DD40 Pack

DD40 Pack



Availability: The DD40 pack has been replaced by a new version now called the Kakwa 40.

The DD40 pack is designed for efficiency, lightweight, and versatility. Weighing just 2 lbs, it offers good load carrying for up to 40 lbs with a U shaped frame and load lifters, and a versatile feature-set including dual shoulder strap pockets, dual hip belt pockets, and an innovative zip accessed side pocket that allows access to larger items while on the move.

The combination of quick access features, robust materials, and ample carrying capacity makes it a pack that excels for lightweight backpacking pursuits.


The DD40 emphasizes efficiency by providing better access to your gear while on the move, so you can access what you need while still covering miles. That includes a unique side pocket design for quick access to larger items, dual-zippered shoulder strap pockets, and dual hip belt pockets.

Instead of tossing everything you want access to while hiking into crammed hip belt pockets, the DD40 provides a range of features optimized for different types of gear. There are unique side zippered shoulder strap pocketss, which provide secure and convenient storage for small items you want to keep handy (water pills ,chapstick, and sunscreen), sunglasses, and mid-sized phones. Then the hip belt pockets accommodate medium-sized items such as snacks and cameras. Uniquely, the pack goes a step further with the “QuickPocket” which is a uniquely zipper access compartment in the left side pocket that provides easy access to larger items like hats, mitts, wind shirts, the largest phones, maps, big cameras, etc. Previously you had to take off your pack every time you wanted to grab a hat. The unique side pocket works because it’s a dual-layered 3D shape, where the zipper accesses a surprisingly large volume inside the sidewall. The zip is easy to reach while wearing the pack and locks away the contents securely while keeping them dry. There’s also top access to this left side pocket which is taller than the right side, so that you can more securely store fuel bottles, water bottles, etc., compared to the traditional side pocket found on the other side. Use the right side for your water, and the left for everything else. If the bushwacking gets intense, you can even move your water and fuel bottles inside the zippered side pocket for greater security.

Versatility is accomplished through this unique yet intuitive pocket arrangement and also through other design choices like the front pocket design affixed to daisy chains, where large items can be stuffed behind while small items like an InReach are kept more secure than the traditional mesh pocket. You can also remove the front pocket to go lighter or, if you’d rather, use that area to strap items like snowshoes to the daisy chains.

The front pocket setup is also more durable than the traditional mesh pocket, and the shock cord that connects it all together can be easily replaced down the road. The DD40 pack also uses tough VX21 XPack in high wear areas (green) or lighter VX07 fabric in lower wear areas.

The DD40 is a lightweight pack intended for lighter loads, but that doesn’t mean load-carrying ability has been ignored. Preferably, this pack has an aluminum inverted U frame that goes beyond most packs in this niche by providing both vertical and horizontal structure. The frame connects directly to the hip belt wings for good load transfer, and the pack also has load lifters and a wrap-around shoulder strap harness for a good carry.

Features & Specs

Features / Advantages

  • Unique “QuickPocket” side pocket provides rapid access to gear
  • Dual zippered shoulder strap pockets
  • Dual hip belt pockets
  • Dual daisy chains
  • Removable 3oz aluminum U frame with load lifters
  • Removable 8mm back pad
  • Waterproof X-Pac fabrics (VX21, VX07)
  • Versatile and durable front pocket arrangement
  • Hydration port
  • Premium Duraflex hardware
  • Premium YKK AquaGuard zippers


  • Weight: 31.4oz / 890g (S/M) or 32.6 oz / 925 g (M/L)
  • Stripped Weight: 26oz / 737g (S/M) or 26.9 oz / 763g (M/L)
  • Torso sizing: 15 – 17″ / 38 – 43cm (S/M) or 17 – 20″/43 – 51cm (M/L)
  • Hipbelt sizing: One size, fits 28 – 48″ / 71 – 122 cm.
  • Carrying capacity: 40 lbs / 18 kg


  • Waterproof X-Pac fabrics (VX21, VX07)
  • Premium Duraflex hardware
  • Premium YKK AquaGuard zippers


  • Unrolled height: 32.5″ / 82 cm (S/M) or 34.5″ / 88cm (M/L)
  • Top circumference: 34.5″ / 88 cm
  • Bottom circumference: 30.5″ / 78 cm


Q) How does the hipbelt sizing work?
A) The hip belt has dual 8″ wings and a 10.5″ wide back panel. With the buckle, the minimum circumference is 27.5″. There is ample webbing so it can expand up to a 48″ girth, but folks at the upper end of that range may find the hip belt wings too small for their hips. Thus, the recommended range is 28″ – 40″.

Q) How do I adjust the fit?
A) Loosen the hip belt, shoulder straps, and load lifters. Then put the pack on and snug up the hip belt, so it wraps around the tops of your hips (iliac crest). Next, snug up the shoulder straps, so they wrap around your shoulders and just start to lightly load them. If you over-tighten these, your shoulders will take too much weight. Then, snug up the load lifters, so they pull the top of the pack forward to take any backward strain off your shoulders. Lastly, snug up the sternum strap as desired.

Q) Why X-Pac fabrics?
A) The VX series of X-Pac fabrics used in this pack is a 3-layer sandwich. They combine a durable outer woven layer (to handle abuse) with a middle plastic layer (to make the material waterproof) and an inner woven layer (to protect the plastic). This sandwich is far more waterproof than traditional pack fabrics, which use an inner coating that quickly wears off. The inner layer also protects the plastic layer from damage, unlike hybrid DCF, and it comes in a broader range of face fabrics, so we can use more durable ones in the highest wear areas.

Q) How waterproof is it?
A) The VX fabrics are entirely waterproof, with a legitimate plastic layer inside. However, the pack itself is not fully waterproof because packs are very complicated objects with numerous seams that can’t be seam taped during construction. We tried it, but to pull it off, we’d have to use simpler seams that aren’t as robust. Thus we opted for more durable seam designs knowing that the pack is already highly water-resistant and can be user seam-sealed to make it virtually waterproof. The pack will shed the vast majority of water, but a little may creep in during all day rains. I find it waterproof enough that I don’t use a pack liner or cover, but just keep any sensitive gear in waterproof stuff sacks (e.g., clothes, down quilt, electronics). If you want to keep things as dry as possible, you can seam-seal the pack. I recommend a dilute sealant (e.g., tent floor sealant) applied to the outside of the pack, so it will soak down to the plastic layer such that water can’t get past.


“An innovative backpack…the water bottle pocket on the lower right hand side is brilliant.”