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

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. (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 daisy chains and mounting points for straps are made of spectra, which I have never seen in any other line of packs. Even the internal frame parts (except the pad) are made of spectra fabric. This pack will survive a tremendous amount of abuse compared to any other pack.

I have two Kelty Cloud 4500 packs. All of them are slightly different from the others. This pack has all blue trim except for the compression straps, which are black. This one has removable side pockets, a removable rear shovel pocket (which converts to a small pack), and a removable, adjustable hip belt. The hip belt is secured to the pack with velcro and can be moved up or down a total of 2 inches, to allow for different back lengths.

Kelty Spectra Cloud 4500, @2003

Front and Back view

4500b back 4500b front 4500b daisy 4500b bottom

Here are exterior pictures of the pack. Note in the first picture, there is a shiny daisy chain going across the pack. There is another, which is near the top of the pack, but is hidden under a flap. These shiny daisy chains are used to attach the side pockets and the shovel pocket. The second picture doesn't have the blue load lifter straps going through the gold double D loops on the shoulder straps. They should, but I removed them for a different picture, and I didn't replace them correctly. The third picture shows a close up of the daisy chains that run up and down the pack. The bottom layer is just for reinforcing the area. The next layer is a wide daisy chain, which is where the compression straps pass though. Finally, there is the standard width daisy chain generally used to secure ice axes. The daisy chains, like all the daisy chains on the pack are made of spectra fabric, sewn with Kevlar thread. Most packs have daisy chains on the back of the pack, like there. This pack also features a pair of daisy chains on the bottom of the pack, a pair on each side of the pack, and a pair on the top of the lid as well as on the bottom of the lid. The fourth picture shows the bottom area of the pack. The two ice axe loops are removable. Also visible are two daisy chains on the bottom of the pack, as well as the lower shiny daisy chain. Also visible is the bottom reinforcing layer of material.

4500b strap 1 4500b strap 2 4500b strap 3

This pack has two compression strap which go from one side of the pack to the other side of the pack. These compression straps end in a loop sewn to a red curved piece of aluminum, as can be seen in the picture above. This is how the new 5250 pack works. For this pack, the side and rear pocket attach via four solid plastic rods that are about 2 inches long and sewn into the corners of each pocket. These rods go into loops sewn to the pack. See the next picture for a close up of the rod and how it is attached to a pocket. The first picture shows the lower compression strap, and the shiny daisy chain, as well as a gear loop attachment point. The second picture shows the upper compression strap, and a flap which covers the upper shiny daisy chain, as well as a gear loop attachment point. The third picture shows the flap pulled back, revealing the shiny daisy chain. You can see slots in the shiny daisy chain, where the attachment rods for the removable pockets is attached.

4500b rod

Here is a close up of the rods used on the removable pockets.

Accessory Pockets

4500b shovel_back 4500b
								  shovel_front 4500b pocketst

Here are pictures of the shovel pocket. It is big enough for a decent sized snow shovel blade (roughly 12 inches by 12 inches. You could also put other things in it. It has an elastic cord that goes on the back to secure wet clothing or other stuff outside the pack. It has a drawstring on top to secure interior items. There is also some mesh on the part that rests against the main pack (no idea why). This shovel pocket can convert to a very small summit pack, using the attached shoulder straps. The last picture is the side pockets. The zipper is a nice one with the urethane seal on the outside to keep water out. What is quite odd is that the zipper doesn't seal the pocket; there is an air gap above it. It is shielded from some rain by a flap, but won't keep heavy rain out. I find it quite odd, as small items might fall out of the pocket even if it is fully zipped. I don't understand why it is this way, and I would make the pocket fully close if I were making it.


