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Kelty PK 50 pack – UpaDowna
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Kelty PK 50 pack

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Kelty PK 50 Pack

Features: unique zipperless design, multiple pockets, rain cover, HDPE framesheet, single aluminum stay, lumbar support, ventilating back panel, and air mesh shoulder straps

Capacity: 35L + 15L (removable) 50L overall

MSRP: $199

Kelty's PK 50 pack is just one piece of their TraiLogic system introduced last year. Based on a system where all of your camp needs can be compartmentalized into easily accessible units the PK 50 is the all in one pack and backbone of the system.

Designed without zippers and minimal buckles the PK 50 is actually 2 packs in one. The main compartment is 35 L and when combined with the detachable 15 L you get the entire 50 L of cargo capacity. The pack is designed to fit other parts of the Trail Logic system within specialized compartments. There are compartments for the tent, sleeping bag, and pad in the main pack body leaving the removable 15 L pack for your soft goods. 

The PK 50 system is one that has a bit of a learning curve if you are not utilizing the entire Trail Logic system, as this system is designed to be used as such.  After some thought and minor creativity it becomes really easy to manage even with equipment sourced from other manufacturers.  Another thing you should be aware of is that as a top loader, you definitely need to plan your packing while you're stuffing so you won't need to empty it all looking for the item you packed first. But if you aren't that great of a strategic packer you can access the main body from not only the roll top closure but also from the sleeping bag compartment at the base of the pack.

The biggest issue I had with this pack was over stuffing, it seemed like most first attempts turned into second attempts with the primary issue being the ability to compress my sleeping bag enough to not ooze out of the bottom sleeping bag roll closure. Since zippers were forgone in this design you need to be aware that each roll top closure is minimal and there is not a ton of left over material so if you pack bulky you may be in for a treat.  

As with any new system, laying out your gear and assessing the proper weight distribution as well as where each item will fit is key.

Additional points of consideration for the PK 50 are the HDPE framesheet, single aluminum stay, hip belt, lumbar support, ventilating back panel and air mesh shoulder straps. The hip belt and shoulder straps are adequate but nothing super plush although hauling 40lbs all day did not leave me overly uncomfortable. After some fidgeting with the belt stabilizers, load stabilizer, and sternum strap I was able to fine tune the fit and all in all it worked out well. 

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