Dana Design is no longer in business, and the Terraplane LTW has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best expedition packs for 2021.
Historic Range: $209.97-$348.95
Reviewers Paid: $279.00-$350.00
Reviewers Paid: $169.00
This is the Cadillac of packs! Hands down... Most comfortable. If you don't own one...what are you waiting for? For a long time, I knew that this was a great pack. I had tried one on at Mountain Crossings (Neels Gap, GA). I just couldn't afford one. So I settled for a Gregory that rubbed and bruised and was generally uncomfortable. All that time I knew "One day I'll get a Dana."
Well, that day came last year and I've been smiling while trekking ever since. Seriously, the outside pockets will hold a ton of stuff. I keep my Crocs in one and my jacket and a cap in the other. The top converts into a nice hipbelt for those side trips. The pack is huge, but you can easily cinch it up if you aren't carrying a big load. The water bottle pockets are easy to get to.
The only complaint I have is that they don't hold your bottles very tightly. They may jump ship if you're rockhopping. Other than that, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS PACK!
Design: Top Loading Internal
Size: 5800 Cu. In.
Number of Pockets: 2
Max. Load Carried: 60 lbs
Height of Owner: 6'2"
Price Paid: $279
I've used this trip in the San Juans and on Ranier. Simply a spectacular pack. Yes, it is LARGE. What's nice is that you have many different ways to configure the space, by cinching it down internally. I personally like the distribution of weight. I have a bad back, and I can comfortably handle 50 lbs on an extended trip - with no pain!!!
I was kind of sorry to hear Marmot acquired this brand. Marmot makes great stuff, but these packs have been great over the years. I've used other brands (I own a Kelty, a Gregory, a REI, besides this one), and I really like the Dana. If you've got one, hang onto it!!
Design: Terraplane LTW
Max. Load Carried: 60
Height of Owner: 5-11"
Price Paid: $350
Dana Design Inc was recently aquired by Marmot. These backpacks are hard to find. Check the Marmot site for retailers. Another option would be to check into Mystery Ranch Backpacks, owned by Dana Gleason, made in the USA, and cost a little more. I don't really think I have to recommend this pack, its reputation speaks for itself.
Design: Internal Frame
Size: 5300 cu in (Medium)
Number of Pockets: 2 pockets; lowere bag compartment; huge main; lid doubles as fanny pack
Max. Load Carried: 55 lbs.
Height of Owner: 5' 9"
Price Paid: $329
It's lasted for 8 years with no problems, through two weeks at Philmont, multiple treks on the AT, and a year living abroad in the UK. The top converts into a pack for day hikes, which I've happily used many times.
Seriously sturdy pack. I wouldn't travel without it! I wish they still made these.
Price Paid: on sale for $169