User Review: Kelty Yukon 50
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $50
Old school, but performs well.
- Distributes weight to hips
- Pockets/ organization
- Good back ventilation
- Easy to pack/ access gear
- Snags points in thick flora
- Sway during agressive movement
This is the traditional boy scout bag, but it will fit most adults. External frames are hard to beat when when it comes to comfort and load hauling capabilities while hoofing open terrain. The Kelty external frames are very effective at putting the weight on your hips. The waist and shoulder straps are nicely padded. Superb ventilation on your back.
There are a couple downsides to external frame packs. They can snag up on branches in dense foliage, but a good rain cover stretched over them helps this. Also, they don't move with your body as well as tighter fitting internal frames during vigorous activity. So consider those factors before you choose one. Will you be bushwhacking or need to move fast? Personally, those circumstances are rare for me in my environment and activities.
The Yukon has great organization. Pockets of various shapes and sizes to keep your gear ordered and readily accessible. Much easier to pack and unpack than internal frames. If you strap your sleeping bag, tent, and pad to the outside like I do.
50L is a lot of internal space. The Trekker has even more, but I don't need it. It's nice being able to strap random gear to the frame like my rifle. These are hydration bladder compatible with a port on both sides. The bottle pocket on the outside fits my 40oz Kleen kanteen nested in a GSI cup easily.
Mine is now several years old and has proven very durable. If I could change one thing, it would be to have a spindrift on the top. The "lid" does cover the main compartment completely, but a spindrift would still be nice. This basic design has been around for a long time, but there's a fair amount of us who use them and do so for good reason.
Used ones in good shape are generally easy to find. People get them for their scouts, they get used a handful of times, then they collect dust or end up on ebay.