Headquartered in the shadow of Mt. Hood amongst some of the best riding in the Pacific Northwest, Dakine is in the perfect spot for mountain biking. As they keep growing the trail offerings each year, for 2016 they’ve added new ways to stay protected and haul all the gear you’ll need on the trail. The new armor includes elbow and two sets of knee pads. Plus one of the three new hydration packs builds in a spine protector to get down the mountain safely. If a lighter pack is in order, they also are offering a lighter backpack that also comes in a women-specific fit, and a smaller lumbar pack for shorter rides…
The 15l Seeker pack is built for the aggressive trail rider. The roll-top and side-zip layout uses a heavy-duty coated 200D ripstop nylon for both durability and weather resistance. The bag includes a ventilated, CE-certified DK Impact spine protector made of flexible foam to protect against hard hits with its thin profile.
The $225 Seeker is designed for the included 2l hydration reservoir situated low in the pack, but can accommodate a larger 3l bladder for longer adventures in the saddle. The back also includes Dakine-standard features like a pad and helmet carry system, a padded phone pocket, and fleece-lined glasses pocket.
The smaller and more simple $95 Session 12l pack is more suited for the all around trail rider. It includes a 2l Hydrapak bladder, and uses a combo foam and mesh back and shoulder straps for maximum airflow and ventilation on the bike. It gets the same fleece sunglasses pocket, full face or trail helmet straps, and plenty of internal organization pockets. It is also available as the Women’s Session 12l, with a shorter torso and an anatomically women-specific cut.
For even shorter rides the $65 Low Rider 5L hip pack follows the recent resurgence of the fanny pack to haul some water and the essential tools in a lower-profile package. It gets a custom 2l Hydrapak lumbar bladder and has internal storage for tools, food, and a phone. The external compression flap adds a bit more versatility and can strap on a light jacket or a set of pads.
As for pads the light, endurance-oriented Slayer pads will keep your knees ($65) and elbows ($55) out of harm’s way. Designed to be ridden on long day adventures, the Slayers use a pre-curved ergo shape, silicone grippers on the elastic cuffs, and minimized bonded seams for a comfy fit. Made of a thin and breathable perforated Ariaprene Pro material, with CE-certified DK impact pads, they should be suited for all day riding in moderately technical terrain.
For the more gravity-fueled rider, the new $75 Hellion knee pads promise to still be comfortable enough for the trip up, but focus mostly on providing solid, burly protection for the race back down. Built of a thicker perforated 2mm Ariaprene Pro, they still offer good ventilation and flexibility with its 4-way stretch. An open mesh backed layout again uses bonded seams to eliminate hot spots and keep an open, well-ventilated feel. The pads also use a low profile, 3D-molded, CE-certified DK impact foam protector that can stand up to serious abuse. They also add side padding and internal patella support in the pre-curved ergonomic shape to offer all around protection and fit.
The new packs, pads, and full Spring 2016 line-up from Dakine’s bike collection is already up on their US website, and should be available in shops any day now too.