The Gear Guy's Favorite Things

Dana Terraplane LTW ($399;

Nov 20, 2003
Outside Magazine

CLICK HERE for your chance to win a Dana Design Terraplane pack!

In my garage hangs a faded turquoise Dana Design Terraplane. This pack has been through thick and thin with me for more than a decade—up Denali, hauling monster loads for long trips in the Enchantment Lakes area, getting tossed from helicopters during mountain rescue operations, you name it. During that time a lot of fine packs have hit the market, but I have yet to see or try one that really convinces me there is any reason to trade in my Terraplane. To me, it's simply the best big pack on the market, regardless of price.

What makes the Terraplane so good? The bag design, for one thing. It's simple and clean, with a big central compartment divided into a lower sleeping bag area (the divider can be stowed out of the way). Two big outside pockets run vertically down the back, separated by a handy daisy chain. Topping it all off is a roomy top lid pocket, plus a just-right assortment of wand pockets and tool loops. It's ideal for both mountaineering and backpacking.

Then there's that famous Dana Design suspension, little changed for 25 years for good reason—it was right the first time. Its clever mix of polyethylene frame sheet, aluminum stays, and hipbelt do a fabulous job of putting the load right where you want it—on your hips, on the shoulders, or spread in between. Fifty pounds in this pack feels like 40 in others; I once lugged 70 pounds in mine, and while I was miserable from the effort, the pack hardly sagged. Now called the Terraplane LTW, the pack has shaved off a few ounces in its latest iteration and has lighter but tougher fabrics than my aged model.

To become the lucky winner of one Dana Terraplane pack, ENTER YOUR NAME into our sweepstakes contest, the grand prize to be drawn on Monday, December 15.

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