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Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryOutdoor equipment
Founded1952; 72 years ago (1952)
FounderAsher Kelty
Headquarters6235 Lookout Road Suite B Boulder, CO 80301, US
ParentExxel Outdoors, LLC

Kelty is a manufacturer of high-end backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags owned by Exxel Outdoors, LLC. The business is based in Boulder, Colorado.


The company was started in 1952 by Asher "Dick" Kelty (September 13, 1919 – January 12, 2004), who was one of the first gear designers to produce and market an external-frame backpack designed specifically for civilian use.[1] He is considered to be the inventor of the aluminum-framed backpack.[2] Kelty was also the provider of gear in the 1970s cult classic TV series The Land Of The Lost.


Kelty products are widely sold by large outdoor outfitters such as Eastern Mountain Sports and REI, and Kaviso, among others. Kelty is one of a few companies that still specializes in external-frame backpacks for outdoors use. Kelty released approximately 170 products / 253 models with annual catalog updates. Tents are one of the core products of Kelty. Kelty tents are made of high-quality materials. Kelty tent fabrics are made of Polyester, which is longer-lasting than Nylon, and the poles are made of lightweight aluminum. Kelty's focus as a brand remains budget friendly outdoor gear for camping and backpacking. Kelty also maintains a tactical / military spec division for government supply needs.

Product categories

Competing Company

Dick Kelty's son, Richard Kelty, became one of the founders of Sierra West, a competing company.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "Kelty Packs and founder A.I. Dick Kelty are huge in the History of Outdoor Gear".
  2. ^ a b Elizabeth McGowan (March 1985), "Behind the Label: Sierra West", Backpacker, p. 20