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Dakine goes bigger with expanded Drafter, Builder mountain bike pack lines & more…

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It might still be powder season for those at Dakine HQ under Mt. Hood, but with a spring thaw in the sights they’re got an expanding line of packs to haul water, snacks & gear on your next trip off-road. Most of us are already looking to a new season of mountain bike riding, and Dakine has reworked a number of their packs. The mid-sized 12l Drafter gets both smaller & larger updates plus built-in back protection, the Builder’s pack gets a bunch more hauling capacity to get more gear farther from the existing trailhead, and there’s even a new tailgate Pick Up Pad DLX for a new crop of trucks with modern features…

Drafter packs

The previous 12l Drafter gets the most updates this season, as it was kind of outdated by last years introduction of the lighter Sessions 12l packs and more rugged 15l Seekers. So now the Drafter takes the best of both worlds and offers 10l, 14l & 18l variants, plus a 14l version targeted at women riders.

At each size though, the new packs all seek to do the same basic thing, provide a well ventilated and versatile pack that builds in back protection compatibility for all mountain riding, with the optional DK Impact CE-certified Spine protector. That’s the same back protector that comes with the Seeker pack, but here it is offered as $35 extra meant to turn your trail pack into enduro racing protection.

The $125 Drafter 10L is the smallest of the new group, but still includes a 3l Hydrapak bladder for longer trail riding. It aims to stay compact and keeps the weight of that much water low on your back in a lumbar pouch for better stability. Like the rest of the Drafter packs, it gets an air suspension mesh back panel plus breathable straps to minimize hotspots on your back.

Next up,  the 14l version is just a few bucks more at $135 but gives you more space for hauling. It uses the same mesh back, 3l bladder, internal organization, external helmet & body armor lashing points, fleece-lined sunglass/phone pocket, and optional spine protection compatibility, plus some more quick access side pockets and more room overall to add up to the extra storage capacity.

The Drafter 14l also comes in a women’s version that isn’t just pink & butterflies, but gets a breast friendly set of shoulder & sternum straps and back length & hip strap shaping optimized for women’s figures.

The biggest Drafter 18l brings the cost up to $145, again with more storage for all day backcountry adventures. It still gets the mesh vented back design and lumbar located 3l bladder, but its main pocket expands to haul more clothes for any weather. Its outside main pocket also gets improved organization to stash all of you tools & kit, ready for fast access. The same spine protection sleeve and external helmet & armor hauling setups make it suitable for more aggressive trail riding as well.

Builder’s pack

The Builder pack updates aren’t so technical and essentially amount to adding more storage. A claim of 40% more space brings the $180 pack up to a whopping 40l of gear lugging capacity. Dakine sees this as the ultimate mountain biker’s back pack, cause shouldn’t every one be out their doing their share of the trail work?

It’ll haul everything you need away from the trail head, from food & drink beer to work gloves & a first aid kit. Its external straps and modularity will help you carry anything you can think of on your work days, and support it with a light internal aluminum frame.

No other other pack is built as well to haul your Pulaskis and chainsaws deep into the woods to work some maintenance magic on trails hit by a harsh winter or to start from scratch building new features. And seriously, what other pack can haul a 5 gallon bucket of rocks.

Pick Up Pad DLX

The $140 Pick Up Pad DLX is mostly just an update to their other pads designed to protect you truck’s tailgate on the shuttle runs. But with a lot of modern trucks getting deeper latch handles, and back-up cameras, Dakine built in updates for both. Available in two sizes to fit mid or full size trucks it has straps to secure 5 or 7 bikes respectively, and also gets a new reinforced grommet that lets you lock it to the bed of the truck for a modicum of security.

The whole new range of bike gear, along with some small updates to their travel duffels and even their soft bike travel bag can all be found on the Dakine website now, with all availability expected within the next week both online & through retailers.


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