Slipping buckles on Dana pack

12:51 a.m. on August 14, 2007 (EDT)
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After ten years of carrying my Dana Terraplane for eleven day winter backpack trips (60-80lbs) I am having trouble with slipping webbing on both shoulder straps and waist belt. I want to get at least one more heavily loaded trip out of my pack. Any suggestions on whether new nylon buckles would help or other trips for reviving the suspension. Or should I just break down and investigate another 5500cu.in. pack?

1:04 p.m. on August 15, 2007 (EDT)
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Only 10 years on your Terraplane? You must put hard use on them! I have found that heavy loads in the range you mention will produce some slippage even when the pack is new. At one point, I tried the buckle from a Kelty Sherpa (a toothed, spring-loaded buckle) on my Terraplane, and even then, with 60-70 pound loads over the course of a day, there was some slippage. A couple things I found that help are to double back the tail of the belts or use the double-slidethrough on both sides of the hip belt (the type that Dana supplied on one side of the hip belt). The problem with locking off the straps is that it makes it more awkward to get the pack on and off and do the final adjustments. I find it easier to have the straps loose, especially with a heavy load, when picking the pack up and putting it on, then hinch and tighten the waist belt, followed by tightening the shoulder straps, clip the sternum strap, and finally tighten the load lifters (I generally leave the waistbelt loadlifters set).

Even with the backups, though, I find I want to do some adjustments during the hike, just to change how the pack is riding - allow a little recirculation to rest some of the muscles in turn.

Hard to imagine a Terraplane would be worn out after only 10 years and a few 11-day winter trips. Mine has been through a number of 20-30 day trips, most recently in Antarctica (click on the News forum at the top of the page and scan down a few screens worth), along with climbs in the Alaska Range, Mexican volcanoes, and lots of winter backcountry ski tours in the Sierra and elsewhere. It is only 12 years old and has lots of life left.

5:38 p.m. on August 15, 2007 (EDT)
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Hello Linday,
I had the same problem with my pack when on extended hikes and carrying heavy loads.
What I did, was to stitch/glue some short lengths (2") of velcro (hook & loop) tape to the appropriate position on the shoulder straps and then to the underside of the shoulder strap adjuster tails. Same with the waist belt. That lets me cinch everything up to where I want it and then 'lock' it down. The tails of the adjuster straps are then easily released when necessary.
Hope that helps,
George Spearing

10:41 p.m. on August 15, 2007 (EDT)
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Thanks for the quick replies. I think that one issue with my Terraplane is that I bought it large at a great price, but I am probably would be better fitted in next smaller size. In any case, I think I will take comfort from the idea that some small tweaks may make the difference. The idea of velcro at the ends of the straps sounds great. I already use that for attaching my camera case to the shoulder straps. And I might buy a set of new buckles since they are pretty cheap. Generally, when they are new, the corners at the friction points are fairly sharp, whereas mine are currently quite smooth and rounded. I make a point of adjusting and readjusting while on the trail, so I wouldn't like to deal with doubling the straps back through the slidethroughs.

October 24, 2014
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