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Richard Beckwith
(Hardcore) - F
Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/20/2006 21:59:13 MDT Print View

I was recently reading that the main guy from the former company "Dana Design" has set up shop in Bozeman, Montana. He is making premo, American made packs with outstanding suspension systems similar to the old Dana Design Astralplane backpack.

Dana Design's former line of packs is now part of Marmot, but are made overseas (China most likely). Dana Gleason, the main guy from Dana Design, is making these packs that are old school (heavy) but are supposed to carry big loads like nothing else...similar to the old Dana Design Astralplane packs.

Dana Design Astralplane was long considered the "gold standard" in big capacity expedition backpacks until they sold their company. I realize a pack like the Astralplane is not "ultra-lightweight" and isnt made from Dyneema gridstop, but the suspension systems are supposed to be outstanding.

Anybody used one of these packs on a real backpacking trip? Not just read about it on the net?

Be forewarned...these premo packs are expensive as they are manufactured in the USA and not the Pacific Rim (sweatshops).

http://www.mysteryranch.com/catalog/

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/20/2006 22:53:32 MDT Print View

Yeah and they're heavy as *BEEP*

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/20/2006 23:40:32 MDT Print View

Not everything made outside the US is made in sweatshops, nor is everything made in the US of top quality.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/21/2006 00:31:24 MDT Print View

Truth is too complicated / inconvenient for some people. They seem to have a need to do quick classifications -- be it entire peoples or entire continents -- and then move on.

Asia = sweat shops. Great. End of story. No further need to use the brain.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/21/2006 09:55:09 MDT Print View

There are a lot of sweatshops in New York too. But we're thread hijacking here. So that will be the extent of my comments :)

Richard Beckwith
(Hardcore) - F
Re: Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/21/2006 10:34:17 MDT Print View

Wow...some hostile comments made about Mystery Ranch backpacks! No comments about the outstanding suspension system these packs have? If you know even the most rudimentary basics, it goes something like this:

1) equipment loaded into your pack is transferred to the hip and hipbelt IF you have a good frame system. This allows you to carry medium and heavy weight packs while walking more upright and with less strain and energy. It is simple physics.

2) Packs with no frame system or poor frame systems or no hip belt cannot take advantage of load transferrence to the hip area. This results in all the weight being put on the back, having to "lean forward" while carrying even a light frameless rucksack and generally, getting tired more quickly.

This Mystery Ranch pack system (G-pack) transfers the load to the hips in an outstanding way. My understanding is a lot of these ultra-lightweight packs dont transfer the weight to the hips AT ALL. Or if they do, most of these ultra-lightweight packs transfer the weight poorly.

Yes...these packs are old school heavy. But otherwise, just considering the frame and suspension I would be willing to bet they would carry 25 pounds more comfortably than most of the frameless "ultra-light" crap packs that are out there!

Ive seen some of these "ultra-lightweight" packs and most of them look like garbage bags with cheap shoulder straps sewn onto them.

Richard Beckwith
(Hardcore) - F
Re: Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/21/2006 10:41:51 MDT Print View

Posted: 07/21/2006 00:31:24 MDT by Benjamin Tang (ben2world)

>Truth is too complicated / inconvenient >for some people. They seem to have a need >to do quick classifications -- be it >entire peoples or entire continents -- >and then move on.

Yes, I have taken a lot of Asian Geography courses (Geography major here) and I know squat about Asia and their economic systems. Plus, I am not politically correct, although it sounds as if you are.

>Asia = sweat shops. Great. End of story. >No further need to use the brain.

So you support sweat shops, Benjamin? Have you moved your company to China yet, enslaving poor Chinese while at the same time putting American workers out of work?

It is a hard fact that there is a lot of slavery and a lot of sweat shops in these pacific rim countries where a lot of backpacking equipment is presently being manufactured. How can you know for sure that the last ultra-lightweight piece of gear you purchased wasnt made in Vietnam or China by some poor person making 25 cents a day, subsisting on cold rice and cold rat meat?

Richard Beckwith
(Hardcore) - F
Re: Re: Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/21/2006 10:44:22 MDT Print View

Do any of you people here actually go backpacking? Or do most of you just sit at home and TALK about "ultra-lightweight" backpacking gear on the net?

Any of you ever actually been on a real backpacking trip?

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
hardcore attitude on 07/21/2006 10:56:28 MDT Print View

Hardcore Richard,

I'm sure everyone appreciates your early posts. They display a horrid disregard for the complexities of economics. Furthermore, why would you conclude based on some posters' rather more-developed sense of responsibility that they don't backpack?

Hopefully these posts aren't any indication of how you'll conduct yourself on these boards in the future.

