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[pct-l] Kelty Cloud

Please keep in mind that I strongly prefer external packs when you read this
report. Also please note that I have not put significant weight in this pack
so I am only talking theoretically about the pack.

Kelty Enlighten Series Line of Packs
There are 4 packs in the Kelty Enlighten Series Family ranging from the
Vapor (Smallest, Lightest), Cloud, Phantom and Flight [Largest, Heaviest].
The Cloud, however, was too big for my wife at 5'-4" and Peter Haskell, who
purchased it from at 5'-6". Even pulled all the way down, the shoulder
straps are too long for my wife by a good bit. It may even be long enough
for me at 6'-2". Without weight, the load lifters extend up and back at the
45 degree angle that is optimum. For my wife I intend to ask Kelty if the
Vapor [3000-4000 in2]has a shorter pack length. The pack length is not
adjustable. Since these packs are not generally available in stores, this
makes fitting a problem. 

The cloud is rated at 3500-4500 in2 for the basic pack sack at an overall
weight of 18 ounces.It is possible to use just this basic pack as a rucksack
like the Golite pack or to add a web hipbelt [supplied] at 3.5 ounces to
create an ultralight pack like Glen's GV4 pack. However, at $550., I don't
think anyone would purchase the pack just for this configuration. 

Backpacking Ultralight Configuration.
Basic Pack (18 ounces), Lightbeam Frame (7 ounces) and ISOpad Belt {9.5
ounces} yields a pack that weighs just over 2 pounds {2# 2.5 ounces} and has
competent suspension. You might want to spring for an extra 3.6 ounces for
the top pocket [2# 6 oz total pack weight] that adds 650 in2 to the pack.
You might also want to add a compression strap or two at an ounce or so. The
configuration, with top pocket and compression straps is very much like a
standard top quality pack except for its weight. It is lighter than any pack

I know of rated at over 4000 in2.

The hipbelt is VERY stiff on the outside and very soft, slow memory foam on
the inside. Even without adding weight, one knows that this will be a
first-rate suspension system. The pack is suspended from the back of the
hipbelt like most internal frame packs. The dual parallel stays are
bendable. Kelty gives instructions on Frame Tuning. Kelty clearly says that
you are expected to take your time and shape these stays to your back. 

The pack comes with a foam pad [3.3 ounces and a Framesheet 3.3 ounces but I
would not use them. Simply wrap a sleeping pad in the appropriate shape and
slip one or two thicknesses in front of the stays. The pad and framesheet
really only pads the pack against the back and prevents objects from
sticking into the back. I believe a Ridgerest, Thermarest or Zrest could be

The pack comes with side pockets [4.2 oz], shovel pack  [4 ounces] and a
zillion gear loops that are probably of interest to climbers. Even fully
outfitted, with everything, the pack only weighs about 3# 6oz and has a 5000
in2 capability.

The pack is white with purple and yellow trim--quite striking. The
manufacturer says the pack is virtually indestructible.
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