A while back I saw a post by a fellow travel blogger. Wandering Earl wrote a post End Of An Era: After 12 Years, It’s Time For A New Backpack. I read this article and it got me thinking about my own backpack.
While my REI Venturi 40 served me well in Thailand and Japan, it was missing a few key features and had a few problems. One of the main problems I had with this backpack was that when packed and on my back I wasn’t able to look up. The top of the bag was in my way and my head movement was limited. The other main issue I had was that it was a bit long. Going through the airport and stuffing it in overhead bins was a problem a time or two. Finally the material it was made out of seemed a bit weak. While I didn’t have any problems I was constantly worried that I was going to rip it.
Enter the Kelty Redwing 50. Earl had posted that this was going to be his replacement backpack. His old Kelty had helped him travel for many years but it was time to lay it to rest and he wanted to replace it with the Redwing. I read what he wrote and did my own research. Turns out that the Kelty Redwing was a top contender. It had 10 more litres than my Venturi, it was built out of tough canvas, and it was shorter allowing me to move my head better.
After reading and doing bit more research over the next day I popped down my local REI and gave it a go. After loading it up and doing a bit of adjusting, I was sold. It was comfortable, had more than enough pockets, multiple grab handles, and best of all the main compartment unzips for easy access. I will be the first to admit I hate digging around for a clean pair of underwear in a top loading backpack.
The Kelty Redwing comes in two sizes and multiple colors. REI at the time had a large size in black but I wanted something different. I wanted my bag to be subtly different so I ended up ordering the green. A few days later I picked up my order and before you knew it I was running around the house like a kid on Christmas wearing my new gear.