Sorry for the brief LTR. I suffered a knee injury and was off my feet for 6 weeks, which ruled out any further testing. I emailed Kathy at the time so all is fine.
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31st August 2010
Field Locations & Conditions
I have been very unfortunate since my Field Report, having sustained a major knee injury which not only saw me not able to walk for 6 weeks, basically prevented me from undertaking further testing in the field. I was still able to use the Lakota pack twice for brief overnight weekend trips where I was staying in bunk house still accommodation. In both of these occasions I had very little gear in my pack, basically a sleeping bag & mat, a few items of clothes, some bathroom gear and a few other odds and ends. I did not weight the back contents but I would estimate the weight would not be over 5 kg (11 lbs).
Overall Summary of Performance
As stated in my IR, I was immediately impressed with the Lakota pack from the time I first received it. On a number of occasions when I have been using the pack I have received my questions from people along the lines of' 'wow, that's a nice pack, where can I get one!' Throughout my time using the Lakota I have found it to be comfortable, practical and functional. Given that lately I have been carrying rather light loads, the array of compression straps have allowed me to really reduce the size of the pack to secure the contents. I did find that when really pulling the straps to compress the pack it can get a little confusing as the top pocket compression straps tuck in behind the side compression straps. This resulted in my getting them tangled a few times but not to any major consequence, more just a annoyance. Certainly without doubt the major feature I would modify on this pack is the internal divide. I found it to be so useless that I stopped using it as I found that it did very little to separate the gear in my pack and on regular occasions small items like my socks, and on one instance, my wallet, fell through the divide into the base compartment.
Final Remarks and Future Use
I have no doubt that I will get many years of future enjoyment from using the Lakota 4000 pack as my primary weekender and long day hike pack. It has the right combination of functional pockets, easy compression and a comfortable harness system. I am actually about to embark on a 2 week trip to East Timor, a small county north of Australia, to undertake volunteer work. This trip will see me moving around frequently between villages and as a result I need a comfortable pack to contain all my gear. As I am limited to a mere 13 kg (28.7 lbs) of baggage weight for the flight over, I intend to use the Lakota 4000 as I think it is the perfect size for this amount of gear.
This concludes my test series of the Kelty Lakota 4000 pack. My final thanks to Kelty and www.BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this quality product.