Kelty Women's Redwing 40 Review

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.

Maralyn Edid

Maralyn is a veteran reporter, writer, researcher, and editor. From her early years at Crain's Chicago Business and the Detroit bureau of Business Week, then on to a long-term stint at Cornell University's ILR School and now at, Maralyn has been -- and remains -- committed to getting ...

See full bio