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