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Kelty Coyote 80 Review

Kelty Coyote 80
Photo: Kelty
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Price:  $220 List | $169.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Tons of pockets and access, lots of adjustment.
Cons:  Heavy, comfort was only so-so for a pack of its weight.
Manufacturer:   Kelty
By Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 17, 2016
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  • Comfort - 23% 7
  • Weight - 24% 7
  • Suspension - 23% 7
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9
  • Adjustability - 15% 9

Our Verdict

The Kelty Coyote is one of the least expensive packs we've tested. 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.

Our Analysis and Test Results

Big Updates Since we Tested

With some major cosmetic and fabric changes, this pack is almost unrecognizable. The new line features a new adjustable suspension system, a convertible top lid, a new front stretch pocket, and a more accessible sleeping bag compartment. Available in two new colors, Ponderosa Pine and Twilight Blue.

Here's a summary of the key differences:
  • Suspension — The new version of this pack features an adjustable suspension system, which Kelty has branded the PerfectFIT.
  • Top Lid — The top lid on this pack now converts to a sling pack.
  • Front Pocket — The updated Coyote 80 received a front "shove-it" stretch pocket for extra storage options.
  • Sleeping Bag Compartment — A bottom compartment is now included for easier access to your sleeping bag, bulky items, or whatever you've shoved to the bottom of your pack!

Because we haven't had the opportunity to test this pack's new version yet, the ratings and comments in this review still reflect the old version.


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 also has the biggest volume. It is 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.

Ian Nicholson