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Kelty Women's Redwing 40
Where to Buy Kelty Women's Redwing 40

Kelty Women's Redwing 40 reviews are sparse, and those we found are split between the yays and nays. On the plus side, a review on Amazon praises the overall design: size, pockets, easy access to main compartment, good balance, and durability. An expert review on Back Country Edge extols the features, most notably the ergonomically-correct-for-women shoulder straps and waist band. Indeed, women do seem to find this low-cost backpack quite comfortable, according to hiking backpack reviews. On the negative side, we read a couple of reviews griping about flaps that make it hard to get at the zippers, side pockets that are too small for a Nalgene bottle, and fabric that isn't water-resistant -- a disappointment to one user who writes on REI that she carries the pack into the field when doing scientific research.

A 41-liter backpack made of 420 denier ripstop polyester, the Kelty Women's Redwing 40 (starting at $78, Amazon) also features load-lifter straps and a contoured and removable waist band (no need for a waist band if you're not carrying a heavy load). The shoulder straps are also adjustable, making the pack suitable for women with torsos between 14.5 and 18.5 inches; the dimensions of the pack itself are 21x16x13.5 inches and it weighs a bit over three pounds. There's a sternum strap, compression straps, a daisy chain, ice-axe loop, carrying handle, and sleeve and port for a hydration system. Lastly, the pack is available in black, heather, jade or jewel, and it comes in a larger men's version, as well.

Except for a couple of minor issues, the Kelty Women's Redwing is a good all-around backpack. Better for taking on the road or moving about town, perhaps, than for multi-day hikes where water-related events, like rain or spray from a stream, can cause a problem. You can compensate with a rain cover, but still... weigh the tradeoffs and then decide.

by Maralyn Edid (Google+ Profile) – August 25, 2012
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