Durston Gear Kakwa 40

Durston Gear SKU: Durston Gear Kakwa 40L (Small)
Durston Gear Kakwa 40
Durston Gear Kakwa 40
Durston Gear Kakwa 40
Durston Gear Kakwa 40
Durston Gear Kakwa 40
Durston Gear Kakwa 40
Durston Gear Kakwa 40
Durston Gear Kakwa 40
Durston Gear Kakwa 40
Durston Gear Kakwa 40
Durston Gear Kakwa 40 Ultralight thru-hiking trail backpack 40L liters Ultra 200 Sail Cloth by Dan Durston sold by Kaviso
Durston Gear Kakwa 40

Durston Gear Kakwa 40

Durston Gear SKU: Durston Gear Kakwa 40L (Small)
Regular price $250.00

  • Orders Dispatched within 1 Business Day
  • Updated hipbelt sizes for 2023
  • In stock, ready to ship
  • Sold Out
This is a Sample Product Title
Was $200.00 Now $100.00



  • Ultra 200 fabric in gravel grey
  • Heavy duty polyester knit mesh
  • YKK AquaGuard zippers

  • Dimensions

  • Unrolled height:
    Small: 31″ / 79 cm
    Medium: 33″ / 84 cm
    Large: 35″ / 89 cm

  • Top circumference: 36″ / 91 cm
  • Bottom circumference: 31″ / 78 cm
  • Internal volume: 33 L (S), 36 L (M), 39 L (L)
  • External volume: Approximately 12 L

  • Weights (Updated for 2023)

  • Complete backpack:
  • Small: 750 g / 26.5 oz
    Medium: 775 g / 27.3 oz
    Large: 800 g / 28.2 oz

  • The frame (90 g / 3 oz) and backpad (15 g / 0.5 oz)
    are included in the above weights but are removable.


  • Ultra 200 fabric is extremely durable and lightweight (3.5oz/yd)
  • Inverted U frame of hollow aluminum for vertical and horizontal structure
  • Load lifters for optimal load transfer
  • Ergonomic S shaped shoulder straps
  • Dual strap and reverse pull hipbelt provides 2:1 leverage for easy tightening and cups your hips with a wider contact area
  • Y-shaped top strap can secure items like tents, sleeping pads, and bear canisters to the top.
  • 8 grosgrain attachment loops enable ice axe carry and storage of gear on the front and bottom of the pack.
  • Hipbelt pockets are high capacity with one handed operation
  • Shoulder strap pockets are optimized for quick access to phone and bear spray
  • QuickPocket on the side allows access to larger items while on the move
  • Hydration bladder compatible (has hydration port)
  • Front pocket with durable mesh allows access to large items
  • Seams are fully double stitched and seam bound
  • High quality construction from same factory as Arcteryx

  • Sizing (Updated for 2023)

  • Torso: 14.5 – 17.5″ / 37 – 45 cm
  • Hipbelt:
  • Minimum circumference (padded length): 27″
  • Maximum circumference: 46″
  • Recommended waist: 28″ – 35″

  • Medium:
  • Torso: 16.5 – 19.5″/ 42 – 50 cm
  • Hipbelt:
  • Minimum circumference (padded length): 28″
  • Maximum circumference: 47″
  • Recommended waist: 29″ – 38″

  • Large:
  • Torso: 18.5 – 21.5″ / 47 – 55 cm
  • Hipbelt:
  • Minimum circumference (padded length): 29″
  • Maximum circumference: 48″
  • Recommended waist: 30″ – 40″

  • Note: Backpack sizing can vary depending on body type and wear preferences. Above size recommendations are generalizations and will not apply to everyone.

    Recommended waist size represents ideal hip belt pocket placement. Waist sizes outside the recommended range (but within the maximum range) may have limited access to the hipbelt pockets during use.

Check out some common questions:

Our 2023 design incorporates user feedback to make a few enhancements and refinements to the pack while shaving a bit of weight. This includes additional lash points on the front and bottom of the pack, longer hipbelt adjustment to accommodate larger waists, and a variety of refinements to improve durability including at the frame ends where we have adjusted the design and used more durable Ultra 400 to avoid the potential for wear points. We have done all this while reducing the pack weight by 1 oz (now 27 oz).

Kakwa refers to the northern terminus of the Great Divide Trail (the most scenic and wild thru hike in North America). Kakwa is a park in the Canadian Rockies where you can find Kakwa Lake.

Ultralight hikers (e.g. >10 lbs of gear) with kits that are compact (e.g. down sleeping quilt) will find they can fit 5-7 days of food reasonably and can stretch that to 10 days with a quite full pack (e.g. strapping the tent on top). Conversely, hikers with light but not ultralight baseweights (e.g. 10-15 lbs) will find it is a good weekend pack.

The Kakwa 40 has a genuine 40L of internal volume, not counting what is provided by the exterior pockets. That interior volume does vary based on the size of the pack, so the actual interior volume is 38L (small), 41L (medium), or 44L (large). That assumes you have closed the pack via the minimum of two folds in the roll top.

The Kakwa 40 is the complete package for a lightweight or ultralight hiker who will find they can hike from 2-8 days depending on how compact their gear is. However, it is not ideal for hikers with heavier baseweights and bulkier loads since you will need a larger pack (we hope to offer a 55L version in 2023). On the other end of the spectrum, hikers with extremely light baseweights and preferring shorter hikes will find the Kakwa 40 excessive for their needs and will be better served by a frameless pack.

The Ultra 200 material is 100% waterproof with an impenetrable plastic backing on the Ultra 200 fabric that is much more durable than traditional PU coatings. We think it is functionally waterproof since the fabric is waterproof and the roll top closure keeps out water, but trace amounts of water can get in via the seams which are not taped. We do not tape the seams partly because bound seams are stronger, but also because our more capable frame requires seams that are too complex to be seam taped (e.g. many layers of material sewn into the seams). You will only find seam taped packs with frameless or more rudimentary frame designs. If you would like to take your pack from extremely water resistant to truly waterproof, we recommend seam sealing the pack.

Yes, both the frame and foam backpad are removable. Please be aware that re-inserting the frame into the bottom frame channels can be a frustrating process the first time and it is not recommended to remove the frame unless you have a specific need. It is crucial the frame is re-inserted correctly into the reinforced bottom channel, or the frame may rub through the bottom of your pack eventually. The below illustration helps to visualize the four separate channels your frame needs to pass through to ensure proper installation.

The Kakwa 40 does not include a dedicated pouch inside the main pack (to save weight) but there is a tube portal at the top side of the main compartment. Your tubing and bite valve can be affixed to the daisy chains on the shoulder straps.

Challenge Sail Cloth (the manufacturer of the Ultra200 fabric) recommends the following:

Using a mild soap like Simple Green or Dawn,
Wipe the pack with soft cloth or sponge,
Rinse with fresh water,
Pat with a cotton towel if desired,
Air dry.

Do not use bleach, turpentine, acetone, or any harsh chemicals.

Kakwa 40 Warranty Info

View the full warranty overview here.

All Durston Gear products are trail tested, refined, and perfected over time, but please be mindful that every product has a useful lifecycle. The lifecycle of your Kakwa backpack will depend on maintenance, amount, and type of use over time, and storage conditions. The Kakwa 40 is guaranteed to be free of material and manufacturing defects and covered for a full year from date of shipment for the original purchaser only. If your pack fails due to a manufacturing or material defect, you may request service under this warranty.

To initiate a warranty request, please submit the form through the following link: