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Gear Reviews: Backpack

Kelty Red Cloud 90

Manufacturer: Kelty

Reviewed by: mdilthey

There are a couple of things I find this pack falls short with: -It's big. For most backpackers, if you pack right, 65-75 liters should be great. Figure out in-store how much room you're going to need. -It's heavy at 5.5lbs. There are similar sized packs for 1/3 of the weight for another $50 or so, but their suspension is most likely worse. GoLite makes great packs for ultralight backpackers. That being said, the lumbar pad and heavy cushioning throughout make this pack extremely comfortable, even after long use. Some users have reviewed Kelty straps as slipping- I have not come across this. Washing the webbing straps with warm soapy water might remedy any slips. All in all, I love this pack. Here's why: -Abrasion resistance. The fabric feels bulletproof. Everything that would scratch it slips off without catching on the thick fabric. Hopefully with more field testing this does not change, but as of now, there is zero wear-and-tear on my pack. -Water resistance. This pack is NOT waterproof- no taped seams or waterproof coating, but it looks like it will take well to spray-on treatments (I have not tested this). You can buy a rain cover for it. -Space. Here's why I love this pack. It's roomy and spacious, but the straps on the outside manage the space well enough that a 75% loaded pack does not slosh around or unbalance while you walk. The bottom section has a separate zipper for loading in a sleeping bag, and it's spacious enough for the heaviest fill bags available if you use compression sacks (and possibly if you don't). I use this for winter camping, where during a hike to a campsite I can easily fit my hammock, my sleeping bag, my winter coat, and all the socks a boy can dream of. With my full gear, I don't exceed 25-30 lbs with water as well using this pack. That's not bad!
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Kristin Hostetter
Q.} I am 6'7'' and an active outdoorsman year-round. Which 20ish degree bag has the most shoulder space and is still rather light?
Submitted by: Chris - Gambrills, MD
A.} To get the best answer for your question, I went to two BACKPACKER staffers who can relate: Jon Dorn and Ben Fullerton, both 66. Here are a few of their three-season picks.


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