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EDIT: Michael Rasmussen OWNER REVIEW- Dana Design Bridger

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  • edwardripleyduggan
    Dear Michael, I m afraid that I ve had to subject you to a fairly tough initial edit-- please don t take it personally! Unfortunately, in our experience here
    Message 1 of 3 , May 3, 2006
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      Dear Michael,

      I'm afraid that I've had to subject you to a fairly tough initial
      edit-- please don't take it personally! Unfortunately, in our
      experience here at BGT, packs, tents and electronic gear are among the
      hardest of items to get right. All are complex artifacts, both in
      construction and use, and they are tough choices for first reviews.
      Unfortunately, you also omitted some necessary information, which has
      compounded the difficulties.

      Having said this, I'm sure you can rectify the problems with a little
      work. Please resubmit with "REPOST" where "EDIT" is now, once you have
      corrected this.

      Best,

      Ted.


      > Dana Design Bridger Internal Frame Backpack

      ### EDIT

      Should read:

      Owner Review Dana Design Bridger Internal Frame Backpack

      Date: April 2006


      >
      >
      > Reviewer Information:
      >
      > Name: Michael Rasmussen
      > Age: 25
      > Gender: M
      > Height: 6' 1"

      ### EDIT: We do require metric conversions on all measurements, thus

      Height: 6' 1" (1.83 m)

      > Weight: 175

      ### EDIT: No unit (or conversion)

      > Email address: razmaspaz@...
      > City, State, Country: Buffalo Grove, IL US
      > Date: Apr 2006

      ### EDIT: Remove date from here, as it is now at heading

      > Backpacking Background: I love the outdoors and try to get out as
      > much as possible. Unfortunately in the Midwest that means 1-2 major
      > trips a year. I do a lot of camping and fly fishing locally to make
      > up for it. I usually take 3-5 day trips and try to carry a small
      > load, but more often than not find myself carrying 35-40 lbs.

      ### EDIT: Conversion, please. Also, lb (no period after unit
      abbreviations) is preferable.

      Please fix all measurements in this review (including temperatures)
      with conversions. I won't single them out beyond this point. This
      policy is described in the BGT Survival Guide (and all of the BGT
      reviews do provide metric conversions for imperial units)

      fully
      > loaded. I go backpacking all over the US, but most of my trips are to
      > places where i

      ### EDIT: I

      can find good trout fishing complimented by scenery for
      > my wife to enjoy.
      >
      >
      > Product Information:
      >
      > Manufacturer:Dana Design (Now Marmot)

      ### EDIT: Since this was still Dana when you purchased, I'd omit the
      statement in parentheses, or explain a little further. I would prefer
      the former.

      > Year of Manufacture: 1997
      > URL: danadesign.com (now marmot.com)

      ### EDIT: Tough call. I'd just use the danadesign.com URL. It still
      works, and is likely to for some time to come.

      > Listed Weight: 5lbs 0 oz
      > Measured Weight:5 lbs 8 oz

      ### EDIT: This is a big discrepancy. Is the listed weight for the same
      model and torso? If not, it would be better to put n/a.

      > Listed Capacity:3800 cubic inches
      > Size: Pack(M), Hipbelt(M), Shoulder Straps(M)
      >
      > I have owned the Dana Designs Bridger for 8 years now. I have used it
      > everywhere from the Joyce-Kilmer Wilderness in Tennessee to
      > Yellowstone National Park. I have taken it on trips ranging from 2
      > days to 5 days. I have used it in mostly warm weather backpacking and
      > in some light snow.

      ### EDIT: BGT reviews list the conditions under which the item was
      used. Ideally this is a separate section with a heading like "Field
      conditions." You have touched on this above, but I'd like more
      specifics, e.g. elevation range, terrain (off or on trail?),
      temperature range (F & C). This helps the reader compare your use to
      their projected use.

      >
      > Initial Impressions.

      ### EDIT: Missing from here is a section which should precede your
      account of use (i.e. before "Initial Impressions," detailing the
      construction of the pack. There's no indication here of the materials,
      suspension system and frame, zips and compartments, access, exterior
      pockets if any, etc. etc. You might want to take a look at a few
      recent BGT pack reviews and reports for an idea of what should be
      included, and for terminology.


      >
      > This was my first internal frame pack and from the get go

      ### EDIT: "getgo" customarily. Just "start" is better.

      I loved it.
      > I first used this pack on short overnight trips. The pack performed
      > well and carried 2 days worth of food along with all of the gear I
      > needed for an overnight trip with no trouble at all. The thing that
      > impresses me most about this pack looking back is that I never felt
      > strained by the pack despite the fact that I had no idea how to
      > properly pack an internal frame pack at the time. Despite lashing my
      > sleeping bag to the outside, and almost certainly putting all the
      > heavy stuff at the bottom or outside of the pack, the suspension kept
      > the load manageable.
      >
      > Many of my trips took me to hot humid climates in the southeastern
      > summer. I remember vividly the suspension system soaking up my sweat
      > and doing a poor job of wicking away moisture. While this may have
      > been a result of cotton clothing in my early days, I think a pack
      > should do a better job of managing moisture that is bound to get
      > trapped between the pack and your back.

