Dakine Nomad Pack - Review

Nov 19, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
Dakine Nomad review 2015

Dakine Nomad Pack

Dakine's Nomad hydration pack isn't a new entry into their lineup, but for 2015 the pack has received a number of refinements, including lighter, better ventilated shoulder straps, and the addition of a magnetic clip to keep the hydration pack's hose securely in place. The removable waist belt has also gained a bit more ventilation, thanks to the use of a foam with strategically placed cut outs, and the design of the bladder's bite valve has been improved. The included 100oz Hydrapak bladder sits in its own pocket, and there is also a large zippered main compartment, along with a slightly smaller outer compartment that can be fully opened to access the mesh pockets designed to hold tools, a pump, and a tube. A fleece lined top pocket fits sunglasses, while the two side pockets provide quick access to items like a point-and-shoot camera or an energy bar. Available colors: Sportsman, Buckskin, Marker Camo, Moroccan, Phoenix, Black. Volume: 18L. Weight: 1060 grams. MSRP: $135 USD. www.dakine.com

Dakine Nomad review 2015

Channels located on the back panel are intended to aid with air flow, while the clamshell opening of the tool compartment helps speed up trail side repairs.


Dakine Nomad review 2015

The Nomad's waist belt has shed a few grams thanks to the redesigned waist belt, and a magnetic cllip has been added to the shoulder strap. Straps are in place at the bottom of the pack to carry knee / shin pads.




Pinkbike’s Take
bigquotesFanny packs and bib shorts with pockets sewn all over them may be experiencing a bit of a resurgence, but channeling Batman and his utility belt has its limits, and at a certain point a hydration pack becomes necessary. That's where the Nomad comes in, with plenty of room for an extra layer, knee guards, water, tools, and the food that a long day in the saddle requires. There's plenty of adjustment in the sternum, waist, and shoulder straps to keep the pack from rolling and shifting while riding, and it never got in the way no matter how steep or rough the terrain. This pack accompanied me to the Trans-Provence, where it survived a week of 7+ hour days in the saddle without any issues, and in the months since then its trouble-free performance has continued - the bite valve hasn't leaked a drop, all of the straps have remained in place, and there are no blown zippers or seams.

The little details are what make the Nomad such a good pack, things like the magnetic clip to keep the bladder hose attached to the shoulder strap, and the fact that the tool compartment opens up completely, like a clam's shell, making it easy to grab the tool you need without struggling with a pocket that only partially opens. Carrying a helmet, whether it's a full face or half shell, is easily accomplished, and there was plenty of room to accommodate either style of lid. The only thing that's missing is a raincover for those soggy winter days, but the nylon fabric does shed water fairly well, and as long as I remembered to unzip it and hang it up to dry after a long wet ride it was usually ready to go again by the next morning. For all but the longest excursions, when slightly more carrying capacity may be needed, the Nomad is an excellent choice, a durable and well thought out hydration pack that's built to last for multiple seasons. - Mike Kazimer


Click here to see the high-res photo gallery.


Mentions: @dakinenews



70 Comments

  • + 30
 Why not just give us normal color names like blue or red instead of Moroccan and phoenix
  • + 4
 Because how then could they punish shop staff for choosing to carry their product?
  • + 1
 I absolutely love these colors (pictured above), actually just because of the color combination I am considering buying this backpack, looks sick to me...
  • + 15
 Looks really nice but I feel like the backpack game has been stepped up by Evoc. So many details on the Evocs that Dakine has a bit of catching up to do IMO. Love mine! The new Nomad looks nice but I would recommend also trying on an Evoc as part of the decision making process.
  • + 2
 I agree. I came from a Nomad and now use a FR Trail Unlimited, I honestly wouldn't go back to the Dakine. Evoc raised the bar for everyone
  • + 4
 Yep.. made the switch to an Evoc Enduro Blackline after 10 years with Dakine packs. Dakine makes quality stuff, but Evoc is just on a whole different level.
  • + 3
 I'm looking for a new pack - can anyone tell me if the evoc fr enduro black line feels secure on the back, even with a water bladder and tools etc? Wit my camelbak I currently own, it feels like it moves up and down a lot when I ride over rougher stuff.
  • + 5
 That was the primary reason I went with the Evoc. I can't comment on Camelbak, but my Dakine packs never quite stayed put. They were fine when putzing around on trails, but when it came time to leave the ground, the pack always seemed to be leaving my back.

