At first glance the Shrike looks small for a 30-litre pack but as you start to put gear in it fills out and there is actually more room than I would need for a daypack – Kelty bills it as a crossover bag that can be used for commuting as well as on the trail which might be why. The high price tag also surprised me, so let’s find out if it’s worth £90.
The pack is made from robust 420-denier polyester, with tougher 450-denier polyester on areas that get particularly battered around. It has a polyurethane backing and is DWR treated which will help keep some weather out, but it’s not waterproof and there’s no rain cover to help protect the contents from the elements.
The back system is quite basic with a semi-rigid internal frame sheet. Mesh padding on the shoulders and lower back will create space for cooler air to circulate across the back, but it isn’t as effective as a more technical pack with a mesh sheet separating the bag from the body. However, the shoulder straps and waist belt (which can be stashed away if they aren’t needed) are supportive for light load carrying and there’s an adjustable chest strap to help with stability.
There are good organisation compartments inside the bag’s main compartment, with a padded laptop pocket that could also be used for a hydration bladder and then a separate sleeve for a tablet in front of that. There are also pen holders and pockets for other bits and bobs. On the front are zip-up pockets which are ideal for snacks and anything that you need easy access to; the lower one has a clip for a key. Then there are two mesh side pockets for water bottles and compression straps where you could fix walking poles, plus an ice axe loop and a daisy chain to clip equipment on to.
The Shrike 30 is comfortable for lighter load carrying or is an ideal daily commuter’s pack with enough room for all your office needs. There is a women’s version that’s 26 litres. But I still feel the price is a little high.