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Kelty Redwing 32 Review: The Ultimate Day Hiking Backpack

The Kelty Redwing 32 is a backpack that is perfect for use around town or taking it on the trail. It has a number of convenient pockets all over the pack to organize and store all of your gear. There’s a large U shaped zipper for easy access to the large main compartment, smaller side pockets for items you need quick access to, a place for water bottles, and lots of organizational options on the front for electronics and other essentials.

The rigid back panel offers great support, the mesh on the back offers good ventilation, and there is an option to tuck away the hipbelt when you’re not using it. This is a great backpack for day hiking, traveling, and jamming around town.

Preview
Kelty Redwing 32 Backpack, Black
Product
Kelty Redwing 32
Weight
2 lbs
Volume
32 liters
Frame Type
Internal frame
Suspension
HDPE Frame Sheet
Torso Fit Range
One size
Dimensions
22 x 14 x 11 inches
Body Fabric
Poly 420D Small Back Stafford
Reinforcement Fabric
Poly 75 x 150D Tasser Coal
Preview
Kelty Redwing 32 Backpack, Black
Product
Kelty Redwing 32
Weight
2 lbs
Volume
32 liters
Frame Type
Internal frame
Suspension
HDPE Frame Sheet
Torso Fit Range
One size
Dimensions
22 x 14 x 11 inches
Body Fabric
Poly 420D Small Back Stafford
Reinforcement Fabric
Poly 75 x 150D Tasser Coal

Kelty Redwing 32 Review

The Kelty Redwing 32 is a smaller version in the classic Kelty Redwing line of backpacks. The new 32-liter version has improvements over the older models making this backpack perfect for a day hike, an overnight trip, or as a carry on travel backpack.

The material is water-resistant, however, if you are expecting heavy rain, a proper backpack cover is recommended. The zipper on this backpack gives the choice to use it as top loading or open it completely from side to side or full access. There are a wide variety of organizational options in the side pockets and the pocket on the front of the pack.

Pros:

  • Tuck away hipbelt
  • Rigid mesh back panel
  • Padded shoulder straps

Cons:

  • No sleeping pad storage straps
  • Rain cover not included
  • No bottom compartment

Kelty Redwing 32 Features

The Kelty Redwing is a small yet powerful backpack that works great as a daypack around town, hiking backpack, or a carry on travel backpack.

Main compartment

The main compartment has a large zipper that wraps all the way around the pack from side to side. The zipper design gives you a number of options to access the inside. You can open it just on the top of the bag for top access, however, if you disengage the compression straps you can open it all the way for full front panel access.

  • The main compartment has a large U-shaped zipper for accessibility
  • There is a padded sleeve in the main compartment for hydrations reservoir, laptop, or other electronics

Sides of the pack

There is a small pocket on both sides that can fit a backpacking pillow or a compressible outdoor jacket. They both include a pass-through behind the pockets that runs all the way down the side giving you a space to tuck away trekking poles. There is also stretchy mesh pockets on both sides that you can store water bottles.

  • Zippable pockets on the side for gear
  • Mesh side pockets for holding a water bottle
  • The side pockets are pass through, giving you a space to store trekking poles

Front of the pack

The front of the pack has a zippered pocket that has a bunch of smaller pockets inside for organization with plenty of areas to store pens, a phone, and any other smaller items. There is also a grab handle on the front of the pack with two smaller daisy chained attachment points. The grab handle is a convenient way to pick up the pack on the go, and the attachment points work great for strapping anything that you need quick access to.

  • The front of the pack has a zippered compartment with organizational pockets inside
  • There is an empty space behind the front pocket to tuck away a jacket, hats, or gloves

Back panel

The back panel has a lightweight HDPE support system, while it doesn’t offer the same rigidity of an external frame backpack, it does give you a good amount of support for the size of the pack. There are mesh padded panels that rest against your back and offer areas for air flow behind you, keeping the sweat to a minimum.

The rigid back panel offers great support, there is mesh on the back for better ventilation, and there is an option to tuck away the hipbelt when you’re not using it.

  • Lightweight HDPE support system
  • Hipbelt can be tucked away

Material

The main fabric is 420D polyester 4small back Stafford and is reinforced with polyester 75 x 150D Tasser Coal. The lightweight polyester is reinforced in the areas that see the most abuse and maintains the integrity of the fabric for many years.

  • Body fabric: Poly 420D Small Back Stafford
  • Reinforcement fabric: Poly 75 x 150D Tasser Coal

Torso size

The pack does only offer one torso size, however, there are adjustment points in the shoulder straps. The load lifter straps give you a small amount of play to adjust the torso size and the sternum strap runs between the shoulder straps.

  • Only one torso size
  • There are adjustment points in the shoulder straps

Weight

By using the HDPE frame sheet, Kelty was able to cut the overall pack weight by around 20%. This backpack weighs 2 pounds with no gear inside, making it perfect for a short overnight trip or the ultralight hikers out there.

  • 2 pounds

Is the 32-ounce size too small?

No, it’s not too small.

While a 32-ounce pack may not be the best fit for a month-long trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, it’s the perfect size for a weekend adventure in the wild. Larger packs offer more space, however, they also add a significant amount of weight to your back. The more room also tempts you to put unnecessary gear that you may or may not use.

The fact that this backpack is 32 ounces means that the pack weight itself is only 2 pounds and the large main compartment gives you plenty of room for everything and anything that you need. Even though this is a small daypack there is lots of room inside that you can store most of your gear and includes a padded sleeve that you can use for a hydration reservoir, laptop, or any other small electronics.

Is the Kelty Redwing 32 right for you?

Kelty Redwing 32
55 Reviews
Kelty Redwing 32
  • A sized-down version of Kelty's best-selling Redwing all the features needed for travel or a day on the trail adding convenience to any adventure
  • Suspension Features: HDPE frame sheet, Hex Mesh back panel, shoulder straps & waist belt, ventilating back panel, Sternum strap, Load lifter straps
  • Dimensions: Size (L x W x D) 22 x 14 x 11 in, Weight 2 lbs, Volume 32 L
  • Pockets: 1 interior slip, 6 exterior

The Kelty Redwing 32 is a daypack that is best suited for a short backpacking trip. It will hold enough gear comfortably for a couple days in the wilderness and has a bunch of pockets in all the right places.

The back is firm with mesh pads that let it sit comfortably on your back while maintaining a decent amount of airflow for ventilation. On the warmest days back sweat is always present, however, the padding gives you a comfortable fit.

Overall, this backpack is versatile and lightweight. It comes with a number the practical features of a hiking backpack conveniently placed into the size of an everyday use backpack.

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