Ben

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Hardcore--- not us. on 07/21/2006 11:39:38 MDT Print View

Monsieur Richard, I think you have a basic misconception about this site. We spend the entire Summer dreaming up and dreaming of new lightweight toys which would shred the 1st time we actually took them out into the backcountry. But we're such wusses we wouldn't actually go backpacking, anyway. Bugs. Bears. Mtn. Lions. Dirt. No refrigerated beverages. What you want is ----
http://www.superduperheavymachobackpacker.com

Have fun. ;-)>

But if you ever decide to try a walk on the wild side, please do give us a post.

Edited by kdesign on 07/21/2006 11:40:46 MDT.

Brian Frankle
(bdf37) - F
Mystery Ranch Packs...on topic on 07/21/2006 11:41:44 MDT Print View

Richard-

You are correct. The Mystery Ranch stuff is absolutely incredible if your primary concern is load transfer and the ability to carry enormous loads. No one builds suspensions like Dana does. They are unmatched. (McHale a close second IMO).

If you do want a pack that can carry big loads (60 lbs+)and comfortably, look no further. I'd also encourage you to talk with Mystery Ranch first hand as well as Dan at McHale Packs. They are good folks and have zero interest in just selling you something...rather an interest in selling you the correct pack for your needs.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/21/2006 11:43:36 MDT Print View

"So you support sweat shops, Benjamin? Have you moved your company to China yet, enslaving poor Chinese while at the same time putting American workers out of work?"

Richard, do yourself a favor and educate yourself about the fundamentals of Economics. I'd love to teach you, but it's difficult to do that on a Forum. Besides, you would accuse me of not spending time backpacking!

Separately, why are you asking about Mystery Ranch's "kick ass" load carrying capability on this BACKPACKINGLIGHT forum? You may as well ask about Samsonite rollaboard luggage! All of these different types of luggage/backpacks have their place -- but this is a forum for backpacking light!

Edited by ben2world on 07/21/2006 11:47:15 MDT.

Mark Larson
(mlarson) - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/21/2006 12:11:45 MDT Print View

Setting aside questions of economics or whether or not fellow BPLers have been on "real backpacking trips"...

If you have experience with Mystery Ranch packs, please share it. I'm not sure if you do, since you ask "Anybody used one of these packs...?" but also mention their "outstanding suspension systems" 4 times... I'm not sure if this is sales pitch or honest inquiry.

Anyway, assuming the best, this is my take: I have little doubt that the MR packs are well-made, just like DD models. I have little doubt that they carry well. But they are indeed heavy and seem like they're a bit more targeted towards expedition/climbing use, and lack some of the niceties of more trail-oriented packs. The SnapDragon has a somewhat smallish 3-season volume of 2700ci... but it's nearly 4lbs. The 2200ci Daily pack is more than 3lbs. Bumping up the volume, we see the packs in the 3000-4000ci range are all more than $200 and 4lbs. For bigger loads in harsh environments, they might be a good bet--but I'm not sure what particular use you had in mind or what pack weight and terrain you normally deal with.

Of course, comparing entire product lines is a fuzzy sort of science. But considering the average lightweight or ultralighthiker in typical US mountain conditions, and considering the expense & weight of competitive products... I think a better option would be something from ULA, Granite Gear, GoLite, Six Moon Designs or similar manufacturers. You can find some excellent, long-lasting packs with comparable load-carrying abilities for half the weight and for significantly less money.

-Mark

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Not so subtle. on 07/21/2006 12:28:42 MDT Print View

I know the urge to defend yourselves can be almost overwhelming but please, don't feed the trolls!

Tom Gibson
(TerribleTom) - F
Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/21/2006 12:40:58 MDT Print View

I have an old (circa 1990) Dana Design Hyalite. It was one of the smaller Dana packs at the time. It isn't exactly lightweight - the material is thick and the zippers huge - but it sure does carry nicely. I'd expect nothing but the highest quality from Mr. Gleason.

Richard Beckwith
(Hardcore) - F
Re: hardcore attitude on 07/21/2006 13:48:50 MDT Print View

Subject: hardcore attitude
Posted: 07/21/2006 10:56:28 MDT by Benjamin Smith (bugbomb)

Hardcore Richard,

I'm sure everyone appreciates your early posts. They display a horrid disregard for the complexities of economics. Furthermore, why would you conclude based on some posters' rather more-developed sense of responsibility that they don't backpack?


Ben
----------------------------------


Ben, I question many of the posters here because I have lurked here for a while and many here seem to be little more than Internet gearheads. Many of the posters here I dont believe could hack real backpacking and arent really interested in actually going out on the trail.

It seems like some strange form of OCD...cutting out EVERY ounce of weight, entering your "base weight" in MS Excel spreadsheets. Very odd indeed. I am glad I experienced backpacking a lot before ultra-lightweight backpacking becamse this marketing fad it is right now. Many seem to be obsessed with spreadsheets, cutting every ounce out and other oddness.

