Kelty Coyote 80
Outdated design and materials. Materials change, so…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $125
Outdated design and materials.
- Lots of pockets
- Many features
- Very supportive for heavy loads
- Too heavy (5.5 lbs)
- Too tall
- Too wide
- Construction is not as "bomber" as I expect given the weight
Materials change, so manufacturers need to change with it:
When I was a kid (some time ago), the design and concepts of usage regarding backpacks had changed. Instead of using canvas backpacks (most with no frame), backpack designers were moving toward the external aluminum frame providing improved support and shifting the weight of the load to the hips rather than all on the shoulders / back. Heavy canvas was replaced by synthetic materials. The result: gear was more water repellant while having a support system allowing the hiker to move with less fatigue. Or, do more with better results. Great!
In the following decades, load lifting, improved materials, sternum straps, internal frames and improved belt design have made packs even better (though not lighter). The Kelty design team and subsequent product lineup seems to be stuck in this last sentence, and the Coyote 80 is not only no exception, but perhaps a key example of how innovation has stopped with some manufacturers.
When I look at what Kelty is offering, I see a company that is fixated on retail-friendly products that sell based on brand recognition rather than performance. I don't remember Kelty having these kinds of roots. I remember a company that was a conceptual trail-blazer and that provided the right quality with best-of-class performance. That's why our family bought two of these Coyote 80 packs about a year ago. I trusted Kelty.
What is the Kelty Coyote 80 like, and what will it do for you?
First of all, these packs weigh roughly 5.5 lbs. That's just the pack: heavy. Now, the support systems are great and the adjustments are near endless. If you know how to use them all, that's a huge plus for this pack (might be useless for most kids). If I wanted to pack in 80 lbs of gear for a month-long stay somewhere, this pack would be a decent choice. But I don't want to pack 80 lbs anywhere, or for any reason. 80 lbs on my back sounds awful.
What I do want is a pack that allows me to bring me and my gear to remote destinations and allow endless adventure. This pack will do that, though slowly. What I mean is, because it's heavy and poorly balanced, I have to hike slowly with it. If I use a smaller pack that fits closer to my body (think of combining center of gravity with the need for athletic body mechanics), then I can move much faster. If I move faster, I get further. If I go further, more adventure awaits.
Also, if I use this pack then my body mechanics are all wrong for any athletic movement. When I need to bend forward, the relatively high Center of Gravity (CoG) essentially throws itself over my head. If I move side-to-side then the wide CoG throws my back around. End result: I have to slow down because of the pack, and no adjustments to compression straps will change that need.
The problem is not just Kelty. I'm giving Kelty a pretty hard time here. They are really not the problem — I just happened to buy two of their packs, so they're getting the blunt-end on this. It seems that most of the established manufacturers are all still making their packs the same way as Kelty. And if you want an awkward and heavy pack, then Kelty is, in my opinion, better than most. However, if you want more from your limited time than a slow and torturous slog through the wilderness, then I'd recommend looking past typical retail and established manufacturers.
The Ultralight concept: If your pack weighs less, then your body has more energy to use on the adventure.
That's easy to understand. Traditionally a low-weight pack would be 35-40 lbs. If you overdid it, it might be 50 lbs. At these weights, a pack trip gets to be a slog and 10 miles a day is roughly the limit for most hikers. I've found that at 20 to 25 lbs (fully loaded with 3 liters of water and food for 4 days), I can go much farther. Or, I can go only 10 miles per day and really enjoy the campsite at the end of the day (rather than being exhausted). Whether you enjoy the campsite or the hike more, a lower pack weight means you get to enjoy more of your experience. Isn't that why we hikers / campers go to the outdoors?
The cutting edge; or, what might you consider instead?
From my research and experiences, here is what I expect from my gear as it relates to weight. Keep in mind, I also expect that my gear needs to hold up to the outdoors, even for mountaineering applications. So I'm not trading quality for reduced weight. That said, please note that most "cutting edge" gear does require special care, so my recommendations are for adults and not kids.
I think it also goes without saying that better performance = more money; my recommendations here are not the cheap way of doing things. All of that said, the best place to start cutting weight is with the "big 3" and your cooking gear. The big three are your pack, sleeping bag and shelter.
