Dana Design is no longer in business, and the ArcFlex Terraplane has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best expedition packs for 2020.
Reviewers Paid: $320.00-$439.00
As an outdoor professional, I bought my Terraplane in 1996 through a work for trade deal from Appalachian Outdoors. It has been my only pack ever since. I have used it on every trip from Malaysia to Maine.
- By far the most comfortable pack I've ever used.
- I've overloaded it with gear and supplies up to 110 pounds without a problem.
- It has taken a beating for 20 years and is still going strong.
- After 15 years of use, mostly in the tropics, the back foam dry rotted and I had to replace it. Easy fix.
My friends gave me a hard time spending 300 bucks on a pack, but 20 years later, I still have it. I have always believed in buying something once, even if it is pricy. I still have my Wiggy's sleeping bag and WhisperLite Internationale stove I last used to make coffee and warm a baby bottle on the summit of Haleakala.
Do your research, spend the money once, take care of it properly and things will last for years.
My kid will inherit my pack, mind you he's getting little else!
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $320
I have carried this pack since 1992. Ten day long trips over snow in May and equally long treks to the Sierra crest in summer. Holds a big Garcia bear can just fine.
I would recommend this pack with the addition of a Kelty quick release buckle for river crossings yet mine was so water tight last may I floated part of the way across falls creek!! Truly a bloody great sack, (TY Collin Fletcher) in more ways than one. Never had a loose thread or anything except a sternum clasp fail.
The removable top sack marries to the removable hip belt making an epic summit and back daypack. I slip hydro bladder in one of the outer pockets and loop the hose through the lateral compression straps.. very convenient!
After over 1500 miles of backpacking my Arcflex Terraplane is still going strong. The one modification I made to mine was the removal of some hip belt padding 'cause I am a short guy with a long torso.. the dental floss is still holding the belt together! I say get this pack, even a used model if need be.. you won't be sorry.
Design: internal frame
Size: 5900 cu inches
Number of Pockets: 3 large zippered + 2 open hankie pockets
Max. Load Carried: 50lbs
Height of Owner: 5'7" broad shouldered
Price Paid: $350
I took this pack into the Wind River Range in Wyoming on an extended mountaineering trip. I spent 21 days this June wandering around in the snow (up to 10 standing feet of it) and lugged around more gear than any human ever should. While all my expedition mates complained of sore shoulders and bruised hips my Dana babied my back and hips under VERY heavy loads. I also added a Beavertail to my pack to help carry weird objects (my soaked rock shoes, snow flukes, snowshoes, etc.) an add-on I would recommend to anyone who likes to carry extra toys.
Design: internal Frame
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 100+
Height of Owner: 6'3"
Price Paid: $439
Had this pack custom fitted to me. I would highly recommend to any backpack enthusiast to carefully select your pack of choice. Try on as many as you can and have the sales people fill them up for you so you can try it on when the pack is weighted. I own a number of packs and this one is more comfortable with 65-70lbs in comparison to my northface day pack with a 25-30lbs load. Beaver tail and water bottle attachments are key.
Number of Pockets: 12
Max. Load Carried: 60lbs
Height of Owner: 5'8"
Price Paid: $438
This pack is outstanding. While leading a hike in the Adirondacks my co-leader was forced to hike an injured camper out. I carried both his Dana and my daypack strapped on to my Dana. It handled an enormous load with class.
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 120 lb.
Height of Owner: 6'
Price Paid: $420