The following Kelty Redwing 44 backpack review was submitted by Hannah. See all backpack reviews here.
My name is Hannah and I’m a digital marketing strategist from San Diego. After graduating from college, I took a 3-month trip to Ireland and traveled through several European countries during my stay. All the while, I had my Kelty Redwing 44 pack and couldn’t have been happier!
What’s your backpack brand and model? How much does this backpack typically cost?
I took the Kelty Redwing 44 throughout my trip. Full resale value is about $125–Kelty packs seem to be a bit cheaper than Osprey, which is a great plus!
>> Check for prices of the Kelty Redwing 44 on Amazon.
How long have you had your backpack and where have you traveled with it?
This pack is about a year and a half old. It was actually my mom’s, she bought it for a week-long trip to Costa Rica. To date, the pack has been to Costa Rica, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Mexico.
>>Planning a trip? Check out our full list of female travel packing lists.
What factors were most important to you in choosing a backpack?
As I said, it was my mom’s backpack first. It was the first time I’d ever taken a trip like this, so I borrowed hers because I thought I would need something pretty big and hers seemed like a good size.
What do you like most about your backpack? Any down sides?
The thing I love most about this pack is that it can fit so much stuff! I took it on a two week trip through Hungary and the Czech Republic in the middle of November, so I had to pack a lot of warm clothes. I didn’t have a problem at all fitting a week’s worth of fresh sweaters and socks in the backpack, plus my toiletries, camera, and small laptop.
And even stuffed to the point of bursting, the airlines allowed me to take it as a carry-on. Maybe if you catch a flight attendant on a bad day, they would be less accommodating, but so far, I’ve been able to stow it overhead every time without issue.
The downside (which can be a positive for some travelers) is that it’s top-loading, so accessing my clothes entailed pulling everything out and repacking before I left.
>>Read our guide to choosing a front loading backpack.
Tell us about the fit and comfort level of your backpack.
The fit isn’t ideal for my frame, unfortunately. It’s not made specifically for a woman, and I am 5’4” with very narrow shoulders, so the straps were a bit too wide for me. It wasn’t a huge issue, given that it has a sternum strap, but if you’re like me and have a small build, you might want to consider purchasing a backpack with smaller straps.
>>Check out the best backpacks for petite and slim women.
If you want to take your backpack as carry-on luggage, can you?
I can and did! It’s too big for most airline regulations, but I’ve been allowed to take it as a carry-on every time I’ve tried. You might have to check it if your airline is fairly strict.
Have you found the size to be too small, just right, or too large?
I loved the size at first, but I found that the extra space encouraged me to over pack! In hindsight, a 40L backpack would have worked just as well. I also did the majority of my traveling in the winter, so the clothes I packed were heavier.
>>Read about some actual injuries from heavy luggage and how to avoid them.
Overall, would you recommend your backpack?
100% yes! It’s sturdy, reliable, versatile, and great for both hiking and travel. I ended up buying the Kelty Redwing 40W pack for my next trip because I had to give this one back, but I would definitely recommend it to travelers and hikers alike.
About the author: Hannah is a digital marketing strategist from San Diego.
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My girlfriend has the same backpack. It’s not top loading. It’s a U-shaped panel zipper that gives way more access than a dedicated top loader.
@ Gerard, I was going to comment the same thing. I have the 40L Women’s specific Redwing, and it’s not top-loading. It’s a U-shaped panel so you can see all the contents of your bag without having to rip everything out.