Asher “Dick” Kelty is considered by many to be the inventor of the aluminum-framed backpack, among many other innovations. The Revol 65 carries on Kelty’s legacy, offering an ergonomic pack that lets you lug around a poopload of life-sustaining cargo.
The aluminum and HDPE plastic frame combined with Kelty’s brilliant PerfectFIT adjustable suspension system keep the cargo weight on your hips and shoulders instead of your lower back. Plus, the lumbar support is adjustable and the Kinesis hip belt actually moves with your every step to increase stability. If that weren’t enough, there’s also a trapdoor compartment at the bottom where you can access a sleeping bag (or other gear) without unloading the entire pack.
All this comes at a cost: weight.
It’s more than 4 pounds, the heaviest pack in this buyer’s guide. If you load up the Revol to its 65-liter capacity, your three days’ worth of supplies can easily weigh north of 50 pounds. On paper, adding 4 pounds doesn’t seem like much, but after a few hours they’ll feel like an extra 40.
The Revol 65 is a top-loader with two quick-release buckles, meaning the main section is virtually shielded from any drizzle or snow. However, in our shower testing, we were shocked to find that the bottom of the pack got damp. It appeared some moisture slipped into the trapdoor compartment through the stitching. Still, it’s a technical trail pack that’s crazy comfortable and highly functional.
Padded back panels, adjustable suspension system, and Kinesis hip belt
Three-day pack that doesn’t scream “bug-out bag!”
It’s packed (pun intended) with subtle smart features, including an external hydration sleeve, zippered pockets in the hip belt, dual grab handles, loops for trekking poles or ice axes, and a top stash pocket to keep phone and sunglasses from getting crushed.
At more than 4 pounds, it’s about a pound heavier than we’d like.
While the main section stayed dry, the trapdoor compartment got damp during our shower test.