If you are looking for a lightweight backpack that can handle anything from day hikes to backpacking trips, then the Kelty Women’s Redwing 40 Backpack is perfect. It has an airy design without sacrificing durability or comfort and comes with its rain cover.
Kelty Women’s Redwing is a backpack in many colors and sizes. It has an adjustable torso length and a padded back. The pack is durable materials, including water-resistant fabric and ballistic nylon.
Kelty is known for their backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, shelters, and more (the list goes on), and its goal is to develop gear that encourages people to spend time outside having fun. Kelty promises to provide equipment that is made to endure for every expedition, from backpacks to duffels and even a sling.
In Detroit, Michigan, the Redwing 40 Front Pocket Kelty Kelty Kelty Kelty Kelty Kelty is being used. The Kelty Women’s Redwing 40 will be the subject of this review. First, however, we felt we’d better explain that the Redwing is a 40-liter pack built just for women, despite the name implying otherwise. Then, we’re ready to tell you how this pack performs after testing it for almost a month on a mountain in Nepal and city-hopping throughout Europe.
Aesthetics & Materials
Let’s start with the aesthetics of this set. This bag isn’t precisely Pack Hacker’s characteristic style, as you’ve already observed. Instead, a plethora of straps, pockets, and other elements take over the sleek, urban aesthetic we generally opt for. As a result, the style of this pack is better suited to the vast outdoors than to a city coworking space. Still, everything that makes it appear “messy” also has some substantial benefits (which we’ll go into later). So, despite the general outdoorsy feelings here and the fact that most of the pack is black on black, we think we’ll be able to pull it off in most situations.
The Kelty Redwing 40 is available in two colors at this review: black and deep lake (which is pretty much a light blue). There aren’t many options, which we appreciate since it makes it easier to choose. We chose black (surprise, surprise) because we believe it is the perfect color for travel since it shows fewer dirt and marks while on the road. Plus, we thought this color would be more hidden, which is a plus if you intend on using this pack in more urban settings.
Moving on to the branding, the words “Kelty” and “Redwing 40W” are printed along the side of the pack, so no one will be confused as to which pack you’re carrying. In addition, we believe it’s significantly less objectionable since it’s off-center, and we like it. Apart from that, there’s a little “Kelty” printed on the shoulder strap, a “Kelty Built” tag on the back panel, and an emblem on the buckles.
Kelty Redwing 40 Fabric Kelty Redwing 40 Fabric Kelty Redwing 40 Fabric
The materials used in the construction of this pack are Poly 420D Small Back Stafford and Poly 75x150D Tasser Coal, with Aluminum and HDPE in the frame. We had never seen these materials before, and to be honest. Unfortunately, we couldn’t discover much information about them. However, we can tell you that this is a low denier polyester that, although not the most outstanding or most inventive material on the market, is sturdy and should suffice. Furthermore, one of the critical benefits of this material is that the pack is very light. This is beneficial to your back, and it’s imperative if you travel with just one bag.
The hardware on a backpack is a crucial component that may make or break the bag. With that in mind, we’re pleased to announce that this pack’s zippers are all YKK. YKK RCz is the main zipper, while YKK #5 RCz is the zipper for the smaller compartments. We’ve discovered that YKK zippers are sturdy and trustworthy, which is vital for any travel pack, based on years of testing across various backpacks and manufacturers.
This bag also has two different styles of zipper pulls. The plastic zipper pulls on the main compartment make it easy to get the zipper across the top of the pack, and the zipper pulls on the smaller bins make accessing them a joy. The buckles are all Duraflex, which has shown to be a solid brand in our tests. In addition, they have a well-deserved reputation for being very long-lasting.
Components from Outside
Moving on to the exterior components, the Kelty Redwing 40’s harness system was created with women’s bodies in mind.
This female-focused harness system has a lot of adjustabilities, which is a significant plus. You can always find the perfect fit with several adjustment points on the shoulder straps, sternum strap, and hip belt. While having a women’s-specific pack is fantastic in and of itself it’s evident that Kelty recognizes that every woman’s figure is different—so curves or no curves, this pack has some “wiggle” space, which we appreciate.
The load lifters on the top of the shoulder straps allow you to bring the pack close to your back, and the adjustable shoulder straps are intended to fit around your contours. Furthermore, the shoulder straps are close together and lower down on the pack, allowing the bag to rest higher on your back. These elements work together to help distribute weight on a more petite frame, which is exactly what we’re looking for in a women’s backpack. Each shoulder strap also has an elastic band that may be utilized to tuck the load lifter straps or even the sternum strap away—a nice feature!
An adjustable sternum strap is attached to the shoulder straps. This may be adjusted to a more comfortable position. We also like how this strap has an elastic part that provides you some flexibility while you’re on the road.
Because there is so much going on in this pack’s hip belt, it practically needs its own section. This device seems to be rather bulky at first glance, however, the option to remove it is a huge plus. This object, on the other hand, has some amazing redeeming features that make it stand out. First and foremost, it performs well. It distributes the weight of the pack over your body, just as any other hip belt should, making for a significantly more comfortable carry. This, together with the various adjustability points, adds to the overall level of comfort.
Let’s go on to the rear panel. The padding isn’t a joke; we believe it’s just perfect in all the appropriate spots. The portions of your back that bear the most weight are properly covered, and you’ll have plenty of airflows thanks to the Hex Mesh. The shoulder straps and the inside of the hip belt are also covered in mesh, giving this pack a huge thumbs up for ventilation.
An HDPE frame sheet and single LightBeam aluminum support are used to keep the rear panel stable. Both of them do an excellent job of keeping the rear panel secure without adding much to the total weight. Just a reminder that this frame sheet is not detachable, and we had some issues with it. We’ll go over this in further detail in the section on durability and testing.
