My Email to Kelty:
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:
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.