User Review: Kelty 50th Anniversary Pack
Design: Top Loading/Side Loading sleeping bag feature
Size: 6500 Cu. In.
Number of Pockets: 6 + interior hydration pocket
Max. Load Carried: 60 Lbs.
Height of Owner: 5' 7"
Price Paid: $230
I just purchased the brand new (as of August, 2002) Kelty 50th Anniversary pack. I had to wait four months for the pack because demand is so high.
I have owned an Alpenlite (1975 Ext. Fr.), a Kelty Royal Arch (1985 Int. Fr.), a Gregory Snowcreek (1985 Int. Fr.), a Gregory Evolution (1996 Ext. Fr.), a Dana Shortbed (1999 Ext. Fr.) a Gregory Forester (2000 Int. Fr.) and an Osprey Aether 75 (2001 Int. Fr.). Most of these last packs were models that I purchased after my 1985 Gregory Snowcreek had been technologically surpassed. I was NOT immpressed with the Royal Arch (suspension was not comfortable), the Evolution(frame broke on first trip), or the Forester (did not find the pack to be comfortable). The Dana was a great pack, but way too heavy. I purchased the Osprey last year and have been very pleased with it's performance as a overnight to 4 day pack. However, I needed a 1 to 2 week pack, and for heavy loads I much prefer external frames. Thus, the purchase of the 50th Anniversary.
I consider this new pack to be the acme of external packframe design! The fabrics used are excellent~far superior to typical Kelty products. The construction is excellent as well. The pack features a beautiful packbag design with a very nice interior hydration pocket, beautifully made side pockets, numerous other pockets, a fantastic suspension etc. The frame, suspension and the packbag are a work of art! This pack carries a 60 Lb. load a bit more comfortably than the Dana Shortbed that I owned, and weighs about 3 Pounds LESS!.
The pack won a Backpacker Magazine's "Editor's Choice" award this year. They were very impressed with the pack but wished that the load lifter straps were placed a little higher on the pack to provide better lift. I am 5'7" and have a 19.5" torso length. I purchased the large size and find that with a little adjustment, the pack fits great and the load lifters are in the right spot for me.
I took the pack on a long weekend trip (WAY TOO LARGE CAPACITY FOR THIS LENGTH OF TRIP) and really loaded it up. It carried beautifully!