At Backcountry Edge we shoot a lot of video and we need some way to haul a lot of the video equipment we use out into the woods and around with us and one of the packs we used today is the Kelty Redwing. This is a pack that Kelty has had in their line for a while. It’s a very versatile, multi-use day pack and I think this is one of the reasons it has lasted so long in their; because so many people like it and you can use it for so many different things. The model that we used to day is the Redwing 44. Kelty also makes the Redwing in a 50, which is a size that’s a little bit larger, and they do a women’s specific version as well. So, this is a multi-use day pack that could even be considered an ultralight, overnight pack. You can see the back panel does have a single, aluminum, light-beam stay in it so you’ve got support built into that back panel and it will support a load. You also have padded mesh across the bottom of the hip belt and through the back here so it does wick if the weather is warmer but also offers cushioning and has ventilation to keep your back cool. It does have an actual hip belt on it, unlike a lot of daypacks that just have strap webbing. It’s designed to fit around the hips and be comfortable. You do have full adjustability as you would find on any full size backpack so go ahead and load this up with weight because the hip belt and harness system is designed to work very much like Kelty’s larger backpacking models. One of the most versatile features of the Redwing pack series are how many pockets they have, places for storage and how that space is divided up. One of the reasons we like it is because it has this big U-shaped that zips all the way down and folds back, almost like a piece of luggage. You then have full access to this inside of the pack. As you can see here we’ve got the Pelican case that holds the video camera itself as well as batteries and microphones, that sort of thing. This is kind of a weighty piece and it’s bulky, it’s fit in their easily and carries well and comfortably. Inside the pack you can see there is a hydration sleeve. So if you’re using this pack for hiking and you want to carry a hydration bladder you can carry it that way. They also give you a couple of webbing straps and clips for keys or attaching your hydration bladder to for more support inside the pack. You’ve got a fairly roomy pocket, as you saw earlier, that’s quite large and on the outside of the pack you’ve got extra storage space. On each side there is a zippered pocket like a pouch. This is really nice for storing items you want to get to quickly like first aid kits, food, snacks, that sort of thing. You also have your traditional, mesh water bottle pocket n the side, which I like; you can still fit a full size Nalgene bottle in there which is a great way to carry water. On the front side of the pack Kelty gives you an external pocket that zips all the way down so you have lots of access here and the pockets rather deep. You get a small zippered pouch on the inside here as well as numerous pockets here for pens, pencils, phones, i-pads, all kinds of stuff. They even give you one that is fleece lined so if you wanted to put an electronic device or maybe your sunglasses or something you didn’t want to get scratched up, it has a velcro closure, and would be a great place to store an item like that. On the outside of that pocket you have a smaller, napoleon style pocket that you can get to quickly and store smaller items there. For carrying this bag works well. You’ve got a top strap here that allows you to haul it or pick it up easily. I like this haul handle on the top here because it lets you grab this pack at any angle and get a good grip on it and pick it up even if it has a lot of weight in it. Thinking in terms of travelling with a bag like this on an airline, this pack fits into maximum legal carry on size and you can use this haul loop to get it in an overhead bin on an airline really easily. As far as backpacking, day hiking or winter hiking where you might be carrying a lot more equipment and gear with you than you would on a day hike in warm weather, you could definitely load this thing up. You’ve got compression straps here and you’ve also got a compression strap at the top on both sides so you’ll be able to tighten your load down in this pack and let that light-beam stay and hip belt do their job and carry that weight comfortably on your back. A final feature, that I think it really cool, if nothing else because it’s pretty unique to some of Kelty’s packs like the Redwings, is the storage space behind this side pocket. There is a velcro connection at the bottom here that you can keep sealed up and have a separate storage pocket or you can open it up and it gives you the option to run tent poles, trekking poles and, honestly we use it for the camera tripod, you can tuck things into the mesh bottle pocket if you want or leave it out and the nice thing it that they do set that bottom compression strap so that if the pack it full you cinch this in you can really lock down whatever sort of item you had stowed behind that pocket.
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