- Pack: 1 pound. This is difficult to achieve, though zPacks does it. 2 lbs is becoming common, and has even made it's way into REI retail (see Granite Gear). As it relates to money, the pack is an area where you can spend less to get weight savings. That is, some lightweight gear is expensive and some is not as expensive (though none is "cheap" from what I've seen).
- Sleeping bag: 1 pound. Feathered Friends, Western Mountaineering and zPacks make exceptional products in this weight category. Here you'll have to spend to get performance. In general, I would not recommend going cheap on your sleep system. It is, after all, your survival "fall back" if the weather turns on you.
- Shelter: 1 pound. I use a 2+ man tent from TarpTent that's about 1.5 lbs per person (for 2). My one-man shelter is 1 pound 2 ounces (18 ounces). This is a private, full tent enclosure (no open ends) including a bug-net and "bathtub" bottom. As a bonus, the tent doubles as a rain poncho so I don't have to carry heavy rain gear. My shelter is somewhat custom (under $200). Rather than spell out the details, here are some off-the-shelf solutions: Six Moon Designs Skyscape X (17.2 ounces), ZPacks Hexamid Solo (15.9 ounces). These are very expensive, so either pay for these or work on your own solution like I did. Keep in mind, I purchased parts of my system from different manufacturers and use them together. I did not sew mine.
- Cook system: 1 lb at the most including fuel. I really don't buy into 98% of retail on this one. If you go to a store, they pretty much will sell you a closed-system gas solution (e.g. isobutane). These solutions are heavy and bulky because it usually takes more than one fuel container for intelligent planning. Sure, you can pack in one container, but how much fuel is in it? If it is new and full, you have a pretty good idea. If it has been used at all, you have no idea how much cook time you have left. So to be sure, you bring a second fuel canister. Ergo the problem. Also, when you empty out a container, you have to pack it out so you don't get weight or space savings as your adventure moves forward. Furthermore, these systems are not a great solution with either low temperatures or higher altitudes. At low temps, alcohol and white gas are pretty much the only usable options. At higher altitudes, white gas is about it. I own a white gas system for high altitude, and I rarely use it. My typical cook system is an alcohol stove that I made from a Pepsi can. This system only weighs 6.2 ounces including the stove, utensil, cook-pot (I cook and eat from this), windscreen, and pot scrubber. For a four day trip, my fuel weighs 9 ounces (reduces each day). So, my total cooking / eating system weighs under a pound including fuel for a 4 day trip. For a one night overnighter I take 4 ounces of fuel, so the entire cooking / eating system is 10.2 ounces and very compact.
I hope this helps get your wheels turning. Happy hiking!
Outstanding workhorse pack for the price, will not…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $139
Outstanding workhorse pack for the price, will not let you down.
- External pocket space
- Tie down points/webbing
- Compression straps tighten the bag for smaller loads
- front loading panel offers good access to the pack interior
- good range of adjustment to torso size
- High base weight
- Ergonomics of back padding could be better
I have been using this pack heavily for the better part of 4 years now and I have nothing but good things to say about it. The pack has not shown any substantial wear signs whatsoever, despite being taken out on the trail quite a few doxen times.
This pack offers an excellent balnce of affordability and quality for backpackers looking to get into the sport, looking to replace a worn out pack, or simply looking to avoid breaking the bank. Its not absolutly top notch, it wont compete with the ergonomics, lightness, or fit of a $300 beauty, but its shortcomings will be hard to detect on any but the longest trips with the heaviest loads.
Firstly, lets talk durability. all ripstop nylon, thick webbing, strong buckles and straps. the seams are well stitched and i havent had issues with fraying or tears anywhere in the pack. the hip belt especially is very solid, and i have no problem at all letting much of the weight in the pack ride at the waist.
The external pockets offer nice space options. a large pocket in front of the front pannel, 2 side pockets, and two roomy pockets in the upper "hood" or "brain" of the pack, offer plenty of space for lights, maps, water purification, snacks, and all other trail accessories. also note small mesh pockets on hip belt.
The front of the pack has a vertical strip of webbing which can be used comfortably to attach objects to ride on the external, as can the two rows of webbing on the bottom of the pack (ideal for a tent, pad, or sleeping bag). one of my favorite features is the velcro opening inside of the side pocket panels, which allows you to carry longer objects such as an axe, a foldoing camp stool, hiking poles, or a collapsable fishing rod securley allong the side outside of the pack.
