Sometimes riding with a bottle on your bike and whatever you can fit in your pockets just isn’t enough. And just sometimes you want to be the person who actually has the spares, not the person who is always asking to “borrow” a tube or your tools. For those times a backpack (or riding pack) is the best option and we tested and found the Dakine Session to be a perfect option in a perfectly small size. [private]
One gripe we often hear about people who ride with packs (or who are still not using them) is their size. Often large enough to pack enough for a week with Bear Grylls, most packs are overkill and don’t match the 1-2 hour ride that most of us do more frequently.
Step in the Dakine Session. Small enough to not to actually feel like a big lumbering pack on your back by plenty large enough to carry everything you need. We were able to squeeze in two tubes, a muti-tool, pump, c02 canisters, spare hanger, chocolate, wallet, phone and 2 litres of water – with room left over. Plus, on one special ride, a bottle of beer was squeezed in as well.
The pack is very comfortable and it soon become a favourite on our local rides. Added to the comfort was several practical features to keep everyone compartmented and not bunched up at the bottom of the pack. Some of features include a pump sleeve, phone pocket, several internal organising pockets, and a fleece sunglass pocket.
There are additional straps on the front of the pack designed for holding knee/shin protection however we didn’t test this feature. If you’re into some big ups before really big, gnarly downs then this is a good option so you don’t have to ride the ups with your knee protection on.
If you’ve been using a CamelBak for a while you might find the water reservior a little different to manage. On our first go we stumbled a little but the little sliding mechanism is a cinch once you get your head around it. The only other difference from CamelBak is the bite value, and that too just takes a little time to get used to.
The only negative we found was the waist strap. It wasn’t quite thick enough when we tightened the pack nice and firm for those rough trails where pack movement was annoying. Yeah, the pack held nice and snug, but was a little more uncomfortable than the waist straps that usually come with larger packs.
Overall we love this pack and found it 100% perfect for the shorter rides – which is about 90% of what we do. [/private]