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Best Hiking Daypack: Kelty Redwing 32 - Gear Hacker

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Kelty Redwing 32: Best Pack for the Highly Organized

Best Pack for the Highly Organized

  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Storage 100% 100%
  • Accessories 70% 70%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Price: $100

Dimensions: 22” x 14” x 11” / 56 x 35.5 x 28 cm

Weight: 907g

What We Like: Great price, good back padding, and shoulder straps.

What We Don’t: Too many pockets

The Kelty Redwing 32 is a minimalist’s nightmare. That being said, for hikers who love organization and being able to have an area for everything on their gear list, it is perfect. The price of the Redwing is also impressive for what the pack offers. The padding on the shoulder straps and back panel is comfortable but may not breathe as well as other packs on the list. This pack is a workhorse and will keep you very well organized if you remember where everything went. With all of the pockets and the extremely reasonable price, the Kelty Redwing earned our Best Daypack for the Highly Organized designation. 

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  • Srorage 90% 90%
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Pros

External Gear Loops

Stash Pocket

Good Hip Belts

Cons

Maybe Too Long for some Torsos.

Dimensions: 22” x 11” x 7.1” / 56 x 28 x 18 cm

Weight: 794g

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Pros

Great Harness System for Size

Integrated Rain Cover

Cons

Sticks Out Far from the Body When Fully Packed

No Stash Pocket for Layers

Dimensions: 22” x 12” x 12” / 56 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm

Weight: 1247g

Best Hiking Daypack: Kelty Redwing 32 - Gear Hacker

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  • Comfort 70% 70%
  • Storage 100% 100%
  • Accessories 70% 70%
  • Weight 60% 60%

Pros

Great Price

Good Back Padding

Shoulder Straps

Cons

Too Many Pockets

Dimensions: 22” x 14” x 11” / 56 x 35.5 x 28 cm

Weight: 907g

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Pros

Lightweight

Slender Construction

Cons

No Internal Frame

Dimensions: 20.5” x 10.5” x 9” / 52 x 26.5 x 23 cm

Weight: 822g

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Pros

Innovative Hip Belt System

Hydration Reservoir Included

Cons

Weight

Bulky Build

Dimensions: 21.3” x 11.8” x 10.2” / 54.1 x 30 x 26 cm

Weight: 1275g

The Kelty Redwing 32 is one of the larger packs on the hiking daypack list, but it couldn’t be missed. This pack comes with so many storage options that you are most likely to lose something, but while looking for that lost item, you are likely to find a dozen other things you previously thought were lost. If you love pockets, bells, and whistles, this is an extremely attractive bag, and its price – what a bargain! It was easy to award the Redwing 32 the Best Daypack for the Highly Organized.

Kelty has also designed the Redwing for a female figure. When shopping for a Kelty Redwing pack, they have added Woman to the name of the packs that are designed for women. 

The Kelty Redwing family has been well developed. They have several different options in terms of sizing and function. The Redwing is also available in 22L, 36L, 44L, and 50L packs. The harness system has remained the same for each. The differences are found on the exterior of the pack and mainly on the front panel. The front pocket has been changed out for either stretch cords or a stretch mesh panel to quickly access extra layers. Kelty also offers the Redwing in a “Tactical” version, which is built with heavier nylon and created to military specifications. 

 

Best Hiking Daypack: Kelty Redwing 32 - Gear Hacker

Ventilation and Suspension

The Kelty Redwing 32 comes with a light plastic back panel frame to increase support. The back panel is then covered in shaped foam and hex mesh to allow for comfort and ventilation along the back. Though not as rigid as other Kelty packs, the Redwing 32 will provide all-day support and comfort on a long adventure. 

The shoulder straps are also nicely padded and have a slight contour to fit comfortably over the shoulders. The straps have an adjustable sternum strap and load lifters to really give the wearer ultimate control over cargo management.

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The hip belt has large fabric side panels, but you can barely call them padded. However, the hip belt does use Kelty’s Airmesh system for comfort, and it does a good job of helping to spread the load across the waist. Overall, it is much better than a simple nylon hip belt, but it is a bit of a miss for a pack of this size. The upside is that it is stashable. If you are in the city and want to blend in, it can be stored away. 

The sternum and hip pad straps also come with elastics at the end, which are used to manage leftover straps after pack adjustment. We found this to be a great addition to keep the straps from swinging around while moving. 

Storage

Where do we begin?! This pack seems to have a pocket for everything. It’s as if the designers went to the product engineers and said, “We have some ideas…” and the engineers replied, “Try us.”

The main compartment uses a dual zipper closure. There are 2 compression buckles that close over the main zipper near the top. While these buckles are closed the pack has a wide top-loading opening. If you unclip the compression buckles the main compartment opening transforms into a massive U-shaped panel opening. The zipper set up offers excellent access to just about everything in the main compartment. There is a padded hydration pocket in the main compartment for a hydration bladder or a laptop. Along the top of the pack is a zippered valuables pocket with a key clip, to hold smaller items and keep them out of the main compartment. 

Best Hiking Daypack: Kelty Redwing 32 - Gear Hacker

The previously mentioned compression buckles, when unclipped, also open a “stash” pocket, which is a great place to store an extra layer if needed. The front of the pack includes a thin zippered storage areaa great spot for maps, phones, or writing material. This panel has organization pockets inside of it to help keep everything neat and tidy. It is a fairly deep pocket, so that would be the best place to look for your Big Shiny Tunes CD if it goes missing. Along the front of the pack are a hidden grab handle and two hidden daisy chain loops for additional customization without adding too much weight.

On the side of the pack, there are two zippered pockets near the top and two stretch mesh water bottle pockets closer to the bottom. A great feature of the upper pockets is that they have “pass-through” room behind them. You could store hiking poles, or a camera tripod if you were willing to get slightly creative, inside of the pass-through pockets. 

 

Best Hiking Daypack: Kelty Redwing 32 - Gear Hacker

Honestly, Kelty thought of everything and then figured out a way to attach it to this pack. Some may think that the assortment of pockets and zippers takes away from the aesthetics of the pack. However, at the end of the day, the Redwing 32 will, without question, keep you very organized on the trail or in the city.

Material and Weight

The Kelty Redwing 32 uses a 420D polyamide fabric, which is excellent for a daypack and highly durable. For the amount of storage capability, it is lighter than the Osprey Stratos 24 and almost a pound lighter than the Mystery Ranch Scree 32, its counterpart on this list. The back panel is made with an HDPE plastic sheet, which is not the most rigid but does help keep the pack’s shape while remaining lightweight. 

Best Hiking Daypack: Kelty Redwing 32 - Gear Hacker

The Bottom Line

Seriously, I’m not even sure I’ve mentioned all of the pockets on this day pack. It really is impressive how many pockets Kelty was able to incorporate onto a “smaller” pack. If you want a sleek, minimalist pack, the Kelty Redwing may not be for you. However, at only $100 and weighing in at only 907g, the Kelty Redwing is an amazingly efficient pack that is great for the backcountry or for the city with its hideaway hip belts and padded hydration pocket. In the end, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if you want the Swiss Army knife of day packs, then the Kelty Redwing 32 is the one for you. 

 

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