Kelty Revol 65
- Removable brain
- Two gear loops on back
- Decent expandability; can handle a variety of loads and situations
- High center of gravity
- Ineffectual back sleeve
The Kelty Revol 65 has a removable brain and decent expandability, but these positive characteristics are overshadowed by the negative aspects, such as its weight and high center of gravity.
The Kelty Revol 65 has large blocks of padding on the back and shoulder straps, contained by a mesh fabric. The larger the blocks, the greater the potential for bunching, but this feature will be appreciated by users going on short trips with heavier loads that are concerned about close contact between the back and pack. These large blocks lower the surface area that contacts the back, which increases air flow but also increases the potential for pressure points or pinching. The sternum straps also have a limited slide range.
The Revol’s tall construction makes it difficult to fit wide items in the body, but it does have straps on the bottom, which helps. The body compartment has two entries, a zippered entry on the bottom and a cinch closure on the top. There is a medium sized back sleeve, which is closed with a zipper.
The Revol has a high, narrow body shape, which gives it a high center of gravity when fully packed, precipitously so when over packed. Smaller users may find that a fully (or over-) packed Revol extends over their heads, a hazard in tight terrain. The height-to-width ratio for this bag is definitely skewed to the tall side, maybe even the most skewed in this test set.
There are no obvious red flags in the durability department, which speaks more to the heaviness of the construction. It is the second heaviest bag in the set. A possible exception is the string pull the cinches the top opening of the body compartment, which is very thin.
The Kelty Revol 65 has a conspicuous lack of extras, including the whistle that seems to ubiquitous on the sternum strap of every pack in America. It does have two gear loops on the back for trekking poles or ice tools. The brain is detachable, but doesn’t convert into a small day or fanny pack.
How We Tested It
The packs in this test were used throughout the winter and spring of 2017, during day hikes ranging from a few miles to a summit attempt on Mount Hood. Tests were conducted on Maryland’s Western Shore, in the Olympic Range of Washington State, and in the Cascades of the Pacific Northwest. This geographic diversity of conditions allowed for a look into each pack’s strengths and weakness. Each pack was loaded down with at least 15 pounds.
For more reviews beyond this 2017 test, check out our other backpack tests, our Best 3 Person Backpacking Tents of 2017, along with our sleeping bag tests, and other related hiking and camping gear tests.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
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- Type of Backpack: Weekend Pack
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