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Kelty Red Cloud 90

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
photo: Kelty Red Cloud 90 expedition pack (70l+)


Price MSRP: $199.95
Historic Range: $86.73-$224.95
Reviewers Paid: $150.00-$224.00
Weight 5 lb 12 oz / 2.6 kg 6 lb / 2.7 kg
Capacity 5600 cu in / 92 L 5600 cu in / 92 L
Width 18 in / 46 cm 18 in / 46 cm
Length 35 in / 89 cm 35 in / 89 cm
Height 16 in / 41 cm 16 in / 41 cm
Suspension Adjustable Adjustable
Torso Fit Range 14.5 - 18.5 in / 37 - 47 cm 17.5 - 21 in / 44 - 53 cm
Body Fabric 420D Polyester Ball Shadow 420D Polyester Ball Shadow
Reinforcement Fabric 420D Polyester Oxford 420D Polyester Oxford


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

Overall this pack fits the niche very well. For me its a great pack to store my supplies plus supplies for the group. This bag is well constructed and shows little wear so far. For the price the Red Cloud is spot on and definitely one of the best bags I used.


  • Great pockets makes for easy organization
  • Great size for 1 person that can handle group weight
  • Price


  • Little heavy
  • No built-in rain cover
  • Pack rides a little loose

At first I was looking at the Kelty Coyote 80 but talked myself in to the Red Cloud 90. The two packs are very similar in design and both offer a lot of the same features. Ultimately it was the Red Cloud's extra bottom compartment that sold me. After using this backpack for almost a year now I have developed some opinions about it.

I was never a boy scout but I have always liked being prepared for every event I attend. Because of this I do tend to over pack sometimes. Not only do I like to over pack I also like having the ability to pack some comfort items if possible and that's where the extra 10L comes into play for me.  

The bottom compartment does have a divider to separate it from the rest of the pack. This is useful when I put dirty or wet items in my pack. Another reason why I went with the larger pack is because I usually hike with my girlfriend. She's a smaller framed girl and has trouble carrying a lot of weight. I can easily take on "a few" (according to her) extra items so that she is not weighted down. No one likes hiking with a cranky girlfriend!

Besides the size of the pack, I love the configuration of pockets the Red Cloud offers. Having used larger packs that only offer one large compartment I've come to love the organization the Red Cloud provides. The side pockets make it easy to find things and comes in handy when storing items that are regularly used. I especially love the pocket that opens up to allow access to the main compartment. It makes all the difference in the world when trying to find things.    

The pack feels great even after loading it down. I'm a larger size man, 6' and 215lb., and I don't feel like a fat man with a little pack. Every strap exceeds lengths needed even for me. I do have problems when I'm not filling up my pack all the way. The pack seems loose and the weight moves around a bit. Because it's a larger pack I cant complain to much about it but I do wish I could pull some of the compression straps tighter. All the padding is very comfy but it does create some sweat spots. 

Some of the things I would criticize the Red Cloud for is the lack of a built-in rain cover. I feel like every large pack should come with one. Also the dry weight of this pack is a little heavy. Some of the straps are excessively long and can become annoying by brushing your legs and arms. The fabric that covers the zipper for the bottom compartment is very tight and can sometimes get jammed in the zipper itself.  

Overall this pack fits the niche very well. For me it's a great pack to store my supplies plus supplies for the group.  This bag is well constructed and shows little wear so far. For the price the Red Cloud is spot on and definitely one of the best bags I used.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150


I also own a RedCloud and can add a +1 to the long strap issue. I'd need a 60" waist to use all that strap

9 years ago

A heavy hitter. This is my main pack for short or long trips into the wilderness and you will find this pack on my back up until this year. The weight is 5lbs, but was never a problem. Great for hunting, multi-day to multi-week long trips. Comfortable with plenty of detail.


  • Comfortable
  • Organization
  • Can take a beating


  • No built-in rain cover

This was my fourth or so pack and I was very pleased with this pack. The weight is 5lbs, but was not felt when hiking around on the Appalachian Trail. This pack easily suits the needs of week or multi-week long trips.

The pockets are amazing for organization and easy access. There is a sleeping bag compartment with a divider and was completely worth it. It is a pretty comfortable pack even when hiking very steep terrain. Over the many trips I've used it for, it has shown little to no signs of wear and it gets tossed around.

This pack is great for hunting as well. It easily accommodates a rifle on either side of the pack. I can compare this to my "official" hunting pack, the Badlands 2200. This pack comes with a meat rack and other hunting accommodations, but I choose to take the Kelty every time.

How about size? Well, I am 5'6" 155lbs and I had not one problem carrying this pack. As long as you size it to you. That being said, anyone shorter than me might have some problem carrying it loaded out.

Basically, if you accept that this pack is over 3lbs lighter than a gallon of water and has a high ranking durability enough to pack 70lbs. Then I would say give this pack a chance. Buy one used and see how it goes.

This year (2018) I have decided to changed packs after having this pack for three years. I am switching to a Sarma TST RP80 recon pack. This is an external frame weighing in at 8 lbs.... You read correctly.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $220


Nice review, Andrew! Thanks for taking the time to share it. If you have some pictures of your Redcloud in use, those would be helpful for others to see too.

4 years ago

Least rugged pack I've ever witnessed. Internal frame will wear through the weakest of nylon and stick out the bottom. Great for a bad back — puts all the weight on the hips — until the pack fails.


  • Comfortable and good for the back until it fails.


  • It fails in many ways.
  • Internal frame supported by thin nylon only

This is the least rugged pack I've ever owned. I bought this after two back surgeries, so I'm carrying the least in my entire life.

The biggest problem is that the internal frame rests on their thinnest nylon, totally not reinforced — even a little. So if you hike a bit, the rubbing action makes the frame stick out the bottom and the pack fails. I've included a picture.

And lots of the stitching around the zippers has come undone.

I sent it back for repair, and they told me that they couldn't fix it. So I'm using my old pack.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $224


Thats odd. I've had mine for over five years and summited Mt Rainier in it twice and several other mountains without an issue. Maybe they have dropped their quality standards?

6 years ago

Welcome to Trailspace, Peter. Thanks for the review. It's too bad your Kelty failed on you. I'd love to see the picture you mentioned added to your review.

6 years ago

Overall this pack fits the niche very well. For me it's a great pack to store my supplies plus supplies for the group. This bag is well constructed and shows little wear so far. For the price the Red Cloud is spot on and definitely one of the best bags I used.


  • Price
  • Quality
  • Great pockets makes for easy organization


  • No built-in rain cover
  • Organize pockets don't feel stable

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 150€

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