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Reviews > Base Camp Gear > Campsite Gear > Storage Options > Kelty Binto Bar > Test Report by Jerry Goller

KELTY BINTO BAR
TEST SERIES BY JERRY GOLLER
LONG-TERM REPORT
January 27, 2009

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Jerry Goller
EMAIL: jerrygoller@backpackgeartest.org
AGE: 61
LOCATION: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 229 lb (104.00 kg)

I started camping with my father at age 6 or so. I’ve backpacked, off and on, all of my life. Even in the Marine Corps, I was in the Infantry. I consider myself a light weight backpacker with an average dry pack weight of 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 7 kg), depending on the season and terrain. I backpack year round. Most of my trips are 2 to 5 days long and in Utah. I also, from time to time, take much longer trips lasting one to two months or more. These trips are usually on the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Kelty Binto Bar
Kelty Binto Bar



Manufacturer: Kelty
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.kelty.com
MSRP: US$120.00
Listed Weight: 6lb 14 oz. (3.1kg)
Measured Weight: 6lb. 10 oz (3.01 kg)
Listed Dimensions:
Length: 27” (66 cm)
Width: 21.5” (54 cm)
Height: 15.5” (39 cm)
Measured Dimensions:
Length: 26” (66 cm)
Width: 18” (46 cm)
Height: 16” (40.5 cm)

Binto Dimensions: (see below for explanation)
Length: 14" (35.5 cm)
Width: 7.5" (19 cm)
Height: 14.5" (37 cm
Note: this is a soft sided container so these dimensions are difficult to measure and are approximations.

Listed Materials:
Body Fabric: 210D polyester oxford / 150D polyester mini-ripstop
Bottom Fabric: 1680D polyester ballistic

Due to the soft sided nature of this product I've not listed volume.

This report was formatted for viewing in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Images and text may or may not appear correctly in other browsers.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Binto Bar is a soft sided storage container which includes 3 soft sided sub-containers Kelty calls Bintos. These sub-containers allow for a certain amount of organization. The Bar has a top that opens, with two triangular wings that fold out, to form a wind protected food prep area. These wings are secured with a hook and loop patch for each of them. The top has a large full-width zippered pocket on the inside that is further divided into 3 individual pockets. The top section is held closed with a piece of hook and loop fastener and has a plastic rod stiffener running along its sides and top. It can be accessed directly without opening the main compartment.
The front section unzips, using a double slider zipper, and folds down to allow access to the Bintos. This side section has a large full-width zippered mesh pocket that is further divided into 2 individual pockets.

The Bar has two aluminum U-shaped rods, centered front and back in the main compartment, to afford some support for the top prep surface.

The Binto Bar appears to be well made of good quality materials with excellent sewing.

Although the Kelty website lists 4 interior pockets, I could only find 3 of them, in the top.

The Binto Bar has a full length adjustable webbing carry strap and a webbing handle on each side.

It also has daisy chains on each side. I have no idea what their intended use is.

The individual Bintos have a U-shaped double slider zipper that opens the entire top of the Binto for easy loading and unloading. The Bintos have a top strap and 2 side straps for carrying. They also have a clear plastic area for a label.

I have elected to use my Binto Bar to store the kitchen equipment for my van for truck camping. It seems the right size and I can't wait to see if it all fits as I evolve my base camp kitchen.

Because some of the things I want to carry in the Binto Bar are small and I don't want to have to hunt for them I have replaced the center Binto with 2 plastic boxes of approximately the same height and width. These are clear and will allow me to easily find the various things stored in them.

One area that does cause me concern is the rigidity of the Bar when I am using the prep area. Kelty suggests that at least 2 Bintos be left in the Bar to support the prep area. This may prove to be impractical or insufficient support. Time will tell. But a 3 sided folding support system that would still allow the Binto Bar to fold flat would be very easy for Kelty to add. If it proves to be a problem I'll probably make one myself.


READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The instructions are simple and straightforward. But the Binto Bar is pretty much self-explanatory, to me.

TRYING IT OUT



Here are 2 pictures of a loaded Binto. The left one is a side shot and the right one is looking down into a loaded Binto.

Binto Side View
Binto Side View
Binto Top View
Binto Top View






























To give the reader some idea of the capacity of the Binto Bar I unloaded mine and took the picture below. As an aside, the right plastic box is empty but the left plastic box and both Bintos were full.

