More recently as I have been scrutinizing backpacks with a more intentional eye towards design I have developed a new appreciation for Dana's packs. While many of the features and designs are fairly obsolete, or perhaps less then successful at the time the important thing is that there was a huge amount of experimentation and innovation going on, not just updating the same old Lowe Alpine designs from yesteryear.
Check out this Dana Design Colter pack I saw on eBay:
tapered front panel, monster stabilizer straps connected to the hip belt, and best of all, one of the more elegant solutions for a lidless cinch-top pack. The integrated flap just covers the hole, offers some top compression, and is small enough to stay out of the way when you're digging through the pack.
There aren't tons of Dana packs that are on my shopping list, but I'd love to pick up one of his larger packs and compare the arcflex suspension to my newer packs. The simplicity compared to many of the newer corudra packs is certainly appealing to me, the shortcomings I expect to find are a lack of backpanel ventilation and skimpy shoulder straps.
More to follow.