Kelty Redwing 40 Backpack Review | Travel Bags For Women

– Known for their packs,
tents and sleeping bags, Kelty creates gear for
people to have fun outdoors, and the Women’s Fit
Redwing 40 does just that. Hey, I’m Rebecca from Pack Hacker where we use our expertise
and real world experience to provide practical
resources and honest opinions guiding you towards smarter travel. So if you’re new here,
consider subscribing. We’ve been testing this
carryon size adventure backpack for over a month now in Michigan, so let’s dive into the review. (hip hop funk beats) First, let’s talk about
the aesthetic of this pack. Now, it’s obvious that this bag is geared more towards the great outdoors than a co-working space in the city, but what makes this pack look a bit messy, also has its advantages, too, but we’ll get more into that later on. As ever, though, beauty is
in the eye of the beholder, so we put this to our Instagram audience to get their take on it, and here are the results. Now, at the time of this review, the Kelty Redwing 40 comes in two colors, black and deep lake, which
is pretty much a light blue. There aren’t many colors choices, but sometimes that does make
it easier to decide, right? We went for black because we found that it works best for travel. It shows off the least amount of dirt when you’re on the road, plus we found it more
inconspicuous so you’re able to get away with it in
more urban environments, as opposed to hiking up a mountain. Moving on to the branding, the words Kelty and Redwing 40W are written down the side of this pack, so no one will be left wondering
what pack you’re carrying. Apart from this, the rest of
the branding is pretty minimal, with another small Kelty
written on the shoulder strap, a Kelty Built tag on the back panel, and their logo on the buckles. When it comes to the material, this pack is made from poly
420D small back stafford, and poly 75 by 150D tasser coal. These names can make
it all a bit confusing, but it basically means that
they’re made from a thin, lightweight polyester. While we do prefer nylon because it’s slightly
stronger for its weight, the polyester going on
here is super lightweight and it’s proven itself pretty durable from our one month of testing. Moving on, all of the
zippers on this pack are YKK. These are durable and reliable, which is essential for
any type of travel pack. They’ve always performed
well in our testing. There are also two types of zipper pulls. On the main compartment, the hard plastic zipper pulls work wonders for getting the zipper around
the top of the pack easier, and the zipper pulls on
the smaller compartments are flexible and allow you to grab hold of them quickly for fast access. Finally, all of the buckles are Duraflex, which, like YKK, is a reliable brand that’s performed well for us in testing. And they’re highly regarded
for their durable hardware. (hip hop funk beats) Moving on to the external components. The harness system on the Kelty Redwing 40 is designed with women’s bodies in mind. Just a note before we dive in, Kelty does offer a unisex
alternative, the Redwing 44. We haven’t tested that pack specifically, but it’s very similar
to the one we have here, with just some slight adjustments
to the harness system. Now, a big advantage
of this harness system is that it’s very adjustable. The shoulder strap,
sternum strap and hip belt have multiple adjustment points, which means you can find
the right fit for you. While having a women specific
pack is great in itself, if you’re a woman of course, Kelty also seemed to understand that every woman’s body is different, so curves or no curves, this pack has a bit of wiggle room in it, which we really like. There’s also an elastic
band on each shoulder strap, which can be used for tucking
away the load-lifter straps, or even the sternum strap. Next, let’s talk about the hip belt. On first impressions, this
thing is pretty chunky, but we’re willing to
compromise on the size because of the comfort it brings. Plus, you can remove it if need
be, which is a nice feature. Now the back panel, there’s some pretty serious
padding going on here, and we found it to really hit the spot. Those parts of your back which take that extra
weight are well protected, and along with the Hex Mesh gives you that well-needed
ventilation, too. To keep this back panel sturdy, there’s a frame sheet with
an aluminum stay, too. This does a great job at
keeping the back panel solid while not adding too much
to the overall weight, and it also means that it’s going to be a lot more comfortable
when you carry this pack at full weight. The Redwing 40 has four
compression straps around the pack. These are super easy to use and do a great job at compressing the bag. However, the same can’t
be said for its aesthetic, as they add a load of
additional dangling straps. As well as those four compression straps, there’s also a quick-grab
