Newby Q - Kelty Trekker 65 or Kelty Tioga 55?

4:39 p.m. on June 24, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

Subject says it all. I'm a fair newby to backpacking, have done day hikes and a few overnight hikes with a daypack, but I'm looking for my first "serious" pack. I have a lower back issue, so I've decided on an external frame and have narrowed it down to these two. I will also likely be doing mostly trail hikes - nothing majorly off-trail planned for the next few years. I've tried both on and they're both a comfortable fit for me.

My most common use initially will be 2-3 day overnight trips with a few 3-5 day trips. Both seem to get good reviews, Tioga seems to have a lot of long-term fans and repeat purchasers.

They're both in the right price range for me for a first pack. All things being equal, I'd probably lean toward the Trekker, but I have some durability concerns based on the fabric.


2:09 p.m. on June 25, 2013 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
848 forum posts

go for for the room. especially if your planning 5 day trips.

4:25 p.m. on June 25, 2013 (EDT)
2,234 reviewer rep
86 forum posts

I would agree that if you are picking between the 2 of these packs it would be better to go with the larger. Packs that are larger tend to have suspension systems that are designed to support more weight. This makes it more comfortable to carry the larger amounts of gear.

I feel it is better to under-pack a larger capacity bag than it is to stuff to much into a smaller pack that is not designed to carry the load.

8:46 a.m. on June 26, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

Any concerns with fabric durabilty for the polyester shell with poly reinforcement on the Trekker v. packcloth reinforced with Kordra (Cordura?). Especially if I were to ever need to check it through an airport?

Thanks again.

2:51 p.m. on June 26, 2013 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
848 forum posts

I don't think you'll have a problem.

4:20 p.m. on June 26, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts


6:37 a.m. on June 27, 2013 (EDT)
2,590 reviewer rep
1,630 forum posts

ALICE packs will fit on a Kelty frame too with only a few minor modifications. For future reference.

9:50 a.m. on June 27, 2013 (EDT)
2,170 reviewer rep
2,143 forum posts


I own a Kelty Trekker and used it extensively for many years before switching over to an internal frame Mystery Ranch.

I would not give durability a second thought with this product.

I’ve literally throw it down a ravine and gone after it (it’s been abused).


Side View



Click Pic to enlarge and check out all the dents and scuffs on the frame, I'm on the rough side of gear owners.



front view



Also, I load this pack with 50lbs of weights and rocks when I push-mow my yard every week during season. My neighbors probably think I'm nuts but I may as well get a work out right? lol



8:17 a.m. on June 28, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

Ha! Thanks for the reassurance, Packman! I'm not sure I'm going to be quite so hardcore as to load it up with 50# to mow the lawn (especially since that's what I've got teenagers for, aside from making me go broke trying to feed two teenage swimmers who do doubles 3 days a week).

I appreciate all the feedback. I'll pick it up this weekend, and I'm looking forward to starting to do a little more camping with my boys. Now we've just got to find a good pack for my wife, who's listening to us talk about doing some father-son trips and is saying, "but I want to come too!"

3:47 p.m. on June 29, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
126 forum posts

you mentioned"a lower back issue",my wife has "lower back issue".the priority in that situation is transferring pack weight to your hips.the trick is not relying on that vertebrae to carry any additional weight.this is where pack geometry matters more to you than plumber joe.good luck.

8:41 a.m. on July 1, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

Thanks for the add'l comments, unk. That's where my head was going, is part of the reason I decided to go with external frame, rather than internal; everything I've read in the forums sez this is the way to go for transferring it to the hips to avoid compressing vertebrae. Ordered it over the weekend, hope to get it in the next few days. Happy b-day to me! :-)

Now to find good packs for wife & #2 son and we're mostly set.

June 24, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: "Minimal" Shoes... Newer: Merino vs Lycra in the jungle
All forums: Older: Hike to Red Cave overnight tonight Newer: Close Call