The mid-sized member of Kelty’s versatile Catalyst family of packs with innovative PerfectFIT suspension, the Catalyst 65 boasts a long list of features that maximize comfort and convenience for multi-day backpacking trips, including a removable 10L day pack.
The main advantage of the Catalyst 65 over other similar capacity packs is its PerfectFIT suspension system for accurate on-body size adjustment that allows you to customize your fit in seconds. With PerfectFIT, gone are the days of taking measurements and trying on various pack sizes in a gear shop to determine the best fit for your particular body (or ordering a pack online that may or may not fit once you’ve received it). In just three steps, you can easily find your fit in the Catalyst 65: just loosen all the straps before putting the pack on; next, tighten the waist belt and shoulder straps once you’re wearing the pack; lastly, locate the FIT straps near your lower back and pull downward until you achieve optimal comfort. The Catalyst 65 with PerfectFIT will accommodate backpackers with torso lengths between 15.5 and 21 inches.
Also featured in the suspension of the Catalyst 65 are dual hollow aluminum stays and an HDPE framesheet. The waistbelt is HDPE reinforced and offers two layers of padding, as do the shoulder straps. Load lifter straps relieve stress on your shoulders and an adjustable sternum strap positions the shoulder straps across the chest to prevent chafing under the arms and on the shoulders. Side compression straps secure the contents of the Catalyst 65 for optimal balance and load distribution. An integrated spindrift collar and a floating top lid allow you to carry even more gear and further aid in securing the Catalyst 65's contents.
The top-loading Catalyst 65 features a unique side-access sleeping bag compartment that makes it easier to access other gear without having to unfurl your bag, or gives easy access to your bag without having to move other gear around. Another great organizational feature in the Catalyst 65 is the detachable front clothing compartment, which can be completely removed and used as a 10L day pack for fast and light travel on shorter trips. Additional features include stretch mesh belt pockets and water bottle pockets, ice axe/trekking pole loops and a key fob. A lined interior pocket and built-in tube exit make the Catalyst 65 hydration compatible, as well.
Thanks to its PerfectFIT suspension, the Kelty Catalyst 65 is one size fits all; it is available in your choice of several color options.
- Top loading
- Top lid
- Main packbag access zipper
- Stretch mesh belt pockets
- Stretch mesh waterbottle pockets
- Ice axe / trekking pole loops
- Key fob
- Hydration compatible
- Spindrift collar
- Carry handle
- Side access sleeping bag compartment
- Front clothing compartment converts to removable daypack
- PerfectFIT™ adjustable suspension
- Dual hollow aluminum stays
- HDPE framesheet
- HDPE reinforced waistbelt
- Lumbar support
- Two layer padded waistbelt and shoulder straps
- Load lifter straps
- Belt stabilizer straps
Best Use Backpacking, Travel Access Top Loading Warranty Limited Lifetime Volume 3970 cu in Type Internal Frame Backpack Torso Adjustment Yes Sternum Strap Yes: Adjustable Maximum Weight 45 lbs Material 420D Polyester Ball Shadow
450D Polyester Oxford
Item Weight 4 lbs 14 oz Hydration Compatible Yes Frame Material Dual Hollow Aluminum Stays Fits Torso 15.5"-21" Dimensions 32" x 13" x 15" Detachable Daypack Yes
- Great pack!
Likes: I like that is has the detachable daypack on the back of it. This allows the main pack to be used as a smaller pack (and therefore lighter weight if that is important to you). It also gives you a small, light backpack (with regular backpack straps) to take from camp for a small hike if you like. I believe the small pack can also hold your water reservoir. The adjustment system is kind of unique on this pack as well. Very easy to adjust the straps up or down depending on how tall of a torso you have. This does have a zipper down the side of the main compartment which makes it nice to access things that are halfway down in your pack without digging in from the top. I ended up returning this because I was comparing it to the Osprey Aether 60, and I just like that one a lot better. But it also cost a lot more than this Kelty Catalyst. I still give this pack a big thumbs up for it's price range!
Dislikes: I didn't really dislike this pack. It was a great pack. However it didn't seem as tough or high quality as the Osprey Aether 60 that I ended up with. It doesn't hold as much weight (30-50 lbs as opposed to 60 with the Aether). It also didn't have the moldable hip belts, but I'm still giving it 5 stars, because these are not issues with this pack. It's just not in the same league as the Osprey. The price reflects this as well.