User Review: Kelty Redwing 2500
Design: panel loading internal
Size: 2500 ci
Number of Pockets: 2 main, 2 small side pockets
Max. Load Carried: 25 pounds or slightly more
Height of Owner: 5' 2"
I bought this pack after realizing that the one I was using previously (Cerro Torre Stealth 40L) was too long for me and therefore was not comfortable to carry. My trips are generally day hikes or three-season overnights, and on the overnights I strive to keep my pack weight down as I am a rather small person.
Overall I think the pack is great. There is one big main compartment and then a smaller one with a few different pockets, in addition to two small side pockets and the mesh water bottle pockets. I like this setup because it helps keep things organized and cuts down on having to dig for everything. The panel-loading design makes it easy to load and unload.
As for the fit, the women's specific design definitely makes a difference and the length is good (I first tried on the Redwing 2650, hoping for the small amount of extra capacity, but it was too long and the straps didn't fit me as well). Durability has not been a problem so far and I do not anticipate that it will; this pack seems bombproof. The downside to this is that it could weigh a few ounces less though it is by no means ridiculously heavy.
The main reason I give it 4.5 stars instead of 5 is that when fully loaded (about 25 pounds total weight) for an overnight it sticks out pretty far in the back due to the shape (short in height and very deep), causing the center of gravity to be a bit farther from my center of gravity than would probably be ideal. A taller and less deep shape would help with this, though I realize that this is harder to achieve with a pack for a shorter person.