The pack has a hydration pouch with ambidextrous hose openings and a clip to support your bladder, located on the inside along the back panel.
4 compression straps let this bag function as an expedition pack down to an overnight pack, but i would highly recommend a 35-45 liter assault pack in your arsenal as well for shorter trips, as the coyote is a fairly heavy and bulky pack.
Great hip belt padding and support, chest strap keeps load close to back ridding comfortably. the back padding could fit a little better, on long distance multiday treks I occasionally notice pressure points (ie lower lumbar area), but to an extent fit like that is a personal issue, as everyone is shaped differently.
I find this pack to be outstanding, even as a dedicated backpacker, having taken it on many trecks, and it is highly recomended to anyone who is willing to sacrifice a bit of base weight for a durable and affordable workhorse pack.
It's like being hugged by a green friend. Very much…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $99
It's like being hugged by a green friend. Very much adjustable to fit YOU. Top and front loading for easy filling and access. Sweet side pockets with bottom seams that velcro to the pack to allow for easy stowing of poles, fireworks, yard beer glasses or anything. Feature rich for the price!
- Adjustable torso length
- Adjustable frame
- Easy access to the main compartment
- Opening for hydration resevoir
- Simple, easy adjustmnents
- Great weight distribution
- Firmly cushioned waist belt
- Two waist belt pockets
- No easy access for a water bottle
- Daypack does not have simple quick release buckle
- No rain cover
I don't know much about backpacks. I tried a couple on in REI which was about the full extent of my research. Well, I talked to friends but really, packs are pretty personal and everyone seems to want something specific to their needs. So, I ventured out and looked for something inexpensive. I ordered and returned two others that cost about two times the Kelty.
I found the Kelty pack pretty comfortable out of the box with that new pack smell. I took the pack out for a couple hikes. Empty at first then adding around 25 lbs. Not knowing how to adjust the pack, I basically read the small booklet that came with the pack. They recommended adjusting with 35 lbs. Are you kidding me? 35 lbs? Sure, like never. Never came about a week later as I kept adding weight until I was at 35 lbs.
I did all my later adjustments at 35 lbs. I bent the frame, adjusted the torso and figured out the top weight aligning straps in a few minutes. I still don't know how to best adjust the shoulder straps so I just do whatever feels best. I am up to 50 lbs and the weight sits on my hips pretty well. I like the stiff waist strap as I am a bit rounder in the middle and the pack tends to slide down. Where it rests, I tighten it up and the soft but firm straps hold it there off my shoulders.
I am following the booklet for loading it. Lighter stuff at the bottom, heavier in the middle. I have my bag, tent, down shell, rain cover, inflatable sleeping pad and pillow. In the middle I have a full bear can, and 8 lbs water. On top another 10 lbs of dumbbells. At 50 lbs, it seems to just conform to me and while 50 lbs is a lot to me, A couple 5 mile hikes were fine.
I am planning 9 days in the Eastern Sierras. I have the pack loaded with just about everything I am taking and still have quite a bit of room. The capacity is great. I could easily fit a couple six packs in there and I have not loosened the expansion straps. I don't know what others bring but I can't imagine it not fitting in here.
I really like the quick access to my Payday bars via the top opening looking right at the top of my bear can. The front zippers make it easy to access everything like my Aerolite chair. There are actually two zippers for front access. There are side pockets as well as mesh pockets. I just wish I could easily slide a water bottle in a pocket. There is a convenient internal pocket for my hydration pack with slots at both shoulders for the sippy tube to slide through.
So far, I can't find a real problem with the pack. It seems well made and the seams are tight and look solid. No signs the material will tear away or easily rip. Well, it could use a jet pack attachment for the a quick descent from Mt Whitney.
Summary. Great, inexpensive pack that will make you look younger and better.
This pack is one I would buy again in a heart beat.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $89
This pack is one I would buy again in a heart beat. For the low price, you can't find a better quality pack. The versatility and comfort definitely put this pack in the ranks with some of the more spendy pack names out there.
