In this new Kelty Redwing 44 backpack review, I present the improved version of a very popular hiking pack. Kelty Redwing 44 is a typical mid-range overnight or weekend pack, very popular, durable and suitable for hiking and mountaineering tours.
Where to buy
- Usually, the best place regarding the price and shipping is Amazon.com.
New Kelty Redwing 44 – general description
Redwing 44 is a panel-type loading pack, with a very long U-shaped zipper on the top and along the front of the pack. As long as the side compression straps are locked, you can open it only partly and use as a top loader.
The pack is hydration compatible, and the padded hydration sleeve is inside the main compartment.
You have two compression straps on both sides of the pack, visible in the picture on the right.
The suspension system is based on a single centrally positioned aluminum stay on the back, and a HDPE frame. It is completely covered by a very pleasant padding. The shoulder straps are well padded and the same is with the hip belt. There is an adjustable sternum strap, and load lifters are also available.
The hip belt is removable. To do this, you first remove the aluminum stay, which is accessible from the main compartment. After that, the hip belt can be removed. You will notice that there are no pockets on the hip belt wings.
You have two good size zippered side pockets, and two stretch mesh pockets for water bottles. Just like in the old model, you have a pass through behind the zippered side pockets. This is the same feature you can find in other Kelty models. One zippered pocket is on the top.
One large organization pocket is on the front, equipped with a long U-shaped zipper. You also have a stash pocket behind the front pocket. It is secured by a hook on the top. This is a new feature which comes with the new model.
Please see this very short video (1:10) about the NEW version of the Kelty Redwing 44 backpack:
Technical specifications & summary of features
Weight: 2 lbs 10 oz (1.2 kg).
- Volume: 2700 cu in (44 L).
- Body fabric: poly 420 D small back Stafford.
- Reinforcement fabric: poly 75×150 D Tasser Coal.
- Frame: aluminum + HDPE.
- Torso fit: 14.5 – 18.5 in (37 – 47 cm).
- Dimensions: 25 x 15 x 12 in (64 x 38 x 30 cm).
- Dual side pockets.
- Water bottle pockets.
- Top stash pocket.
- Front pocket with organization.
- Front stash pocket with closure hook.
- Side compression straps.
- Dual use laptop/hydration sleeve.
- Hide-away daisy chain and handle.
- Dual ice axe/trekking pole loops.
- Key fob.
- Hex mesh back panel, shoulder straps and waist belt.
- Padded and ventilating back panel.
- Sternum strap.
- Load lifter straps.
- A single light beam aluminum stay.
- Removable waist belt.
Pros & cons, users’ experience
I do not like the side pockets design because of the following. The lower stretch pockets are too close to the upper zippered pockets. It is difficult to put a big bottle in the lower pocket when the upper pocket is full. The same issue you have in the old model.
If you climb in the Alps, having a rain cover is essential. This pack comes without it.
Redwing 44 is relatively big pack, yet it is without any harness adjustment system.
The rating of Kelty Redwing 44 liter backpack by Amazon customers, for both old and new versions is very high, 4.7/5 and 4/5 respectively.
The lower rating for the new model is partly because of just a few reviews so far, and due to the incorrect description at the Amazon site. The statement which you may see there, ‘top lid converts to sling pack’ is not correct. There is no such a feature in this pack! Hopefully, they will remove this sentence and you will not find it there.
Rating of the new Kelty Redwing 44 backpack
The volume/weight ratio of this pack is hard to match, but it lacks some features which I find important, hence this rating breakdown.
Please give your rating here and in the comment box below.
What is new in the new model
- Redesigned (tuck away) daisy chain handle on the front, instead of the suitcase-style handle in the old version, see the pictures below.
- Redesigned back panel padding. The central stay is not visible in the new model.
- New stash pocket added on the front, behind the front pocket.
- Two attachment loops on the bottom, instead of one in the old model.
- Slight difference in volume: 2650 cubic inches in the old model, 2700 in the new model. The corresponding sizes are: 57.2 x 41.9 x 34.3 cm in the old model, and 64 x 38 x 30 cm in the new model.
Comparison with other brands
Here is a comparison table with a few models of similar size from other brands:
PRO SL 40
|Zippered side pockets||yes, 2||yes, 2||yes, 1|
Kelty Redwing 44 pack is really lightweight as compared with other models. But this is partly because of:
- the absence of a bottom compartment (which implies a long outside zipper, plus a divider with yet another zipper inside, both adding to the weight),
- the absence of adjustability in the harness,
- very simple and relatively unreliable frame, i.e., a rather weak and flexible aluminum stay which is no match to the steel frames in the given Deuter models.
To conclude this new Kelty Redwing 44 backpack review, this is a very good weekend pack with a simple and reliable construction and with quality materials. I rank it below some other top brands given in the table mainly because of the suspension system and the lack of a rain cover. You might want to see this 2018 variant, the Kelty Redwing 44 tactical pack.
Thank you for reading. I hope this text has been useful to you, if so please share it with others. I shall be happy to hear from you, there is a comment box below. Have a nice day.