Meet The Maker: CORDURA® Brand + Mystery Ranch

Maker Series
Meet the Maker

December 17, 2017 |

The durable bonds that are built between a supplier and manufacturer run deep. In the case of CORDURA® brand and Mystery Ranch – as deep as 40 years. Dana Gleason, founder of Kletterwerks,

Dana Design and Mystery Ranch, has dedicated his life to quality backpacks. His brands build products with premium materials and work closely with suppliers to create innovate designs that last.

“We build this stuff for your life, not for some set of uses, not until it’s no longer fashionable. We’re building tools here,” Gleason said.

A passionate outdoorsman, Gleason learned to repair bags at the beginning of his career at a chain of regional outdoor stores. In 1975, he started to build a line of backpacks out of his home in Montana. In those days, pack cloth was the fabric of choice for multi-use bags.

However, Gleason took a chance on a new material, which had been used to reinforce tires in its early development. He purchased a roll of rust-colored 1,000 denier CORDURA® fabric, and his vision came to life.

“We didn’t know enough to be scared of a new material,” said Gleason. “We enthusiastically adopted a new material because it worked well.”

Ultimately, that decision would help him set the standard for modern, quality backpacks within the outdoor, hunting and military markets for years to come.

“CORDURA® fabric has been the backbone of everything we’ve built in the last 40 years,”

Gleason concluded. We had the opportunity to interview the legendary Dana Gleason at his corporate headquarters in Bozeman, MT. Watch and hear from the mastermind himself.


Head over to the Mystery Ranch and Kletterwerks websites and take a peek at these genius designs for yourself. Or check out their most recent products below, all built tough with CORDURA® fabrics.