Drop 40L Backpack Designed by Dan Durston
Jul 3, 20197957 views

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

Bayside_Father, Brandon Fuqua, and 48 others

Dan, Thank you for taking the time to reply to all of our questions. Can't wait to see more pics/video!
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.
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Will there be a video posted as well?
I haven't filmed one yet but I intend to.
Is it a waterproof pack? Thank you
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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.
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
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.
Would it not be possible to have mesh on the back with the external pocket fixed to it? That way you have the best of both worlds with most of the mesh protected?
You could connect the pocket with strips of mesh instead of shockcord (the Fusion packs from SMD are sort of like this). The downside is that the mesh can still be damaged (yet non-replaceable), and it makes the front pocket not removable. So it is sort of an intermediate solution, but not as durable or versatile. With this you can weave on the front pocket in a variety of ways, so you can add more shockcord if you want smaller holes to ensure medium items are still secure.
Thanks Dan, in fact i think i have found an easier solution - i've got a large mesh bag fro storing my down sleeping bag when not in a rucksack. It has got a loop on the bottom and Ill just drop this in behind the pocket. If it gets torn i'll simply buy another for about $5
I really don’t trust slim shock cords to hold things behind that pouch even bulky jackets. I have had things shimmy partially out of other light weight shocks to the point I don’t trust them for anything beyond a rigid items like tent, pole etc and the limitations of nonstretch fabrics with even the minuscule weight of a zipper don’t seem efficient for me let me put small precious items on belts or zip pockets that are actually more reachable and leave all that back for ice axes and other wet or bulky clothing items unfortunately, this is an important enough an area to limit my interest in this design just my opinion
There is already a lot of opportunity to securely store small items within reach because there are two stretch shoulder pockets, a zipper shoulder pocket, two hipbelt pockets and then the side zipper pocket for larger items. On the back of the pack there are a lot of ways to customize the configuration to suit your needs. If you don't trust the shockcord not to break, or to hold items secure enough, then you can do things like lace it on twice with separate shockcord so the weave is tighter and both would have to break. It's true that it's not wise to put smaller items here, but it does work well for larger items like rain gear, tents, puffy jackets etc. So big stuff can be stored here like a traditional mesh pocket, and then medium and small stuff is stored more conveniently near the front via the unique left side pocket and various other pockets.
Thanks for the comments it less breakage and more a secure non shifting hold by compression straps your idea to add more cordage makes sense
Hello Drop, the Sorensen Shadow 28l fastpack pack made by MassDrop experienced quality and design issues. What steps have Drop taken to avoid these issues from infecting the Dan pack? Also, what is the return policy for fitting? Even though a pack should fit based on measurements, there are times when a pack is just not comfortable. Not a fault of the pack or person wearing it. We just comes in different sizes and shapes. Thank you.
I can't speak to any issues with the Shadow because I was not involved in that, but this pack is a totally different project and all the people involved are different. Since the Shadow, Drop has invested in a lot of very experienced staff and testing programs, so the product development process is very different now than it was a year ago.
when the 28l was done the focus was on getting a light, versatile performance bag to the community for the lowest possible price. I personally started working on dans design halfway through the development but the goal was always very different with this bag. @dandurston design this bag to be the best in its category and while a good price is still important our focus in our development work clearly was on the performance and quality.
Hi Dan! I would be very interested in this pack depending upon the shoulder straps and the method of attachment. If the shoulder straps are less than 3" wide then I wouldn't be interested. Both Z Packs' Arc Blast and MLD's Burn have 3" wide straps and they are SO comfortable compared to the industry standard of 2 1/2" or less. The latter are compensated (they think) by making them thickly padded, which actually adds weight; by making them wider and less padded the weight of the pack is distributed over a greater area of one's shoulder - making for a more comfortable carry - and also weigh less than heavily padded straps. The other concern is the method of attachment: if the straps are sewn directly to the pack then I wouldn't be interested because this method of attachment does not allow for an individual's difference of slope angle. For example, some packs have the straps sewn on a straight horizontal, which results in all the weight resting on the inside edges of the straps, as they are not able to conform to shoulder slope. The only method of attachment I would consider acceptable is with a 1" piece of webbing. This method allows the straps to twist to whatever degree is necessary to conform to the wearer's shoulder slope, distributing weight along the entire width of the strap instead of just one edge. Z Packs, Sierra Designs Compactor and others use this attachment method and are hands down the most comfortable. But, I'm sure you're aware of these two design concerns and have them incorporated already into your pack! One final thought: since I'm not a fashionista, I pretty much like the color as is. Keep it!
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The shoulder strap pockets work perfectly for the smaller (8oz / 225g) size of bear spray. Does not fit the larger 12oz/325g size but I doubt ULers will be carrying that.
Heck yeah on the cardamom pod!
just curious of these two things 1. the price 2. the weight 👍
