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Whether your journey takes you to the canyons of Colorado or the streets of Kandahar, the highly versatile Redwing has you covered.
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Verified purchase on Amazon ( and returned).
I was very excited about this bag in it possibly filling a niche of being a lightweight, well-built, good looking, quasi-tactical bag. The RW 30 was just a bit too small for my needs and did not have any side or front panel MOLLE/PALS webbing to add capacity. A 36 liter version might be the perfect size.
The RW 30 lacked adequate organization for a tactical bag and the side pouches (I hesitate to call them storage pockets or water bottle holders) were of little or no obvious utility. I guess if you worked hard enough, some kind of use could be found.
The shoulder strap padding seemed adequate and the inclusion of a waist belt was good but I would have liked to see a removable waist belt option as opposed to the sewn in version on the RW 30. I am not sure about the shoulder strap adjustments/adjustability, as I did not use the bag for travel or field work.
At this point, are tactical bags still being made without built in strap keepers??? I should not have to worry about dangling straps with a bag of this type. Please fix this oversight to get on par with other quality gear vendors.
The internal frame sheet was a bit too long and the bag would not stand up on its own. The velcro flap that secured the frame sheet sleeve did appear to be very effective if a heavy load would have been employed (maybe a heavy duty YKK zipper would have been better). I would like to see a more heavy duty protective material used for the bottom of the bag for durability and longevity. I know that some weight would be added but I would gladly take the trade off.
The laptop panel was a bit strange in its design. I did not find this panel to be of much use for anything else if I was not carrying a laptop. I did not like the velcro strap as a securing method for the panel.
Overall, this could have been an awesome bag from a quality vendor like Kelty but fell short in a number of areas. If Kelty wants to market a serious tactical bag for actual daily carry, military, and law enforcement use, then please quickly resolve the challenges and shortfalls that were noted in my review and other reviews. If an upgraded RW Tactical model was offered with applicable enhancements to address identified challenges and shortfalls, I would definitely purchase such a bag and recommend such a bag to my friends and colleagues. Thank you. CMP on Apr 22nd 2018
I completely re-wrote my previous review after learning how the suspension could be adjusted for my size. I'd give 3.75 stars if allowed by the system.
+ The panel load is great.
+ Material and build are great, tougher than average bags.
+ The bag is very light for size and toughness.
+ The main pockets are well sized and placed.
+ Bag is a good compact size, but ~35-38L would be ideal travel pack size and more versatile.
+ Comfort is not bad after adjusting.
- Adjusting for comfort is quite tricky. I'm somewhat average at 6 foot 170 lbs, medium torso and there was no possible way to adjust this bag to be comfortable out of the box. It was REALLY uncomfortable until I figured out their system. Normal strap and hip adjustment did not help. I needed to smash the rigid velcro shoulder straps all the way against the attach points of the pack, then move the soft padding portion of straps as far as they could against the pack on one end and the buckle on the other. Once I had totally maxed out that adjustment (beyond intended design probably) the pack has become fairly comfortable with shoulder padding where I expect and the load close against my back.The comfort and ease of adjustment is nothing lush like my Coyote 80L or Redwing 44L which I regard as industry leaders in comfort.
- The face down, bounded by loops and straps velcro design of suspension adjustment is tedious compared to some suspension quick adjustments out there.
- All normally used straps are a somewhat tough to adjust without removing the bag. Is the extra locking force a tactical gear thing?
-The load lifters don't work as load lifters due to the rigid strap attachment to the bag. They end up being cinched to the same shape as the rigid straps.
- hip belt is too small for my tastes and should be removable.
- Side pockets are useful for very few purposes and MOLLE would better replace them.
- Not a fan of the material used for the hydration / laptop compartment, a bit abrasive.
Once I got past the adjustment system that was not intuitive at all to me, I like the bag. It seems like it could use a generational improvement to be a real winner, but you won't go totally wrong with it. Dave on Apr 20th 2018
I wanted to love this bag, but I can't. I hope you can revise it or offer something new in the 32-36L category.
+ The panel load is great.
+ material and build are great on everything but the suspension.
+ The main pockets (not the terrible side drawstring things) are well sized and placed.
I'm sorry Kelty, I still love you and all my other Kelty products, but this bag has some serious design flaws:
- I'm somewhat average at 6 foot 170 lbs, medium torso and there was no possible way to adjust this bag to be comfortable. The suspension and hip belt are just bad, especially from a brand I trust as one of the most comfortable selling a one size fits all type bag. I feel great with 65 pounds loaded up for hours wearing my Kelty Coyote 80L, yet this little 30L bag makes 20 pounds painful in minutes. I've learned that if I follow the correct trail adjustment sequence of hip, shoulders, load lifters, chest, etc. and still cannot get close to a fit, then a bag is a total loss for me.
