Hands-on Gear Review

Kelty Coyote 70 - Women's Review

Kelty Coyote 70
By: Briana Valorosi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 2, 2017
Price:  $200 List  |  $199.95 at REI
Pros:  Comfortable, durable, sturdy, many enclosed compartments
Cons:  Bulky padding, no lower exterior sleeping pad straps, heavy
Manufacturer:   Kelty
66
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Comfort - 24% 7
  • Weight - 23% 3
  • Suspension - 23% 8
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8
  • Adjustability - 15% 8
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  • 5

Our Verdict

The Kelty Coyote provides great bang for the buck. It is a reasonably priced pack for the consumer concerned with comfort; this backpack is stable under mid-weight to heavy-weight loads, and remains comfortable. It only comes in a single adjustable size, but we love the simplicity that this offers for an otherwise complicated pack with numerous pockets and larger capacity. Like the Mountain Hardwear Ozonic, the Coyote has the option to adjust the torso length, and both offer excellent back padding. The Kelty Coyote is the largest backpack we reviewed at 70 liters. Only the Arc'teryx Bora, by actual packed capacity (not necessarily by listed liter capacity) was equivalent in capacity. We are pleasantly surprised with the Kelty Coyote and think that the initial bulkiness of padding and large size are compensated for by its ability to comfortably carry gear over multi-day backpacking trips.

Newer Version
The Coyote 75 is discontinued and replaced with the totally revamped Coyote 70, which retails at $200. We updated the price comparison links on this page to direct you to the new Coyote 70 pack, as the model we reviewed is disappearing rapidly from the market. The list price in this review now also reflects the new Coyote 70. Keep reading for more information!


Our Analysis and Test Results

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The New Coyote 70 vs. the Coyote 75


Kelty has confirmed that the discontinuation of the Coyote 75 we reviewed was met with the introduction of the brand new Coyote 70. From the big details to the small, the 70 seems to be a major deviation from the 75 that we reviewed. While Kelty seems to have increased the features of the Coyote pack, they have decreased the price of the new model to $200 (the Coyote 75 had a list price of $210). See a side-by-side comparison photo below, with the new Coyote 70 on the left.

Kelty Coyote 70
Kelty Coyote 75

Here are the updates:
  • Suspension — The suspension system got an overhaul. The new adjustable system is a proprietary one Kelty calls the PerfectFIT.
  • Top Lid — A removable top lid converts to a sling pack.
  • Front Pocket — Kelty adds a stretchy mesh pocket to the front of the bag, which we typically find to be a great feature.
  • Sleeping Bag Compartment — New to the Coyote 70 is a bottom compartment for storing and easily accessing a sleeping bag or other bulky items.
  • Volume — The Coyote has been downsized by 5 liters and is now a 70-liter pack.
  • Price — The Coyote 70 has a list price of $200, which is ten bucks cheaper than the Coyote 75.

We feel that Kelty has made some intriguing improvements to the Coyote with this latest version, and expect it to perform as well as, if not better than, its predecessor. Because we haven't yet tested the Coyote 70, the rest of this review continues to reflect the 75.

Hands-On Review of the Coyote 75


The Kelty Coyote is comfortable, has ample organization, and a one-size-fits-most sizing. At 75 liters, the Kelty Coyote is a women's specific backpack that remains exceptionally stable and comfortable under mid- to heavy-weight pack loads.

The Kelty Coyote is comfortable  luxurious pack that can handle a longer distance hike- we took it on the John Muir Trail.
The Kelty Coyote is comfortable, luxurious pack that can handle a longer distance hike- we took it on the John Muir Trail.

Comfort


The Kelty Coyote is incredibly comfortable, especially considering its weight. It offers a lot of padding on the back and shoulder straps. The waist belt does not offer quite the plentiful padding but is comparably comfortable. Like the Mountain Hardwear Ozonic, the foam padding initially appears bulky but is well worth it because this adds extra comfort under mid-weight to heavy weight loads. With the Kelty Coyote, you don't have to worry about packing one shirt or the other- this backpack will comfortably carry everything you pack!

Weight


At 5 lbs, the Coyote is the second heaviest pack we reviewed, only lighter than the Gregory Deva. Unlike the Deva, we didn't experience the Coyote to feel as heavy as it weighed. While backpacking, the 5 lbs are not noticeable. Similar to the Osprey Ariel AG 65, the Coyote is made from a heftier material and sturdy zippers. This may attribute to a higher weight, but as mentioned before, this backpack carried much more comfortably than similar weighted backpacks and felt more like the lighter weight Ariel.

