Gear Review: Kelty Fleet 55 Multiday Pack
Cure for back sweat takes the form of pack with the Kelty Fleet 55.
“The airflow between the packbag and my back was noticeable,” says our tester after a brutal 2,000-foot ascent in sweltering 90°F temps in Washington’s northern Cascades. “The cooling was especially effective when a crosswind blew through. The tautly stretched mesh backpanel kept the pack a good inch from my body, even with a bulky, heavy load,” he says, adding that the supportive backpanel protected him from odd-shaped containers and marshmallow skewers that his wife insisted he carry. The top- and front-loading Fleet incorporates a butterfly-shaped aluminum stay that channels weight to your hips via a vertically stiff but torsionally flexible frame system. Testers report it handled 45 pounds. Moderately padded hipbelt and shoulder straps (and cushy lumbar and scapula pads) proved comfortable without blocking airflow; our tester says even his shoulders and hips stayed sweat-free.
In addition to the well-ventilated backpanel and comfortable harness, you get a full set of features: a removable lid with two pockets, a U-zip front panel that allows quick access to hard-to-reach items in the pack, an integrated rain cover, and roomy zippered mesh pockets on the hipbelt. $200; 4 lbs. 1 oz.; 55 liters; 3 sizes (2 for men and 1 for women); kelty.com