Backpack Reviews external frame backpack Kelty Travel

Kelty Trekker 65 External Frame Backpack Review

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The Kelty Trekker 65 is an exterior body backpack with an adjustable torso size and ventilated again. Weighing 5 lbs 2 oz, it’s higher for carrying heavier masses, cumbersome, or awkwardly sized gear than most inner body backpacks as a result of you’ll be able to lash gear to the body as an alternative of getting to hold it within the pack bag. Its stiff body and oversize hip belt additionally make it attainable to hold fairly heavy masses, upwards of 50+ kilos, in relative consolation. Whereas exterior body backpacks have fallen out of trend with ultralight backpackers and thru-hikers, they’re nonetheless a really viable and widespread choice with backpackers, scout troops, path crews, hunters, and anybody who has to haul heavy gear into the backcountry. The Trekker 65 can also be fairly an reasonably priced and bomber-durable backpack, which provides to its attraction.

Specs at a Look

  • Weight: 5 lbs 2 oz
  • Sort: External Frame
  • Ventilated: Sure
  • Adjustable: Sure
  • Gender: Unisex
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Material: 600D Polyester w/ 600D Polyester Small Ripstop
  • Torso Vary:  16 – 22 in
  • Hip Belt Vary: 30 – 50 in
  • Colour: Maroon (actually, it’s not purple)
  • Rain cowl: Bought individually. Purchase any generic 75-80L pack cowl

Backpack Frame and Suspension

The Trekker 65 is an exterior body backpack, which merely signifies that body is seen fairly than being coated and invisible, which is the case with most inner body backpacks. An exterior “frame architecture” supplies a number of advantages, together with good again air flow and the power to hold cumbersome gear from the body, as an alternative of getting to pack it in the primary compartment. For instance, jerry cans of additional water, giant artificial or winter sleeping luggage, bear canisters, instances of meals, multi-person tents, luggage of coal, firewood, and even chain saws and plastic gasoline “cans.” Packs just like the Trekker 65 are the workhorses of the backcountry.

The pack bag, hip belt, shoulder straps, and load lifters are all attached to the frame using pins.The pack bag, hip belt, shoulder straps, and cargo lifters are all hooked up to the body utilizing pins.

Match and Adjustment

The body is made with light-weight aluminum. It has holes drilled into it round its perimeter and cross items to hold the pack bag, connect the shoulder straps, and the hip belt. That is executed utilizing aluminum pins which have wire rings on the finish (referred to as clevis pins) to maintain them from falling out.

The body is telescoping, so you’ll be able to drop the peak of the hip belt if you wish to make the torso longer or increase it as much as make it shorter. There are a pair of metallic buttons on the body behind the sleeping bag pocket that you have to push in to launch the body to regulate its size. Kelty recommends positioning the load lifter strap buckles in order that they’re on the similar degree as the underside of your ears, which works properly.

The Trekker 65 has a telescoping frame that lets you adjust the packs torso lengthThe Trekker 65 has a telescoping body that allows you to regulate the pack’s torso size.

You may as well make the space between the shoulder straps wider or narrower. There are 4 units of holes drilled into the body’s cross-pieces which might be used to connect the load lifters and shoulder straps to the pack. Shifting them farther aside may be good for individuals with broad necks or well-developed chests, whereas shifting them nearer collectively could be good for individuals with smaller torsos.

The mesh behind your again also needs to be adjusted for consolation to maintain air flowing behind your again. It ought to be tight sufficient to maintain your shoulder blades from touching the body however not so tight that it feels arduous towards your again. In use, the air flow is a profit however don’t child your self. Whereas your shirt will dry quicker, you’re nonetheless going to sweat for those who carry a heavy backpack.


In case you’re used to an inner body backpack, a closely loaded Trekker 65 with 50 or 60 kilos of drugs, water, and meals will really feel very unusual certainly. First off, it’s significantly wider and taller than most inner body backpacks, which may pose clearance issues in slender or brushy trails. Overlook about ducking beneath or crawling beneath fallen timber: you’ll should take the Trekker 65 off and pull it throughout after you’ve gone via your self.

You’ll additionally stand far more erect than you’ll with an inner body pack, which is definitely a great factor, as a result of it helps recruit the larger muscle mass in your legs like your quads and glutes to hold the load. In contrast to inner body packs, the place the hip-to-shoulder load ratio is often 60/40, you’ll be capable of transfer a lot of the load to your hips and virtually utterly off your shoulders with the Trekker 65. Whereas anybody can profit from this, individuals with again points can stay lively outdoor by switching to an everlasting body backpack for simply this cause.

The Trekker 65 has a higher center of gravity which can throw you off balance on rougher terrainThe Trekker 65 has a better middle of gravity which may throw you off-balance on rougher terrain

The middle of gravity on the Trekker 65 can also be larger, which may throw you off-balance if it’s a must to hike on rocky or root-filled trails or scramble via boulder-fields and throughout open ledge. It’s customary to pack your heavier gear, water, and gasoline nearer to greater up within the pack bag on an exterior pack just like the Trekker, though you’re free to connect them decrease on the body to enhance your stability.