Backpacking is a masochistic sport, always has been, always will be. It is somewhat painful no matter how light your pack is. This is why I seriously question many of these posters...many dont seem to realize that backpacking is a "so youre into pain and suffering" sporting activity.

It is much less painful if you are in shape. If you are in shape and have no major health problems, a 50 lb load should be no problem.

And no, I am not making a sales pitch for Mystery Ranch backpacks. I have no connections to the company whatsoever and no conflicts of interest to expose. I was merely making an inquiry about their packs on a place I thought I might get a decent answer but obviously I was wrong.

My old Lowe Alpine system internal frame pack weighs seven pounds...it is rugged as hell and while the suspension/load transfer is poor compared to an external frame pack or one of these Dana Design type packs, Ive logged probably a good 1500 miles with it.

I never gave it any thought that the pack weighs seven pounds. Who gives a f*ck? I think a lot of the people here are just wusses.

Richard Beckwith
(Hardcore) - F
Re: Mystery Ranch Packs...on topic on 07/21/2006 13:50:04 MDT Print View

Subject: Mystery Ranch Packs...on topic
Posted: 07/21/2006 11:41:44 MDT by Brian Frankle (bdf37)

Richard-

You are correct. The Mystery Ranch stuff is absolutely incredible if your primary concern is load transfer and the ability to carry enormous loads. No one builds suspensions like Dana does. They are unmatched. (McHale a close second IMO).

If you do want a pack that can carry big loads (60 lbs+)and comfortably, look no further. I'd also encourage you to talk with Mystery Ranch first hand as well as Dan at McHale Packs. They are good folks and have zero interest in just selling you something...rather an interest in selling you the correct pack for your needs
-------------------------------------------

thank you...your answer was more of the type of response I was looking for. I have read about McHale packs...read they are good stuff.

Richard Beckwith
(Hardcore) - F
Re: Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/21/2006 13:53:22 MDT Print View

Subject: Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality?
Posted: 07/21/2006 11:43:36 MDT by Benjamin Tang (ben2world)

"So you support sweat shops, Benjamin? Have you moved your company to China yet, enslaving poor Chinese while at the same time putting American workers out of work?"

Richard, do yourself a favor and educate yourself about the fundamentals of Economics. I'd love to teach you, but it's difficult to do that on a Forum. Besides, you would accuse me of not spending time backpacking!

Separately, why are you asking about Mystery Ranch's "kick ass" load carrying capability on this BACKPACKINGLIGHT forum? You may as well ask about Samsonite rollaboard luggage! All of these different types of luggage/backpacks have their place -- but this is a forum for backpacking light!

This post was edited by ben2world at 07/21/2006 11:47:15 MDT.
-----------------------------------------


Benjamin, I took Intro to Micro and Intro to Macroeconomics in college. Just because I took the courses doesnt mean I agree with everything that is taught in a "basic economics course." I dont believe in selling out your own country by letting American companies move their manufacturing capabilities lock, stock and barrell to China and then resell the stuff here.

There are some things you just dont do.

BTW, I dont believe youve ever been on a real backpacking trip in your whole entire life. I bet you spend your entire day on the net or doing Excel spreadsheet crap.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Ignorant abut Backpacking on 07/21/2006 13:56:40 MDT Print View

"Backpacking is a masochistic sport, always has been, always will be. It is somewhat painful no matter how light your pack is. This is why I seriously question many of these posters...many dont seem to realize that backpacking is a "so youre into pain and suffering" sporting activity."

You are showing your ignorance again. Backpacking can be back breaking -- but only if you choose to go that way. Apparently, that's the only way you know!

You have obviously never tried lightweight backpacking so you really should either (1) give it a try or (2) just shut your mouth.

Edited by ben2world on 07/21/2006 13:59:54 MDT.

Richard Beckwith
(Hardcore) - F
Re: Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality? on 07/21/2006 13:59:00 MDT Print View

ubject: Re: Mystery Ranch Backpacks equals Dana Design quality?
Posted: 07/21/2006 12:40:58 MDT by Tom Gibson (TerribleTom)

I have an old (circa 1990) Dana Design Hyalite. It was one of the smaller Dana packs at the time. It isn't exactly lightweight - the material is thick and the zippers huge - but it sure does carry nicely. I'd expect nothing but the highest quality from Mr. Gleason.
----------------------------------------


Yes, Dana Design set the standard for load transfer to the hip region when it came to internal frame packs. If an 8.5 lb pack makes a total 35-40 lbs feel like 20 lbs due to extremely superior load transfer to the hip region, it is a good pack in my book.