      ### EDIT: More a comment, this. I wanted to make sure that you mention
      the pack's back panel design in the section of the pack's construction.

      >
      > Long term impressions:
      >
      > This pack has served me well over the past 8 years. On trips to the
      > Ventana Wilderness climbing steep switch-backs the pack held a
      > (properly packed) load stable and close to my body. At one point,
      > when my wife's pack nearly threw her off the mountain, I switched
      > packs with her and noticed a dramatic difference between her pack and
      > mine. This pack has been on several trips, been thrown in the bottom
      > of several piles of gear, traveled in airplane cargo holds, and thru
      > it all suffered nary a scratch (minus the compression strap buckle I
      > stepped on and broke)
      >
      > The pack has proven the ability to haul loads for 3-4+ day trips, but
      > I have had to make sacrifices on what I could carry in the pack
      > because of it. I would not recommend this pack for someone looking to
      > go on their first 5-7 day trip, though I suspect it would be fine for
      > a thru hiker with experience pairing down their equipment list. I do
      > not do winter trips so I have never had use for the ice axe loops,
      > though when I broke my buckle they served as a good backup tie on
      > point for the strap.
      >
      > Would I buy it again:
      >
      > This pack occupies a special place in my heart, and I am sure I will
      > continue to use it for a couple more years. That said there are much
      > lighter packs on the market now that will carry as much weight and
      > have as much space as the Bridger. I have not used these packs and do
      > not know if the suspension systems and durability have been sacrificed
      > for weight savings (I suspect that they have).

      ### EDIT: Suspect or not, this sentence is speculative and should be
      omitted

      The company that
      > manufactured this pack is no more. Dana Design has been purchased by
      > Marmot. I have not used any gear made by Marmot, so I cannot speak to
      > the quality or reputation of their gear, but I will say that I
      > purchased a newer Dana Design Terraplane (The Bridger's slightly
      > bigger brother) for longer trips and backpacking with young kids in
      > mind (Can you say Sherpa?), and the move to overseas manufacturing has
      > not, in my opinion, tarnished the quality of packs produced by then
      > Dana Designs.

      ### EDIT: I would omit all of this section also. I want to keep the
      review focused on *this* pack. Also, much of this is speculative or
      opinion.

      One of the things that I wish this pack had is a
      > sleeping bag compartment, as it is I have to take everything out of my
      > pack to get to my bag, but from what I understand, this problem has
      > been remedied by Dana Design in the newer Bridger models. Overall I
      > would purchase this pack again today if I thought I would continue to
      > take the types of trips that I have taken in it. 2-4 day trips in 3
      > season weather.

      ### EDIT: The trip type should be incorporated into the previous
      sentence, as this is a sentence fragment as it stands.

      Given the toughness of the pack and the features like
      > ice axe loops, I have no doubt that this pack would hold up for short
      > winter trips as well.

      ### EDIT: This gets a bit speculative again. Ice axe loops don't
      necessarily make a winter pack, given the higher volumes of gear that
      must be carried, especially in tough conditions. I'm not comfortable
      with speculation that this might be a good winter pack absent actual
      use as such.

      If I was thru hiking I would choose a lighter
      > pack to go with what would certainly be lighter gear.
      >
      > General observations:
      >
      > One of the nice things about this pack (or any dana

      ### EDIT: Dana

      pack for that
      > matter) is that the right dealer will completely customize the fit for
      > you. Everything fit just fine for me on the pack I bought, but I have
      > been told by others that they had pieces of the pack custom ordered
      > for them. The shoulder straps, hipbelt and pack all come in various
      > sizes and can be swapped out to make the perfect fit. I've been told
      > by outfitters that they have NEVER found a person that they couldn't
      > fit into a Dana Design pack. I don't fit packs for a living so I
      > can't vouch for that, but the point is that if you take the time to go
      > to a good dealer, there is no reason why this pack should be
      > uncomfortable on your hips/shoulders.
      >
      > Things I like:
      > Durability
      > Stable Suspension
      > Several lash on points and pockets
      > Loops and daisy chain serve as good backups for failed buckles and
      straps.
      >
      > Things I don't like:
      > Lack of Sleeping Bag Compartment (This has been fixed)

      ### EDIT: but not on your pack, so omit the portion in parentheses.
      You don't need to capitalize all the words, BTW.

      > Poor moisture management
      > Weight of Pack
      > hard to use for longer trips
      >
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