Ok pack, not great
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
I'll preface this by stating that I've been using an Osprey Syncro 20 for the last however long....it's fairly beat up now and I needed a new pack but, not to be picky, that model is only offered in red (too flash for me).
I've heard good things about Dakine and how this company really cares about riding/riders so I thought I'd take a chance on their product.
First off, there aren't a lot of buzzes/whistles with the pack..i.e., the shoulder straps are fairly minimal (no padding) and the waist belt is just that, a waist belt. This isn't really a problem but overloading the pack might cause comfort issues on longer rides (3+ hours). There are two side pockets, one mesh, one zippered which will carry something of use, I'm sure. The cushioned stow pocket is big enough for a pair of glasses, maybe a phone, etc....nothing too big though.
The pack has room enough in the outer ("tool") compartment for all the junk I carry on my rides (stuff to fix my bike: frame pump, shock pump, spare tube/inflator(s), tool pack/etc.). Two zippers secure it along with two velcro tabs at the top (not a fan of velcro, long term).
The main compartment is decreased in volume due to the water bladder occupying the lower portion of that area so stuffing a jacket/windbreaker, etc. is limited. That said, there are straps that can be deployed from under the bottom of the pack that are advertised to carry pads (which I don't have/use) which I probably could use to secure a jacket (rain or otherwise). Not a great solution but one I'd have to use.
The water bladder is following what I've noticed is a new concept of placing it down lower in the bag (vertical) so it essentially rests on your lower back and not all along your spine (horizontal). I don't necessarily like this but, then again, I don't remember when I've filled up a water bag to 3L so it's kinda of becoming a nonissue for me. Getting to the bladder is pretty nifty/clean due to it being in a separate compartment, of sorts, and makes for filling it up a breeze..the hose is a quik-connect too so that's pretty cool.
The pack material is durable enough but I'm curious about it's long term hold up.
All in all...it's an OK pack and will do for most uses.