The Kelty Redwing 50 (*Est. $120) is popular among travelers, hikers, climbers and adventurers for its durable construction and versatile design. It weighs 3 pounds, 9 ounces, in contrast to the Osprey Aether (*Est. $250) , which weighs 5 pounds. There are lighter bags out there, like the Marmot Ultra Kompressor (*Est. $50 ) which weighs 1 pound, 6 ounces. For the most part, they are considerably smaller than the Redwing.
The Marmot Ultra Kompressor (*Est. $50 ) has a capacity of 22 liters with three exterior mesh pockets. This may be sufficient for a short hike, but it will not likely supply a one- or two-day excursion. The Kelty Redwing will, as it holds 49 liters and has an impressive five exterior pockets. It should also be noted that the Redwing 50 has many daisy chains (a series of loops) for you to attach extra gear. Customers report these are high quality and can support some of your heavier equipment.
A few hikers complain that the Kelty Redwing 50 is uncomfortable due to a bar running up the center of its back, but others like the extra support this feature provides and point out that it curves to fit the wearer's back. The Marmot Ultra Kompressor, on the other hand, is known for its comfort and ability to be easily packed away. There are several reports the Ultra Kompressor tears easily. Its thin material may be lightweight, but it is not the most durable.
The Osprey Aether has been known to suffer from minor wear and tear as well. The Redwing 50 has been used by enthusiasts for up to six or more years without suffering from any major durability issues, although all of these bags are backed by a lifetime warranty, and all have good reputations for customer service.
Overall, the Kelty Redwing 50 Is the best choice for those who want all the important features of a full-size bag in a more compact package.