Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $130 - $210 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros: Tons of pockets and access, lots of adjustment.
Cons: Heavy, comfort was only so-so for a pack of its weight.
Best Uses: Backpacking, trekking, travel.
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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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 and Accessories
The Kelty Coyote 75 - Women's, $210, was awarded as one of our two Best Buy women's backpacking backpacks. It wins the award for being a reasonably priced pack for the consumer concerned with comfort and is stable under mid-weight to heavy-weight loads, and remains comfortable.
A Kelty Rain Cover is also available for either of the two Coyote packs.
— Ian Nicholson
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: February 2, 2014
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