Kelty Tioga 5500

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



Huge! You could pack everything you'd ever need in…

Rating: rated 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $110




  • Huge!
  • Pockets
  • Pack durability


  • Huge!
  • Stress on tension straps

You could pack everything you'd ever need in the wilderness into this bag. It's monolithic. it's actually a little too big for me personally, unless i was going to cross the country on foot during the winter. but then i'd have concerns about the frame holding up.

The pins and straps that hold it all together feel like they experience quite a bit of stress every time the pack gets picked up or sat down. it comes with extra pins, but something that can hold this much volume should feel a little more solid if it's to be my go-to pack for hauling such large loads.

It's also very easy to throw you off balance because of its huge size. with a decent load, it'll stick off your back a good foot and 1/2, and it's also pretty wide.

The pack its self is rock solid, but given the size, I wouldn't want to carry it anywhere that it might get caught up on stuff. it could get very exhausting very quick. it's also a bit excesive for most trail hiking.


I stared a new category on this pack because in this…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Design: Top Loading / Front Loading
Size: 5500ci / 90L
Number of Pockets: 6 External / 1 Internal / Sleeping Bag Compartment
Max. Load Carried: 75lb
Height of Owner: 5'10"
Price Paid: $145

I stared a new category on this pack because in this year's model the design and dimensions have changed as well as the material.

This pack seems to be well made as well as having a killer warranty. I have carried it over 50 miles with heavy and light loads and it carries the weight well and comfortably.

The divider between the main pack and sleeping bag is removable so it can be used as a 1 compartment or a 2 compartment pack. The frame is extend able and the carry harness is very adjustable. So it can be easily adjusted to fit nearly everyone.

The only downfall to this pack I have found is in this years model Kelty has discontinued the load lifter system which I do like that option. It is compatible for generic hydration systems. The two straps that hold the hood down are also compression straps so if you are not using the full pack size it cam be drawn down to eliminate load shifting & shaking.

The pocket configuration is as follows left side one long zippered pocket on the outside with blind sleeve pocket for things like tent poles behind the main pocket. Right side has two small zippered pockets with compression straps the will hold a collapsible trekking pole very nicely when your not using it (well that's where I carry mine when not in use) and between the top pocket and the pack bag is a mesh drop-in pouch that is large enough to hold 2 1qt nalgene water bottles.

On the front is a large egg shaped zippered pocket and on the hood is a zippered pocket with the zipper in the middle of the pocket so you can put items on top of the hood or below in the part that hangs down. Inside of the pack has a wide pocket for fitting your hydration balder in it. On the front of the pack is a carry handle, ice ax loop & daisy chain.

All in all this is a good pack that can be used for a weekend or a week long trip with no problems. And will last you for many years to come. I would definitely recommend this pack to a friend.

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

A tried and true work horse, the Kelty Tioga 5500 Backpack comes with a hydration sleeve, excellent ventilation, easy access, and great weight distribution, resulting in all day comfort.

- Altrec Outdoors

The classic, tried-and-true Kelty Tioga 5500 external backpack is great for comfortably hauling large loads on extended trail trips. Adjustable H-frame (a small-diameter, high-alloy tube with a unique hourglass shape) allows gear to ride close and high for unparalleled comfort. Foam-padded shoulder straps, sternum strap and ventilated hipbelt improve load-carrying comfort. Load-lifter straps, belt stabilizers and a Scherer Cinch(TM) on waistbelt allow increased adjustability and a comfortable fit. Mesh band on backpanel creates a cooling effect, enhancing ventilation during warm-weather hikes and intense activity. Internal pocket is sized to hold a hydration reservoir up to 3 liters (sold separately); ports allow hydration tubes to thread through back of pack for easy access. 3 zippered side pockets, a large front pocket and a zippered stash pocket let you divide and conquer the small essentials. Bottom sleeping bag compartment with divider and an internal load pocket organize your gear. Heavy-duty zipper provides external access to the sleeping bag compartment. Hold-open bar at top of pack ensures easy loading and unloading. Rugged 210-denier, double-ripstop nylon, 500-denier Kodra fabric and 420-denier nylon oxford stand up to years of hard use.


A tried and true work horse, the Tioga comes with a hydration sleeve, excellent ventilation, easy access, and great weight distribution, resulting in all day comfort.

- Ramsey Outdoor

Kelty Tioga 5500


The Tioga 5500 has been discontinued.

previously retailed for:
$134.95 - $170.00

The Kelty Tioga 5500 is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen December 22, 2010 at Altrec Outdoors.

If you're looking for a new external frame backpack, check out the best reviewed current models.