Kakwa 40 (Durston Gear)
May 18, 2022 at 3:08 pm #3749810MikeBPL Member
Any word on (Kakwa 40*) Dan (Durston’s*) new pack? Excited to see the features. Crossing my fingers for Ultra fabric and a fancy bottom. If Dan ever decides to make a sleeping pad we could be stuck with a Durston big three in the future. 😆
More: See the Backpacking Light Durston Kakwa 40 Review here. – Mods
* added by editor for clarity on product name and brand.May 19, 2022 at 6:03 am #3749894Kevin BabioneBPL Member
I didn’t know he was working on a new pack. I took a friend out for his first backpacking trip ever three weeks ago and he was a Durston posterchild – Carrying the Durston Drop pack and sleeping in my X-Mid 1P. It will be interesting to see what improvements to the DD40 Dan comes up with.May 19, 2022 at 1:55 pm #3749924
The Kakwa 40 will be ready soon. The first one off the production line is in the mail to me. Once it arrives I’ll do the products photos and video, and then hopefully be ready to launch it a week or so later. So roughly 2-3 weeks until the launch and then another 2-3 weeks til the packs start shipping.
As for the design, we’ll have a full launch pretty soon so I don’t want spill the beans, but essentially it’s a major revision of the original DD40 that incorporates the first few years of customer feedback and continued use and testing by me. Pretty much every aspect of the pack has been redesigned/improved including the frame, harness, materials, pockets, construction etc. There’s almost nothing unchanged except the size of the main compartment. Obviously I’m hardly neutral, but I think it’s going to be the most capable and user friendly pack in the sub 2 lbs niche.May 19, 2022 at 7:55 pm #3749932willSpectator
excited to see the new pack dan!May 22, 2022 at 3:31 pm #3750139
Short version is I’ve been rockin’ a DD40 with success. Looking forward to what else is in store from Durston Gear. ~RLJun 4, 2022 at 9:39 am #3751064
Details go live on Monday morning.
It looks like the OP got their wish regarding fabric.Jun 6, 2022 at 9:43 am #3751183Nancy HBPL Member
Your best guesstimate on the total liters including side pockets and front pocket? I see where the interior is 40-ish depending on size. Presume an X-Mid or Duplex or other lightweight tent could roll up and fit in the front pocket? Just got the email. Looks like a great pack.Jun 6, 2022 at 9:50 am #3751184
Looks like a nice evolution of the DD40.Jun 6, 2022 at 10:37 am #3751188
Yeah! That looks great! Love the simpler should strap pockets and mesh back panel. I dare say this looks pretty much ideal assuming the fit works.
Questions for Dan:
Jun 6, 2022 at 11:19 am #3751194baja bobBPL Member
- What is the approximate Width and Depth of the pack? I see that it is tapered from the circumference measurements but I’d like to know how wide/flat versus narrow/thick it is.
- Despite my 5’6″ height, I find that I like a 19″ pack in a frameless pack. I’m currently using an Atom+ (with it’s hoop frame) that measures 19″ from the bottom of the back panel to the should strap attachment point. Would you recommend I go with a Medium or a Large? I’d almost be tempted to go Large because of the load lifters. Any guidance on that?
Ultra fabric and the seams are not taped. I will be interested to see if these packs do not suffer from delamination like other packs with bound (not taped) seams.Jun 6, 2022 at 11:43 am #3751195
The delamination of Ultra that occurred in one early pack using Ultra was primarily because (1) it was single stitched so the stress was focused at the stitch points, and (2) it used the original version of Ultra 400/800 which were a lot lower thread count/less bias stable and thus delaminated more easily. Challenge has since updated Ultra 400 to be more resistant and the Ultra 200 we are using has always been more resistant. All the load bearing seams here are folded seams, which is the #1 thing you can do to avoid delamination because it puts the stress along a long folded edge instead of individual stitch points.
So I’m quite confident there won’t be delamination issues. I worked with Challenge Outdoor on the construction. Seam taping is a relatively minor factor for seam stress. The Kakwa 40 is not seam taped because as you get into more robust frames the seams also become more complicated, such that it is not possible to seam tape (e.g. if you have things like webbing sewn into the seams).Jun 6, 2022 at 11:48 am #3751196
1) The pack is 10″ – 11″ wide (less at the bottom) and 6-7″ deep (again less at the bottom).
2) The Atom+ doesn’t have load lifters so fitting is a bit different. With load lifters, you should be able to get a good fit if your torso height is anywhere in between the shoulder straps and the load lifters. Ideally you’d be a little taller than the shoulder straps (so they wrap over your shoulders for max contact) but lower than the load lifters (so they can still do their job of keeping the pack against your back).
If a pack doesn’t have load lifters, it’s a more sensitive. You need the height pretty close to right on. If you’re taller, the shoulder straps will connect below your shoulder height and the pack will fall backwards a bit. And then if you’re shorter than the shoulder straps – again it will fall backwards a bit.