handle on the top of the pack. This is pretty discreet, but it comes in handy if you
need to pick up your pack in a rush or hang it up. Moving on to the front of the pack, and there’s a lot of stuff going on here, so we’ll try to be quick. First, there’s a hideaway attachment point that doubles up as a handle. It seemed like a great
idea to us at first, but we often forgot it was even there. Regardless, it’s a nice touch
if you do find a use for it. Behind this, there’s a stasher pocket which comes in handy
for stashing large items you may need quick access to
when you’re out and about. It works perfect for jackets
and saves you from having to access the main compartment. On either side of the pack, there are also two elasticated
mesh water bottle pockets. These pockets are wide
enough for bigger bottles and while they’re not very deep, you can use the compression straps to secure taller bottles or even a tripod. Next, across the bottom of the pack there’s two rows of molle. While we never found the
need to use this ourselves, it’s good to know that
they’re there if you need them and they don’t get in
the way when not in use. Finally, on either side of the molle, there are two loops that can
be used to attach an ice axe or trekking poles using
the pass-through pockets and compression straps at the top of the pack to secure them. Again, we never found
ourselves using these loops, and to be honest, they became quite annoying dangling around the bottom of our pack, so we ended up tucking them into the molle to keep them out the way. (funky electronic beats) Now let’s move inside this pack and we’ll start with the main compartment. This has a large horseshoe style opening, and it is essentially a large bucket that you can throw all of your items into. Packing cubes and pouches
will work best here to help you organize
all of your gear inside. At the back of this compartment, there is a padded laptop sleeve that can also be used
as a hydration sleeve if that’s more your style. This sleeve is big enough to
hold laptops up to 15 inches, but just a note, it may
be hard to access quickly if your pack is loaded full to the brim. Now let’s take a look at those
external quick-grab pockets, and there’s a lot going on here. First, there’s a pocket at the top which, aside from a small plastic key clip, is just a medium sized compartment you can chuck some stuff into. Next, there are two small zippered pockets on either side of the pack, just above the water bottle pockets. We found these handy
for storing our cables and chargers that we
needed to access quickly. Finally, there’s a large
external pocket on the front here that offers a decent amount
of internal organization. There’s a fleece-lined pocket at the back which is good for phones or even a tablet, then there are two rows
of liner pockets in front that are good for keys, wallets and other quick-grab essentials. (hip hop funk beats) At the time of this review, we’ve been testing the Kelty Redwing 40 for just over a month in and
around Detroit, Michigan. We’re happy to report
that it’s not showing any signs of wear and tear as of yet, and we expect it to hold up pretty well as we test thing thing for longer. In testing this pack has seen use in a predominantly urban environment, and while we’ve been able
to get away with using it as such with a laptop et cetera, with its super harness system, external components
and quick-grab pockets, along with the look of this thing, it’s obvious that this pack is best suited to adventure travel
and the great outdoors, and in that environment, it certainly holds up
against its competitors such as the Osprey Fairview, the Eagle Creek Global Companion, and the Thule Landmark. Moving on to the pros and cons. The harness system is comfortable and fits a woman’s body really well, it’s overall pretty lightweight
for a pack of this size, and there are lots of quick-grab pockets and external compartments for fast access when you’re on the road. Now the cons. There are lots of dangling
straps on the outside, the laptop compartment
can be hard to access when the bag is full, and the thin polyester fabric
could be harder wearing when compared to other
travel packs on the market. (hip hop funky beats) The Kelty Redwing 40 is
a women’s fit backpack that’s ready for adventure. The harness system is one of
the best we’ve tested to date, and the vast array of external
pockets and compartments come in super useful
when you’re on the road. While there are certainly
better travel backpacks, if you stick to more urban environments and carry a laptop with you, the Kelty Women’s Redwing
40 is a solid pack that could work really well for you depending on your use case. So there you have it, our review of the Kelty
Women’s Redwing 40, and as ever, we’d love
to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for keepin’ it here at Pack Hacker, your guide to smarter travel. We’ll see you in the next one.

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