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Kelty Tioga 5300

The Tioga 5300 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best external frame backpacks for 2020.


Price Historic Range: $109.95-$127.96
Reviewers Paid: $110.00-$153.00


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

I have had my Tioga 5300 for 6 years and it is in mint condition. i've used it on sloping michigan trails, but lately on extremely uneven trails that suffer boar damage. i never have problems with the pack swaying or setting me off balance. 

the 'scooped' hourglass framework keeps the load snugly wrapped around me like a gear toting guardian angel. just take the time to load properly and loosen all straps before hoisting.

i might even take this on my AT thru hike, carrying the bulkier items for the group. awesome pack though! very durable.

Price Paid: $120-ish

Good pack while it lasted (3 yrs). The bottom of the frame cracked rendering the pack useless. I used this pack about 3 times a year. I noticed this one day before a two week long trip. The cracks were on both sides of the frame, covered up by the black material on the bottom. The bottom wiggled too. If the frame was constructed better, I'd give it 4.5 stars.

Good design, poor engineering.

Design: External frame
Size: 5300 Cu.
Number of Pockets: 7
Max. Load Carried: 55 lbs
Height of Owner: 6' 1"
Price Paid: $153

This backpack has stood up to 3.5+ months of heavy backpacking use and one week of the Boundary Waters, loaded to 60+ lbs... and many car camping trips! Never any back pains, loads great, feels great, does the job!

Design: External
Size: 5300
Max. Load Carried: 65
Height of Owner: 6'4
Price Paid: $110

I have taken several trips this year with the Kelty 5300. I like it. Load does not shift at all. Very well constructed. Comfortable for those LONG days of hiking. Overall, I am extremely pleased with the Kelty 5300.

Price Paid: $140

This is an excellent pack. I have used it for over a year now on everything from short and flat to rocky mountain trails (Appalachian Trail). If you take the time to fit it properly, it is very stable on your back. It doesn't move around on me at all. The load lifters keep the weight high and on your hips. All in all it is very comfortable.

Design: external frame
Size: 5300ci
Max. Load Carried: 40 lbs
Height of Owner: 70 inches

I used this pack twice on moderate terrain, not too many hills. The trails were pretty easy, and only a couple of miles each into some lakes. I made sure to pack it correctly (although Kelty's recomendations differ than others' packing suggestions = kind of confusing), and it was well balanced.

When they say that you should use external frames only on flat, easy trails, they mean it. This puppy was all over the place. When I tried to cinch it closer to my back to secure it, the aluminum frame would often rub against the top of my spine.

The pack is otherwise decently designed. It was easy to lash extra gear, pads, onto the bottom of the pack / frame. Don't get this pack if you plan on hopping over creeks or climbing at ALL. The ventilation on your back is super awesome, gotta love it. Happy camping.

Design: top-loading, sleeping bag compartment-loading
Size: L (Regular)
Number of Pockets: 4
Max. Load Carried: 40 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'
Price Paid: $140

This is a great (and big) pack. I've only been on one trip with this pack. We went on a four-day, three-night snowshoeing trip to the U.P. Michigan (18 in of snow), and the pack performed wonderfully. It had very little wobble, even when going off the portage routs. The pack is very easy to load/unload, and seems to be made very well.

Max. Load Carried: 50lbs
Height of Owner: 6.0ft
Price Paid: $140

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