Kelty Celebrates Founder Dick Kelty’s 100th Birthday At 2019 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market

May 18, 2019

BOULDER – Kelty, a leader in durable and ease of use outdoor gear, will honor what would have been the 100th birthday of legendary founder, Dick Kelty, at the 2019 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. He is known as the, “Henry Ford of backpacking” and father of the external frame back because he pushed the boundaries of backpack components and ergonomic designs. In addition, his commitment to customer service was unparalleled. Mr. Kelty was known to lend packs to last-minute buyers before waiting for their checks to clear. Kelty will offer a special, limited version backpack, previously known as the Mockingbird Park, at its booth (#42031-UL). Priced at $50, proceeds will go to the Sierra Club while supplies last.

The Mockingbird has a sleek rucksack style in true vintage fashion, leather accents, padded adjustable shoulder straps and metal zippers. It has been engineered for modern day commutes or outdoor adventures. Each pack will be numbered from one to 100 with a signature metal plate along with a unique ID number and a “throw- back” patch. The pack will be green, Mr. Kelty’s preferred color, as he felt it was “true to nature.” As Nena Kelty, his wife, noted, “Dick would make you a pack in any color you want, as long as it was green.”

The Sierra Club was chosen because of their long support of the Kelty brand. According to Nena, “The Sierra Club was very helpful when we first started making the packs. In the beginning, it was totally word of mouth. Most of our referrals came from members of the club who read articles recommending the pack in the club’s newsletters.”

“Dick’s spirit and passion inspire us every day,” said Candyce Hedlund, marketing manager for Kelty. “His original designs established a foundation for our designers that today apply these fundamentals to an evolving product line not only suited for core outdoor pursuits, but also, music festivals, tail gating, neighborhood block parties – everyday activities.”

Dick founded the brand in 1952 after his own frustrations with the backpacks available on the market for hiking and backpacking. Started in his home with his wife in California, today, Kelty has over 100 employees, produces a robust line of backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, and is sold in countries around the world.

About Kelty:

Welcome to KELTY. We are BUILT FOR PLAY. Kelty, the originator of the external frame backpack, has been the go-to outdoor equipment brand since its founding in 1952. Today, Kelty is devoted to connecting more people to the outdoors with quality products built to last that make it easy to break away from the common daily routine. Camping doesn’t just mean next to your car. It’s a festival, a spontaneous adventure, or multi-day hike, and Kelty’s durable and easy-to use camping, backpacking and everyday outdoor gear gets you to the fun faster. Need a nudge? Let’s play.