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WHEN, I BOUGHT A NEW BACKPACK FOR MY MACHU PICCHU TREK…
And trust me, I get that using a brand new piece of gear was probably not the smartest decision in the world. But, when I had the opportunity to have a hiking pack
There were definitely pluses and minuses to both options. Though the Kelty was more affordable, it didn’t come with an essential
The color is gorgeous. As many people said in their Amazon review of the Kelty Redwing, the color is very different in
Extremely functional extra pockets. This is an aspect of the Kelty backpack that I wasn’t sure I’d like. The Osprey pack is beautifully streamlined, with not a lot of extra pockets on the outside. Aesthetically, I love the look of that pack. I wasn’t sure how functional all of the random little pockets on the Kelty pack would be. For clarity, the Kelty backpack includes an extra pocket on the top, above the main pocket, two side pockets, and a pocket on the front on the outside of the pouch. I loved these little pockets, especially while I was on my Salkantay Trek! I used one of the side pockets to stash some of my warm-weather gear (it got cold on our trek!), like my gloves, wool hat, etc. I used the other side-pocket to stash all my first-aid stuff. If you’ve read my Salkantay Trek post, you know that I had a
Perfect amount of space for what I needed. One of the things that made me a little nervous about getting the Kelty over the Osprey Kyte, is that it is a little bit smaller – approximately 6L smaller to be exact. That made me nervous mostly from the perspective of traveling and long-term hiking. If I were to use this Kelty backpack in future multi-day hikes, would it be big enough? When I traveled with this backpack, would I be able to fit everything in it that I needed? Admittedly, when traveling with it for our week in Cusco + Machu Picchu, the bag was very full! But, once I took out some of the non-essentials for the trek, it was
The laptop sleeve (which fit my sizeable 15″ laptop). Whenever something says it fits “most” 15-inch laptops, I get nervous. Will it fit mine? Mine is on the larger size, and for our trip and for our travels, I needed to have my laptop with me! It’s my livelihood after all! Well, good news, it did! And not only that, but it’s badded and it against a stiff, padded back panel, which makes me feel like my laptop is very protected.
The U-zip. I really enjoyed the kind of hybrid U-zip that the Kelty uses for its main pocket. It’s not a full U-zip, meaning that you can’t completely unfold the pocket for complete access to your belongings on the interior pocket. However, it was a partial U-zip and I found that accessibility to my belongings within the main pocket was not an issue at all! It isn’t a strict top-loader, which I really enjoyed. But it’s also not a strict U-zip travel backpack, which isn’t exactly convenient for trekking and hiking in my opinion. So, this kind of hybrid makes this pack very useful as both a hiking and travel backpack.
The add-on rain cover. A
The padding was so comfy. Part of what concerned me about getting a brand new pack before doing a 4 day 60+ km trek was how comfortable was it going to be. I didn’t want the backpack to be rubbing my shoulders, hips, back, etc. raw. Maybe that is just me being naive about backpacks nowadays, but it was a concern. So, I definitely considered the amount of padding a backpack had in
The fit was perfect for my frame. This was something I loved. Adjustability and whether or not the backpack would fit were definitely points of concern for me. I did not go to a store and get this backpack fitted, which perhaps is another rookie mistake that I won’t repeat when I invest in a larger hiking backpack in the future for longer treks. But, I did research a lot about torso lengths, build, women-specific features, etc. And after measuring my own torso length, I was pretty confident about what packs would fit me and fit me well. Though my 17-18″ torso length was a little on the long side for this pack, I found that it fit me perfectly. Note that I’m 5’4″, 160lbs with a very long waist, short legs
The small details. This backpack has a lot of small details. Things like great zipper
It’s literally the PERFECT carry-on size on budget airlines. I’ve mentioned this before, but I want to reiterate it again. We flew Viva Air Peru to Cusco, which is notorious for being very strict about carry-on sizes (Note: This airline is also like Spirit, meaning that your ticket only includes a personal item. The additional carry-on costs more.). This pack was legit SO perfect as a carry-on. Even for the strictest carry-on sizes, this backpack fit perfectly! Since our Salkantay Trek, I’ve been using this backpack as my carry-on on travel/transition day with Remote Year, as well as a carry-on/travel pack for side-trips, namely my side-trip to Cartagena in Colombia!
NOW, FOR THE DISLIKES:
The interior hydration sleeve pocket. This is probably one of the biggest drawbacks to this backpack being a hybrid hiking/travel backpack and it was something I was aware of going in. It was occasionally irritating having the take out my stuff so I didn’t accidentally dump water on it in the process of refilling my hydration sleeve. Also, when the bladder was full, it definitely seemed to cut down on the amount of space I had within the pack. But, given that I was only really carrying my clothes and the porters and donkeys took care of carrying the tents/sleeping bags/cookware/etc., ultimately, this interior hydration sleeve pocket didn’t affect me too much on the trek. Ideally, the hydration sleeve would be on the outside, but in this case, since it serves a dual-purpose as a laptop sleeve as well, it worked out fine.
No hip belt pockets. My LowerPro has spoiled me a lot on this front. I missed having hip belt pockets a lot in this pack. With
The water bottle pockets are a little shallow. I’ve mentioned a couple things that I disliked about the pack so far, but honestly, those things are mostly an inconvenience. They didn’t affect the function and the day-to-day use of the pack. Once I got used to the features (or lack of), I was able to use the pack quite seamlessly. The water bottle pockets, however, were an irritating problem to have. The water in Peru is not drinkable, so my LifeStraw water bottle was an invaluable piece of equipment to have with me. However, because of the placement of the side pockets and the shallowness of the mesh water bottle holders on the side, it fell out repeatedly during the trek. It got to the point where I had to use the carabiner on the water bottle to clip it to one of the straps so it didn’t accidentally fall out and get left behind on the trail. The only water bottles that consistently stayed in the pocket were
I’M REALLY HAPPY WITH THIS BACKPACK.
Knowing that I have an option of a carry-on that is such a dual-purpose pack is so reassuring! It will be great in the future for day-hikes and even shorter multi-day hikes. I definitely realize that if I find myself doing
Buy yours here: Kelty Redwing Women’s 40L (Note: I got the Deep Lake color, which is not nearly as bright and light blue as the pictures show)