A Message from the Designer, Dan Durston


Thanks for checking out the Drop 40L pack. As the designer, I think you’ll find it is a forward-thinking ultralight pack that delivers new levels of rapid access to your gear along with versatility, durability, and performance at an ultralight weight. The future of ultralight packs is having more of your gear readily accessed so you can spend more time enjoying the hike and less time digging through your pack. The Drop 40L pack breaks new ground here with an innovative side pocket that, in combination with hipbelt pockets and running vest-inspired shoulder strap pockets, puts more of your gear within easy reach. Other packs on the market are exploring features like bottom pockets to put larger items close at hand. That functionality is wonderful but bottom pockets come with the downsides of low item security, a loss in durability (due to the exposed mesh) and a vulnerable position for items like cameras. The unique left side pocket of the Drop 40L solves this compromise with innovative double wall design and a vertical zipper which lets you use the side pocket as both a top loading pocket and a zipper-accessed secure space for larger items between the pocket walls. Hats, maps, guidebooks, large phones and bulky cameras all slide easily into the durable, water-resistant and secure area, and can be rapidly retrieved within easy reach because the zipper is in the ideal location for reaching while you’re on the move. In combination with a traditional side pocket on the right side, the side pocket arrangement of the Drop 40L offers versatile and superior performance in all circumstances. Users carrying two water bottles can use the right pocket for easy access to a drinking bottle while keeping the second bottle more secure on the left. Bushwackers can store their water bottle inside the zipper pocket area to ensure nothing gets lost, while all users will appreciate keeping items like bear spray, fuel bottles and piles of snacks close at hand yet more easily access and secure than a traditional side pocket. The left side pocket can still hold quite a bit of gear through the zipper even when filled from the top with a moderate sized water bottle or fuel bottle.[DD1]  While the unique left side pocket keeps larger items close at hand, the dual hipbelt pockets and shoulder strap pockets keep smaller items within easy reach. The shoulder straps pockets can each swallow a typical sized phone, and an additional zipper accessed shoulder strap pocket behind the regular ones offers even greater security when needed. Overall, the Drop 40L is a revelation in convenience. The versatility and performance of the Drop 40L also extend to the front pocket. Most packs use a mesh pocket here, which easily swallows large items but is often the first part of a pack to become damaged. The Drop 40L offers that same functionality with greater versatility and durability by using a shockcord attached zipper pocket. Larger items like jackets can still be stuffed behind the pocket, while smaller items like satellite trackers can be stowed more securely inside the zipper pocket. This setup is much more durable than a mesh pocket and the shockcord can be easily replaced down the road. It’s also much more versatile since it also holds small items securely and the front pocket to be removed to go lighter, or if you want to use the pack as an alpine style pack and strap gear to the daisy chains. The Drop 40L also delivers on load performance, as it features a removable aluminum frame, comfortable wrap around shoulder straps, and load lifters on a pack still weighing less than 2 lbs. The inverted U-shaped frame adds horizontal structure that is lacking on most packs in this weight class lack, and also connects the load directly to the hipbelt wings for maximum load transfer. The pack also includes a removable backpad to cushion between the load and the wearers back.   All aspects of the pack are also informed by thousands of miles of hiking and thus are ideally suited to the lightweight hiker. This includes a side compression system that can quickly reduce the volume and also aid when taller items are strapped to the sides, a roll-top design that sheds water, and proven 210D X-Pac fabrics that offer robust durability while shedding water with the laminated plastic layer inside. The result is a pack that is a delight to use due to its class-leading access to your gear, capable frame and suspension, thoughtful design, and durable materials. All for less than 2 lbs or under 1.5 lbs with the optional frame, pad and front pocket removed. Dan Durston


Oct 5, 2020
Hey Dan, I'm sure you've noticed the backpack pic modeled by the guy in yellow. The hiking poles are point down in the side pocket. Since ultralighters don't carry tip guards.......... Just a bit of humour Dan. #@%$ happens! Maybe have drop update the pic with water bottles in the pocket and the poles stowed the right way. I know your credentials but a lot of people don't and they may judge your design knowledge on that image. Hate to see that happen. Feel free to remove this personal note to you. Foolbiker@aol.com "Raggs"
Yeah that's not a great picture for that reason, and also that the pack is way too small on that guy. If I get a chance to talk to Drop about it, I'll see if they would switch that for a better photo, such as the ones I have on DurstonGear.com
Aug 11, 2019
Is it possible to get V upper strap? To make it more stable when we put rolled or folded mattress like Z Lite on it. Thanks
We don't offer customization on this pack but there are a few attachment points nearby where you can rig up something like this. For example, you could add a V shaped strap to the tops of the daisy chains with a female buckle on it, so you can clip to that to close the pack.
Aug 7, 2019
Is the April 2020 ship date accurate? Because that will be too late for me to take on my PCT 2020 hike.
Aug 6, 2019
Dan, Will your 40L pack fit a 3 liter Camelback hydration bladder.
Jul 30, 2019
I really like the backpack. Do you think it's possible to add compression straps to the lower part of the backpack? Currently if the side pockets are empty or if the backpack is not full, there is nothing to compress and distribute the volume inside.
Jul 30, 2019
Do you think it's possible to implement compression straps to the lower part of the backpack and the side pockets. Currently if the side pockets are empty or if the backpack is not full, there is nothing to compress and distribute the volume inside.
Jul 17, 2019
Dan, Thank you for taking the time to reply to all of our questions. Can't wait to see more pics/video!
Jul 16, 2019
I have read all the above questions and they answered many concerns that I have. Simple request: are there any pictures of this pack? Please excuse this question if this has already been asked.
Jul 17, 2019
Will there be a video posted as well?
I haven't filmed one yet but I intend to.
Jul 15, 2019
Is it a waterproof pack? Thank you
The weight of seam sealing really depends on how thick you apply it, but generally it would be about 0.5oz and not likely more than 1oz. Some seam sealants are quite thick, so users will apply them quick thick but they still don't work very well if they are thick like glue because they aren't soaking into the material to seal right down to the internal plastic layer. It's lighter and better to dilute the seam sealant a bit (if you have a thick one) so it is thinner and can be painted on easily where it soaks in. I've done that with another pack that I owned made of the same material, and it added about 0.5oz. The company "Gear Aid" (formerly McNett) makes a variety of products that can be used, and often these just vary in how thick they are. I think "Tent Sure", "Seam Grip" and their shoe repair product are all basically the same thing but in different thicknesses. So if you buy the thinner option (Tent Sure) then you shouldn't need to dilute it and could just paint it on. Sealing the seams on the inside looks nicer but a few of the seams (near the frame) are hard to access from inside so you'd likely need to seal those on the outside.
Jul 16, 2019
Love your thorough answers. Thank you. I really appreciate that and am sure that is part of the reason your stuff is flying off the shells. Good luck
Jul 13, 2019
Buying a lightweight backpack is the last piece of gear I need for my thru hike next year, I've been stalling, researching and reading blogs hoping the "one" would grab me, now I know why I was hesitating - I was waiting for this pack! Dan Durston would you know if the small medium pack will fit a torso length of 16.5 - 17"??? Thanks for the great design!!!
The S/M should be the right size.
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