Hands-on Gear Review

Kelty Coyote 80 Review

Kelty Coyote 80
Price:  $220 List | $144.99 at Amazon
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Pros:  Tons of pockets and access, lots of adjustment.
Cons:  Heavy, comfort was only so-so for a pack of its weight.
Editors' Rating:   
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Measured Weight:  5.56 lbs.
Volume:  78L/4750in
Access:  Top & Front
Manufacturer:   Kelty

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.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Ian Nicholson

Last Updated:
Thursday
November 17, 2016

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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.

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 also has the biggest volume. It is 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.
Ian Nicholson

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Most recent review: November 17, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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 (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)
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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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