Kelty Red Cloud 6650

8 reviews
5-star:   2
4-star:   4
3-star:   2
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

Reviews

2

A big hauler when going big is the only option I have…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: Top-loading with panels
Size: 6650 ci
Max. Load Carried: 45lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 10"
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $180

Summary

A big hauler when going big is the only option

Pros

  • External pockets allow access
  • Belt pockets for small items
  • Conventional styling and compartments make packing simple for seasoned hikers
  • Durable

Cons

  • Mesh bottle pouches have holes after several years
  • Metak zipper pulls need cut off

21.jpg

I have climbed Mt Adams and used this pack for most of the summer on other multi-day hikes this year and so far I am satisfied. Most of my trips are on trails in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the Central Cascades. I have also removed the top pouch and cinched the compression straps down and used it on short hikes as well with success.

The suspension system is very comfortable even when I carry gear for myself and my kids. I can easily adjust the weight between my hips and shoulders during a hike as I see fit. There is a handle sewn into the back panel which is sturdy enough to be used for hauling the pack around when not being worn. Compared to my old Camptrails Omega external frame (or any external frame) it hugs my back nicely and keeps me balanced in deep, sloppy snow.

Storing an ice axe in the back loop would be easier it there was a dedicated strap for the upturned shaft. I still haven't found the perfect place to hang my crampons and helmet either. The stitching seems to be plenty durable and the belt will adjust to large enough for two of me (and I'm a tad fluffy). The external side pockets come with only single zippers which I am not used to but I think they were trying to save on weight. Once detached, the top portion makes a serviceable fannypack for summit trips if you only need a little gear. The pack is huge and holds more gear than I ever want to carry--so far.

My main gripe is that the water bottle pouches are too shallow and carabiners need to be used to hold them in during glissades. Saying that the little mesh pouches on the hip belt work perfectly for iodine tablets, lip balm, a lighter, folding knife, compass and the like. The sliding sternum strap is neat but it seems to always slide up to the highest position.

My favorite part is the price. It was on clearance from Campmor and it's a lot of pack for the money.

Update 8/2014: I just summitted Mt Rainier with this pack and it's still my go-to pack for kid hikes where I haul a LOT of gear.

1

The Kelty Red Cloud 6650 is a cavernous 109 liter…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $99

Summary

The Kelty Red Cloud 6650 is a cavernous 109 liter pack ready to swallow up anything you want to put into it. Weighing 6lbs, the Red Cloud 6650 is best used for those needing a lot of pack space and not worrying about the weight. Expeditions, base campers and those carrying extra gear are users that come to mind.

Although this Kelty model is officially discontinued, it lives on in the Red Cloud 110.

Pros

  • Price
  • Size
  • Adjustable frame sizing

Cons

  • Weight
  • Zippers

I got this pack on a Campmor 1-day special for only $99. Although I do not use this pack regularly, I have never regretted the purchase. The 6650 is big...HUGE...far bigger than what I need for weekend treks or even week-long outings. Currently, when I use it, it is because I am carrying gear for one of my kids, but I purchased it with dreams of future expeditions, such as Mt. Rainier or trekking across Nepal (both on my “Bucket List”).

Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of using this pack in the outdoors. It's been two years since I last carried it. When I use this pack again, I'll post pictures of it “in action.” In the meantime:

Kelty-Red-Cloud-1-.jpg

The pack is voluminous.

 

Pocket Storage

Kelty-Red-Cloud-3-.jpg
To demonstrate exactly how big this pack is, each side pockets holds, not one, but two Nalgene bottles...


Kelty-Red-Cloud-6-.jpg
...and yet there are two mesh pockets specifically for water bottles. So a chap could carry up to 6 liters of water in the side pockets alone...


Kelty-Red-Cloud-18-.jpg
...plus there is the hydration sleeve.

Kelty-Red-Cloud-14-.jpg
A fifth outer pocket sits on the back of the pack. A convenient handle is present to help lift this monster when it is fully loaded...


Kelty-Red-Cloud-15-.jpg
...and, again, you find ample storage for rain gear and etc. However, that is not all...


Kelty-Red-Cloud-17-.jpg
...This pocket zips back on three sides to present more storage and access into the main compartment. When digging down from the top, this mesh zipper is essentially an extra pocket inside the pack.

 

Main Body


Kelty-Red-Cloud-12-.jpg
Moving on to the main storage, the sleeping bag compartment at the bottom of the pack is bigger than some day packs...


Kelty-Red-Cloud-13-.jpg
...Hook and eye closures at the top of this compartment allow the user to open up the entire inner pack for greater storage.

Float Top Pulls Double Duty


Kelty-Red-Cloud-22-.jpg
Did I use the word “day pack?” Well, the float top actually detaches from the pack and can be used as a fanny pack!


Kelty-Red-Cloud-21-.jpg
You can see the fanny pack straps in this pic.


Kelty-Red-Cloud-20-.jpg
And again, it's... “big,” bigger than any fanny pack I have ever owned. In this picture, the float top contains two Nalgene bottles, rain gear, and a fleece pullover. Kelty states this float top/fanny pack can take you to the summit. Perhaps that is an overstatement, but I guess it depends on the peak.

Frame/Suspension

There is a lot of adjustability in this pack.

