Kelty has been making packs and outfitting adventures for decades. Their history of functional, simple backpacks continues with the Kelty Coyote 85. A capable load-hauler, the Kelty Coyote 85 features a plethora of pockets, an adjustable suspension, and a comfortable carry even when loaded to the limit. (I did learn it does not filter out the sound of complaining nearby teens: full story below).
I mentioned issues with the collar fabric on the pack, and I have to mention it again here. The tearing began within the first three days of using the pack, and tore with little force. I am happy overall with the performance and durability of the pack so far, but I am concerned as to where and when the next construction or materials issue may arise.
Seb devotes their energy to hiking, backpacking, camping, and cycling in the mountains and deserts of the western USA. Their favorite trek was a thru-hike of the Big SEKI Loop in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, and they are planning a thru-hike of the Pacific Northwest Trail in 2021. Peek on their Instagram to see where their latest adventures are taking them!
After much research into different packs that had features I was looking for: top AND front loading, external pockets, and 70+ liters, I headed off to REI to test drive a few models. I must have spent three hours driving the salesman crazy. (Kudos to REI in Rochester, NY) I tried out backpacks by Osprey, Deuter, Gregory, and of course the Kelty. The first three were all in the $350-$400 range, the Kelty is $199 at REI. Price was not the issue. I'm not rich, but I believe in buying stuff that will last (like my 40-year-old Camp Trails pack).
The nitty gritty. The Kelty Coyote is like most other backpacks in that it is a top loader. It has a sleeping bag compartment on the bottom with a removable divider. There's a divided front pocket, not too deep, where I keep eating utensils (plate, bowl, knife, fork, spoon), backpacking towel and have some room to spare. There's a flap in front of the pocket to stuff things you need in a pinch like lightweight rain gear. Behind the front pocket is a zipper that opens into the body of the bag so you can grab out things from the middle or bottom (above the sleeping bag compartment) without unloading everything from the top.
One thing I have to mention, and I apologize for the length of this review, is Kelty's customer service. It's honestly pretty amazing and has made me a loyal customer. It's one of the reasons I started out looking at Kelty backpacks. Without going in to too much detail, these folks are there to help you and go to incredible lengths to make sure everything is what you need. Can't say enough about them.
Firstly, lets talk durability. all ripstop nylon, thick webbing, strong buckles and straps. the seams are well stitched and i havent had issues with fraying or tears anywhere in the pack. the hip belt especially is very solid, and i have no problem at all letting much of the weight in the pack ride at the waist.
I don't know much about backpacks. I tried a couple on in REI which was about the full extent of my research. Well, I talked to friends but really, packs are pretty personal and everyone seems to want something specific to their needs. So, I ventured out and looked for something inexpensive. I ordered and returned two others that cost about two times the Kelty.
When I was a kid (some time ago), the design and concepts of usage regarding backpacks had changed. Instead of using canvas backpacks (most with no frame), backpack designers were moving toward the external aluminum frame providing improved support and shifting the weight of the load to the hips rather than all on the shoulders / back. Heavy canvas was replaced by synthetic materials.
First of all, these packs weigh roughly 5.5 lbs. That's just the pack: heavy. Now, the support systems are great and the adjustments are near endless. If you know how to use them all, that's a huge plus for this pack (might be useless for most kids). If I wanted to pack in 80 lbs of gear for a month-long stay somewhere, this pack would be a decent choice. But I don't want to pack 80 lbs anywhere, or for any reason. 80 lbs on my back sounds awful.
The most obvious difference between the two styles is how the bag opens. Travel backpacks zip open like a suitcase and hiking backpacks have a single opening at the top (usually closed with a drawstring). So what does this mean?
Travel backpacks also tend to be a little more stylish since most hiking-style bags are brightly colored. That said, we see plenty of people using hiking backpacks so it really comes down to personal preference.
Here we selected and reviewed the best expedition backpacks with a capacity of 70 liters or more. Such backpacks offer enough storage space for expeditions lasting more than five days. However, be aware that the required capacity of a backpack greatly depends on the equipment and supplies that you need/want to carry with you. For example, winter trips require additional equipment such as crampons, gaiters, insulated clothing etc. and thus also a bigger backpack. Nevertheless, a backpack should be sufficiently packed/filled to remain stable on your back and therefore the backpacks listed here might be too big for shorter trips. To learn more about how to properly pack a backpack for stability and comfort check out our article How to pack a backpack. The backpacks in this review are, however, perfect for extended trips of five days or more (backpacking, trekking, expeditions etc.) which require a lot of supplies (water, food etc.) and equipment (sleeping equipment, cooking equipment etc.). Due to their storage capacity and pockets, they are also perfect for travelling.
If you are looking for a backpack with a smaller capacity, check out our selection of the best hiking backpacks with a capacity of around 40 liters (typically suitable for weekend trips) instead. For in-depth information about how to choose the right backpack for your needs check out our Backpacks Guide.
All backpacks in this review have an internal frame so that they transfer the weight from the shoulders to the hips via the hip belt. Carrying a heavy backpack is much easier if the weight is efficiently transferred to the hips as the hips are supported by larger muscle groups than the shoulders. A study from Murdoch university in Australia concluded that hip belt increases level of stability and decreases level of exertion.
The backpanel is a very important part of the backpack as it provides ventilation so that the sweat from your back can evaporate, rather than seeping through your clothes and the backpack. The expedition backpacks in this review feature ergonomically shaped ventilated backpanels. Some also include a suspended mesh fabric which creates a distance between your back and the backpack to allow the air to flow in between. Such a construction provides especially good ventilation.
In addition to the main compartment, an expedition backpack with a capacity of more than 70 liters should also have well-placed and easily accessible pockets/compartments. Pockets and compartments allow you to organize your gear so that you can easily and quickly find important items. All backpacks in this review are also equipped with attachment points (for hiking poles, ice axes, helmet etc.).
Kelty products are widely sold by large outdoor outfitters such as Eastern Mountain Sports and REI, Kelty is one of a few companies that still specializes in external-frame backpacks for outdoors use. Kelty released approximately 170 products / 253 models. Tent is one of core products of Kelty. Kelty tent made by high-quality materials. The tent fabric is made of Polyester which is more long-lasting than Nylon and the poles are made of DAC aluminum. 59ce067264