The New Tioga 5500 90L by Kelty

For Americorps Service I have purchased the Kelty Tioga 5500, 90L external frame trekking pack. This thing is massive and impressive. Big enough for all the gear, including the fire line pack, which will be strapped to the lower front with the two key compression straps for the top flap.

With the two rows of Pals webbing on the top, I can secure the medical pack on top, where you want the heaviest items on a pack like this. I will be rolling the army pup tent with the sleeping pad and storing it at the bottom. With space still available behind the sleeping pad and full access to the bottom two cross bars of the frame, I’ll probably store the tarp there.

Fire line pack harness to the left, and the Tioga on the right. The harness with the smaller pack will be the work horse on the line, while Tioga is the trekking and base camp behemoth.

Luckily I was able to get it in Forest Green. The other color’s were not impressive.


  • Adjustable H-frame (a small-diameter, high-alloy tube with a unique hourglass shape) allows gear to ride close and high for unparalleled comfort 
  • Foam-padded shoulder straps, sternum strap and ventilated hipbelt improve load-carrying comfort 
  • Load-lifter straps, belt stabilizers and a Scherer Cinch™ on waistbelt allow increased adjustability and a comfortable fit 
  • Mesh band on backpanel creates a cooling effect, enhancing ventilation during warm-weather hikes and intense activity 
  • Internal pocket is sized to hold a hydration reservoir up to 3 liters (sold separately); ports allow hydration tubes to thread through back of pack for easy access 
  • 3 zippered side pockets, a large front pocket and a zippered stash pocket let you divide and conquer the small essentials 
  • Bottom sleeping bag compartment with divider and an internal load pocket organize your gear 
  • Heavy-duty zipper provides external access to the sleeping bag compartment 
  • Hold-open bar at top of pack ensures easy loading and unloading 
  • Rugged 210-denier, double-ripstop nylon, 500-denier Kodra fabric and 420-denier nylon oxford stand up to years of hard use

Technical specs

Best UseBackpacking
Frame TypeExternal Frame
Gear Capacity (L)90 liter
Gear Capacity (cu. in.)5,500 cubic inches
Weight5 lbs. 10 oz.
Adjustable TorsoYes
Fits Torso16 – 21 inches
Fits Waist/Hips30 – 50 inches
Material(s)Polyester ripstop and oxford
Frame MaterialAluminum alloy
Suspended Mesh Back PanelNo
Pack AccessTop
Number of Exterior Pockets5 + 2 main compartments
Sleeping Bag CompartmentYes
Backpack StyleLightweight backpack

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