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Gear Review: 2010 Dakine Nomad Backpack

You can never have a enough packs, right? They’re like beanies and socks. Another to add to the collection always makes life that much better. Fortunately, backpack designs have become so sophisticated that their  features are designed to accommodate specific sports and the gear that goes with them. Also, packs for all types of riding have realized that major durability is needed for the intensity they’ll be put through.

Billy needed a pack for downhill mountain biking. He needed something to hold bike parts and tools, carry his full-face helmet and have a bladder. More specifically, he needed a pack that would hold snugly to his body while hauling and hucking. We picked up the 2010 Dakine Nomad. Billy’s worn the pack since December and has these thoughts about it:

About Billy: He’s 6′, with a slender, but not scrawny, build. His riding style is very aggressive with lots of hucking and big drops.

Conditions/Type of Riding: So far, he’s ridden this pack at Tokul, Wash., which consists of fast, super technical single track with natural big drops. He’s also worn it while jumping through lines at Duthie Hill, which have big doubles and drops.


Straps: The full-face helmet carrier pad and straps declares that this is a hucker pack. The helmet carrier is a wide sturdy flap that supports a full-face. You can also loosen the straps and carry a half-shell in it.

Shoulder straps are about 2.5 inches thick. More surface area on a strap equals a more secure hold to the rider. The straps are made of interior perforated foam sandwiched between mesh liner for great ventilation. The chest strap, as always, is adjustable. The hip straps are 1.5 inches thick and built out of the same material as the shoulder straps. Typically, these are made out less-durable of nylon. Therefore, this pack was made with an aggressive rider in mind. Reverse clips connect the straps across the face of the pack to provide for multiple arrangements for knee-shin pads and/or helmet carrying. Basically’s there’s straps for days.

Only con is that the helmet-carrying straps must be unclipped to get to the interior pockets.

Back pad: The back pad is very thick which provides more spine protection and a stiffer profile to the bag for a secure feeling.

Pockets: Waterproof secret pocket for cell phone, etc. Ipod pocket. Pocket for a bike pump, and tons mesh pockets. Two little side pockets allow for easy access to smaller things. All pockets are well designed in that extra fabric inside the pockets settles deeply into the backpack allowing you put more in each pocket without putting strain on the zippers.

Bladder and bladder holder: 3 liter bladder. The bladder top is fully waterproof when the black lock-slider is sealed. The mouthpiece is leak-proof because it opens like the pop-up sports water bottle tops. Camelbaks in contrast can leak after being squeezed open too many times. Full-length zippers on the back of the pack open like an alligator mouth for easily placing the full bladder inside, instead forcing it into a small opening on the top like many Camelbaks.

Zippers: Easy to open/ sturdy zippers.

Final thoughts: Cool design features. Clean but not too chic. It’s a hucker pack, not a streetbag, and the hydration feature and specs are suited specifically for that riding style. Still, it’s very low-profile (not bulky), which is important when you’re trying to be nimble hauling ass down a technical single track. With condensed, calculated features it’s made to sail through the air, hugging the body, but with padding and durability to be thrown on the ground.

Billy believes it’s worth the price: a little less than $100.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. If you had had only one bag, would you like to own a Dakine Nomad or Dakine Drafter ?

    I’m scare to get fu@# with small backpack…

    November 5, 2010

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