You’re in luck if you’re seeking a bag that can also be used as a daypack. The Redwing 40 is equipped with four compression straps that run the length of the pack. These are quite simple to use and perform an excellent job of compressing the bag, but the look and “dangle-free” experience are not.
A fast grab handle is also included on the top of the pack. This is quite unobtrusive, but it comes in helpful if you need to grab your pack quickly. This handle may also be used to hang the luggage, so you won’t have to leave it on a filthy airport toilet floor!
Moving to the front of the pack, there’s a daisy chain that may be hidden and serves as a handle. It’s interesting that Kelty chose to make this so unobtrusive in comparison to some of the bag’s other functions. While this is a unique feature that looked like a good idea at the time since there was so much going on, we frequently forgot it was there.
A stasher pocket is hidden underneath this, accessible by a buckle. This is useful for “stashing” a jacket that you may want to grab quickly when out and about. It streamlines your experience by removing the need to enter the main compartment. The stash pocket on the Osprey Daylite Plus is comparable to this.
Two elasticated mesh water bottle compartments are located on each side of the bag. These pockets are large enough to hold larger bottles and, although not very deep, the compression straps may be used to attach taller bottles or even a tripod.
Two rows of MOLLE run across the bottom of the pack. While we’ve never had a need for them, it’s nice to know they’re there in case you do. Plus, when they’re not in use, they don’t get in the way, so there’s really no negative outside the appearance.
Two pole loops are located on each side of the MOLLE. These may be used to connect your ice ax or trekking poles to the side of your pack using the compression straps. Unfortunately, becauser found ourselves utilizing them because we weren’t exploring the Arctic throughout our testing. In addition, we found them to be somewhat bothersome since they were continually hanging around the bottom of the bag. Fortunately, you can tuck them into the MOLLE to keep things neat—or, if you despise pole loops, you can always chop them off.
The Inside of the Pack
If you’re as obsessed with organizing as we are, you’ll love the following part. Let’s “dig” straight “into” this bundle without wasting time. (Did you get it? We’re entering the bag!)
You’ll see that the primary compartment is simply a large bucket into which you can put many items. You may access this compartment as a top-loader or from the side with the Hybrid-loading U-zipper design. We’ve discovered that packing cubes work great for keeping things organized because of this opening. While the gray material in this compartment aids visibility, brightly colored packing cubes would be much better for rapidly locating your belongings.
A cushioned laptop sleeve that may also be used as a hydration sleeve is located within the main pocket. When used as a hydration sleeve, there’s a pass-through hole beneath the fast grab handle that connects to the outside of the pack and clips inside to keep it from dropping to the bottom. We’ve never used this function since we’ve been utilizing this pack in more urban settings, preferring to use it as a laptop sleeve. This sleeve is large enough to carry laptops up to 15″ and may be reached from the top of the pack if your bag isn’t fully loaded.
A stash pocket—basically, a compartment you can toss nearly anything into—is located at the top of the pack. This compartment’s size has worked well for larger objects (we use it for our headphones), but it lacks protection—unlike the Thule Landmark, which features a “Safe Zone.” However, given that the entrance is against your back when you’re carrying the bag, we enjoy how inconspicuous and secure it is. Keeping track of your keys is essential. This pocket features a key clip.
Above the water bottle pockets are two zipped compartments on each side of the pack. We’ve found them particularly useful for keeping cords and chargers that need to be accessed quickly.
Now it’s time to move on to the front pocket! There’s some other organization in this pocket. Tablets, novels, and flatter things will fit easily in the larger fleece-lined pocket at the rear. The two pockets on the bottom are large enough to fit a smartphone, wallet, or small notepad. There are two additional pockets below this. These are smaller, and we’ve used them to store earbuds, ROAV sunglasses, and (you guessed it) munchies! Finally, there’s some additional room in front of this organization where you may stow a compressible jacket or perhaps a sling.
And if you’ve made it this far, we’d like to give you a virtual high-five from the Pack Hacker crew! This is going to be a lengthy one!
Testing & Durability
We’ve been testing the Kelty Redwing 40 for about a month in and around Detroit at this review. Our testing shows that this wasn’t created with digital nomads in mind, but that’s why it’s marketed as an adventure backpack rather than a work bag.
We’ve decided that this pack is better suited to the vast outdoors, and that’s OK with us. However, if you’re carrying a box for a long time, you’ll be satisfied with this one. The harness system is very comfortable and effectively distributes weight. It’s also wholly adjustable to find the perfect fit for you and your physique.
However, there are a few issues that need to be addressed. First, the absence of cushioning in the back compartment (hydration sleeve/laptop compartment) has been a problem. We didn’t want to risk utilizing this compartment without a laptop cover because of the bend in the frame sheet. It also made us nervous when we stuffed the backpack to the brim since it puts a lot of strain on the laptop. So far, we haven’t noticed any laptop damage, although it’s worth noting that some additional protection might be beneficial.
We’ve become used to the busyness during testing, but would we prefer a more minimalist design? Is this feature more significant than the rest of the bag’s features? Unfortunately, it isn’t for us.
When the compression straps are fastened, the only way to get inside the main compartment is via the top. The straps can be readily removed if you wish to utilize the side access; however, placing goods you require rapid access to at the top of the bag will simplify things.
While the many pockets and compartments seem far from minimalist, they serve their purpose well. If you set things out right, you’ll have easy access to all of your necessities thanks to all of these compartments—we seldom, if ever, needed to open the main box when out and about with this bag.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Kelty Redwing waterproof?
A: The Kelty Redwing is not waterproof. Unlike other backpacks designed to be water-resistant, the RedWing backpack is made of materials that allow for a good amount of airflow when it gets wet. This helps keep your belongings dry while keeping them cool and comfortable in warm weather conditions.
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