Airplane tickets to, and around, Europe were purchased. Our lodging was planned and our adventures were researched. We didn’t have a lot of time in a few of our stops so we wanted to make sure we could get out of the airports as quickly as possible to see the sights. With just two weeks to see 4 countries, carry on luggage was the only option because we all know how long you have to sit around waiting for your checked luggage. Outdoor gear brand, Kelty, gave us the opportunity to try out their Redwing 50 and Women’s Redwing 40 to use as carry-on travel bags for our journey around Europe.  We really put them to the test (and beating) during this trip.

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Kelty Redwing 40 Women’s

Specifications:

  • Dual side pocketsRedwing40W_DeepLake_Front_KL16_PC__34982__89978__70736.1485966467.1280.1280
  • Front pocket with organization
  • Front Stash pocket with closure hook
  • Top stash pocket
  • Side compression straps
  • Water bottle pockets
  • Dual use Laptop / Hydration Sleeve
  • Hide-Away Daisy Chain and Handle
  • Ice axe/trekking pole loops
  • Key fob
  • HDPE frame sheet
  • Hex Mesh back panel, shoulder straps and waist belt
  • Padded and ventilating back panel
  • Sternum strap
  • Load lifter straps
  • Single LightBeam aluminum stay
  • Removable waist belt
  • Women’s Specific Suspension
  • Volume: 2400 in3 / 39 L
  • Frame Type: Internal
  • Weight: 2 lbs 10 oz / 1.2 kg
  • Torso Fit Range: 14.5 – 18.5 in / 37 – 47 cm
  • Dimensions: 23 x 14 x 12 in / 58 x 36 x 30

The Redwing 40 women’s pack was the perfect pack for this trip. Packed to its max with two weeks worth of gear, it still fit into the overhead compartments on all 6 flights we took with no problems at all. All the pockets on the front and sides made it easy to quickly access anything we needed. The hydration pocket wasn’t used for water this time. We stored our tablet in that sleeve to keep it protected. It’s supposed to be able to hold a laptop, but it will definitely have to be a very small one. We loved the hybrid-loading zipper design. Being able to easily go from a top loader to a front panel loader came in handy with all the various scenarios we dealt with. The women specific shoulder straps and hipbelt were far more comfortable than any standard pack we’ve tried. The hipbelt is removable, but we decided to leave it on for this adventure because we knew we were going to be walking to/from many of our lodging locations. There was no pain or awkward rubbing whatsoever with this pack. It is a great all around women’s specific hiking/travel pack.

Buy Now: $124.95 or to learn more go to: Kelty.com

Kelty Redwing 50

Specifications:

  • Dual side pocketsRedwing50_Black_Front_KL16_PC__56512__39396__89537.1485966462.1280.1280
  • Front pocket with organization
  • Front Stash pocket with closure hook
  • Top stash pocket
  • Side compression straps
  • Water bottle pockets
  • Dual use Laptop / Hydration Sleeve
  • Hide-Away Daisy Chain and Handle
  • Ice axe/trekking pole loops
  • Key fob
  • HDPE frame sheet
  • Hex Mesh back panel, shoulder straps and waist belt
  • Padded and ventilating back panel
  • Sternum strap
  • Load lifter straps
  • PerfectFIT™ Suspension
  • Single LightBeam aluminum stay
  • Removable waist belt
  • Volume: 3100 in3 / 51 L
  • Frame Type: Internal
  • Weight: 3 lbs 11 oz / 1.66 kg
  • Torso Fit Range: 15.5 – 21 in / 39 – 53 cm
  • Dimensions: 26 x 16 x 12 in / 66 x 41 x 30 cm

The Redwing 50 is Kelty’s best selling pack. In 2016 they added the PerfectFIT suspension feature so you can have easy control for on-body fit adjustments. This pack is also designed with the hybrid loading U-zipper, giving you the option of top loading or panel loading. The size was great for easy travel. We had to refrain from packing it full though. In order to pass the carry-on size restrictions, we had to under pack ever so slightly and then tighten all the compression straps down. Once we did this, we never had an issue with getting it through as a carry-on. The Redwing 50 also comes with a removable waist strap, but we left it on for our extensive walking we did throughout Europe. All of the straps were comfortable from beginning to end. The Redwing 50 is a great pack for slightly shorter hiking trips, as well as traveling – but don’t forget to slightly underpack for airplane travel if you plan to use it as a carry-on.

Buy Now: $139.95 or to learn more go to: Kelty.com

The single thing that we would like to see on future designs, is an easy way to tuck away straps so they don’t hang out all over when putting the pack into the overhead bins. We buckled the shoulder and the waist straps to help keep them in control, but all the excess of the small adjustment straps had nowhere to go. This definitely wouldn’t be a deal breaker though.

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In the end, the Kelty Redwing 50 pack and the Kelty Redwing 40 women’s pack got us through 4 countries with 6 flights, 5 trains, 2 rental cars, 4 Ubers, 1 taxi, and 2 boats – all within a short two weeks. There were no rips or signs of weakened straps or seams. These packs were stretched, tugged, tightened, tossed, sat on, shoved, opened and closed a million times, and most importantly, loved. They made our travels through Europe easier. We can’t wait to pack them up again for the next journey!

About The Author

Photographer/Contributor

Photographer, travel enthusiast and outdoor adventurer, Beth has no trouble enjoying life. She is always looking for the next “hidden gem” in the world of travel, the latest in outdoor gear to help her get there, and new and improved photography equipment to help document every moment. With her adventurous spirit and creative eye, Beth makes a great addition to our team.

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