INITIAL REPORT, Kelty Red Cloud backpack, Nigel McGregor
- Item: Kelty Red Cloud 5600 backpack
Name: Nigel McGregor
Gender: 5' 10" (1.78 Meters)
Weight: 157lbs (71 kg)
City, State, Country: Heath, Tx, US
Date: November 29, 2008
Backpacking Background: I have been an avid camper all my life and now travel the world
as a professional photographer, using my backpack as my only piece of luggage.
I've backpacked & camped in Colorado in various weather conditions, but most of my
experience is in warmer parts of the world. Usually I am out for three days or so, however
my job has taken me out for longer periods, often in severe conditions as a journalist
covering natural disasters where we are primarily self-sustained.
Product Info: Internal Fame Pack
Kelty Red Cloud 5600
Purchased: December 2004 http://kelty.com/kelty/products.php?
Listed Weight: 6 lb. 1 oz. (2.7 kg)
Volume: 5600 cu in. (91.8 liters)
Suspension: internal frame / adjustable suspension
Dimensions: Length- 40 in (102 cm)
Width- 20 in (51cm)
Materials: 420D nylon - micro ripstop / reinforced w/ 600D polyester kodra & 500D
Description: This is a great pack for long hikes with plenty of room for clothes & gear. It's
top and front loading to make it easy to access things, no matter where they are packed.
Multiple pouches for keeping smaller things separated. Pack has zippered/flapped side
pockets for easy access, large front pocket that has another internal fleece-lined pocket
for delicate things (glasses or lens filters). Outer pocket has another smaller pocket for
other trinkets. All pockets are secure and keep things safe. Front also has daisy chain for
strapping other gear on. Both sides have mesh water bottle pockets for easy access to
plenty of h2o on the go, but there is also a hidden compartment inside against your back
for a hydration bladder and hole for the tube to exit either side you prefer. The top lid
converts to a fanny pack for short hikes around camp and has a pocket inside for keys or
small things like that. The bottom compartment has room for a sleeping bag if it's rolled
tight, otherwise there is a zippered flap separating the main compartment from the
sleeping bag area that can add more room to the main compartment (I use the bottom
area for my dirty clothes usually). On the bottom of the pack are more lashing loops and
tabs to strap more gear on.
The suspension in very adjustable to a variety of heights. On either side of the suspension
area are long velcro flaps that can be undone to slide the shoulder straps up or down to a
custom fit. The shoulder straps are a soft material and comfortable on the shoulders -
even on long hikes. On the shoulder are "load-lifter" straps to pull the load up close to
your back for a secure fit. The waist belt is also padded and very comfortable on the hips
w/ a large snapping buckle and compression straps on either side for an easy fit. The
back panel is padded, breathable mesh. All this creates a backpack that is comfortable to
carry large loads for long distances w/ out a problem. I find it very stable - even with
more weight than they recommended @ REI. I load this thing down w/ clothes, camera
equipment, and anything else I may need for the better part of a week and have no
problems accessing my things - which is very important when you need something
Weather Resistance: It's just nylon, it needs a rain cover which is not included.
Color: blue/dark grey
I first took my Red Cloud to cover the tsunami relief in Banda Ache, Indonesia. It was
loaded with 57 lbs (25.86 kgs) of clothes, food and gear for a month (I did have another
day pack & a number of Pelican cases as well). It took a beating and past the test without
We had rain a few days and I could have used a rain cover but used trash bags and a
couple of nylon straps and they served the purpose. The backpack worked like a champ
Since that trip, I've traveled on Presidential campaigns, hurricanes and countless miles of
covering other news stories, not to mention four years of Boy Scout trips with my sons -
my Red Cloud pack with me all the way. It has held up to the rigors and the only thing
wrong is a few stains and one strap was melted in an airport conveyor belt. It has plenty of
miles left in it.
The Kelty Red Cloud 5600 is a great pack for a wide variety of uses. If you're going out
for a weekend of camping or heading out for a trip around the world, the Red Cloud will
get you there and hold up to everything you can through at it. The dual entry (top and
front) allow you to access anything you can stuff into it and all the pockets keep your
smaller valuables safe and easy to get to.
I've seen it on-line for as low as $115.00, so research it.
The materials and construction are very good. It has plenty of pockets to store lots of
stuff, loops and a daisy chain to strap more gear on and it's really comfortable to wear all
day on the trail. The top and front loading lets you pack quickly and access the inside
easily (this is my favorite part).
I wish they encluded a rain cover with it.
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