Ah, the Dana Design Bomb. Possibly the most classic daypack of all time. I still have one somewhere. Purple and red. Very 80s.
Osprey Variant 52 Backpack
Variant 52 Backpack
If you can, but it just to have it. What a cool thing to have in 20 years! Otherwise, much as I love the Bomb, pack technology has progressed. Take Ospreys Variant 52 ($199). Its lighter than the Bomb, for starters. And it has a feature that is heir to the Shovit pocketa handy place to stuff jackets and ropes thats expandable and outside of the main pocket. It also has a much trimmer suspension than da Bomb that still makes 30-pound loads easily manageable. Or more in a pinch. So the Variant would a great choice.
For more of a daypack-size pack (the Variant holds 3,200 cubic inches and is a small overnight pack for todays gear), try the Gregory Z35-R ($159), Its a 2,100 cubic inch pack that does very nicely carrying big day loads. And it has a front bucket" pocket that is the same thing as a Shovit. I have the version that doesnt have the bucket pocket (the Z35) and like it a lot. Very light, good suspension, and good load-carrying ability.
I have more advice: Get your friends to buy their own damn packs!
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