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Hands-on Gear Review

Kelty Coyote 80 Review


Backpacking Backpack

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  • Currently 3.1/5
Overall avg rating 3.1 of 5 based on 5 reviews. Most recent review: October 9, 2015
Price:   $220 List | $220 online  —  Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Tons of pockets and access, lots of adjustment.
Cons:  Heavy, comfort was only so-so for a pack of its weight.
Manufacturer:   Kelty

Overview

The Kelty Coyote is the least expensive pack in the review. While it isn't the highest scoring, it is still a great buy for backpackers, travelers, and trekkers who are on a tight budget. It is also a great option for growing kids because on top of being the best priced pack in the review, it is also one of the most adjustable and the fabric is super tough. It has excellent access and many useful pockets. The packs that scored higher generally cost $50-200 extra.

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Ian Nicholson
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday

Comfort


The Coyote score was just okay in comfort. It's fine for lighter loads, but the quality of foam and the design of the shoulder straps and waist belt is not quite as good as on most of the other packs we tested. The foam felt mushy, especially after just a few days on a nearly week long trip. The foam also seemed to pack out some even after this one trip, something we expect would get worse over time.

Weight


At 5 lbs. 9 oz. the Kelty Coyote is one of the heavier packs in our review, but it is also has the biggest volume. It is a little lighter than the Gregory Baltoro 75 but 0.5-1 pounds heavier than most other packs.

Durability


The Coyote was as durable as any pack we tested. It is made of a burly fabric and a relatively beefy suspension. Considering its low price, it is easily the winner of the "most uses for your dollar" award.

Suspension


The suspension of the Coyote was pretty good; it was more the basic shoulder straps and waist belt that held this pack back.

Ease of Use


This is where this pack shines: the Coyote has very useable pockets and some of the best access of any pack in our review. Truly organized backpackers or travelers will enjoy that the whole pack zips open like a suitcase. Even when it opens like a suitcase you still have a mesh pocket plus internal loops to hang stuff on. The pack features two large and very useable zippered pockets on each side as well as a large zippered back pocket that we could still easily get into when the pack was full.

The lid is big so you could fit larger items or have more room for your hand to search for smaller ones. The lid also turned into a basic fanny pack. The zippered pockets on the waist belt were larger than some and we think the type of person who likes all the pockets and access on this pack will love those large waist belt pockets.

Adjustability


This is the other category where the Coyote shines. The adjustability combined with its tough fabric and lowest price in the review make it a great choice for growing kids (it can always end up as a hand me down to the next one) when you don't want to spend much money on them.

Other Versions


Kelty Coyote 75 - Women's
Click to enlarge
  • Cost - $210
  • Earned our Best Buy award
  • A reasonably priced pack for the consumer concerned with comfort
  • Stable under mid-weight to heavy-weight loads, and remains comfortable

Accessories


Kelty Rain Cover
Click to enlarge
  • Cost - $40
  • Protects your pack in the rain
  • Available in Regular or Large
  • Stays on your pack when the wind kicks up using an internal adjustable pull cord
Ian Nicholson

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: October 9, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.3)

100% of 3 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 40%  (2)
3 star: 40%  (2)
2 star: 20%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 4 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Oct 9, 2015 - 09:38am
Lizardsky · Other
I have had this pack for over four years and have used it in winter and fall conditions of northern WI, MI and MN. Pack is extremely durable and generally comfortable. I tend to carry too much weight - 50 to 60 lbs - so the non-comfort part is probably my fault. My typical trip lengths are 4 to 7 days and anywhere from 30 to 70 miles. Example Isle Royal, Lake Superior Hiking Trail. I am looking to up-grade and think I am heading toward the Osprey line - and a slightly smaller volume (hopefully that will force me to lighten up).

Pros - lots of room - lots of pockets.
Cons - lots of room - lots of pockets. Hip belt is too large - I am 6'-2" but small waist (33 or 34) and cannot seem to tighten belt enough.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Mar 17, 2015 - 03:48pm
kzerbe · Camper
This my primary pack for backpacking trips. I used this on a 2 night hike of a 12-mile loop of the Appalachian Trail in George Washington National Forest, VA. I found that the pack was comfortable when loaded down, and is adjustable enough to make sure I never felt unstable on the trail. It took me a bit of re-packing to find the best feel, and once I did the pack really felt great.

I know this pack is not the lightest one on the market. But I got this one because it fit what I wanted: a durable pack with lots of storage that wasn't overpriced. I have other Kelty packs, and they've never let me down. As of yet, the Coyote hasn't either. I use it about once a year on backpacking trips.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 2, 2014 - 12:16pm
Badger · Hunter
I use this as a travel/work pack and sometimes for shorter recreational hikes (<3miles) into a campsite. The external pockets are fantastic. Great for organizing my gear when doing field work. Overall, it has proven durable. I throw it in the back of the truck where it gets knocked around. Drag it across the ground, rocks, and vegetation. The zippers, seams, and fabric have all held up. The padding does get somewhat compacted with long term use.

Comfort is subjective. For me this was neither great nor horrible. Getting it fitted and having the stays adjusted properly does make a big difference. However, Kelty's padding used in recent years is not to my liking. The closed cell padding they used previously was much better.

The internal compartment is huge and shaped like a duffel bag. On mine, there's even a handle to carry it like a duffel which is kind of nice. It's okay if you pack carefully and separate your gear in stuff sacks, if you don't everything tends to sink down.

Not my favorite for extended trekking, but a solid workhorse for misc use and a good value.
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   Jun 7, 2013 - 03:18pm
SoNVclimbing · Sailor · bolder city, NV
Pros: Used this pack extensively as a trad crag pack. This pack has excellent access ports. I use the lid for my first aid gear it can be easily removed to become a fanny pack for when the big pack is not needed.

Cons: Within a short period of time I had the frame rails cut through the bottom of the bag. Also the sternum strap came off of one side due to the hoopty setup and I can not reattach.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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