Question to, and Response From, Kelty Re: 50th Ann. Pack

4:43 p.m. on February 6, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

My Email to Kelty:

"Question:
I, and the REI staff where I inspected the pack this past weekend, are confused regarding the Kelty 50th Anniversity pack. The features list a "sleeping bag compartment" but there doesn't seem to be a separate bag
compartment. We found a separate access on the side of the lower portion of the pack and we first thought that that was the area until we realized that that area was still part of the main compartment. If you use that area as a stuff sack, the bag would just squish into the main compartment on top of it and get no compression. If you used a separate stuff sack for your bag, then all of the items in the main compartment would slide down every time you removed the bag. Then you would have to repack everything just to put the bag back in.

What gives here? Is there supposed to be a panel of fabric or something between the two compartments? Additionally, will the 50th model be continued in some form or is this a one shot deal that will be discontinuened shortly?"

Response From Kelty:

"Hi Paul,
Sorry about the confusion on the terminology: "sleeping bag compartment". What that actually means is sleeping bag access. This is nice since you don't have to reach through all the gear from the top load area just to get out your bag at night. What you are talking about is usually called "divided sleeping bag compartment" - which denotes that there is actually a separated area, or fabric that keeps the two parts of the main bag apart. One thing I have found with the 50th Anniversary, is the only time I take out my sleeping bag is at camp, at night - so I usually set the pack down horizontally, or even a little upside down. Then the gear doesn't have a chance to slide down, and since I'm not hiking with the pack until morning, it usually works out well.
As far as the 50th Anniversary goes, we are keeping it! It's a great pack, and we can't seem to keep them in stock. As long as folks keep asking for them and buying them, we'll keep them in our line."

Paul here: I don't know about you guys but when I turn my pack upside down in camp everything dumps out. Also, if there isn't enough room in my tent for my gear, the pack is outside leaning against somthing with a pack cover, not horizontal.

9:31 a.m. on February 7, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

a.k.a. axel johnson

Quote:

My Email to Kelty:

"Question:
I, and the REI staff where I inspected the pack this past weekend, are confused regarding the Kelty 50th Anniversity pack. The features list a "sleeping bag compartment" but there doesn't seem to be a separate bag
compartment. We found a separate access on the side of the lower portion of the pack and we first thought that that was the area until we realized that that area was still part of the main compartment. If you use that area as a stuff sack, the bag would just squish into the main compartment on top of it and get no compression. If you used a separate stuff sack for your bag, then all of the items in the main compartment would slide down every time you removed the bag. Then you would have to repack everything just to put the bag back in.

What gives here? Is there supposed to be a panel of fabric or something between the two compartments? Additionally, will the 50th model be continued in some form or is this a one shot deal that will be discontinuened shortly?"

Response From Kelty:

"Hi Paul,
Sorry about the confusion on the terminology: "sleeping bag compartment". What that actually means is sleeping bag access. This is nice since you don't have to reach through all the gear from the top load area just to get out your bag at night. What you are talking about is usually called "divided sleeping bag compartment" - which denotes that there is actually a separated area, or fabric that keeps the two parts of the main bag apart. One thing I have found with the 50th Anniversary, is the only time I take out my sleeping bag is at camp, at night - so I usually set the pack down horizontally, or even a little upside down. Then the gear doesn't have a chance to slide down, and since I'm not hiking with the pack until morning, it usually works out well.
As far as the 50th Anniversary goes, we are keeping it! It's a great pack, and we can't seem to keep them in stock. As long as folks keep asking for them and buying them, we'll keep them in our line."

Paul here: I don't know about you guys but when I turn my pack upside down in camp everything dumps out. Also, if there isn't enough room in my tent for my gear, the pack is outside leaning against somthing with a pack cover, not horizontal.

After my first view of the pack, I asked myself the very same question. I think Kelty should have put a seperation panel between the two compartments. I will probably stuff sack my bag, then place it in the compartment. Hopefully otehrs will respond as to how they deal with this issue.

10:41 a.m. on February 7, 2003 (EST)
(Guest)

Further Communications

My follow-up to Kelty:

"Hi Lance,

Thanks for the response, but when I turn my pack upside down in camp everything dumps out. Also, if there isn't enough room in my tent for my gear, the pack is outside leaning against something with a pack cover, not horizontal. Would Kelty customize a pack by inserting a panel strong enough to reasonably compress a sleeping bag? If so, what would it all cost? If not, what alternative Kelty external frame pack would you recommend?

In the interests of full disclosure (and so I'm not accused of doing anything sneaky) I wanted you to know that I had posted your first response to a backpacking chat room because I felt others would also be interested to know that Kelty will continue the line."

Kelty's Response:

"No problem! Yeah, I understand the gear issue - I need to ask our designers what they were thinking - they will probably say that it was to save weight or cost, or something along those lines. For the customization question, I recommend that you contact our warranty/repair department. The toll free number is (866) 349-7225 (They are open Monday - Friday 9 AM - 5 PM MST). They can maybe tell you if they have that capability and how long it would take and how much it would cost - I haven't come across that request before, so I can't give you a good estimate.
The 50th Anniversary is definitely our "top of the line" external pack. As far as capacity, it is also the load warrior. For smaller alternatives, check out the Super Tioga and Tioga. A new feature for 2003 on these two is the "50th Anniversary" frame - the same lightweight super-strong frame that is on the 50th Anniversary pack itself. They are also revamped and redesigned with cool new Shadow Rip fabric, (a real zip out divider!), and a hydration tube port. My next suggestion would be one of the Thru-Hiker series, which include the Continental Divide and Pacific Crest. These are great packs, but less customizable, and a little heavier overall.
I am going to pass along all our conversation and your comments to our staff in hopes of maybe getting a design change in that 50th Anniversary pack - maybe for next year...2004 version. Hope you find something that works right for you. -Lance"

11:19 a.m. on February 8, 2003 (EST)
37 reviewer rep
747 forum posts
Separated pack

My experience with separated packs - ones with "diaphrams" across the middle, is that they are optimum only for one size sleeping bag and sort of restrict your usage of the full pack. Like if you dumped yer pack in camp and took it with you to carry back fire wood, or 40 pound salmon, you would want the full length of the pack. So what then, a zipper - geez this up to half a pound now.
I have (and love) the original Kelty white cloud at 51 ounces - just a big spectra sack with enough support for around 40 pounds. Its a tad over 5,000" I guess.
Jim S

December 19, 2014
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