Owner Review--Dana Designs Tokaloo DayPack
21 August 2006
o Name - Justin Prince
o Age - 34
o Gender - Male
o Height - 5' 7"/170 cm
o Weight - 160 lbs/72.5 kg
o Torso - 16"/.4 m
o Chest - 40"/1 m
o Shoulders - 47"/1.2 m
o Email - backpackgeartest at oddlimitations dot com
o Tacoma, Washington USA
o Backpacking background -
I've been actively hiking since 2004. Prior to that, I've car camped
and dayhiked since childhood, very infrequently.
I consider myself a midweight hiker. My usual pack weight is between
12-30 lbs/5-14 kg.
My usual trips range from 5-20 mile/8-32 km dayhikes or overnighters.
My preferred destinations include off trail wanders, scrambles, and
great vantages for sunrise/sunset panorama shots.
My usual companion is my dog Jeb, a 90 lb/40 kg Lab
mix. He prefers class 3 scrambles and loves snow.
- Manufacturer - Dana Designs
- Year of manufacture - 2004
- Listed weight - 3 lbs 1 oz./1.3 kg
- Weight as delivered - 3 lbs 2 oz./1.3 kg
<insert DanaDesign Tokaloo img>
This pack is a 1500 ci/25 L technical daypack. A toploader with a
roomy main compartment and a decently sized accessory/sunglass pocket.
The pack also has a front mesh "shovit" pocket large enough for a
helmet or a climbing rope. There are 2 side pockets large enough for
32 oz/1 L water bottles, and a compartment inside that can accommodate
a 100 oz/3 L hydration bladder.
The pack features a very well padded harness and hipbelt, and a
sternum strap. Hipbelt adjustments are done by pulling to center,
making adjustments on the move trouble free. There are also
compression straps across each side, and load lifters for the shoulder
straps. There are no pockets or extra gear loops on the shoulder
straps or hipbelt.
The pack reviewed is a size Large, but the stats available online all
default to Medium specifications. (It is unclear from the Dana Design
website if pack capacity changes with size, or if just the harness
- Locations where the test was conducted -
This pack has been with me on numerous hikes in Mt. Rainier National
Park, and throughout various Wilderness and Forest Service areas
throughout Washington state.
- Description of locations -
This pack has traveled extensively on and off trail in brushy, snowy,
rocky, and densely forested areas. Mostly mountainous
terrain, elevations from sea level up to 7000'/0 - 2135 m.
- Weather conditions encountered -
This pack has held up very well in a range of temperatures from 40 F/4
C to over 100 F/38 C. Has seen precipitation range from drizzle, heavy
rain, and blowing sleet. No snow as of yet, other than
being set down on snow banks, etc.
PACK DETAILS from the Dana Designs website:
* Fabric: LTD & 420 HT - (Low Tenacity Denier and 420 High Tenacity
Denier. It appears that the entire outside of the pack consists of the
420 HT fabric, the interior is lined with the LT product.)
* Capacity: 1500 ci/25 L (Specs from the Dana Design website for size
MEDIUM, this review is for the LARGE version, which seems closer to
1800 ci/30 L but is not confirmed.)
* Weight: 3 lbs, 1 oz/1.5 kg - (Carries like less, suspension holds up
really well under typical light daypack loads and then some.)
* Mesh shovit: allows quick access to layers - (There is a hole at
the bottom of this pocket to allow for a shovel handle. The top lid
for this pocket has a great cinch strap that allows all kinds of items
to be securely carried lashed down.)
* Hydration sleeve: allows easy access to water - (Sleeve is fairly
well sized, and using it doesn't seem to create an uncomfortable lump
in the pack.)
* Weather resistant zippers: for clean entry/exit of outer pockets -
(The top pocket is exceptionally well sealed, and both pockets keep
rain out very well. The main pocket has an overlapping fabric ridge
for extra protection.)
* Side water bottle pockets: provides easy access to water - (These
are a bit difficult to reach with the pack on. One nice touch is the
fabric loop on the top pocket edge to clip onto a bottle. Another nice
touch is an open corner on each of the side pockets, allowing small
debris/excess water to drain out.)
