 load straps that pull the bag into the frame. There is one strap around each of the water bottle pockets and one on each side of the top of the outer most pocket. If you pull these 4 straps tight, it keeps the load inside the bag secure and from shaking around. Which after 5 or 10 miles can start to cause fatigue.

Overall,

none of the straps, zippers, or buckles have failed. The fabric is not worn through. I wear this bag in all weather conditions. It’s been in high and low temperatures. I use it to travel, hike, and for mountain biking. Once more as stated above, I really enjoy this bag and after well over 200 miles hiked. (tracked via AllTrails App) I simply cannot complain.

Right now it’s about $50.00 on their website.

For this price range, you cannot beat this bag.

If, I were to suggest a different day pack options:

Osprey backs

Mystery Ranch

REI Co-Op

Watch it instead:

Comment below if you have a day pack suggestion.

I am NOT affiliated with any products, manufacturers, or agencies linked above.

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