Kelty Binto Bar Load
Kelty Binto Bar Load

TESTING STRATEGY

I plan on using the Binto Bar for both picnicking and over night camping with my family. I also plan on using it in a Base Camp situation while day hiking.

It will be used in the Uinta Mountains of Utah and Southern Utah canyon country.

SUMMARY

The Binto Bar seems to be an excellent solution for my vehicle camping gear storage problem. I use a mini-van for truck camping and my 18 month old son requires an amazing amount and volume of support gear. I need all the room I can get and this organizer should be a big help.

I look forward to seeing how well it performs.



FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Field testing was done in the Uinta Mountains of northern Utah for the picnics and one overnight trip and southern Utah for the other two overnight trips. The days ranged from the lower 70s F (lower 20s C) for the picnics and the 40s F (single digits C) for the overnight trips to the low 20s F (minus single digits C) for night time temps on the trips. The one overnight trip in the Uintas involved about 1' (30cm) of snow. All southern Utah overnight trips were clear and cool/cold.
The southern Utah trips were to Capital Reef National Park and the San Rafael Swell area. The overnight trips each involved two nights and three days. We also went on two daytime picnics.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Typical Setup
Typical Setup




The Binto Bar has proven to be a perfect solution to my storage problems. Before the Binto I used hard sided plastic bins with lids. The bins weren't straight sided (they sloped in at the base), causing a fair amount of lost space around the bottom of each bin. Also, because they were hard sided, there tended to be lost space inside because the bin couldn't conform to the shapes of the things in it. The Binto Bar and Bintos are soft sided, making packing them easier and also allowed me to get a lot more gear in them. I replaced two large and one small hard sided plastic bins with one Binto Bar. Fewer trips from the car to the main tent made life easier. I put the Binto Bar on its own stand right by the prep table so everything was always handy when I made meals or snacks. As everything isn't just piled into a box, organization is much easier with the Bintos, making things much easier to find.

I like the full-length, U-shaped zippers on the Bintos. It makes it very easy to see into the Binto, put things in, and take things out. They are the perfect size for my needs.

The material the Binto Bar is made of is easy to clean and has had no issues so far.

The lack of rigidity of the prep table on the top of the Binto Bar hasn't proven to be a problem for me. I don't actually use it as a prep area. I lay utensils I'm using or ingredients there while I'm cooking. By having the two hard sided plastic cases in the outside positions and the wire support holding up the middle, the Binto Bar has enough support for that use.

The ability of the Binto Bar to fold and store flat hasn't been of any value to me. It stays packed with all the utensils and support gear, like oven gloves, paper towel holder, table cloth, etc, so all I have to do is toss it in the back of the van and strap it down. The kitchen storage cabinet with all the lanterns, stoves, ovens, water, smaller propane tanks, large battery and inverter, and the rest of the large kitchen items is permanently mounted in the back of the van so we can just toss a few things in and go. The Binto Bar fits right into this style of camping.

SUMMARY

The Binto Bar is a very good design that does just what it is intended to do. It has met all my expectations so far. I look forward to a long camping life for it.



LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

During the Long Term Report period the Binto Bar was used for two overnight trips into the Uinta Mountains. The conditions were just below freezing with snow on the ground. It was used in the same configuration as all the earlier trips.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The Binto Bar continued to perform well throughout the test period. I've not noticed any wear or damage to the Bar. I've settled on a standard item list for the Binto Bar and this has worked out well

SUMMARY

As I leave the Binto Bar packed with all its gear, it is very easy to just carry it out and put it in the truck. I never have to worry about forgetting to pack something. The soft sided construction of the Binto Bar allows for easy packing in my truck because, unlike the hard sided cases I used to use, the Bar is much easier to fit into spaces between other gear. The soft sided construction of the Bintos makes it much easier to fit stuff into them. Historically I've used hard sided boxes like Rubbermaid Tuff Bins. As there is no "give" to these boxes it is harder to fit items in the boxes or to fit the boxes into my truck in a space efficient manner. The Binto Bar sets on a stand right beside my prep table and makes meal and snack preparation much easier. Packing up also goes much quicker because I have a place for everything and can quickly put stuff in its place or find it when preparing meals.
The Binto Bar has definitely made my camping set up easier to use for storage, packing, and in use.


CONTINUED USE

I see a long life for the Binto Bar in my base camp setup. It doesn't matter if I continue to use my van or get the gear trailer I've been thinking about; the Binto Bar will fit right in.

This concludes my test series on the Kelty Binto Bar.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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