Gear Guide 2009: Kelty Pawnee Review

Kelty's practical Pawnee backpack offers heavy load comfort for a good price.

Look no further for a versatile trail pack at a great price. This comfortable, practical top-loader performed superbly on water-laden overnights in southern Utah and absurd gourmet cookout hauls into Colorado’s Front Range. The wide and soft shoulder straps were comfortable even on bare skin, and the well-padded backpanel and hipbelt felt like a thousand-dollar office chair. The suspension proved exceptionally stable, even for boulder-hopping, and it easily carried 45 pounds (loaded heavier than that, the hipbelt sagged.)

The single-compartment packbag has an extendable, removable lid; a divided front pocket big enough for wet rain shells; and twin mesh bottle pockets that are easily reached on the move. There’s also a gigantic U-shaped zipper for quick access to the main compartment. $130; 3,300 cu. in.; 3 lbs. 9 oz.

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