The Redwing 32 is a quirky effort from a brand continuing to make inroads into the UK outdoor market. Kelty has a strong following helped by the versatile nature of their products. It makes gear for Special Forces, so you could expect the pack to have a rather ‘desert storm’ feel to it and it does: there are many pockets, grab handles, wand pockets, sleeves, compression straps and a front organisational pocket that gives this rucksack rather more of a travel (or even college) feel to it. It is however a well-featured outdoor pack too, which will no doubt make it popular for those who want one rucksack that does everything. At 32 litres it is compact, with a portion of its capacity comprised of pockets on the side and front. The side pockets are separated from the rucksack by a tunnel into which you can thread poles or even a small camera tripod; there is a padded foam back system with a central air channel. But sadly in its quest for versatility this rucksack lacks or compromises on some features which would need to be present to make this a genuine walkers’ rucksack: there’s no rain cover, the opening at the top is a hinged lid affair which – while ideal for a laptop, say – will not be liked by everyone. There is a pocket and hole for a hydration tube, but the latter is very small, necessitating the removal of the mouthpiece to thread the pipe through on certain systems.
The Kelty Redwing 32 is a good travel sack with hillwalking applications, but it’s pricy for a product that isn’t specialist to purpose.
Review by Simon Ingram
Just missed out on being in Trail magazine March 2014