So when you switch to a pack with load lifters you typically want the shoulder straps 1-2″ lower than with a non-load lifter pack and then the load lifters ~2″ higher. I think you’d be well served with the medium.Jun 6, 2022 at 11:49 am #3751197
The internal volume is 39-45L depending on the size. I’m hesitant to pull volumes on the exterior pockets because it depends so much on how much you stuff them, but typically companies add about 15L for a similar arrangement of external pockets.Jun 6, 2022 at 12:10 pm #3751199
Thanks for your clear/quick answers, Dan. I suspect I am not the only person here at appreciates your engagement with the BPL community :)Jun 6, 2022 at 12:28 pm #3751203Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEARJun 6, 2022 at 1:22 pm #3751209Jun 6, 2022 at 1:38 pm #3751210baja bobBPL Member
There are numerous reports of delamination of Ultra packs. Not just one. From testing other people have done, seam taping looks like the best method to keep the inside lamination in place and from having the weave separating and elongating. I agree the 200 looks like it has a tighter weave than 400 and may not be as susceptible to the weave elongating and delamination. Only time will tell. From my experience with it, putting holes in the lamination looks like Ultra’s achilles heel. Seam tape remedies that problem, binding does not.Jun 6, 2022 at 1:46 pm #3751212Jon FongBPL Member
@jonfongLocale: FLAT CAT GEAR
The BV500 will fit vertically inside, and then we have the new Y shaped top strap that will hold it horizontally on top.
Yeah, I main hike the Sierra and do take a bear canister. I was hoping to see how it fit on the Y straps. Considering that a lot of people hike using bear canisters, it would be a valuable photo. My 2 cents.Jun 6, 2022 at 1:56 pm #3751214
Well perhaps a workaround would be to have the heavier bear can with food inside between the shoulder blades to maintain weight distribution and put the tent, chair, and sleeping pad is under the Y strap. We’re all gonna have to wait until they get into peoples hands.Jun 6, 2022 at 2:12 pm #3751217
“There are numerous reports of delamination of Ultra packs. Not just one.”
There are multiple reports, but virtually all from single stitched packs built of the original iteration of Ultra 400 or 800. I think almost all the reports are from a single company. There has been a ton of Ultra 200 packs on the market over the last 6 months and I’ve yet to see delamination with that.
I think seam taping as prevention gets way too much credit. When there was some early delam reports, a few people on reddit said that was the fix, and since then seam taping has taken on this life as this super important thing for solving delamination, when it’s actually a pretty minor factor compared to more important things like the seam type. That why if you talk to Challenge about best practices for working with Ultra they will tell you a folded seam (as we are using) is “recommended” whereas seam taping is just something “extra” you could do. Several companies are using Ultra 200 and single stitching with no issue, so I feel very confident about our much better folded seams and Ultra 200.Jun 6, 2022 at 2:14 pm #3751218
“I was hoping to see how it fit on the Y straps.”
I don’t have that but I do have this photo of a tent on top which gives the idea. The V strap has ample adjustability, so you can loosen the V so almost the entire strap is the “V” part so it works quite well.Jun 6, 2022 at 2:26 pm #3751223Chris LBPL Member
Looks awesome Dan! I’d love to see a shot looking down into the pack to see how light the interior is. The black ultra isn’t terrible but it still makes for a bit of a black hole. I imagine the gray is better.Jun 6, 2022 at 3:36 pm #3751229
Two more Qs occur to me:
- I don’t see a cordlock on the side pockets. Is the elastic sewn in? Adjustable? Replaceable?
- Can the tubular frame be bent to conform to a person’s back? Is the frame a flat U or contoured? I think that would be a good photo.
Comment: Just my opinion but an empty bear can on top of a pack is a suboptimal solution for my purposes. I can see why a thru-hiker on the PCT might go that way for the Sierras but for many of us it is important to put the bear can in the pack. I’d be curious to see a BV500 vertically in the pack and whether a BV450 can fit with the base against one’s back. I’m sure we will hear about this very quickly but if you can get your hands on both cans and take even some phone snapshots it would be very useful information and might prevent some returned packs and frustrated customers.Jun 6, 2022 at 3:48 pm #3751241Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
Looks clean, nice job.
Can you post the distance from the bottom of the hip belt to the attachment point of the shoulder strap and also the load lifter attachment point on the back panel for each size?
Do you have a picture of the pack turned inside out? I’m curious about how the frame interacts with the hip belt (which looks like it is just sewn in place like the HMG packs).Jun 6, 2022 at 4:31 pm #3751244
* Can you post the distance from the bottom of the hip belt to the attachment point of the shoulder strap and also the load lifter attachment point on the back panel for each size? *
And here I thought I was the only one seeking this info. I’m more of a middle hip belt to shoulder strap measurement since that’s where it rides on my hip. It really tells a lot of how it might fit to a particular person. It’s good to see that three torso lengths are offered. ~RL
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