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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.
* Not available for sale in the state of California
OK let me start by saying I wanted so badly to love this pack. It had some great features that I really would have preferred over the regular Redwing. Namely, The stronger fabric, better and bigger zippers/buckles, the straps that were plate carrier compatible, simpler modularity, the extra MOLLE on the hip straps was a wonderful quality as well, and I loved the color and look/styling.
I really just had two problems with it which ended up being unacceptable for my purposes; comfort and the stash pocket.
1. This pack has the exposed aluminum stay for the frame. Even when proper seated and adjusted bending over or even breathing deep i would feel my spine press up against it. Short term, that isn't much of a problem, but this is a pack I plan on wearing for long periods of time, especially it being marketed as the "tactical" version I found this surprising. You could probably pull the stay and leave it out or bend it a little to better fit your spines contours.. The mesh used on both the back and the straps was rather itchy and rougher on the skin. I could see this potentially causing irritation if worn on exposed skin. This factor may not be as much of an issue for others as it barely was for me, just something worth noting. Also, Obviously this comes with the idea of "military style" straps and being adaptable to plate carriers, but the straps were definitively less ergonomic and had no real adjustment available on the top part where the strap meets the pack. Unfortunately, the over all lasting comfort was just not there when compared to the traditional Redwing.
2. The stash pocket was removed on this version from the Redwing. This is really just a matter of personal preference on what you like, but I find this to be quite a loss of storage space. Although losing that option definitely streamlines the pack.
The other thing I noticed but forgot to mention earlier is the side pockets. They are noticeably tighter allowing less space in that slip through area between the pocket and main pack. Apparently these areas were designs for a rifle or shotgun to slide through into the pockets down below. (btw I've noticed lots of comments about these being not very good for water bottles, but I didn't notice much of an issue here, especially when using the compression straps to hold the bottle in, which I would do regardless.) Unfortunately with this slide option, I was barely able to fit a small .22 rifle through these pockets. I got it through but it was an extremely tight squeeze. I'm unsure about why they would do that reduction.
When buying gear like a backpack, there are thousands of options you can go to, from $30 to over $400 for some around the same size and use as this. All the options and materials and variables all have their pros and cons. There are trade-offs for it all. In this case, the main one seemed to be comfort for durability. This is still a really great product and if you don't mind these different trade-offs, I would say go for it. It was just my personal uses that proved the original to be better suites to my needs. What I did was buy both and try em out a little then send back whichever one I didn't like. Kelty is a great brand and you can't really go wrong with them. Just to your research before you buy and have a little common sense and genuine discernment. Logan on May 8th 2018
I was really excited about this bag. I was looking forward to a tactical pack that was lightweight, well-made, and looked good.
The RW 44 Tactical seemed to be all of these things and I really wanted to like this bag but I ended up returning this bag and its little brother the RW 30 Tactical. While the shoulder straps were well cushioned and adjustable in a few ways, I did not care for the internal part of the bag' support system. I found the inner support sheet to be problematic in that the bag would not stand on its own and the velcro enclosure flap for the sheet was stretched too tight. It felt as thought a heavy load would pull the enclosure flap open. The aluminum load stay was also a bit off - not terrible but not great. The side pockets at the bottom of the bag were strangely built and placed. Not sure the thought process was for these pockets. The organization compartment was just ok. Not terrible but not great. The main compartment was fairly spacious but the bag did not feel like a 44 liter bag. Last point of difficulty for me was the complete lack of any MOLLE/PALS webbing on the top or sides of the pack. Need the options to attach gear for different needs.
Are we really still making pack straps without built in keepers for this type and genre of pack? This small detail can be a deal breaker. Also, the top grab handle was terrible - too small and poorly positioned.
Basically, this could have and should have been an awesome pack and simply did not live up to its potential. Everything seemed a bit off for me.
Might be good for other folks with specific needs. Fix the stuff noted here and Kelty will have a winner. I would definitely buy an updated version. Thank you. Unknown on Apr 21st 2018
Love this bag. Sturdy, great quality and super comfortable even under heavy load. The only thing I have an issue with is the "water bottle" "pouches". What's going on with these?! I can't get a water bottle to stay in there, unless i strap it to the pack to ensure it doesn't fall out. In fact, I'm not even sure what I can store in there while hiking, as everything I've tried so far simply falls out. Maybe a small headlamp or snack but that seems about it...
Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but some feedback on what these "water bottle" pouches were actually meant for would be nice. TG on Jan 26th 2018
We own 4 of these and they are worth every penny. They are sturdy and comfortable for all kinds of activity. Great pack. Dace on Jan 9th 2018
I really wanted to love this pack- and I do love some parts of it. The shoulder straps are great and very adjustable. The materials are sturdy and feel great. The laptop/hydration sleeve are perfectly functional and I like the addition of loop velcro to the front of the pocket.
It loses the shove-it pocket that the regular Redwing 44 has which is a real shame- but the real loss are the 'water bottle pockets'. I have to put that in quotes because they're worthless as water bottle pockets. Maybe if you use old school canteens they'd be OK, but for a water bottle they are a joke. They're too wide and too short to really hold anything.
In the end I think I'll be swapping this pack out for a regular Redwing. Brett on Jan 4th 2018
This is a good pack to use as a carry on or use for hiking. I like the fact the material feels heavier than the regular model the only thing I would change is add a locking zipper. Unknown on Nov 23rd 2017