Way back in 1975, Mystery Ranch co-founder Dana Gleason moved to Bozeman, Montana to start his first backpack design and manufacturing company: Kletterwerks. Over 35 years and many company foundings (including the wildly successful Dana Designs), ownerships, and locations later, Dana’s son (better known as Dana 3 or D3) has brought Kletterwerks back to life in order to recreate some of his dad’s original backpack designs.
The company name was derived from “kletter”, meaning climbing in German, and “werks”, meaning plant or factory. With designs regularly worn by some of the best alpinists and even military personnel throughout the years, the Gleason family and team know a thing or two about making backpacks.
Dana 3 wants the new Kletterwerks designs to have the same look and feel of the vintage packs his father built decades ago. In order to do so, he chose to use similar fabrics, such as Cordura 1000D Nylon, but with an updated take to the comfort in the shoulder pads and back panel. The new bags also feature a computer sleeve matching the current trend.
Proudly displaying the vintage logo patch stamped out of the dies found from the original manufacturers, the four bags in the initial Kletterwerks line are the Flip, Day, Quest, and Kurier. A collection of accessory bags, including the Nobel, Lewis, Tubes, and Wires Pocket, round out the offering.
The Kletter Flip ($197) is a copy of the original flagship daypack. This 22L hold-all features a flip-up lid with top pocket and padded laptop sleeve. A reinforced base and handle ensure this daypack will serve you well for the next 35 years.
The Kletterwerks collection can be purchased from the company website or from select retailers such as Wilderness Workshop.