Dana Design is no longer in business, and the K2 Shortbed has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best external frame backpacks for 2021.
Reviewers Paid: $99.00-$199.00
I had been looking at the Shortbed for years and finally managed to grab one right before they stopped making them. I wish I'd gotten it sooner, as it is the most comfortable and practicle pack I have ever worn.
It is built very rugged, and the only drawback is that it is slightly heavy because of the heavy duty materials. However, the suspension is fantastic and more than makes up for the added weight to me. The suspension is very adjustable and the padding is great. It has been in a few off-trail situations, sometimes where I have been walking backward and using the pack to push through the brush and the packcloth has remained in perfect shape: no scratches or rips anywhere.
Design: Top and bottom loading
Size: 4900 cu. in.
Number of Pockets: Main compartment +4
Max. Load Carried: 65lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 10"
Price Paid: $199
This pack is the most comfortable pack I have ever worn! It has a huge padded belt that never slips on my waist. It has an awesome adjustable suspension system that takes the jolts out of the pack when stepping off a log. I have carried this pack on 75+ mile backpacking trips and was sorry to take it off. I love it!! I would have paid a $1000 for it! The bent frame on the bottom also protects my pad and tent when I set the pack on the ground. Get this, the pack is freestanding when packed. No more pitch from leaning the pack against trees! It Kicks ASS!
Size: Big Enough
Number of Pockets: 7
Max. Load Carried: 65-75lbs
Height of Owner: 6ft 5in
Price Paid: $199
I bought this pack assuming it would be a serious upgrade from the two packs I've been using recently (Camp Trails Denali and Kelty Super Tioga). Upon examination I was immediately impressed with its tank-like ruggedness. This ruggedness however comes with a price: weight. I loaded up the pack with 60 pounds of gear and spent a lot of time adjusting the torso length etc. to my body to get it just right but discovered, much to my amazement, that it never felt comfortable no matter what I tried. Over the course of two weeks I compared the Dana to my Camp Trails and Kelty packs carrying the same load. Now I love my Denali and Super Tioga even more! The Dana always felt heavy and cumbersome while the Kelty and Camp Trails always felt light and balanced. Many people would think I'm nuts, but I sent it back.
Design: Top Loading External
Size: Large - approx. 4500
Number of Pockets: Main pocket/sl. bag comp. plus several ex. pockets
Max. Load Carried: 60 pounds
Height of Owner: 5'8" - 20" torso
Price Paid: $99 plus shipping