Sep 22, 2016

What do you think of your Pk50?

W
Now that some of us who took advantage of the last drop on the Kelty pk50 has had it for some time and hopefully have had the chance to use it, I am interested in what others have to say about it.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about it. I have been using it as a day pack in the 35 liter mode and find it to be comfortable with more than enough room. I have yet to use it in the 50 liter configuration yet.
My impression of it is that it would be a little overwhelmed in the 50 liter mode, which disapoints me. Maybe if you were truly ultralight, but I packed it many times with my gear and it seemed to be at the max of its capacity.
I do like it better than my old day pack as a day pack, but I will still be using my Trekker as a backpack.
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If I'd paid any more for it, I'd be disappointed. Maybe it's just that I've gotten used to my SMD Fusion 50 that rides and stays on my hips or maybe it's all the extra weight on the Pk50 that they've had to add to eliminate the zippers (yes, ADD weight. I'll explain later) or maybe it's the difficult to pack and access top pocket and "wing" pockets, but I'm pretty sure I don't like it. I've only had it on the trail for 5 nights (two trips), but I'll not be carrying it again. Maybe I'll hang onto it to loan out for a while until I find someone who likes it...and give it to them.
One thing I DO like about it is that the straps all over it are placed in such a way that it seems like it was almost designed to carry my Sling Light chair (my luxury item and at 21oz, WHAT A LUXURY!)
Oh, the weight thing... Remove a zipper at 3oz so you can add stiffeners, the extra fabric to fold over and over and the buckles? I'm pretty sure you've added weight unnecessarily.
Unfortunately, this pack is too big and too heavy for the way I pack.
Mine is my first pack ever and i like it. Just took it on my first overnight ever too. I already have a hole in the stretch pockets, but it seems like they'll still hold up for a while. On the plus side, the stretch pockets will stretch to the moon if you want them to.

The only downside is capacity is a bit limited, and the modular functions aren't really as useful as i thought they'd be. I may need to add some webbing/daisy chain to the outside, as i'd really like a way to attach gear to the outside of the pack (like my thermarest). I was surprised this pack had literally no external attachment points except the ice axe loop, which is only useful for an ice axe. The sleeping bag pocket is nice though, and i am a fan of the roll-top closures.

The detachable outside module for clothes is pretty cool though, as others have said, it makes a great pillow.

All in all it's really comfortable, even with 30-35lbs of gear. For the price i paid, it's probably the best option by far. Next time i'll get a 65-75l with a few more options/expandability.
I really like mine, it's the 1st I've purchased for overnights. I'm petite and anything bigger than a 50L isn't feasible for me yet. I for one like all the pockets because I have a place for everything and know where it is when I need it. I'm a newbie for now so as I get more into the ultra light thing that may change. I like that it doesn't have zippers. I use the expandable flap for my outer layers and extra clothes.
I bought it for travel and will probably be selling it....It's too heavy for backpacking and now that I have really taken a look at it, am realizing it has too many bells and whistles that I don't need.
I picked up three of these in the closeout drop. At the price it was a no brainer. I grabbed a women's for my wife and two of the smaller ones for my boys. My sons are 10&11. Even adjusted to it's smallest settings it is still too big for my little one. Luckily that is a problem that will solve itself. The sleeping bag opening does not like to stay folded under pressure. Since my sons are still growing they don't have really good packable sleeping bags. An REI KinderCone took up more than the space one would normally think appropriate. I'm not in love with the fold down fasteners. While I knew what I was getting into, I feel like I am sacrificing space for security every time I cinch them down. Since we have only used it as a "get stuff to the scout camp" pack and have not put many mile on it yet, I will not comment on the other features.
I've used it as a 35L pack for a 3 night trip. I kinda of have mixed feelings about it, but mostly positive especially for the price I got it. Really I'm trying to use it a few times before I go ahead and get the scissors out and a sewing machine ready and I'm gonna start cutting all the useless stuff off it. Never understood the little sling that sits on top the sleeping bag, I don't need another opening/roll-top to get at my sleeping bag I only ever need my sleeping bag when I'm already taking out all my other gear. The pockets inside the "wings" aren't really that useful, one of them I might keep to put my tent poles in. The straps are long enough to fit the hipbelt around the waist of an elephant.

I have yet to use the 50L extension. I don't think I ever will. 50L is kind of that odd middle ground, and the extension seems kind of oddly shaped. It might be good for holding things that aren't rigid like cloths or maybe part of your tent/hammock. But it seems like it would be clumsy stuffing it with anything rigid. If I need to carry the extra gear or I'm going out for an extended time, I'll just bring my 70L Osprey pack. I very well may end up throwing the 50L add-on away, even though when I first bought the pack I thought it would be a pretty neat idea. But really there isn't much you can do with that extra 15L pocket.
tsturzl
I put clothes in the pocket, it works really well as a pillow.
jbdiven
Only extra clothes I bring are socks, otherwise just some additional layers like a jacket and a shell.
Just took it out for a couple of days on the Long Trail in VT. I was really pleased. I used in 50 liter and had plenty of extra space in the wing pockets. I have to add, I wasn't carrying a shelter, but I had room to do it. I'm really happy with it.
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