4500b top top 4500b top bottom

The first picture is of the top of the lid. You can see two spectra daisy chains going from side to side. The zipper to access the compartment is at the bottom. The two buckles in the front secure the lid to the main bag. The buckle, loop, and strap with matching buckle attach to the rear of the pack via sewn loops in the blue webbing, and the buckle clips from one side to the other side. All the cloud packs attach the top compartment this way. It is a simple, light, robust mechanism, however there is limited room to adjust the lid upward for large loads. I think there in enough adjustability for the height of the pack extension skirt. (The skirt is made of spectra and is about 6 inches long. The next picture shows the bottom of the lid. It also has two spectra daisy chains going from side to side. I am not sure of their purpose. The zipper has urethane coated teeth which makes the zipper more waterproof.

Shoulder Straps

4500b shoulder

The pack has removable shoulder straps that are secured with velcro. The velcro goes through metal double D rings sewn to the pack. There are two straps that go from the upper pack to the shoulder straps for helping move the top of the pack closer to your body (they are not connected to the pack in this picture). There is a sternum strap. The haul loop is made out of spectra fabric.

Waist Belt

4500b belt 1 4500b belt 2

The pack has two 'wings', that is bent metal reinforcements sewn into the lower area of the pack near the hip belt. The wings have a small pocket with velcro inside of it. The hip belt also has a small pocket with velcro inside it. I am pretty sure this is for the Kelty 'levitators', which are carbon fiber springs that attach to each side of the hip belt and are supposed to help with large loads. The carbon fiber springs are enclosed in fabric and there is velcro to mate with the pack and waist belt velcro. The upper pocket on the hip belt is for the levitators, and the lower pocket is a gear loop attachment point.

Side View

4500b side

Here is a side view of the pack. Note at the top and bottom of the pack the reinforcement areas where the gear loops can be attached. The mounting points are quite robust. There is nothing in the lid, so it looks a bit odd here.

Gear Loops

4500b loops

You can attach gear loops to a variety of places on the pack as well as the hip belt. This pack has eight 'gear loops', which are made out of folded webbing with a clear plastic tube around the webbing. As the plastic ages, it becomes less clear and less flexible. Some have broken with age. They are often used for holding rock climbing gear, though it seems odd to do technical climbing while wearing the pack. You can clearly see how the plastic has become less clear and has broken in several places. I removed all the gear loops, as I don't have any use for them.


4500b lightbeam

The frame is a critical part of the pack. It transfers the weight from the shoulders to the waist area. It is the backbone of the pack. The kelty frame is made mostly of aluminum. The aluminum isn't flat stock, but rather it is corrugated to be lighter than flat stock of similar outline, and stiffer than flat stock of the same weight. Kelty calls the aluminum LightBeam, which is an appropriate name. The above picture shows both sides of a piece of Kelty LightBeam.

4500b frame_1

The frame consists of two stays of stays of aluminum, and a HDPE plastic sheet which holds them in place. The first picture shows the entire frame. On the left, is the part which mates with a pocket at the inside bottom of the pack, on the other side of the waist belt. The frame rails are partially visible inside the white spectra frame sub-assembly. On the bottom is the HDPE plastic sheet. There is a place (the black fabric area perpendicular to the main frame stays) to insert a cross LightBeam bar at the top of the framesheet, but no bar came with this pack. At the far right of the frame is a cross bar which is sewn into the spectra frame sub-assembly. I suspect it is aluminum.

4500b frame_2

This is the other side of the frame. Visible are the HDPE plastic sheets, and where the velcro is sewn to the HDPE to secure the spectra frame sub-assembly. The black material adds some padding, and is on top of the HDPE plastic sheet.

4500b frame_6 4500b frame_7

Here is a picture inside the pack, showing the pocket where the end of the frame attaches. The pocket is on the other side of the hip belt. The next picture shows the frame inserted in the pack, and secured with two straps. Visible on the sides, are hydration tube exits to the outside of the pack. This is not present on any of my 6500 packs. I think this is a pretty secure and robust internal frame. It isn't as heavy as the McHale, nor as strong, but I suspect it is strong enough for almost all uses.

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