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Kelty Redwing Tactical 30

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by Akilae, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Akilae

    Akilae Loaded Pockets

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    Around 4 years ago I enthusiastically reviewed the Kelty Peregrine 1800 on EDCF. The Peregrine is a great pack and in many ways perfect for what I wanted: A relatively lightweight daily EDC bag with decent carrying capacity. However, as time has gone by my Peregrine is beginning to show signs of wear: the rod loop that serves as the frame is wearing through the bottom of the pack, and the elastic on the side pockets are now much less elastic and don't retain water bottles as securely. It was time to look for a replacement, and the Peregrine has now been discontinued. Enter the Redwing 30!

    [​IMG]

    The Redwing Tactical 30 is the smallest in the new Redwing Tactical line, and is the intended replacement for the Peregrine 1800. Kelty rates the pack at 1900 cu-in, although I personally feel it is closer to a 2000 cu-in pack.

    In terms of features and organization, if you've ever owned a Redwing 50, then the Redwing 30 is the exact same, except for the lack of the side pouches. The pack has an inverted-U zipper that loops towards the carrier at the top of the pack, allowing the pack to become a top-loader if you just unzip to the first set of compression straps, and a panel loader if you unzip entirely.

    There is a zippered pouch at the top of the pack, which is quite sizable. I was able to stuff a Kindle and my regular winter accessories (cap and gloves) inside.

    [​IMG]

    The main sack is relatively long (22 inches compared to the Peregrine's 19 inches). There is a padded laptop pocket that also serves as a somewhat insulated bladder pocket. The pocket is covered with a loop field if you want to velcro anything to it. There is also a dedicated hose routing port at the top of the back. Structure for the pack is provided by a sheet of what I assume to be HDPE plastic. The sheet is accessible by opening up the velcro flap show in the above pic, and can be entirely removed if desired.

    [​IMG]

    The front of the pack is taken up by a pocket that takes up the entire front panel. Compared to the Peregrine the front pocket is single layer only, but longer to compensate. The organization is typical Kelty fare and works well. One thing I always liked about Kelty's admin pockets is the wide pen slots, allowing for organization of thicker pens or even penlights. Above the admin panel proper is a fleece pocket for things that need protection from scratches. The admin panel is not flush with the bottom of the pack, and I was able to stuff a light windshirt below the admin panel. I like this feature better than the Peregrine, where the windshirt goes into the pouch in front of the admin pocket, making the entire pack jut out even more.

    There are three icepick loops on the outside of the pack, if you need them. Personally I never found these types of loops useful. Otherwise there is a grab handle in the middle and, oddly for me, at the top of the front pocket. There are also water bottle pockets on both side of the pack which are the same 500D fabric as the rest of the pack, making them more durable and less prone to snagging. If you are carrying heavier weight or need the stabilization, there is also a non-removable waist strap that does transfer weight to the hips, making for easier carry. There are straps on the bottom of the pack for strapping accessories, if that's your thing. All zipper pulls are rugged and sturdy paracord with plastic tubing.

    Overall, I found the Redwing 30 to be a good Kelty pack. However, after one use I decided I would be selling it. The pack is fine, but simply too big for what I wanted for an EDC pack. The extra space over the Peregrine is too much for my regular use, and if I need capacity, I had the MAP 3500 that is a tad bigger but has a more heavy duty suspension system. If I did not have the MAP, then I'd keep the Redwing 30 around as a pretty good, cheap ($105 new) hiking day pack. As things stand however, I'm still looking for a replacement for the Peregrine. If only Kelty would start making good business decisions and churn out Peregrines again...
     
    #1 Akilae, Oct 21, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
    dml24, BTG108, Rainy and 4 others like this.
  2. Chips177

    Chips177 Loaded Pockets

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    Great review, thanks!
     
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  3. BTG108

    BTG108 Loaded Pockets

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    What color is that? It looks like a foliage


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  4. Akilae

    Akilae Loaded Pockets

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    The color I bought is Tactical Grey.
     
