See History of Kelty Spectra Backpacks for lots of information and pictures about the Kelty spectra packs.

I first saw the Kelty Spectra packs around 1990 or 1991. I have no written catalogs or anything else from that era. I suspect this pack was made sometime between 1990 and 1996, but I am unsure about the date. It likely predates my Phantom pack from 1998. The Kelty spectra packs are likely the most durable packs ever made. All of the stitching is done with Kevlar thread, which is far stronger and abrasion resistant than nylon thread . (It is unclear if this pack is sewn with Kevlar thread, as the thread appears to be white. Perhaps it is nylon or spectra.) (On my McHale spectra pack some of the stitching is in spectra, but most is in nylon.) In addition, the shoulder straps and waist strap is made with spectra fabric. Most spectra packs don't have spectra shoulder and waist straps. Most of the things sewn to the pack, such as the mounting points for straps are made of spectra, which I have never seen in any other line of packs. This pack will survive a tremendous amount of abuse compared to any other pack.

I saw this 3400 White cloud on ebay, and the owner was kind enough to let me use the photos. I wish there were better photos, but these are of a really rare pack. This pack is a 3400 Large, and has no side pockets or rear shovel pocket. The side pockets are an option that was sold separately. There is also an optional 'Megaton Overpack' which adds 3500 cubic inches. I have never heard of this before. The pack includes two attachable gear slings, two removable compression straps, an under lid rope holder strap (which I have never heard of before) and four ski straps (which I have not heard of before). It is unclear if the hip belt is removable or adjustable like the newer packs.

Kelty Spectra Cloud 3400, @1996

Front view

3400 front

This is the front of the pack. It shows the two compression straps, which look to be about 1 inch wide. I think the pack is oriented with the hip belt on the top of the photo. There are two vertical daisy chains, and other stuff I can't identify. It is interesting that all of the plastic buckles are white, like my Phantom pack. White buckles sure look cool, unfortunately they are not ultraviolet light resistant and tend to crack. That is why 99% of all plastic hardware used for outdoor use is black. Also quite cool are the blue and white webbing. It might be made out partially of nylon and spectra. Pure spectra is quite slippery, so very little webbing is made out of spectra. Because it is so slippery it is unsuitable for things like waist straps, as the buckle will slip. Adding nylon makes it less slippery.


3400 tag1 3400 tag2 3400 tag3

These are the tags on the pack. Of interest is the optional Megatron Overpack which doubles the size of the pack. I have no idea how it is attaches. Also of note is that there is a woman's version of the pack. The newer packs just come in regular and large. There is a single stay, and it is made out of titanium. I remembered the early packs used titanium for the stay. Titanium is denser than aluminum and harder to bend, which is why virtually no packs use it for stays.

Titanium Stay

3400 stay

This is a picture of where the stay goes in the inside of the pack.


3400 back

This is the back of the pack. Of interest the shoulder and waist strap are similar to my Phantom pack. They seem to be made of soft padding, rather than the harder thinner padding of the newer Kelty spectra packs. There is a lot of white plastic hardware visible, and the pretty blue and white webbing. The waist strap looks to be sewn to the pack and not adjustable for height.

Daisy Chains

3400 diasy

This is one of the two daisy chains on the front of the pack. Visible on the right side is loop attachment point. It is unclear what the white plastic next to it is for. It is also unclear what the white loop is for at the end of the daisy chain. Perhaps the optional side pockets? The stitching is clearly white, not the yellow of Kevlar thread.

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