Kelty Coyote 80 Backpack

Kelty Coyote 80 Backpack Review

Kelty Coyote 80 Backpack

If you have been looking for the right type of bag for a 72-Hour Emergency Kit, or as we call them around here - Bug Out Bags - but have been overwhelmed by the multitude of choices then look no further...

The Kelty Coyote 80 is likely the right bag for you.

The Kelty Coyote 80

Kelty Coyote 80 on the back of a guy in the woods

One-size fits all doesn't apply when you are looking for a backpack that you can wear for long periods of time that will stay comfortable, and if you haven't noticed, good backpacks can be very expensive.

The Kelty Coyote 80 addresses both of these concerns quite nicely.

First off the price: we've seen them listed anywhere from $135 to $165. For an 80 liter pack with all the trimmings and with high-end materials that's a very competitive price.

More importantly: the Coyote 80 has an adjustable suspension system that can accommodate different torso sizes. From 14.5" - 21" long.

If you aren't sure how long your torso is, here is an article to show you the proper way to measure it.

Your height isn't the important measurement, it's your torso length. Very approximately, this can cover people from 5'5" to about 6'3" BUT, measure your spine!

This is an amazing feature because the pack becomes more versatile, and can be used by different people if need be.

It also allows you to make it as comfortable as possible to wear, and lets you dial-in very specifically the right size for your body which is so important for your spine's health and safety.

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Kelty Coyote 80 Features

Let's take a look at some of the ways this pack does its thing:

Kelty Coyote 80 Top Loading

Top loading area in main pack. Opens nice and big so as to get to everything inside.It has a drawstring cinch to seal it up and the top fits over it snugly.

Notice the hydration sleeve to the left (bladder not included).

Kelty Coyote 80 front pocket

The front pocket has some smaller admin pockets and a keyring loop.

Although the items pictured here are loose, it's probably best to have a ditty sack or two to hold the items in place when you open this pocket up.

Kelty Coyote 80 Front Access point

This is one of the best features of this pack.The front access panel makes it easy to get to the items in the middle and bottom without unpacking the whole darn thing.

Since most people keep their sleeping bag on the bottom of the pack, this is a nice feature.

Many other bags offer a zipper on the bottom of bags to get to the sleeping bag, but this is a potential point of failure, although it is a little more convenient.

The Kelty Coyote 80 harness system

Here's a photo of the adjustable suspension system. The shoulder portion and straps move up and down along the aluminum rails.

Lots of padding on there too to keep your back comfortable.

There is an adjustable chest strap as well.

Kelty Coyote 80 Pass through with a machete

Behind the side pockets, there is a gap where you can pass through walking poles, tent stakes, a machete or axe.

Kelty Coyote 80 Side Pockets

Keep your most accessed items in these two side pockets for easy access: water filter, fire starting, poncho, or lighting gear.

Large water bottles also fit nicely.

Kelty Coyote 80 Hip Pocket

Two stash pockets on either side the waistband, perfect for compass, GPS, phone and snacks

.Kelty Coyote 80 Zippers & Clips

Though I prefer reinforced zippers and buckles, these are by no means inadequate. It's a good idea to carry backups with you anyway, just in case.

Pro tip: you will want to get a rain cover for the backpack, trust me. Although the material can take a lite sprinkle, if it's really coming down your gear will get soaked, and that's a real drag.

The Snugpak Aquacover 45 fits the Coyote 80 just fine.

Kelty coyote 80 vs. Kelty Redwing 50

I should mention here that many people lean towards the Kelty Redwing 50 pack as their top-pick for a Bug Out Bag, which is a smaller bag.

There are pros and cons:

Redwing 50 vs Coyote 80 image

Kelty Redwing 50 Pros:

  • The Redwing 50 is a smaller pack, and can  fit smaller folks frames better.
  • Small/ Medium:14.5 - 18.5 in | Medium/Large:17.5 - 21 in.
  • It's less expensive.
  • It weighs 3.3 lbs empty as opposed to 5.5 lbs.

Kelty Redwing 50 Cons:

  • It's a smaller pack. Unless you are really dialed in on making a tight 72-Hour kit, you may find yourself out of space very quickly, especially if you are considering a family's needs vs an individual's.
  • The Coyote 80 has a detachable hip-pouch (on the top) that can serve as a smaller day bag when leaving gear in camp. The Redwing 50 does not.
  • The Coyote 80 covers in one bag the same spine heights as the 2 differing sized Redwing 50's.
  • There are no hip pockets on the Redwing 50.

The choice is up to you and what suits you best. Both are amazing bags and you can't go wrong with either of them.

Where to Get One

Kelty Coyote 80

Kelty Coyote 80

Typical Price: $100  Size: XX-Large - 80 Liter

Haul your gear on extended trips with the cavernous, top-loading Kelty Coyoty 80 pack. It offers easily adjustable suspension, great features and a durable design—all at an attractive price.

  • PerfectFIT adjustable suspension with HDPE frame sheet, HDPE reinforced waistbelt and ventilated mesh back panel, lumbar support, shoulder straps and hipbelt
  • Top lid converts to a sling pack for side trips from camp
  • Zippered side pockets; large front pocket with organization; stretch shove-it pouch on the front panel
  • Side compression straps; 2 hideaway ice axe loops; dual pickup handles
  • Load-lifter straps; hipbelt stabilizer straps
  • Hydration compatible (reservoir sold separately)

*This version of the Coyote 80 has been discontinued, but you can find used ones on eBay*



Kelty has a new model of the Coyote out, and it's the Coyote 85.

Kelty Coyote 85 Backpack, a great bug out bag

Kelty Coyote 85 Backpack

Typical Price: $180  Size: XX-Large - 85 Liter

Pros: One of our favorite packs got a really nice upgrade for 2020. Relatively inexpensive, lots of storage space, well-built, low profile. Bottom zipper for quick access to sleeping bag. 

Adjustable internal frame fits nearly all body sizes. Fairly water resistant but could use a rain cover. 

420d polyester. 19"(L) x 32"(H) x 13"(W) at 5.8 lbs.

Cons: Not as durable as some of the other bags we like, we wish the buckles we're a little bit stronger.


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