the price is still confidential and we will announce it soon however the weight i can tell you. just under 30oz for the small medium and around 31oz for the L/M including all removable components like frame, back padding and the external pocket with the elastic cord.
Hey I'm very happy that *finally* somebody take into account the global efficiency. Weight is only a part of the equation, having to stop all the time because pack is too minimalist is a big loss in time. Very interested, need more hard details and hopefully not this color scheme. Good job!
Yeah! Lets see some more pics & more colors
Hi Dan - design and weight look great! Looking forward to pictures of the front straps as well. Will the interior of the pack fit a BV450 bear canister, ideally mid-pack?
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Thanks @Cardamomtea . Is there a reservoir holder on the inside of the pack, and if so, do you recall how much space there is to fit either of the BV's in the pack with a full 2L or 3L reservoir also in the pack? @dandurston
There's not a reservoir holder inside the pack. There is a port for a hydration tube and a small sleeve for the backpad that you may be able to fit a smaller bladder into, but medium-large bladder would just need to go in the main compartment.
One size that fits all?
Two sizes
The pack looks like an excellent design, well thought-out for its target audience. If it's only half as good as the Dan Durston x Massdrop tent, then it'll be a fantastic piece of gear! I know that when it comes to gear, color is supposed to be the last concern, but I'm going to echo what others have said: I'm not a fan of this color combination. If the olive green parts were dark gray, or if the gray parts were sage (similar to the X-Mid), then it would be much more pleasing to look at. I'm certain that someday, it'll be offered in a variety of colorways, just as packs from other brands are. Until then, perhaps starting with a more appealing color combination might help sales. I'll probably buy it no matter what it looks like, but I'd much rather buy gear that's visually appealing, in addition to being functional and durable.
Do you have a max weight rating yet?
No but it should be able to hold basically whatever you can fit into it, which will likely max around 30 - 35 lbs.
Excellent thought process you explain re: pack design. I'm looking forward to purchasing one. In California, some parts of the Sierra Nevada range require a sizeable plastic bear can, which would need to be carried strapped to the outside of the pack. The canister is very slick, likely made of PVC, and weighs 2.2 lbs. empty. At 40 pack volume, it's very challenging to fit all that's needed for a 5 - 7 day backpack. How would you suggest attaching the bear canister?
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Thanks so much for your rapid reply! So far, both Mt. Whitney and Yosemite/ JMT have ruled our the Ursack after some zoo studies quite a while back. I don't know the details, but I also own two Ursacks and am always tempted... I appreciate the advice on attaching at the top of the pack. Bear can cordura formed sacks can be purchased that have three 1" webbing loops that will allow me to do exactly what you suggest. Please let me know, if you can, when and where the 40 l pack will be made available. Thanks. Reilly Stewart mtwhitney.65@gmail.com
I'm pretty sure the link below is the page where it'll eventually have all the info and take the orders. Right now you can click "request" on the page and then you'll get a notification from Drop when they have it live. https://drop.com/buy/drop-40l-backpack-designed-by-dan-durston/
I automatically clicked REQUEST, but then saw the pictures, as an owner of the 2 GGs I must say this is Aesthetically Challenged: general looks, colors, pockets, top, ..,
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It's important to keep cost low. Maybe standardised colour of white with black (instead of olive green) pouch. If the front pouch have buckles to attached to main bag, then maybe we can stuff things in between & still secure them. Keep up the good work
Just wanted to say I consider myself to not have terrible aesthetics but I'm pretty pleased with how it looks. It's quite unique. It also looks like hiking gear, instead of city gear. It can be a nice aesthetic when gear looks like.. well.. gear.
camo please and 60l
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Cool, thanks. It does look like this pack (and maybe most these days?) are designed around people carrying inflatable sleeping pads. Are there bottom loops to strap a Z-rest or similar on unawkwardly (and without getting in the way of the top or the side pouches)?
There's not bottom lops but you could add shockcord or cord loops to the bottom of the daisy chains to carry a rolled foam pad.
I see that there is no mesh pocket, is that the case? If so why letting go on such a useful design element?
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I’ve never been a fan of the mesh pocket. It seems the first thing on the pack to shred and fail
As others have said, mesh pockets are the first thing to fail. The setup here still lets you stuff large items (e.g. jackets, tents) behind the front pocket because it's attached by shockcord and then small stuff goes inside where it's more secure. So this setup does pretty much the same thing but more durable and holds small valuables more securely (e.g. a satellite tracker). It's also more versatile because you can remove the front pocket to go lighter or to use it as an alpine style pack, and you have the daisy chains to lash on gear like snowshoes. So the rationale is that it offers a wider range of functionality and greater durability. Also, the left side pocket isn't explained well yet, but it's such a great place for small-medium sided stuff like snacks, hats etc that you'll find yourself reaching for the front pocket area quite a bit less often. If you like quickly grabbing snacks from the mesh pocket, you'll like it even more when you don't even have to take the pack off to do that.
It seems a great pack. I'm very interested !!! BTW I don't really like the color (greenish) of the external pockets ...
Very interesting. And here I thought I only had to decide between a Crown2 38 and a Gorilla.
Decisions, decisions! I like this more than my Gorilla, for whatever that's worth. <3 wide shoulder straps, so comfy.
The pack sounds great, Dan. Any more pics available by chance?
Should be soon.
Glad to see your expanding your line up dan, congrats!!!