EDIT: Michael Rasmussen OWNER REVIEW- Dana Design Bridger
- 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
> Dana Design Bridger Internal Frame Backpack### EDIT
Owner Review Dana Design Bridger Internal Frame Backpack
Date: April 2006
>### EDIT: We do require metric conversions on all measurements, thus
> Reviewer Information:
> Name: Michael Rasmussen
> Age: 25
> Gender: M
> Height: 6' 1"
Height: 6' 1" (1.83 m)
> Weight: 175### EDIT: No unit (or conversion)
> Email address: razmaspaz@...### EDIT: Remove date from here, as it is now at heading
> City, State, Country: Buffalo Grove, IL US
> Date: Apr 2006
> Backpacking Background: I love the outdoors and try to get out as### EDIT: Conversion, please. Also, lb (no period after unit
> 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.
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)
> loaded. I go backpacking all over the US, but most of my trips are to### EDIT: I
> places where i
can find good trout fishing complimented by scenery for
> my wife to enjoy.### EDIT: Since this was still Dana when you purchased, I'd omit the
> Product Information:
> Manufacturer:Dana Design (Now Marmot)
statement in parentheses, or explain a little further. I would prefer
> Year of Manufacture: 1997### EDIT: Tough call. I'd just use the danadesign.com URL. It still
> URL: danadesign.com (now marmot.com)
works, and is likely to for some time to come.
> Listed Weight: 5lbs 0 oz### EDIT: This is a big discrepancy. Is the listed weight for the same
> Measured Weight:5 lbs 8 oz
model and torso? If not, it would be better to put n/a.
> Listed Capacity:3800 cubic inches### EDIT: BGT reviews list the conditions under which the item was
> 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.
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.
>### EDIT: Missing from here is a section which should precede your
> Initial Impressions.
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.
>### EDIT: "getgo" customarily. Just "start" is better.
> This was my first internal frame pack and from the get go
I loved it.
> I first used this pack on short overnight trips. The pack performed### EDIT: More a comment, this. I wanted to make sure that you mention
> 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.
the pack's back panel design in the section of the pack's construction.
>### EDIT: Suspect or not, this sentence is speculative and should be
> 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).
The company that
> manufactured this pack is no more. Dana Design has been purchased by### EDIT: I would omit all of this section also. I want to keep the
> 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.
review focused on *this* pack. Also, much of this is speculative or
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### EDIT: The trip type should be incorporated into the previous
> 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.
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### EDIT: This gets a bit speculative again. Ice axe loops don't
> winter trips as well.
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.### EDIT: Dana
> General observations:
> One of the nice things about this pack (or any dana
pack for that
> matter) is that the right dealer will completely customize the fit forstraps.
> 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:
> Stable Suspension
> Several lash on points and pockets
> Loops and daisy chain serve as good backups for failed buckles and
>### EDIT: but not on your pack, so omit the portion in parentheses.
> Things I don't like:
> Lack of Sleeping Bag Compartment (This has been fixed)
You don't need to capitalize all the words, BTW.
> Poor moisture management
> Weight of Pack
> hard to use for longer trips