Designed to transport mid-sized loads ideal for weekend excursions, the Rally 45 technical pack from Kelty was engineered to keep you cool and comfortable on the trails. The Rally 45 is a member of Kelty's "Agile Series", which features the Agile suspension system; a lightweight, butterfly-shaped aluminum stay that transfers weight directly to the hips instead of the shoulders. A few weeks back we hit up our friends at Kelty who gladly encouraged us to test, use, and abuse their not too big, not too small multi-day pack on a recent 3 day 2 night backpacking trek. Well, we did... and now it's time we share the results with you!
Rally 45 Key Features:
Design: (9 out of 10) Built on a light weight sturdy aluminum frame for multi-day excursions, the Rally 45 is easy on the eyes, while remaining exceptionally functional. A few design elements that grabbed our attention right away were: the integrated pull-out rain-cover, which is easy to access, and since it's integrated into the pack itself you won't have to worry about loosing or forgetting it. We also found the mesh shoulder straps to be very comfortable and the pack itself to be impressively light weight at just over 4 lbs!
Comfort: (9.5 out of 10) Kelty's Agile suspension system and the ventilated back panel make trudging through the back country a total breeze. When properly fitted and fully strapped on the Rally 45 distributes it's load weight approx 80% to the waist and 20% to the shoulders. A ratio I found to be excellent for long intense hikes. The vented back panel is quite unique, it's actually designed to leave a 2.5 inch gap in-between the pack itself and your back, allowing air to circulate and your back to stay (mostly) sweat free!
Storage: (8.5 out of 10) The Rally 45 is ideal for a weekend stint in the wilderness. Not too big, yet not too small. This pack actually forces you to pack accordingly instead of over-stuffing, but has plenty of room for your sleeping bag, clothes, water bottles, gear, ultra light tent and then some. What really delighted us was the amount of pockets and zippers that are integrated into this pack. Most top loading packs are just that... top loading, yet the Rally 45 allows you access to your gear in three separate ways: the top (of course), the bottom, and from the back. If you've ever needed access to gear that is at the very bottom, or near the middle of your pack, you understand how great these added access zippers can be! On the downside organization for equipment is lacking and feels a little scattered.
Durability: (9.5 out of 10) Crafted from durable tare-resistant fabrics such as 300D Polyester Velocity and 210D Polyester HD, this pack can take a beating! The stitching is heavy duty in all areas, so stuffing this pack to the gills is no problem at all. During our time with this pack we ventured through thick brush and harsh terrain, in the end all the Rally 45 needed was a little dry cleaning. Additionally, the zippers and clips that Kelty choose to outfit this pack with are high quality and unlikely to malfunction.
Value: (8.5 out of 10) Similar packs can be found in a wide range of price points, some more affordable, many less. That being said, when you take into account the quality, durability and comfort this pack provides and the Kelty lifetime warranty... suddenly the $175 retail price isn't so bad after all.
The Bottom Line: This is a great pack for weekend warriors who understand what it is to pack light and want to ditch the city life to spend some serious time exploring the back country. We highly recommend the Rally 45 from Kelty to anyone who is considering a midsize technical pack for either hiking or climbing. From our experience this pack is perfect or 2 - 3 day treks, but no much more. It's comfortable, durable, and affordable for outdoors men on a budget... and what more could we ask for? Make sure to check out the embedded video below to hear from product manager Andrew Day as he explains in great detail everything the Rally 45 has to offer.
June 21, 2012 7:22 AM | Hiking