Santa Clause in the Big Brown Truck delivered my Kelty Raven 2500 yesterday. I haven’t had a chance to take it on a hike yet, but going over it – I’m really impressed so far. I’d say quality is on par with my much more expensive Kifaru Urban Zippy. Plus it’s genuine military issue which is always a plus with me… if something is good enough for the US military then it sure as heck is good enough for me. Any way, this isn’t a full gear review of the Raven, just a quick look and my first impressions of this pack.
Kelty Raven 2500 – first look
The first thing I noticed is the weight. The Raven is heavy – 5 lb 5 oz without the radio holder. The second thing I noticed is the stitching. All very solid with no loose thread ends. Third thing is comfort. This pack is more comfortable with 35 lbs in it than my 3V Gear Paratus with only 20 lbs. I guess that’s what a real suspension system does for you. Zippers work great. Kelty doesn’t say if they’re YKK or something else. Who cares? They work great. If they break, Kelty has a lifetime warranty. Overall quality is great. In fact, this pack makes some other highly rated “operator packs” look like a joke.
The Raven is designed to carry a military satellite radio, so there are some things you might miss. The main thing is a hydration sleeve. The Raven 2500 has one, but it’s on the access panel instead of the back panel. Also, a padded eyewear compartment has been sacrificed for a radio access panel.
Other than those two small quibbles, the Raven 2500 is a great pack. It’s a bit expensive ($270 direct from Kelty or $202 from Amozon), but IMO the high quality makes it worth the price. This would make a great pack to build a bugout bag or get home bag around. It’s big enough to use on one or two night camping hikes too. I’m looking forward to wringing it out and writing a full review soon.