The Beam 82 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best expedition packs for 2022.
Historic Range: $149.95-$250.00
This is a pretty lengthy review but I felt it necessary because of the lack of information on this backpack via the Google searching I have done on this pack. And the fact that Kelty like most manufactures doesn’t have a very detailed description of there packs. It is in 4 parts:
1) Out of the box review
2) After use review
3) Overall conclusion
4) Pro’s & Con’s
1) At first look as I took it out of the box for inspection and initial adjustment. Parts of the suspension system resemble an Osprey reinforcement system and curvature. Also there is U-shaped frame that runs the full length of each side and across the top, the frame is laminated contoured frame that appears to be very strong and durable.
The waste-belt is reinforced with what feels to be the same material as a standard frame sheet. The waste-belt has a zippered on each side that is stretchable mesh material. The shoulder straps are very comfortable but not very wide so beware if you are a VERY broad shouldered person, I have above average shoulder width that wares a 16 ½ to 17 shirt size and it fits me snug but ok.
The back-panel mostly all mesh and appears to have very good breath ability. The torso length adjustment is easy and stable so you won’t have to readjust it all the time. Also specs from Kelty are 16” – 21” I feel it is more like up to 22 1/2 “.
The pack-bag appears to be well made and of strong material. It has 5 pockets on the body, 2 stretchable mesh water bottle pockets and 3 zippered pockets one on the front that is a large stretchable waterproof pocket and one on each side that are good sized rectangular that are also stretchable.
Also there is a sleeping bag access zipper but there is no divider inside the pack bag so I will say there is no sleeping bag compartment only an access to the bottom part of the pack bag.
The hold open bar isn’t a conventional hold open bar it’s a piece of plastic tubing sewn into the body of the pack that makes a loop from the bottom and loops up to the top front of the pack. The pack comes with two hood’s one is a larger removable hood with 2 zippered pockets one exterior and one on the interior. The second hood is attached and is smaller with one pocket that has an external zipper.
The pack has a total of 7 compression straps that are all in the right locations and angles, 2 on each side the are more or less horizontal and 2 for the hood that are more less vertical, on the top of the pack-bag there is a Spindrift collar and a top and the last and final compression strap. They work well for strapping down light loose loads like using the pack on an overnight trip where a smaller pack would work.
The pack is equipped with 2 ice axe loops that have small pouches so they tuck nicely into the bottom of the pack so they won’t get caught on things when they not in use. There are 6 tie down loops on the front of the pack and 2 web tie downs on the hood like molle attachment points for tying down gear.
2) After carrying this pack loaded with about 40 lbs (+/- 5lbs) on an approximate 15 mile weekend trip it did very well. It was just as comfortable at the end as it was at the beginning of the trip and that was good and comfortable. It is a very cool pack to carry as I am a hot hiker, it has good breath ability.
Actually I thing it was as cool to carry or cooler than an external frame pack. It carries its weight very well it felt much lighter than my old pack with the same weight at the same distance and terrain. The waist-belt has a large lumbar section that is pretty hard but after you carrier it a while it softens up and it’s fine also on that area there is a no slip material that will help keep the pack where you want it without over tightening the belt. It takes a bit of messing around to get it dialed in correctly but after that you’re golden.
3) Overall conclusion: This is a nicely constructed & easily accessible with a neutral non-obnoxious color scheme. It is comfortable to ware and very breathable. It is large but with the compression straps it can be used for smaller loads. This is one of the nicer overall internal frame backpacks I have used I am very satisfied with this pack and I would recommend this pack to a friend.
Breathable back panel
Extra hood for extra space
Vertical hydration sleeve
Rope tab zipper pulls no metal jingling zipper pulls
Waste-belt pockets are handy
Strong 2 piece laminated frame
No divider between sleeping bag compartment and pack bag
Bottom of pack could have a heavier material on it like, IE Cordura
The end’s of the frame on the bottom should have a more durable material on it.
Design: Internal Frame, Top Loading
Size: 5000 ci / 82 L
Number of Pockets: 7
Max. Load Carried: 40lb +/- 5lb
Height of Owner: 5'10"