Dana Design is no longer in business, and the Swiftcurrent has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best expedition packs for 2020.
Reviewers Paid: $200.00-$350.00
I've used this pack several times for three-day hikes. This is an excellent pack. It carries all my gear (35-40 lbs) comfortably, and can easily handle heavier loads. It carried gear plus 20 lbs worth of water without trouble for a three-day hike in Big Bend. It didn't shift and remained well balanced during some rock scrambling on a different trip. Even with the straps cinched tight it never got uncomfortable.
The adjustable shoulder/frame straps let me fine tune the fit (which is nice since I usually find myself in between sizes). I'm not really sold on the shovit tail yet. It's an OK feature but I'd rather have extra pockets (like the terraplane). I think I have more use for those than the shovit, but for $200 I really can't complain and, who knows, it might come in handy someday. I'm indifferent about the side zips (I always load/unload my pack from the top). When it's half empty and hanging from a tree it's nice to be able to unzip the sides and throw things into it for the night, but when it's full it's almost a chore to open the side zips and then try to shove something back in place and close it up again. If it had extra side pockets it would help organize things so I wouldn't have to dig inside my pack during a hike. The detachable lid feature is nice, and it holds plenty of stuff for dayhikes. It has no water bottle holders (you can buy those extra, but i'll probably rig my own).
Bottom line- Excellent pack, very adjustable and carries weight very well. If it had been full price, however, I would have opted for different extra features.
Number of Pockets: 2 + shovit
Max. Load Carried: 55 lbs
Height of Owner: 5' 11"
Price Paid: $200 (sale)
I don't know if Dana packs are still any good, since little kids in sweatshops started making them, but mine was made in Bozeman, MT, and it kicks ass. I've carried overnight gear and skis while post-holing through snow with this pack, and it never argues. It just does what it's told and keeps me happy. With the beaver tail on the back its capacity is really unlimited as long as the weather's nice. Yep...too bad Dana fell victim to the global economy. Too bad.
Design: Internal Frame
Size: Approx 6000
Number of Pockets: 2 & a Beavertail
Max. Load Carried: 75
Height of Owner: 6'3"
Price Paid: $350
i love this pack, but it has its limits. on a recent trip to canyonlands np with 10 liters of h20, all my food for 7 days, and climbing gear, i way overloaded this pack, i'm not sure that i would recomend carrying 80lbs in anything, but don't try it with this baby...on more sane loads, it is a great pack, but try to keep it to around 40 lbs and this pack will make you a happy camper.
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 80lbs
Height of Owner: 5-10
Price Paid: $330
Love it. Make sure you get it well fitted at the store by someone who knows, and make sure the waistbelt, etc. are the right size (they make a few different sizes of each). Carried 50 lbs of gear as well as it possibly could - tight to the body, stable, and good.
The beaver tail shovit is perfect for the Thermarest or raingear. Top lid makes a beefy and comfortable fanny pack with the waist belt. Panel loading as well as top loading for lots of convenience.
I say go buy one.
Design: internal frame
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 50 lbs.
Height of Owner: 6'4
Price Paid: $330 on sale