Review: Dakine Nomad

The Nomad has been a fixture of Dakine’s backpack line-up as long as I’ve been aware of the company, and its a perfect example of that old cliché – if it aint’ broke, don’t fix it.

I picked mine up in a sale for £50 about four years ago, having lost my old rucksack. I’d heard good things about Dakine’s products and first impressions were good when it arrived – it seemed sturdy and well constructed – using thicker nylon than my previous Camelbak bag for example.Dakine Nomad

The layout and shape of the bag is conventional, with a large main compartment which I use for my pump, lunch and jacket, a smaller segmented comparment which I use for tools, repair kit, spare gel and compass.

There is an open compartment which I use to stow a spare tube and an MP3-player compartment which is too small for my smartphone – so I keep a little sandwich bag of toilet roll in it for

Oh, there is also a small side pocket just above the wearer’s hip – though I can’t think of anything to put in there.

Other features include chest and waist fasteners, a stiff back board with air channel cut outs and loops to secure armour to. The open compartment on the back appears to be designed to hold a helmet as well, which could be useful if racing enduro with two lids or riding up long climbs in hot weather.

There’s also a compartment for a water bladder and sensibly placed hose loops, of course.

The bag is comfy to wear and at 18L in capacity seems to be just the right size so that it never really feels like a burden, but also manages to hold enough stuff for a big day out if required.Dakine Nomad

It doesn’t feel hot and it never feels awkward or uncomfortable. It doesn’t feel as “fitted” or as light as some posher bags – but the brands I’m thinking of don’t have the same reputation for durability.

On the subject of which, it’s been used regularly for about four years and crash tested a number of times – and unlike me it’s shown no signs of wear or damage as a result.

Like the recently reviewed Highwire gloves, this Dakine bag gets two thumbs up.

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