Kelty Red Cloud 90
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150
Overall this pack fits the niche very well. For me its a great pack to store my supplies plus supplies for the group. This bag is well constructed and shows little wear so far. For the price the Red Cloud is spot on and definitely one of the best bags I used.
- Great pockets makes for easy organization
- Great size for 1 person that can handle group weight
- Little heavy
- No built-in rain cover
- Pack rides a little loose
At first I was looking at the Kelty Coyote 80 but talked myself in to the Red Cloud 90. The two packs are very similar in design and both offer a lot of the same features. Ultimately it was the Red Cloud's extra bottom compartment that sold me. After using this backpack for almost a year now I have developed some opinions about it.
I was never a boy scout but I have always liked being prepared for every event I attend. Because of this I do tend to over pack sometimes. Not only do I like to over pack I also like having the ability to pack some comfort items if possible and that's where the extra 10L comes into play for me.
The bottom compartment does have a divider to separate it from the rest of the pack. This is useful when I put dirty or wet items in my pack. Another reason why I went with the larger pack is because I usually hike with my girlfriend. She's a smaller framed girl and has trouble carrying a lot of weight. I can easily take on "a few" (according to her) extra items so that she is not weighted down. No one likes hiking with a cranky girlfriend!
Besides the size of the pack, I love the configuration of pockets the Red Cloud offers. Having used larger packs that only offer one large compartment I've come to love the organization the Red Cloud provides. The side pockets make it easy to find things and comes in handy when storing items that are regularly used. I especially love the pocket that opens up to allow access to the main compartment. It makes all the difference in the world when trying to find things.
The pack feels great even after loading it down. I'm a larger size man, 6' and 215lb., and I don't feel like a fat man with a little pack. Every strap exceeds lengths needed even for me. I do have problems when I'm not filling up my pack all the way. The pack seems loose and the weight moves around a bit. Because it's a larger pack I cant complain to much about it but I do wish I could pull some of the compression straps tighter. All the padding is very comfy but it does create some sweat spots.
Some of the things I would criticize the Red Cloud for is the lack of a built-in rain cover. I feel like every large pack should come with one. Also the dry weight of this pack is a little heavy. Some of the straps are excessively long and can become annoying by brushing your legs and arms. The fabric that covers the zipper for the bottom compartment is very tight and can sometimes get jammed in the zipper itself.
Overall this pack fits the niche very well. For me it's a great pack to store my supplies plus supplies for the group. This bag is well constructed and shows little wear so far. For the price the Red Cloud is spot on and definitely one of the best bags I used.