Kelty-Red-Cloud-24-.jpg
Using heavy duty velcro, the shoulder straps and pad can be slid up and down the aluminum frame to fit the hiker. This reviewer is 6' 2”, and the pack fits me well. I am uncertain of the full range of fit.

Zippers

These are the absolute worse feature of the pack, and well worth noting.


Kelty-Red-Cloud-9-.jpg

I have never been able to open or close any compartment without having to fight the zipper. It is not that the zippers jam or catch fabric, it is they just do not travel smoothly along the track.

In Conclusion

At the time of this edit, the 6650 is no longer in production. It has been replaced by the Red Cloud 110. Some sources report they are essentially the same pack, only much more expensive. If you are in need of a massive pack, then Kelty's big boys are worth checking.

Alicia TRAILSPACE STAFF

Massive is the word that comes to mind. Thanks for the update, Goose.


28 days ago
1

I love this pack. I am a large guy in two directions…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Design: Internal
Max. Load Carried: 55lbs
Height of Owner: 6'
Price Paid: $169

I love this pack. I am a large guy in two directions and this pack fits me all the way around. I like the way it adjusts to the curves of my back and is able to adjust up and down to keep the lumbar pad in the lumbar area of my back.

It is a big pack. I like big. However, I do carry too much gear because it is big. My sleeping pad is 30 inches wide and I get the whole pad inside this bag.

I also like the fact that it has several small pockets on the sides to hold needed gear and interal pockets for maps and a water bladder.

I am quite satisfied with it. I have noticed that on shaky footing the pack seems to swing from side to side a bit, but I chalk that up to the size and the 55 pounds I had in it.

-John

0

I have owned my pack for over a year and I never leave…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Size: 6650 cubic inches
Number of Pockets: 6
Max. Load Carried: 60 pounds
Height of Owner: 5' 10"
Price Paid: $184

I have owned my pack for over a year and I never leave home without it. I have hiked on trail and not on trail, I have climbed rock faces, I have never had a problem with the pack. It has plenty of room and its hydration compatibility is a major bonus. The weight is well balanced and stays close to your body.

I would recommend this pack to anyone who wants to do multi-day treks on/off trial and might have to do some climbing.

0

Overall this pack can carry the largest load you could…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $172

Overall this pack can carry the largest load you could possibly carry. I carried over 90 lbs of gear and tools to stake a remote property in Alaska.

On the first trip I had a chainsaw strapped to the side of this pack. The pack's internal aluminum frame bars needed constant tweaking and adjustments due to pressure points on my back. The zipper on one of the large side pockets didn't hold together and lost some gear during the hike home.

One of the plastic buckles that compresses the exterior of the pack snapped off while cinching down on the lower sleeping bag compartment. The shoulder straps are way too anemic compared to the cubic inches this pack holds. The shoulder straps were very uncomfortable with a heavy load.

After an entire season with this pack paddling and hiking hundreds of miles of remote Alaska I can say this pack is a decent buy. It is only comfortable with loads under 65 lbs. Because the price is great recommend replacing the plastic buckles with metal ones. I also recommend modifying the shoulder straps.

0

Being a Cub Scout Den Leader with two young sons of…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: top and front loading
Size: 6650
Number of Pockets: 5
Max. Load Carried: 65-70 lbs?
Height of Owner: 6'
Price Paid: $140

Being a Cub Scout Den Leader with two young sons of my own, I needed a massive load-hauler, even for overnights -- call me the "pack mule." The price of this pack was unbeatable--I found it on-line for sale at $140 delivered. It is loaded with features and can carry everything I need for my Den -- food, cooking gear, tent(s), first aid kit, etc., etc., etc. Pretty comfortable even with a giant load.

Extremely adjustable suspension. You will need to adjust the stays for the way you like to carry the pack; the first time I had it jammed up to about 65lbs, I had two preasure points at the waist where the stays were poking me; I adjusted them and had no problems on the next trip.

Pros: massive if you need it; lots of pockets/features; great price; good suspension; Kelty tough.

Cons: It is huge, but don't buy this unless you need a mega-pack and can fill it up. Heavy when empty. Could use an easier way to strap things to it vertically.

0

My first pack I bought. Happy with it but too damn…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars

My first pack I bought. Happy with it but too damn big. I don't need all that extra room.

0

For the money, this pack is an exceptional value.

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars
Design: two large compartments with smaller pockets
Size: 6650 cu. in.
Number of Pockets: 5 with pockets in the pockets
Max. Load Carried: 46 pounds
Height of Owner: 5'9.5"
Price Paid: $172

For the money, this pack is an exceptional value. It has all the bells and whistles of more expensive packs and is very adjustable to create a custom fit. I've had it up to 46 pounds now on mountain hikes and it is very comfortable. At 6650 cu.in., it has the capacity to carry about anything and has a number of pockets to divide the gear. Very happy with my purchase.

Kelty Red Cloud 6650

Discontinued

The Red Cloud 6650 has been discontinued.

previously retailed for:
$104.95 - $209.95

The Kelty Red Cloud 6650 is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen March 2, 2013 at CampSaver.com.

If you're looking for a new expedition pack (4,500+ cu in), check out the best reviewed current models.