User Review: Kelty 50th Anniversary Pack (size large)
Design: Top-loading external
Number of Pockets: 6
Max. Load Carried: 45 lbs.
Height of Owner: 6'
Price Paid: $230
This is my first external frame pack, and I was hesitant at first. I thought external frame packs were primative, bulky, and heavy. This pack however, is probably the lightest pack I've carried (6 lbs. 12 oz. with all of the features on the pack; 4 lbs. 12 oz. stripped down.) More importantly, this pack has helped me to evolve--I'm actually able to walk upright while wearing this pack! I was wrong about external frame packs.
I bought it through REI last week and carried it on a three-day 24-mile hike. Carried about 45 lbs. up and down hills with some bushwacking involved (due to poorly maintained trails). The pack performed great! Very comfortable. No sore spots on my shoulders and hips as with other packs. The hipbelt hugged my bony hips better than any other packs I've owned or tried.
Nice features too: removable side pockets; mesh pocket on the front(which also doubles as a daypack) for storing wet items; water bottle mesh pocket on the side (It really can be used for water bottles!); and the material on the suspension sytem that helps with ventilation. With the super strong green Spectra gridstop material for the body of the pack, this pack is not bad to look at either.
This pack is the most comfortable big pack I've worn so far. I tried to buy a pack other than another Kelty (I own a Redwing and Slickrock 6000) because I thought a more expensive pack would be more durable and comfortable. But I keep coming back to Kelty because their packs fit me. And to tell the truth, not one of my Kelty packs has had any durablility problems so far.
If your are looking for a big pack to carry big loads, don't overlook this one. You could spend much more on a pack, and get much less.
Other packs I've tried: McHale Super Critical Mass Alpine Bayonet II (well constructed pack, but did not work for me); Dana Design Glacier (not comfortable and too small; Gregory Denali Pro (well constructed, but did not fit my back); and Gregory Windriver 2002 model(nice pack, but a buckle broke the first time I used it).