Suspension


Our expectations were far surpassed with the Kelty Coyote's suspension. Although heavy, and only offered in a single adjustable size, the Coyote has incredible stability! We love the comfort that both the Kelty Coyote and packs like the Osprey Viva 50 offer, with suspension capable of carrying heavier loads. While we found that the Coyote also does well with lighter weight, the suspension is designed for a mid- to heavy-weight pack load. Packing light will also leave empty space in the very spacious Coyote which will ultimately compromise the overall stability, especially without multiple compression straps like the Ariel. The Cloudlock adjustable suspension is women's specific with customizable sizing options to adjust the torso length.

Ease of Use and Organization


The Kelty Coyote has an easily comprehensible design that is adjustable without being complicated. Every pocket (with the exception of side water bottle pockets) is fully enclosed, so the need for exterior adjustment straps and tie downs are unnecessary, further simplifying the backpack. We feel this backpack is as easy to use as the more simple The North Face Terra 55 - Women's. Both the Coyote and Terra have similar designs in simplicity and adjustability, and both are easy to use for women new to backpacking and those with years of experience. By comparison, they offer many of the same features with a 20 liter capacity in difference. Seeming less technical than the Osprey Ariel or the Arc'teryx Bora AR 61, the Coyote is easier to use while still offering the features of the Ariel and Bora, such as many pockets and stability.

The Coyote has six enclosed compartments, like the North Face Terra. Initially, we considered that this might be too many organization options for a backpacking backpack, but found it to be convenient to have the options to categorize and separate our gear. This serves well for a family or luxury-backpacking trip where you may be carrying many categories of gear and want accessories to be easily accessible. All of the pockets are accessible from the exterior, so unlike the Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 - Women's, which only has one interior enclosed pocket, access is easy for all of your essentials. We found that when using the open side mesh pockets for water bottle storage unless secured with a strap, the water bottles could fall out due to a shallow depth. And while we didn't miss the separate sleeping bag compartment, we did miss the sleeping pad tie down straps that most other packs offer; an alternative option to the bottom straps are to attach the sleeping pad to the side, utilizing the stretch mesh pockets for security. Overall, the organization of this backpack excelled when compared with the other women's backpacking backpacks, but you should consider if you have a need for this level of organization- Do you pack a variety of gear that needs to be separated? Do you backpack with a lot of gear- 75 liters worth? Do you backpack with children or pets? Do you like to have your gear sorted in the backpack pockets or in stuff sacks? If you don't need this many pockets, you could select a simpler backpack that weighs less.

Adjustability


Like the Deuter ACT Lite, the Kelty Coyote comes in a single adjustable size that offers multiple adjustment points on the back frame, the shoulder straps, and the waist belt to accommodate different sized women. The torso length adjusts vertically by a Velcro system that is simple to detach, customize in length, and then re-attach. The Coyote does not have exterior compressing straps, but when loaded to its ideal carrying capacity, we did not miss this option to tighten it down. We found the adjustability to be more than sufficient while also remaining easy to adjust.

Best Application


The Kelty Coyote is best suited for long-term travel or shorter backpacking trips where you need a lot of gear, such as luxury backpacking or family trips. With extensive organization options, the Coyote is ideal for the backpacker who prefers not to use stuff sacks. For trips ranging from 3-10+ days of backpacking, this backpack excels. We would not recommend the Kelty Coyote for a lightweight-backpacking trip or for a trip where maximizing daily mileage is a focus. Because of the weight and carrying capacity, this backpack is best for shorter mileage days/trips.

Value


The Kelty Coyote was a close competitor for the Best Buy award. We consider the Coyote to be an exceptional value, combining comfort and stability with organization and ease of use. At $210, it is $50-$200 less than comparable backpacks like the Osprey Ariel and the Arc'teryx Bora, yet offers as many, or more, pockets for organization, equivalent or better padding on the shoulder straps and back, and has simplified adjustments on the exterior. It was just beat out for the award by The North Face Terra 55 - Women's which is also a comfortable pack that rings in at a mere $170.

Conclusion


The Kelty Coyote is generously padded on the shoulder straps and back frame, bestowing comfort under a range of pack loads, yet is ideal for mid to heavy pack loads. The Coyote offers organization with many enclosed pockets, an adjustable torso length providing added stability, and ease of use. For the luxury backpacker on a budget, the Kelty Coyote is ideal!

Briana Valorosi

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