Overview - This is the Kelty Flyway 43 which is a travel friendly daypack based off of the popular Kelty Redwing 44 pack. Like the Redwing pack, the Flyway is panel loading and has many features for organization. Additionally, there are travel friendly features like a padded laptop sleeve, rain cover and a separate bottom compartment.
- Size and design - The pack has a volume of 43L and is carry-on size. The pack uses durable 420D polyester material
- Panel zip main compartment and bottom zipper access - The pack has a large panel opening. It's not quite a full zip but about 3/4 zip. There is also a bottom zipper to access a separate storage area for shoes or dirty clothes. When I say separate, there is a fabric divider that separates the main compartment and bottom compartment. But the divider is generous enough that you can fill the main compartment fully if you don't need the bottom compartment
- Padded laptop sleeve and interior zippered pocket - sleeve has thick padding and holds a 15" laptop
- Top zippered pocket
- Suspension - padded backpanel with a single aluminum stay for support. The shoulder straps are padded and there is a an adjustable sternum strap
- Hip belt - The hip belt is less padded than the Redwing series which is just right for travel. Generally a pack for traveling is going to be lighter and you won't be carry it hours at a time like when you're backpacking, thus the light padding
- Side zippered pockets and stretch pockets on each side - the zippered pocket can fit a 1 liter water bottle
- Pass through behind zippered pocket - useful for carrying long items like tent poles or trekking poles
- Large front grab handle and daily chain loops - The grab handle is easy to identify and useful when handling the pack
- Front organization pocket with key clip
- Rain cover in internal pocket - you can also see the bottom zippered compartment
- Bulky - This is more of an aesthetic thing but the pack is not the most streamlined when fully packed.
- Heavy - At 3 lbs 6 oz, the pack is a little on the heavy side
Conclusion - The Kelty Flyway 43 is a well thought-out travel pack that is still versatile enough to be used for hiking and backpacking. It shares the same suspension as the Kelty Redwing 44 so it carries well like all Kelty packs. Itís also made of durable materials and will last like a Kelty pack should. (Iím a big fan if you couldnít tell). The laptop compartment is one of the most padded Iíve seen and itís easy to get a laptop in and out.
The pack does not have lockable zipper and the shoulder straps and hip belt cannot be stowed like some travel packs so you should consider how often you will check your bag in. If you had to check this pack, Iíd use the included pack cover, cinch down the shoulder straps and hip belt and tie up all the straps. Finally, the side pockets and front organization pocket offer a ton of storage but they make the pack is a little bulky when full.
There are quite a few travel packs out there. This pack is more shaped like a traditional backpack and is the best Iíve seen for capacity and organization.
Recommended uses - Multi-day travel with the ability to pack a laptop. It would also do well as a hiking, climbing or 1-2 day backpacking pack.