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Time-Tested Gear: Backpacks

You can't be a backpacker...without a backpack.
november 2011 packs kelty 445x260Main: Kelty Trekker 3900 Inset: Tioga (Courtesy Photo)

Photo by Jen Lewon

Veteran Pick
Dana Design Direct Backpack

“It’s compact enough for weekends, but so sturdy I’ve carried it on two-week treks with 75 pounds aboard. In 10 years, including five summers of guiding weeklong treks and hikes on three continents, not so much as a piece of webbing ever broke. The packs have outlasted the company, but you can still find them on eBay ($150 at press time). Or get the 4,200-cubic-inch Trance XXX by Mystery Ranch ($350,, which shares some of the Direct’s DNA and is made by Dana Design founder Dana Gleason.” —Executive Editor Dennis Lewon (and tester since 1999)

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