Big Things in Small Packages - The Kelty Redwing 32

Kelty is widely known to be a quality backpacking manufacturer.  The Kelty Redwing series has always been one of their top sellers and the Kelty Redwing 32 is the new and improved model in a smaller format than it's big brother, the Kelty Redwing 50.

Kelty Redwing 32 Review Summary


  • Tons of pockets make it easy to quickly access all your gear.
  • Very spacious for a daypack.
  • Air flow channels keep your back cool.


  • No straps on the bottom for sleeping pad storage.
  • Only 3 color options (black, light blue, dark blue).

If you're looking for a high quality day pack, the Kelty Redwing 32 is a great option.  Borrowing all of the best features on the Kelty Redwing 50, this smaller option is just as capable as it's larger sibling but pares down some of the extra storage space to minimize weight.

Why the Small Size?

Contrary to what you may have heard from other backpackers, bigger is not always better!

It may sound cool to have a 65L or 80L backpack but with that extra space comes extra weight.

And the more room you have, the more likely you are to fill it with unneeded camping gear that just slows you down.

By keeping this pack to just 32L, Kelty was able to drop the weight to just 2 pounds.

Who/What Is the Redwing 32 Meant For?

Let's be clear, the Redwing 32 is not meant for everyone.  This pack is only meant for day hikers and the occasional, light weight, over night trip.

If you're planning multi-night hikes, you'll need to find a bigger backpack that can hold all of your gear.  The pockets, straps, and compartments on this backpack all lend themselves to what you'd want for a day hike.  

For example, a nice feature on most larger backpacks is that they have adjustable loops at the bottom of the pack for holding your sleeping pad.  The Redwing 32 does not have these loops since it's not meant for carrying around a sleeping pad for multiple days.

If you're just doing quick overnight trips, you should be able to comfortably fit everything you need inside of the Redwing 32 without having to resort to hanging stuff of the sides.  If you find yourself doing this, look for a larger backpack like the Kelty Redwing 50 which is meant for backpackers.

So. Many. Pouches.

Most day packs are small (30-ish liters) and it can be hard to fit all of your gear inside sometimes.

To make up for the lack of internal storage room, Kelty has added a ton of pouches and straps on the outside of the pack.

These pouches make it easy to store your gear and quickly access it without needing to dig through your pack and unpack/repack everything.

Where's the Frame?

One of the most unique features of the Kelty Redwing 32 is the lack of a frame.

Most backpacks have an internal frame that provides support and keeps everything upright instead of your gear causing your backpack to fold down into a lump.

Kelty removed the frame from the Redwing 32 and replaced it with a high density polyethylene (HDPE) panel.

The HDPE panel weighs less than a comparable frame and also frees up some space for Kelty to add a nice Hex mesh back panel that helps air flow to keep your back cool

Kelty Redwing 32 Specifications

Internal Storage Capacity

32 Liters


2.0 pounds


22" x 14" x 11"

Adjustable harnesses?

No, fixed torso with adjustable buckles


Side - 2x

Water bottle - 2x

Front pocket

Front stash pocket

Top stash pocket

NO hip belt pockets


HDPE panel (no frame)

Back moisture dispersion

Breathable mesh fabric



Load lifters

Side compression

Color Options

Black, Dark Blue, Light Blue

User Ratings

Check Lowest Prices

Wrap Up

If you're looking for a light weight day pack, you can't go wrong with the Kelty Redwing 32.

Replacing the standard backpack frame with the HDPE panel let Kelty reduce the weight by 20% (from 2 lb 8 oz to just 2 lb).  All of the pockets on the outside of the backpack make up for the smaller internal space and for anyone planning a trip shorter than 2 nights, the Kelty Redwing 32 should be more than enough storage for all of their gear.

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