Can you identify this

3:09 p.m. on October 22, 2010 (EDT)
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Kelty backpack. I just picked it up for $5. And would like to know more about it.

100_3574.jpgIts waist and shoulder straps were in bad shape. It had metal buckles. Zippers are metal with red trim. Also has one large pocket under top flap.

6:47 p.m. on October 22, 2010 (EDT)
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Kelty Climber late model or early version of the Tioga (when Dick Kelty still owned the company). Up to the early 1970s, all Kelty bags were green. But they made some with other color bags later. I think the attachment patches are an add-on by the previous owner. I can't see the waist belt very well, but that, too, looks like an owner-supplied accessory. The side and back pockets were offered by Kelty as accessories. The standard pockets were the upper pair, with the lower ones an option, as was the back pocket. The original frame was the Backpacker, with the Climber a later addition to the line, starting in the late 1950s (the difference is the upper closed part of the frame you can see in the photo, originally an optional add-on that slid in place, then later a welded part of the frame). And yes, metal spring-loaded, toothed buckles were used for a long time. The belt was a nylon-canvas strap for a long time, with some slide-on rubber foam pads sold as an accessory starting in the 1960s, then a fully padded belt was standard starting in the 1970s to match the shoulder straps, which were always foam-filled (the foam tended to disintegrate after a lot of heavy, sweaty use). 

Keep in mind, though, that OGBO is dredging up this info from the long ago, rapidly evaporating depths of his obsolete memory banks. So the dates are +/- 10 years (or more). I do still have 3 early Keltys (my own, Barb's, and Barb's father's - we sold Barb's mother's small size to a young scout in need of a small pack a couple years ago), plus Young Son's Tioga and my Sherpa (huge, heavy load-hauler from 1992 or 1993).

7:57 p.m. on October 22, 2010 (EDT)
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I replaced the belt and shoulder straps. You made me go take a picture of the belt and shoulder straps. The only spring loaded toothed buckle is plastic.

100_3576.jpgAs you can see the shoulder straps conect to the belt viva a horseshoe with a pin through it. I dont know much about these packs. And I really enjoy learning as much as I can. Thanks so much, at least I can now say that it is a Tioga made sometime in the 70's. Thats a very good start.

10:24 p.m. on October 23, 2010 (EDT)
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Well I dug on the internet hard on this pack, including a 2007 trailspace forum. It seems that this is a very good backpack. Can't wait to go out there with it!

11:26 p.m. on October 24, 2010 (EDT)
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I think it's a tioga.  Really nice score for $5.

1:14 p.m. on October 25, 2010 (EDT)
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Your pack appears to be circa late 1970s to early-mid 1980s.  The logo patch looks about like the style used during that period.  The picture you provide also looks similar to the Tioga or the mid 1970s Sonora models; later models of the Sonora had a single long left side pocket instead of two smaller pockets.  But your pack appears to have a divided main compartment, whereas both the mid 1970s Tioga and Sonora had an undivided main compartment. Perhaps yours is a later model Tioga?  It is hard to say, because Kelty marketed four packs with very similar features at that time, the main difference being capacity.  All of these packs had three or four sewn on (non-detachable) side pockets; some models had a back pocket, while a few also had a map sleeve sewn into the top cover flap.  The leather lash points on the back of your pack were intended for tying on crampons, and were a standard feature for several packs during the time period.  Yours look like the original lash points.  The only thing that appears odd to me is I don’t remember Kelty using a contrasting color for the cordura fabric on the portion of the pack where the leather lash points are attached.  Perhaps a Kelty history fan can use that to  narrow the year/model identity.  

Ed   

10:07 p.m. on October 25, 2010 (EDT)
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Ed,

Kelty used to offer several different packbags - compartmented (3 top, 1 bottom, or full-width top plus bottom), and single bag (no compartments). There was also an option of a full frame, single compartment. The side and back pockets were also various options - the side pockets were standard 2 smaller pockets, optional add another pair of side pockets as in the photo, optional a pair of tall pockets. The back pocket in the photo was an option, as was the map pocket in the top flap. The availability of the various options changed over time, sometimes going away, sometimes returning by customer demand.

My Backpacker (1961?) and Barb's Backpacker (1965) had the main bag with 3 top compartments and one bottom, plus 2 small side pockets (just right for a water bottle or Sigg fuel bottle or Svea 123 or Primus 71L). Barb's parents were both single compartment with 2 small side pockets. Young Son's Tioga is grey (1994), with a different shape to the frame bottom.

Is the material onto which the lash patches is sewn cordura or is it a leather piece sewn onto the cordura? I am also now wondering about the shoulder and waist strap setup - I'm not sure that is a Kelty-supplied setup.

When Dick Kelty sold the company, the new owners stopped the customizing and said "here are your choices, take it or leave it." At the Summer OR Show, Barb talked to the Kelty folks, who are collecting historical Kelty gear. So you might want to contact the current owners to see what they say.

7:49 a.m. on October 26, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for the replies.

Bill, I'm assuming the piece of cordura that you speak of is the green fabric that the leather lash patches are sewn onto. It feels like canvas to me. As for the waist strap, the buckle does say Kelty. After looking at many of these older Kelty's on Ebay, I think Bill is right about the custom pockets. No 2 packpacks seem to be the same.

As for the two tones of blue. This pack was used alot. Lots of stains, wear and tear on the side pockets. So the results of the toneing could be from UV damage. The Size if the pack is 4000+ cu depending on the amount of extra pockets.

Seeing that these packs were basicly custom made, I see no reason to contact Kelty. You guys have been a big help. And I dont think I would get much more information. (Tioga, mid 70s to early 80s, 4000+ cu, custom pockets....)

I think I got a very nice pack for my $5. :) And I'm looking forward to using it when I group hike.

1:24 p.m. on October 26, 2010 (EDT)
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Bill:

You are correct, Kelty had all sorts of configurations for their bags; I chose to limit my analysis to the few closely matching the bag in the photo, that were made during the late 70s to mid 80s, based on the logo patch affixed to the pack.  I happened to be shopping for a thru hike sized pack at that time, purchasing a Sonora in 1977.

The cloth beneath the lash points probably is cordura, the cordura on my pack has softened from use over the years and could be mistaken for canvas too.  The integrated hip belt/ bottom frame vent pannel was a configuration Kelty made after 1982.  The shoulder pads were available in that configuration in the mid 70s (probably earlier) through the mid 80s when they went to a contoured pad design.  As Bill mentions, these may not be the originals that came with  the pack.  The comments about the side pockets being different intrigue me: I haven’t seen anyone go to such effort, though certainly it is possible.  You may have a older model that had one pockect originally on each side, with the two lower ones added later, but the two pocket variations usually had pockets that look larger than your top pockets.

Ed

3:19 p.m. on October 26, 2010 (EDT)
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For the pack NOT to be a Tioga there would have been a lot of customization done to the bag.  You would start with a D4, add the cordura crampon patch, the plastic cordlocks for the flap, the large rear pocket, frame extension bar and dust covers over the zippers on the side pockets.  All this is why I am guessing it's a Tioga.

Around that time Kelty made two frames, the Mountaineer and the Massif.  The Mountaineer was the older style and had the more traditional Kelty packbags; the D4, A4, BB5 and maybe some others.

The Massif series had generally larger packbags with more features.  The Massif packbags were the Tioga (divided bag, 4 side pockets and large rear pocket), Sonora (undivided bag, top opening and panel opening, and side pockets - one was full length), Expedition (undivided bag and I think the side and rear pockets were like the Tioga) and the Serac (full length bag).

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