The Kelty Flyway: A Road Test Review

Kelty Flyway travel back pack in Costa Rica

In the air or on the ground, the Kelty Flyway is hands down the best travel backpack I have ever used.These are strong words coming from a very frequent flyer. I just returned from a week long trip to Costa Rica with the Flyway and ran it through an obstacle course of adventure travel. I could not have more pleased with how it performed. Here is what Kelty tells you about about the Flyway:

“If you prefer to travel light, then the Flyway is for you. A standard-style backpack with travel-friendly features like a separate compartment for shoes or dirty clothes and a pack cover that protects shoulder straps when checked, the 43 liter Flyway carries easily and fits enough gear for a long weekend away. A padded sleeve protects your laptop while making it easy to remove at security. Serving double duty, the Flyway is also an excellent pack for day hikes and around town.  ($129)”


Here is what they don’t tell you:

In the airport I am always running, always late, and always scrambling. The flyway’s top zippered pocket for quick access to your travel documents and plane tickets, and the easy access laptop sleeve make it a breeze to get through security The inside passport pocket has Velcro strap, a nice added feature, as is the a center handle on the top of the bag.


The internal frame, waist belt and padded shoulder straps make it very comfortable and balanced to carry in the airport and are well vented when you are in the heat and on the trail.

At 22 inches long It works as a carry on, but if you are going to check it, or place it in a dry bag like I did while white river rafting, the attached rain fly can be put on upside down to cover the straps.


In Costa Rica it rains hard and often there is little warning of the deluge you are about to be caught in. The rain cover is attached within its own pocket. You can’t lose it and it covers the bag in seconds allowing you to keep on hiking.

Having a separate wet pocket at the bottom of the bag was fantastic. I hiked in boots but needed sandals, a towel and swimsuit as well. No more stuffing these into plastic bags that inevitably leak.

The main compartment opens ¾ length revealing a top mesh pocket for toiletries and making it easy to lay a few pair of pants down and pack rather than stuffing things in from the top. There are two long zippered pockets along the outside of the bag as well as two mesh pockets for water bottles etc.


I only ask three  things from form my travel equipment, do your job, make my life easier, and try to look good doing it. The Kelty Flyway passed with flying colors, in black, tan, and blue.


For more info on the Flyway and other Kelty products go to: