Several years ago, we found out that my husband has a hereditary degenerative back disease along with his degenerative discs. It is very painful and the doctor told him no more lifting anything… This included no backpacking. We were both really upset so I decided I could carry all of the equipment but I would need a larger backpack. I did my research and found the Kelty Red Cloud 5600. I love this backpack!

This year we realized hiking for him was out of the question. I’m going to be solo hiking – SCARY!! I’ve made a few solo hikes but not many… Guess I’m going to have to get over being alone in the woods!

I decided I should probably look into a new backpack. Mine is eight years old. It’s been in drug around, thrown around, in baggage claims from here to California several times. And, on the last trip to CA, one of the zippers on the front pocket was broken by Delta while in baggage claim 🙁 I wanted a lighter backpack but I still wanted a large pack just in case I found someone who would go hiking with me. Here are the specs for my Kelty Red Cloud 5600:

Kelty Red Cloud 5600 Specs

Manufacturer: Kelty
Year of Manufacture: 2009
MSRP: $199.95
Weight: 5lbs 10oz
Volume: 5600 cubic inches (91.76756 liters)
Frame Type: Internal
Torso Lengths: 16″-22″
Suspension: CloudLock 2 adjustable suspension
Frame Material: Lightbeam II Aluminum stays with HDPE framesheet
Access: Top Load w/ Front Panel and Sleeping Bag Compartment Access
Fabric: 600D polyester ripstop and 600D polyester oxford
Reinforcement Fabric: 610D polyester cordura

Description

An internal frame pack that balances performance, durability and affordability. This is the summation of the Kelty Red Cloud 5600 backpack. The pack is a large volume internal frame backpack with lots of extras! With so many extras, it’s hard to find a place to start.

What I Wanted in a New Pack

  • I need a large capacity backpack.
    • I hike in the winter – 20 to 40 degrees.
    • I might be carrying my husband’s equipment.
  • I definitely want an internal frame.
  • I want external pockets!
  • I would like to have a detachable day pack.
  • I want a sleeping bag compartment.
  • I will need a rain cover but that doesn’t have to come with the pack.
  • I don’t care anything about an integrated hydration compartment.

So, I know I will need an expedition or weeklong pack. It needs to have an internal frame, a lot of external pockets, a sleeping bag compartment, and, hopefully, an attached day pack.

What I Found

The five packs I started looking at were:

Osprey Ariel 75 AG EX Pack – Women’s Osprey Xena 85 Pack – Women’s Deuter ACT Lite 70 + 10 Pack – Women’s Kelty Coyote 70 Pack – Women’s Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 70 Pack
Frame Type: Internal Frame Internal Frame Internal Frame Internal Frame Internal Frame
Volume (Liters): 69 77 70 70 70
Volume (cu in): 4211 4699 4272 4250 4270
Weight: 4lbs 13.6oz 4lbs 12oz 4lbs 9oz 5lbs 1oz 4lbs 3oz
Adjustable Torso: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Torso Fit: 14-17 Less than 16 inches 14-20 inches 14.5-18.5 inches 18-22 inches
Fits Waist/Hips: 24-28 Less than 28 inches Unavailable Unavailable 28-34 inches
Materials: Nylon High-tenacity Nylon/Nylon Oxford 210 denier ripstop nylon 420 denier polyester Nylon
Frame Material: Metal alloy HDPE framesheet/metal alloy peripheral frame Aluminum Aluminum + HDPE Maple core composite
Number of Stays: 1 Peripheral hoop/aluminum center stay 2 2 0
Pack Access: Top/bottom/panel Top/sides/bottom Top Top/bottom/panel Top
Number of Exterior Pockets: 7 8 6 7 5
Sleeping Bag Compartment: Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Removable Day pack: Yes Yes
Gender: Women’s Women’s Women’s Women’s Unisex
Price: $330.00 $360.00 $229.00 $219.95 $349.95

 

Eliminating Backpacks

Immediately I had to eliminate the Osprey Xena 85 Pack – Women’s and the Granite Gear Nimbus Trace Access 70 Pack because of the torso size.They were also the most expensive pack so I was happy to eliminate those!!

Next, I compared the size of each of the remaining backpacks. The Osprey Ariel 75 AG EX Pack had the smallest volume and I would have been at the top of the Torso fit. I eliminated that pack. I’ve narrowed my choices down to the Deuter ACT Lite 70 + 10 Pack and the Kelty Coyote 70 Pack.

Deuter ACT Lite 70 + 10 Pack – Women’s Kelty Coyote 70 Pack – Women’s
Frame Type: Internal Frame Internal Frame
Volume (Liters): 70 70
Volume (cu in): 4272 4250
Weight: 4lbs 9oz 5lbs 1oz
Adjustable Torso: Yes Yes
Torso Fit: 14-20 inches 14.5-18.5 inches
Fits Waist/Hips: Unavailable Unavailable
Materials: 210 denier ripstop nylon 420 denier polyester
Frame Material: Aluminum Aluminum + HDPE
Number of Stays: 2 2
Pack Access: Top Top/bottom/panel
Number of Exterior Pockets: 6 7
Sleeping Bag Compartment: Yes Yes
Removable Day pack: Yes
Gender: Women’s Women’s
Price: $229.00 $219.95

Looking at the two bags above, I’m thinking that I would be happier with the Kelty Coyote 70 Pack – Women’s. I like that the pack has Top/bottom/panel access. It also has 7 exterior pockets and it has a removable day pack. The price is definitely a plus. It is a little smaller than the Deuter ACT Lite 70 + 10 Pack – Women’s and weighs 8oz more but I can live with the differences.

I’m going to look at the pack tomorrow to see how it feels!


So, I’ve tried on the Kelty Coyote 70. It didn’t feel any different than the Red Cloud and it was smaller. Now I’m thinking that I don’t want to change backpacks…

Kelty Coyote 70 Pack – Women’s Kelty Red Cloud 6500
Frame Type: Internal Frame Internal Frame
Volume (Liters): 70 91.8
Volume (cu in): 4250 5600
Weight: 5lbs 1oz 5lbs 10oz
Adjustable Torso: Yes Yes
Torso Fit: 14.5-18.5 inches 16-22 inches
Fits Waist/Hips: Unavailable
Materials: 420 denier polyester 600D polyester ripstop and 600D polyester oxford
Frame Material: Aluminum + HDPE Lightbeam II Aluminum stays with HDPE framesheet
Number of Stays: 2 2
Pack Access: Top/bottom/panel Top Load w/ Front Panel and Sleeping Bag Compartment Access
Number of Exterior Pockets: 7 7
Sleeping Bag Compartment: Yes Yes
Removable Day pack: Yes No
Gender: Women’s
Price: $219.95 $199.95

There is a difference of 1,350 cubic inches in the pack size with only a 9oz increase in weight. I would REALLY like the removable day pack but I don’t think the lose of pack space will convince me to go with the Coyote… For now, I will be staying with my Red Cloud! I guess I saved some money and I’m still happy with the purchase I made so many years ago!