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  5. Rainy
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Rainy Uber Prepared

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    Nice review! Do you have some pictures of the admin panel, and the interior of the pack?
     
  6. Akilae

    Akilae Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks! I won't have time to do it until the weekend, but will update the thread when they're up!
     
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  7. BTG108

    BTG108 Loaded Pockets

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    I saw some other pictures of this pack online and am really close to snagging it’s larger cousin, but wanted to ask about the water bottle pockets. They seem pretty big, how well does a 20oz (approx) fit? Does it flop around - will it fall out if you bend over too far?

    Thanks again -


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  8. Akilae

    Akilae Loaded Pockets

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    My answer will unfortunately have to be a best guess. My only point of comparison are the Peregrine and my old Redwing 50. The three pocket designs are entirely different, making it difficult to see how the Tactical Redwing 44 or 50 would behave. Keep in mind I have a 32 oz stainless steel Nalgene, which is slippery no matter what. I always lash my water bottles to a carabiner which is then attached to a compression strap.

    -Peregrine. Elastic mesh, holds water bottle well when elastic is new. Nalgene does slip out if tilted far enough.
    -Old Redwing 50. Elastic fabric, approx 6.75 inches tall. Holds water bottle very well, but fabric might not strike a lot of confidence. Also, the top side pockets when full contribute to holding the water bottle in place. My favorite since the elastic does not seem to be going as fast as the Peregrine. Holds my Nalgene most securely, haven't had a slip yet.
    -Tactical Redwing 30. 500D Cordura with bungee cinch, approx 6.5 inches tall. If cinched down, it seems to hold a water bottle, however Nalgene does slip out if tilted far enough.
     
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  9. BTG108

    BTG108 Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the very detailed response! Much appreciated!


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  10. Akilae

    Akilae Loaded Pockets

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    Requested photos are up with some new observations I did not type out last time.
     
  11. Rainy
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Rainy Uber Prepared

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    Thank you very much! I was sure my next pack was going to be a MAP3500, but now im not so sure anymore. Both this and the Mystery Ranch Daily have made it to the top of my list.
     
  12. Akilae

    Akilae Loaded Pockets

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    It depends on what you need to carry. The MAP 3500 carries more, and has a real suspension system. The Redwing 30 only has a frame sheet, and is rated for less carrying capacity. Personally, having had both, I go with the MAP 3500. It's a real workhorse pack that won't disappoint. That and for my daily EDC I've since found something that works better for me than the Redwing 30.

    This is not to say the Redwing 30 is bad, just that the MAP carries more weight better. However, if you're not filling the MAP to capacity, then I don't see why the Redwing 30 wouldn't work.
     
    Last edited by Akilae, Oct 30, 2017
    #12 Akilae, Oct 29, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
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  13. BTG108

    BTG108 Loaded Pockets

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    So I picked up a Redwing tactical 44... and the water bottle pockets are as ridiculously small as they appear. Would probably be ok for a GI canteen but anything taller will fall out relatively easily.

    Too bad because the pack is great otherwise.


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  14. Captainkirk

    Captainkirk Loaded Pockets

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    That's what the bottom compression straps are good for. You can run them through the loop cap of say a KK 27 oz bottle. Of course if the bottle is very tall, it will begin to interfere with the upper side pockets, depending upon what you have in them. The side pockets should be big enough for a nalgene 32 oz I think. Good luck
     
  15. BTG108

    BTG108 Loaded Pockets

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    That would probably work, but I hate having to tie bottles in with a compression strap. It makes getting to the water so inconvenient


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  16. Captainkirk

    Captainkirk Loaded Pockets

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    True, it is a compromise at best.
     
  17. kakinuma-kun

    kakinuma-kun Loaded Pockets

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    Nice review. I wanted the Redwing Tactical 30, but REI had a normal Redwing 30 on special as a gear return, so I went for it. Now need an organizer for the main compartment...