- padding is too hard
- attachment design of the straps to the bag with rigid plastic is a bad idea.
- velcro design of suspension strap adjustment is a huge pain to work with.
- All normally used straps are a pain to adjust without removing the bag.
- load lifters are useless due to the rigid strap attachment to the bag.
- hip belt is too small and should be removable.
- side pockets are useful for very few purposes and MOLLE would better replace them.
- the laptop compartment barely fits my 15" computer so that was good but not a fan of the material used for the compartment, a bit abrasive.
Overall this was just not what I was expecting from Kelty. I get that tactical type bags are specialized, but I don't see how any user find this suspension good or side pockets flexible and useful.
Unknown on Apr 18th 2018
I want to start off by saying this is still a great pack and I will get many years of use out of it. I also own the Redwing 50 Tactical.
I was not very thrilled that the hip belt on the 30 was sewn to the pack, so it can not be removed, but it will tuck in nicely behind the padded lumbar support.
the hip belt is also not very well padded again I was expecting similar quality as the 50.
Second the various straps can in different lengths as much as 10mm in size difference. and the zipper pulls same thing came in different lengths and the ends of the550 cording were not melted, something I had to correct before they started to fray.
it is a very heavy duty pack that has been amazing as a day pack, bike pack, and a daily commuter pack.
something for both the 30 and the 50, I am also assuming the 44 is equally confusing. I can not find a single reference on how to adjust the shoulder straps (the nylon webbing part) are they supposed to be some sort of load lifter strap or just a secondary connection to the pack. if they are meant to be a load lifter then how on earth do you pull on the straps to get them to losing/tighten????????? I have figured out how to manually adjust the upper shoulder straps but you end of having to take the pack off a half dozen times until you get the right fit. Stevenrs1976 on Apr 12th 2018
My first Kelty product, I am impressed with its construction, materials, and thoughtful design. The fabric does not feel as tough as the Maxpedition packs but not far off and much more substantial than other packs.
I like very much the option of using a top loading bag or the clam shell to load my gear. And I like the ability to stow away the waist belt when not needed. Overall, great product and I highly recommend. David E on Mar 24th 2018
Great backpack however beware! I ordered the Redwing 30 Tactical in light gray however, the actual color of the backpack is “dark” gray like a charcoal. I returned that backpack and ordered the same backpack in blue and this one showed up dark blue instead of the brighter blue color from the website. No worries for me because I absolutely love the darker blue so I’m good.
On another note understand that the consumer is responsible for return postage fees even though the colors are not the same as the pictures on the website show.
All in all though I was originally disappointed I ended up with a great backpack in dark blue. I’m still not happy about having to pay $19 to return a backpack that was the wrong color and not my fault at all. Unknown on Mar 17th 2018
I have purchased a lot of kelty packs and I think of each one as a tool with its own specific function. When I think "tactical" I think modular with the ability to become multi use. This is the perfect sized pack for a large variety of tasks. It fits great and is extremely comfortable however I think it fails to capitalize on a huge opportunity. The side pockets definitely were a good idea to keep off this small pack however in their place should have been some molle webbing, or an area to attach modular pouches. This would truly extend the capabilities. The colors should have been more along the lines of the old Coyote 80 or Map3500 options. This is a tactical bag after all as the name states. George on Jan 11th 2018
Love this Kelty Tactical 30 in forest green. Well built. I like the heavy zippers. Great color. Everything is where it should be, and no extra crap or side pockets, make it very utilitarian and sleek. I only have 2 complaints. 1., I wish it was a little bigger, maybe 35-40 liter. The next size up is 44 liter, but you have those stupid side pockets. This pack would be perfect for EVERYTHING if it was 40 liter!!!!!!!! 2., The water bottle pockets tapers at the bottom, making almost every water bottle useless. I tried a Nalgene wide mouth 48 oz. Nope. A Rove 34 oz. wide mouth No. Even my narrow Klean Kanteen 27 oz. works it's way up and out unless strapped down with the side compression strap. If you EVER make this pack in 40 liter with flat bottoms on the water bottle pockets, CALL ME IMMEDIATELY! I will buy 5 of them. I am that serious. It will be the PERFECT pack. I will give it as gifts to everyone I know, even my 82 year old Mother. I will keep 3 extra for myself, just to "have" I kid you not, if you make this in 40 liter with flat bottom water pockets, It will be the greatest pack the world has ever known!!! Thank you Kelty :-) Johnny O. Boston on Dec 14th 2017