* The pack also has 2 sleeping pad/tool loops attached at bottom of
shovit pocket. (Adjustable/removable nylon webbing)
* The pack features the Arc Active suspension
I purchased this daypack to replace a smaller one earlier this
year. Purchase was based on the Dana reputation, and I haven't been
For such a small capacity pack, I'm constantly surprised at how much
gear can be stuffed inside. I've been using this exclusively for
all my hiking trips since I purchased it. The Tokaloo can comfortably
carry enough overnight gear for a warm dry night. I feel I'd be
pushing it by having to accommodate bad weather gear, etc..
This pack is definitely helping me to hone a lighter pack mindset
though. There just isn't room for unnecessary items!
My usual overnight load consists of:
64-128 oz/2-4 L of water
kitchen kit (popcan stove/fuel/titanium pot set/food)
and maybe some lightweight layering options, extra socks, etc..
This tends to be close to filling the pack completely, but
doesn't require that I stand on the pack to get it zipped up..
The Tokaloo has been on numerous 5-20 mile/8-32 km dayhikes,
overnights, and scrambles so far. The suspension is very good at
transferring weight where I want it, and is easy to adjust. The hip
belt padding is very comfortable, even on long, trudging days. The
sternum strap is placed perfectly for my build, but is not adjustable.
The padding on the back of the pack could use a few more ventilation
channels, but still dries quickly on hot days.
The shoulder straps are sufficiently padded, and have not dug in to
my chest. The hip belts pull towards each other to tighten up, which
allows for very easy adjustments on the move. I rarely have to stop to
adjust this pack, unless I need to move something inside of it.
One great thing about this pack is the way it stays put when cinched
down and snugged to my body. I do a lot of scrambles, and this pack
doesn't shift or make me worry about my balance in rather precariously
The pack fabric has been dragged over rocks on summits, ground
against walls in narrow rock cracks, and survived a 40'/12 m slip down
a cliff while on me with no damage to the stitching at all the bar tacks.
The pack has been dragged through various greenery bushwhacking
hells, and is still not showing any abrasive wear. The bottom of the
pack has acquired some grass stains though.
So far, the pack seems to resist leaks or water saturation even when
rained on for long periods. I've not yet had the contents get wet, and
I have not used a plastic bag liner.
The stitching on the pack is superb, and I've noticed no loose
threads or bulging seams. I also appreciate the Dana round
stitching dots at reinforcement points. (Not sure if they're stronger
or not, but they seem to distribute stress more evenly to me.)
The zippers are easy to open and close, even with the pack loaded all
the way. The rubberized coating on the top pocket zipper does an
excellent job at keeping out moisture. So I've been very confident in
keeping electronics in that pocket. (GPS, digital camera, MP3 player,
This pack is hydration bladder compatible, and fits my 64 oz/2 L
bladder just fine, without it bulging into my back. The outlet hole is
flapped over with a reinforced gusset, so moisture is less likely to
find its way back inside. Trying to find a good place to secure the
hose can be a pain though. I just run it under the top shoulder strap
adjustment. A small loop would be an ideal addition.
The only visible wear so far is to the zipper pull tags on the main
pocket, which are fraying a bit. (As these are plasticized to some
extent, instead of all nylon, they should last for quite some time still)
There are plastic side "bars" vertically placed to help support the
hip belts. I'm not sure if they're intended for any other purpose than
support. They make a great bandana tie point though!
I had put off picking up a larger pack for quite some time, as it
wasn't necessary with this pack around. My plans for late fall and
winter hiking require a much larger pack though.
This pack will continue to be my first choice for quick,
non-technical climbs, or for warm weather overnights.
Being forced by the packs capacity to pare down my load to only what
is necessary was an unexpected bonus for me. My tendency has been to
pack to whatever capacity is available, and that's been a hard habit
for me to break.
I've managed to bring down my baseweight far enough to not even fill
this pack completely now, even for overnight trips that require me to
pack in all my water. Which should make longer treks with larger packs
a lot less grueling!
Overall, I've been extremely happy with the Dana Designs Tokaloo
Daypack, and recommend it for general dayhiking.
-Very durable construction, holds up to rough use
-Good water resistance
-Conforms well to my body over most terrain
-Light colored (gray) interior makes it easy to find items quickly
-Roomy front mesh pocket
-Attachment loops on side pockets
-No pocket on hip belt
-Outside pockets could have a slight angle in them to make
reaching back for water bottles a bit easier
-No convenient place to secure a hydration bladder hose on the