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Gear Review: Dakine Nomad
By Beth Trickett

Pack it in

Big, well designed and comfy. Everything a pack should be.

For those who prefer to wander in comfort and style, look no further than the Dakine Nomad hydration pack.

  • Volume: 1100cu in (19L)
  • Reservoir Volume: 100oz (3L)

The perfect pack is the one you dont feel at all. Its simply there to hold a fresh tube when you need one, to provide an endless stash of ride food and water, and to stow a helmet until the hucking begins. In looks and feel, the Nomad offers so much, yet feels like so little. Soft padding on the pack, straps, and waist belt make this one of the comfiest packs weve slipped on. The pack is solid with a variety of soft pockets to store tools and other necessities and a special fleece-lined outside pocket protects sunglasses. The organization that this pack allowed for exceeded nearly every other pack we've used. Everything had its own little place and stayed there. Straps on the bottom make carrying pads a cinch and freeriders will also love the outside pocket, large enough to hold a full-face helmet (cross country riders will benefit from this too). This is the perfect pack for daylong excursions, when comfort counts after hours in the saddle. Digital camo is really nifty too, but during hunting season, we'd be worried about ending up on the hood of some hunter's car.

We only had a few gripes with the Nomad. While the pocket for the bladder is incredibly easy to utilize, upon the first fill, the bladder itself was already leaking and continued to leak. We didn't find the leak at the bite valve or hose as expected, but we found an actual puncture in the hose fitting on the bladder. This isn't really Dakine's fault (the bladder is made by Nalgene) but it was still somewhat disappointing. We replaced the bladder with a spare Camelbak bladder and everything was hunky dorey again. Also, while the helmet pocket is beneficial to those wanting to carry a helmet, when unused, it serves as an extra layer to unclasp to get to the main inside pocket and can flop around a bit if not cinched up completely tightly.

Bottom Line: This is the perfect pack for free riders or anyone else whos tired of finding creative ways to carry a bulky helmet. The bladder was problematic and ease of entering the front pocket might be tricky at times, but this pack triumphs when it comes to comfort and simplicity. Overall, I'd say 3.5 out of 5 stars, but with a better bladder, we'd be talking near flawless. Check it out at Dakine.com and never worry about carrying that helmet again. -Elizabeth Trickett

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