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In The Spotlight: Kelty Brand Profile

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Look at any campground in America and you will likely find a Kelty pack, sleeping bag, or tent. The ubiquitous brand has helped keep campers comfortable in the outdoors for more than 60 years.



Asher “Dick” Kelty started Kelty packs from his garage in 1952. He was known for creating packs that contoured to a hikers body with padded shoulder and waist straps. His original pack used aircraft aluminum for frames and wool carpet for shoulder straps.

The packs were known as a drab olive green, leftover fabric from WWII parachute fabric, and became classically known. Dick Kelty was an avid outdoorsman with his famous words telling people to “Go Take a Hike.”

This article was sponsored by Kelty. Learn more about the brand’s products at Kelty.com.


Founded In



Boulder, CO


To deliver proven gear. Memories that last starts with gear that lasts. Kelty is built to endure.

Buying Tip

Kelty designs packs for comfort and versatility. Packs with Perfect Fit Suspension have on-body adjustments to customize fit in seconds. The Kinesis hip belt has a parallel pivoting motion that provides stability and carries weight more effectively, resulting in increased comfort.

Sign up for Kelty emails at on its website to be the first to know about new gear and the best deals.

Fun Fact

Dick Kelty had a hard time understanding why the brand needed a color for their pack other than green. It took many years and pressure from his family to make him relent and add red!


[superhead]Best-Selling Products[/superhead]

Cosmic 20 Sleeping Bags ($160)

Cosmic 20 sleeping bag

The Cosmic down 20°F sleeping bag is a solid value. It has 600-fill hydrophobic DriDown, which gives good compressibility and warmth at a light weight. The DriDown also dries quickly in the cold when wet. It has a thermal comfort hood and top draft collar. At $160, it competes with much more expensive bags giving up little in terms of weight or features.

Salida 4 Tent ($230)

Salida 4 person tent Kelty

The Salida 4-person tent is a car-caping tent that is light enough to haul and pack. The 11-square feet of vestibule space give space to store gear on the trail. High mesh sidewalls give a lot of useful interior space. At a minimum weight of 6lb 10oz, the tent breaks down to less than two pounds per person.

TN2 Tent ($250)

Tn2 Kelty tent

Weighing in under five pounds, the TN2 packs a lot of utility in a modest weight tent. Shorter than average 14-inch aluminum poles make for easy packing. Hug-clip technology simplifies setup. A roll-up stargazing fly gives a view of the night sky. An oversized D-style door gives convenient access.

Redwing 50 Backpack ($140)

Kelty Redwing 50 backpack

The Redwing 50 is a top selling Kelty pack meant to be adjusted on the fly. The pack functions as a top-loader but also has a large U-zipper for easy access to the whole pack. A stash pocket on the front gives a spot to tuck a jacket. Inside organizers manage maps, electronics, pens, and other travel essentials. The hydration sleeve doubles as a laptop pad.


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