I am wearing Kelty’s innovative PK 50 internal frame backpack. This unique pack incorporates organizational features that I haven’t seen in any other packs on the marketplace. It does so without any zippers, just a really unique offering. But we are going to take a closer look at what makes this pack so different from the others.
Before we look at those organization features, I want to flip the PK 50 around and show you its suspension system. Should mention this is an early version of the pack. The model that will hit market is actually going to have a slightly broader aluminum stay from the one that you are seeing here, but it will be that single stay which gives some rigidity to the pack, enables it to carry loads in a stable fashion, but also a light weight and comfortable fashion.
There is HDPE stiffener here at the top portion of the pack, which, again, helps in stabilization and load carrying. You have got fully padded contoured shoulder straps as well as padded contour hip belt. You have got padding high here on the back as well as right behind the lower portion of your back. There is some channeling in here shaped in such a fashion that there is a little bit of space created between the suspension system and your back. That allows air to flow and helps to keep you cool instead of building up too much heat in between yourself and the pack.
Turning the PK 50 back around, we will show off some of what makes this pack so unique. As it is stated in the name, it is a 50 liter pack, but it is a modular 50 liter pack. What I mean by that is very unique front pocket panel here on the pack. So not a traditional top loader. Going to unclip the face entirely and remove this from the pack. I have actually stored here in these pockets, by design, my clothes and I have got some food here in the top of that lid. No zippers here at all. You have seen the buckles that I undid. There is a neat roll top closure underneath here sewn shut, high on the pack. You only really need an opening there on that lower portion. I have got all the extra layers I need here inside the pack.
Fully protected, I grab this, throw it in my tent or off to the side as I set up camp, because I don’t need to get right into these pockets. Having said that, there is a small roll top closure up at top here where I have got food, snacks, things that I can get to right away if I decide to.
By leaving that panel behind, again, pull this closed. I have actually got a streamlined 35 liter pack for a different type of outing.
Bit stretch pocket lives underneath that pocket that we have removed. You can put just about anything and everything in here with the amount of stretch that you have got in the pocket. If you have taken poles out of your tent, this might be the ideal place to put your tent. Again, you have got quick access once you take off that top pocket. You can get right to setting up camp.
We will set that aside for the moment.
Underneath these compression flaps which help to keep everything nice and secure you have got some interior pockets, deep pockets. In this case ideal for the tent poles and I also had trekking poles in here that I didn’t need at that portion of the hike. Fit perfectly inside the pocket there without any external lashing necessary.
Again, no zippers there. I have got another roll top closure at the top of the pack that gets me into the interior, the main interior of the pack bag. Down below I have got a dedicated sleeping back compartment, no zippers. Again, very non traditional. Used to seeing that horseshoe shaped zipper. This is yet another roll top entry and I have got a sleeping pad packed away in there and then I have also got my sleeping bag as well.
It is worth noting that because of that roll top closure and the way this buckles down in place, you could actually save some weight, leave a compression sack behind and let that pocket work as the compression sack, so some weight savings to be had there in addition to some of those unique organizational features.
A couple of other quick features to call out here on the pack. You do have an ice axe loop at the bottom or the bottom of the front of that pack. You do have stretch pockets on both of the hip belts, again, that same material. So while they are very streamlined, low profile pockets, lots of stretch—got keys in one. I have got my camera and phone in there other—on the inside of that sleeping back compartment you do have a removable shelf similar to what you might find in a traditional set up. That enables you to separate items when you want to between the top portion and lower portion of the pack bag, or to open it up when you don’t need that separation and have that much larger capacity in what would then be a single compartment.
Other nice inclusion by Kelty is an integrated rain cover at the bottom of the pack bag. So it tucks into its own dedicated pocket, not in the way when you don’t need it. Doesn’t eat into any of your storage capacity, but it is right there if the elements turn and you need that extra layer of protection.
So, again, Kelty PK 50, kind of a two packs in one option: 50 liter with all of the unique organizational features that Kelty has incorporated on this pack, plus take a portion of that away and you have got that 35 liter sleep day pack. Innovative, unique offering, priced right, built right from a brand we have come to trust, Kelty.
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