When it comes to consolation, the shoulder straps and hip belt of the Trekker 65 are crammed with foam and coated with a breathable mesh material. The shoulder pads are three″ vast (which is giant) and undoubtedly designed for males, regardless of the Trekker’s “unisex” gender classification. The hip belt is 5″ vast with a mushy and unobtrusive lumbar pad. It has a pull-forward tightening mechanism so it’s straightforward to regulate and gained’t slip down your hips, even when they’re squarish in form or you’ve got a little bit of a intestine. There are additionally hip management straps, linking the hip belt to the edges of the body to assist scale back sway. Nevertheless, the hip belt doesn’t have any pockets or attachment factors for exterior pockets. The identical is true of the shoulder straps, excluding hydration-hose keeper straps.

Backpack Storage and Group

The Trekker 65 is about as much as carry gear contained in the pack bag in addition to externally, hooked up to the body. This makes it good for carrying cumbersome gear that might usually be awkward to hold inside an inner body backpack. For instance, as an alternative of carrying a big artificial sleeping bag contained in the pack, you might pack it up in a water-proof stuff sack and lash it to the underside of the Trekker’s body with a couple of webbing straps. Should you’ve ever struggled to assist a boy scout pack a big sleeping bag, you’ll perceive the apparent benefits of this strategy.

One of the best place to connect gear to the Trekker is within the area under the pack bag, on the opposite aspect of the body from the hip belt. The pack doesn’t include any webbing straps for this, however ski straps work nicely for the aim. You may also connect gear to the highest of the body or have it sit on prime of the pack bag, or underneath the primary flap as proven under.

The Kelty Trekker is designed so you can carry gear inside the pack bag as well as outside it, attached to the frameThe Kelty Trekker is designed so you’ll be able to carry gear contained in the pack bag in addition to outdoors it, hooked up to the body

The Trekker pack bag has a important compartment with a separate sleeping pad pocket positioned beneath, There are 5 pockets on the edges and entrance of the pack, and an extended fold-over flap that covers the highest. The flap is designed to carry gear towards the highest of the primary compartment, very similar to a floating lid on a mountaineering-style inner body backpack. That is often fairly light-weight stuff, like a foam pad or collapsible fishing rod, so it gained’t throw off your middle of gravity an excessive amount of, though it could scale back overhead clearance.

The aspect pockets shut with zippers and supply good organizational capabilities for packing smaller gadgets, however aren’t giant sufficient to hold something extra substantial like a Jetboil. The place of the aspect pockets additionally makes it troublesome to lash gear to the edges of the pack, like a foam pad, snowshoes, and skis, since there are additionally no compression straps or daisy chains alongside the edges on the pack bag. A few of Kelty’s different packs have pass-throughs behind the pockets you could slide skis, canoe paddles, or fishing rods via and I want the Trekker 65 had these as an alternative.

The entrance of the pack has a bigger prime pocket that can be utilized to retailer rain gear or layers for straightforward entry. The hatch-style opening under it offers entry to a small sleeping bag compartment. The inside of the primary compartment is positioned above it and used to hold your heaviest gadgets, like water, meals, and gasoline. The vertical place of those heavy gadgets corresponds to your shoulders and head, which is why their weight can throw you off-balance on rocky trails or when scrambling. Relying on what you carry, it may be troublesome to maneuver these heavier gadgets nearer to your hips, until you make a concerted effort to hold as a lot weight as potential underneath the pack bag or hooked up elsewhere to the body.

Given the lack of water bottle pockets, you need to use a hydration reservoir to provide easy access to water while you hikeGiven the shortage of water bottle pockets, you could want to make use of a hydration reservoir to offer quick access to water when you hike.

Whereas there’s a hydration pocket in the primary compartment, it’s not designed for use with reservoirs which might be hung vertically, so that you’ll have to put your reservoir on its aspect. Alternatively, you possibly can cling a hydration reservoir behind the ventilated mesh on the again of the pack as an alternative of storing it inside the primary pack bag. This can be a good instance of the right way to overcome a few of the pack bag’s limitations by attaching gear to the body. It’s a enjoyable recreation to Magyver these nifty workarounds and customise your use of the Trekker 65 for several types of journeys and locations.

Comparable External Frame Backpacking Packs


The Kelty Trekker 65 is a sturdy exterior body backpack that’s cheap and may haul heavy and hulking masses properly in extra of 50 or 60 kilos (or extra) much more simply and comfortably than most inner body backpacks. Whereas it’s “old-school,” it’s absolutely adjustable (torso-length, shoulder-pad width) and ventilated, so you’ll be able to actually dial in a superb match. External backpacks will not be for everybody, however in case you attempt one just like the Trekker 65, you possibly can nicely grow to be a convert.

Whereas I’m positive there are lots of Trekker house owners who love their backpacks, it’s additionally value taking a look at newer exterior body backpacks that mix a extra typical pack bag or roll prime with a inflexible exterior body. They’re lighter weight than the Trekker 65, have a decrease middle of gravity when loaded, and can be utilized for scrambling or rougher trails in locations the place the Trekker is much less appropriate.


  • Vast hip belt and stiff body present wonderful load switch to hips
  • External body promotes a extra erect posture and fewer power expenditure
  • Straightforward to lash cumbersome objects or gear to prime and backside of body with webbing or ski straps
  • Fold-over prime pocket is far simpler to make use of than a floating lid


  • Can’t grasp a hydration reservoir vertically within the hydration pocket
  • There’s 1 pocket that would maintain a water bottle, nevertheless it’s unreachable when the pack is worn
  • No hip belt pockets
  • No webbing straps included for lashing gear to border
  • Troublesome to connect gear to sides of the pack, like foam pads or skis
  • Shoulder pads usually are not feminine pleasant.

Examine 5 Costs

Final up to date: 2018-08-08 21:36:53

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