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Age of a kelty pack?

6:28 p.m. on May 18, 2012 (EDT)
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I didn't find what I needed doing a search so I figured if I posted a few pics someone could tell me the age of this pack. I just got it today and I know it's not real old because of the plastic pushbutton adjusters. Since it was made in Sun Valley I figure it must be a few years old. I can't go wrong since I had it was given to me new in the box w/booklet and assembly was never completed.


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12:45 p.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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After doing a quick google, there is a Kelty pack same color different model, but the original patches match placing the dating from the 60's or 70's. The box looks a little rough, but was the pack sealed pretty well from dust and such? It seems to be either a reproduction of an original pack, or is one of those in mint condition that collectors of such things tend to look for.

3:52 p.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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kelty moved manufacturing from glendale, california to sun valley in 1968.  at the time, the kelty logo had the mountains in the background, the kelty name with an arrow behind the letters, and the words 'glendale' or 'sun valley' below.  Kelty switched to the logo on your backpack in the 1973-75 time frame (got a trademark on that logo in 1975).  the buckle on your backpack isn't completely visible but looks like the cam-lock they started using in the early 1970s.  if it was made in sun valley, that would probably be stamped on the metal buckle.  in any event, your backpack can't be older than 1973 or so. 

I think Kelty still had leather lash points on their backpacks through the early 1980s and was still using that logo.  By 1992, their 40th anniversary, kelty had abandoned the logo on your backpack in favor a logo much closer to today's version and had definitely stopped using leather lash points.  (i looked at an image of their 40th anniversary external frame pack online to confirm).  depending on whether your backpack has leather lash points or synthetic, that might tell you whether it's late 70s/early 80s or late 80s/early 90s.

lately, kelty has had a 'vintage' line with logos meant to look like the old style and 'vintage' materials, leather lash points, cordura, etc., but i think they closed up the sun valley factory quite a while ago. 

6:35 p.m. on May 25, 2012 (EDT)
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That pack looks very similar to my Kelty D4 which I bought in 1977.  Here's a shot of it on the trail last summer.  Note it really doesn't have a pocket for a water bladder, I just pretend it does, hence the tube coming out the top :).


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And here's one of the other side, from a couple years ago.  Note I replaced the super uncomfortable stock hip belt with a less-uncomfortable "wrap-around" (well, a precursor to modern wrap-around) style.  Also I added the optional top bar.


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5:45 p.m. on May 26, 2012 (EDT)
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nice score

7:09 p.m. on May 26, 2012 (EDT)
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It looks to me as if it has an unpadded hip belt. So I'd say early 70's.   Kelty was an early user of the slide locks, so the hipbelt is the more telling to me.

7:14 p.m. on May 26, 2012 (EDT)
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My D4 (1977) came with an unpadded hip belt too. The padded belt was an upgrade.

4:15 p.m. on May 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks for the replies guys. I'm sure this is an original pack and not a reproduction. On the box it is marked MM A4 Red 64, and has the all stainless quick release buckle with no plastic. The belt on mine is a 2 piece belt with just a small piece of padding sewn to each belt half. One half of the buckle is also stamped KELTY PACK, INC. SUN VALLEY CA.

I exchanged some PM's with member Lazya4 and he sent me some links with Kelty information. I still don't know for sure but it sounds to me that the pack is from the mid 70's.

7:19 a.m. on May 29, 2012 (EDT)
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and in unbelievable condition.  awesome.  swap in a modern hip belt and you're comfortable up to more weight than you would ever want to carry anyway.  

April 16, 2014
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