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Kelty Redwing 44 Tactical backpack, Navy, front view

Whether your journey takes you to the canyons of Colorado or the streets of Kandahar, the highly versatile Redwing has you covered.

Built to Military Specifications


  • 500D nylon
  • # 8 zippers for increased strength
  • No mesh on side pockets to get snagged on tools etc.
  • Laptop sleeve; with full hook on the outside to attach accessories
  • 3 Tool loops
  • Available in 4 Low profile colors for blending
  • Adjustable Military style backpack straps
  • Hydration compatible
  • Waterbottle pockets
  • Removable waistbelt
  • Hybrid-loading U-zipper design for ease of gear storage
  • Side compression straps
  • Zippered stash pocket
  • Zippered side pockets
  • Single LightBeam aluminum stay
  • Load-lifter straps


  • Frame Type:  Internal
  • Weight:  3 lbs 12 oz 
  • Dimensions: 24 x 12 x 16 in 
  • Torso Fit Range:  14.5 - 18.5 in / 37 - 47 cm


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Gender: Unisex
Volume: 40L - 59L
Features: PerfectFIT Suspension
  • Features

  • Specifications

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  1. Much better the second time around

    I initialy purchased the Kelty RW 44 Tactical pack and subsequently returned the product as I did not see it meeting my needs.

    I did not give up on the RW44 Tactical as I saw a lot of potential to bridge the gap between a pure hiking bag and a pure tactical bag. The RW44 Tactical is well-made and carries a load very well compared to the purely tactical bags. With this in mind, I did some additional research and comparisons.

    As I learned more about the pack and its intended purpose, I decided to give the pack another chance. I found the following learned items helpful and I hope you can as well.

    1. The botton side pockets may be used for various purposes but they do not seem to be exclusively designed to hold water bottles - if at all. These pockets are not mesh and are more rugged in construction but are a bit shallow. That said, these pockets will accommodate the buttstock of a rifle for carrying purposes and that may have been the initial design purpose.

    2. The internal storage of the main compartment is made incredibly more useful with a bit of augmented velcro attachments for removable storage. The entire wall of the back storage pouch is velcro compatible. Check it out. Very helpful.

    3. I added some shock cord to the daisy chain and MOLLE attachment areas for extra lashing capability. Very helpful.

    A few items for Kelty to consider for the next gen RW44 Tactical

    - Please add built in strap keepers for all straps. This level and design of bag should have such a feature as a standard practice.

    - Offer a much improved grab handle design. I had to fashion my own grab handle from a separate 1 inch tie down strap.

    - Maybe a bit more built in organization would be good.

    - I would like to see at least number 10 YKK zippers at all stress points. I would gladly trade for the extra miniscule weight to get the durability and hardiness of the upgraded zippers.

    - A few more MOLLE options around the pack would be appreciated. Not too many but this is a tactical pack, afterall.

    - I feel that Kelty would have gotten much better initial reviews and feedback if they were more diligent in providing instructional videos and data for the RW44 Tactical is a way similar to other Kelty product advisories.

    Too much confusion and misunderstanding around a pretty good pack. I like the RW44 Tactical much better now that I understand what it is and what it is not.

    Thank you.
    on Jul 4th 2018

  2. Comfort vs Durability. It's All About Trade-Offs

    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.
    on May 8th 2018

  3. Almost a winner but fell short for me

    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.
    on Apr 21st 2018

  4. Love it all, except for one detail....

    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.
    on Jan 26th 2018

  5. Awesome

    We own 4 of these and they are worth every penny. They are sturdy and comfortable for all kinds of activity. Great pack. on Jan 9th 2018

  6. Wanted to love this...

    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.
    on Jan 4th 2018

  7. Good pack

    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. on Nov 23rd 2017

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Redwing 44 Tactical

$139.95 $99.94
Out Of Stock