The best selling Kelty Red Cloud is a large capacity pack, carries heavy loads, carries them comfortably and does so at an affordable price. The Red Cloud is available in two different size capacities. We are looking at the 90 liter version of the pack, over 5300 cubic inches of storage capacity here. It is also available in an even larger 110 liter size capacity. Both versions of that Red Cloud share the same suspension and we will take a look at that now.
The Kelty Cloud Lock suspension is an adjustable suspension. The support, the structure here is provided by dual light beam aluminum stays. You can see them tucked in behind a harness. They meet or come close to meeting behind the lumbar portion of the pack. That really takes all of this weight that you are carrying and helps to drive it to the hips where you can most comfortably carry and support that weight. There is a fully padded harness. You can see the contoured shoulder straps here, also padding along the back of the pack. There is a channel here between those padded sections that allows some air to flow, kind of combats the building up of heat while you are on the move. Again, that really solid or thick padding on the lumbar area where so much of that weight is being centered and then a nice wrapped, padded hip belt down below.
You will see some numerals here on this strapping tucked behind the padding on the 90 liter version of this pack. It is available in a small medium. It is available in a medium large to accommodate varying torso lengths. And there is rangers of adjustability in each of those sizes. On the small medium it will fit torsos ranging from 14 and a half inches to 18 and a half inches. A little bit of overlap in the medium for the medium and large size which begins at 17 and a half inches and will adjust to accommodate up to 21 inches in length.
There is an adjustable sternum strap across the center of that pack so you can cinch that in across your chest. Again, move it up and down so it fits most comfortably for you.
Load lifter straps here on top to really, again, pull that pack in and make sure that weight is distributed properly. Hip belt stabilizers as well behind here, shear cinch that closes in the front, single pull on either side to make sure that you can quickly and easily fine tune the fit on the hip belt.
Both the 90 and the 110 liter versions of the Red Cloud share the same organizational features. It is a really nice set for extending back packing. You have got a lid on the top loading pack. There is a large zippered pocket here, accessed in the back and another zippered pocket on top. Got some freeze dried meals tucked away in there.
The lid does come back to reveal the storm collar. You can see there is a compression strap that comes over the top. If you don’t have the pack fully loaded, you can really cinch things down to make sure that everything stays put. But you do have that extendable storm collar when you need the capacity.
The lid does have height adjustability so it will lift to still cover the top of the pack and protect it. That lid will also come off entirely if you would want to shed some weight. It also doubles as a day pack or a fanny pack.
Pocketing on the Red Cloud, there is a sizable pocket here in the front that I have kept empty so we can look at some of the organizational features. Nice size here, but also a couple of sleeves in there, that, again, allow you to organize the contents. You can get into the main body of the pack here in the front. There is also a small panel inside there. It gives a little separation, again, some organization within the pack. A really nice stand out feature on this pack. It is kind of a new introduction to the Red Cloud for 2013.
Open the straps here, which, by the way, are ideal for running sleeping pads, tent poles, things of that nature externally.
Traditionally on packs of this size you have a little bit of a fight on your hands or you can have a little bit of fight on your hands depending on the size of your sleeping bag to actually get it into the sleep bag compartment. Stitching has always been such that you only have a limited opening or entry way into the pack itself. And Kelty has really tweaked that design so that this folds open nicely. As you can see, the sleeping bag actually falls right out of the pack. Depending on the size may not be that convenient, but it is a lot easier to get a sleeping bag inside this Red Cloud than former incarnations of the pack and many other packs that you will see that play in this same size capacity.
Plenty of other organizational features on the Red Cloud as well. Start here on the hip belt. Got a sizable zippered hip belt pocket and you have got one other either side. Each side of the pack you have got a large mesh pocket. I have got a water bottle here. the other side, turn it this way, you will see that I have taken advantage of the pass throughs that are behind these large side pockets and run trekking poles in behind them. Again, these large zippered pockets allow you to separate and organize all kinds of other gear that you might want to put hands on faster than you would in just getting in the top or even the face of the pack.
Kelty Red Cloud has had for years on end the daisy chain attachment point kind of an iconic touch there on the packs. You do have a single ice axe loop and can certainly again lash the trekking poles there. Compression throughout the pack so you can cinch down that load and make sure that those contents stay in place.
As we touched on, load carrying capability here, large capacity, so much storage, then the great organizational features. You have got Kelty durability and an affordable price point. It is clear to see why the Red Cloud has been such a best selling pack for so long.
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