- Two entrees into the main compartment
- Flow thru side pockets
- Pack lid pocket converts into day pack
- Hip belt pockets
- Easy adjustments
- Weight distribution
- I wish the convertible lid had quick release buckles.
I bought this pack new in January and the handful of times I've used it, I have been extremely impressed with it. There are tons of features on the pack that stick out from a lot of other packs.
My favorite feature is the flow thru pockets on either side of the pack. These give you the ability to easily pack fishing poles, a rifle, easy stowage for trekking poles and a just about anything else you can think to put in there.
Another great feature is the packs lid that converts into a day pack. Once you get your camp set up you can remove the lid and use it for small hikes around your camp. The only downside to the lid is that it does not have quick release buckles but rather threaded connections.
While wearing the pack the weight is evenly distributed and rests well on your hips. The padding makes it extremely comfortable to wear and the cloud lock suspension system makes it easy to adjust to to any torso size.
The pack also has two entree points. One at the top and one in the front which makes it easier to grab items stuffed deeper into your pack. On the hip belt, one of the main features I was looking for was the pockets on both sides. These are great for quick grab items like a snack or camera.
Overall I think that the Coyote is an awesome edition to any backpackers gear and it is definitely one that I will recommend to others.
This is a great pack with lots of features. I would…
Source: tried it in the store
This is a great pack with lots of features. I would rate it higher if only it had a rod holder and built-in rain cover.
- Good quality
- Rigid construction
- Great price
- Could not find any packs this size geared to hunter/fisherman
Prior to this pack I lived in BWCA area and you use canvas and leather Duluth packs on fishing trips but i found them to be to heavy when i moved to southern Minnesota and began hiking trout streams. First i bought an external frame pack that wasn't quite big enough then i got this and it is slick i carry a tent, waiters, sleeping bag, food, rods, tackle, cook ware and all my other misc. trail gear with no shoulder and back strain.
The waist straps are more rigid than a lot of packs i tried. i think that is a plus for a guys body shape that lacks hips. it also has adjustable length on the back that is very easy to use. plenty of pouches and access points.
A lot of quality and more features than the price…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 80 dollars, in clearence :)
A lot of quality and more features than the price could tell.
- Pockets everywhere, daisy chain and front load capable
- Comfortable and adjustable
- They could impove the colors
- The front load capacity is very nice, but the should extend the zippers to make it wider
Kelty is all about quality and small prices.
The Coyote is my very first pack and it has not let me down: has a lot of room for gear, huge side pockets with a very important feature: "float through" to let you put the trekking poles or maybe a rifle, or a knife.
It has two top pocket with the ability of teking the upper part off, kind of like a big fanny pack. It has all the adjustability to conform to your torso and has one of the most important features: front loading.
This pack is very tough, versatile and comfortable and has very little things to improve.
P.S. Buy a huge rain cover for the pack.
This thing is baller. Straight up delivers durability…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: MYOB i got a good deal
This thing is baller. Straight up delivers durability and comfort, promotes good posture very ergonomic fit fully adjustable and accomadates a fair bit of gear modestly.
- Almost too big
- No, I guess I'm not picky enough to have any real drawbacks with this equipment
Fit: very nice
Comfort: hip belts and shoulder belts, sternum straps fully comfortable and adjustable as well as venting terrifically.
Capacity: very larggge
Organization and accessibility: solid.
Evenly distributes weight and adjusts well to different loads with all kinds adjustments everywhere.
I loaded this bad boy up with 55 pounds of food and…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150
I loaded this bad boy up with 55 pounds of food and gear for a week long trip in Utah's Uinta Mountain range. Based on the cost, I was a little worried about how well it would stand up to that kind of load and even more concerned after losing the trail and bouldering and bushwhacking 5 miles on the first day of our trip. That evening in camp, I carefully checked all the seams thinking I'd definitely have to do some repairs. The pack still looked like it came straight out of the box and I feel like I got the deal of a lifetime!
While not the lightest pack on the market, you can count on this workhorse to stand up to heavy loads and terrain that would shred most other packs. With an adjustable suspension, wicking mesh back panel, and dual density foam hip belt, you'll be able to comfortably carry up to 50 pounds without splitting seams or feeling like you fell off a mountain at the end of the day.
Finally, for under $200 you're getting a terrific value without spending what the big name guys want.