- Price: £78 / €90
- Capacity: 20 litres
Corner any group of experienced backcountry riders in a resort, and at least one of them (but probably more) will have a DaKine backpack. Get a closer look at the grizzled local rider’s impossibly-old-yet-still-going-strong pack, and we’d bet our bottom dollar that it’s definitely a DaKine.
Not only are they unquestionably well-made, there’s a style and size for everyone in their extensive range - and one that’s definitely stood the test of time is the DaKine Heli Pro 20L snowboard backpack.
It doesn’t have masses of pockets, as part of the idea is to keep things simple - if you’re planning a multi-day trip, a bigger bag such as the DaKine Poacher 36L would be more appropriate. The essentials are all present and correct here though, with a fleece-lined goggle pocket on top and a compact front pocket for easy access to your most important items. There’s also a separate sleeve for the blade of a collapsible shovel.
"The Heli Pro has a fleece-lined goggle pocket on top, and a compact front pocket for easy access to your most important items"
The main compartment has a 20-litre capacity (the clue’s in the name), which is more than enough for a day’s hike, and the interior sleeve can house a hydration system. When off the mountain, that can hold a laptop up to 15 inches in size - combined with the overall size, that makes the DaKine Heli Pro 20L ideal for travel use too, or as a school bag.
"A sternum strap takes a lot of the pressure off your shoulders, and there’s a rescue whistle attached to it in case the worst should happen"
It’s chiefly a snow pack, of course, and that’s where you’ll get the most out of this one. If hiking out of bounds, your snowboard clips easily to the front of the DaKine Heli Pro 20L backpack for vertical carriage - or if you have a splitboard, you can choose to go ‘A-frame’ style. A sternum strap takes a lot of the pressure off your shoulders, and there’s a rescue whistle attached to it in case the worst should happen.
It’s sturdy yet lightweight, with super comfy straps and an easy-carry top handle. Waterproof material at the bottom keeps the contents safe when you’re taking a break, and you can fit it with one of DaKine’s Impact Spine Protectors (sold separately) for extra safety.
As always, there’s myriad of colourways to choose from; the ‘Castaway’ design seen here is one of ten different options available in 2017/18, so you’re bound to find a DaKine Heli Pro 20L pack that’s just right for you.