I carry a lot of gear (and water) when I ride and the Evoc is literally locked to my back (the velcro waist strap keeps it super snug).
  • + 3
 I have the FR Trail, so there may be some differences with the Enduro Blackline, however, I believe some of the harnessing is similar. The first thing I noticed in moving from a Dakine to the Evoc was the waist strapping. The Evoc has a velcro neoprene wrap that has enough give to be comfortable but is substantial enough to be wicked secure. Over the velcro closure is an attached webbing with a clip to lock the belt in and further adjust. Despite the width of the waist belt, I find it really comfortable, secure and key in keeping the pack in place. I find if the belt is locked in well, the pack doesn't move around on the back at all, especially with the back protection in place which adds a bit of rigidity. Overall, I am amazed at how comfortable the pack feels. I've used the pack on seven summits and some other longer days in the saddle and have 0 complaints in the comfort department. I also know that packs are like shoes in that they fit everyones frame a little differently so if you have questions on fit and how secure it would be on your back, trying it on and moving around a bit would be your best bet prior to dropping the $.
  • + 20
 Can't leave out the Osprey packs! They came up with the whole magnetic clip design and fit super well, the weight is kept in close to your back and doesn't flop around at all. Mine also has a separate pocket with a removable tool kit pouch, makes finding tools a whole lot easier when they are neatly displayed rather than shoved in the bottom of the pack. Tough to beat Osprey's warranty and overall quality as well.
  • + 1
 Cheers guys - what does the sizing mean? I'm around 5'10" but maybe still growing; what size should I go for? I'm really interested in the back protection so I want it to fit right
  • + 2
 I'm 6'0" and have the m/l. Fits great. I would assume @ 5'10" the m/l would also work...
  • + 4
 EVOC, Osprey and Deuter all make fantastic packs that are a level beyond what Dakine are currently doing?
  • + 2
 I just have bought a Deuter cross bike 18, it's light, strong and has got every technical feature possible (built in rain cover, helmet holder, etc...) Its evolving is so good because when you take it on (full packed), you barely feel its weight. So I recommend Deuter backpacks for you guys, they've got so many models anyway.
  • + 2
 I don't think I'll ever try a different pack because my Dakine Apex seems to lasts forever and in bomber color this is the prettiest backpack I've seen so far. I'm a huge fan of Dakine packs. They are very practical and you can carry absolutely everything you need. They have the best design in backpacking so far, but the new packs are step back in terms of design. I don't like them that much. Evoc looks great, but only in black. I can't stand their fancy colored packs. It's great they have a back protector, but I read bad things about ventilation and comfort, because of the back protector. Maybe if they fix these issues they will be the perfect. Or maybe if Dakine adds back protection they'll be the one. We are pretty lucky to have such a great choice of great backpacks nowadays.
  • + 1
 EVOC packs have a spine protector. but are still totally comfortable. Given the choice, who wouldn't want extra protection for their spine? It's a no-brainer.
  • + 7
 Osprey for me all the way it's all I buy no fuss life time guarantee with out proof of purchase. My line up start s with the exos 46, poco plus, viper 14 and talon 6 wouldnt buy of any one else. That been said before I moved to osprey I got a Dakine nomad and the build quality is bomb proof still going strong after 6 years which my friend now uses
  • + 1
 @lukachadwick I'd say a M/L is the way you want to go. I'm 5'8" and opted for the M/L over the S. My torso length is about 44.5 cm (overall height = ~173cm), which is on the tail end of Evoc's recommended distance for the M/L size. I'm glad I went with the M/L - thing has a ton of room and fits nicely.

Evoc's recommendations:

Small:
Torso Length = 38 - 43cm
Overall Height = 155 - 170cm

M/L:
Torso Length = 44 - 50 cm
Overall Height = 170 - 192cm

As @snl1200 said, try to find a place that carries them and test them out first. They aren't for everyone. A friend of mine returned his because he felt that the velcro waist strap was riding up into his rib cage when riding - he couldn't stand it.
  • + 6
 I LOVE my Osprey packs... but I wish they had the belt that the EVOC does. That said, I bought a nomad when Dakine first got into the pack market, & it's been bulletproof, & was a great upgrade from my old camelbaks, though it's sat in closet for a few years now.
  • + 4
 I have had my nomad for 8 years now. I've taken it on surf trips, climbing, camping and obviously mountain biking. I now have an evoc. I wouldn't say you can compare these 2 products. I use my evoc for biking, it's my first choice. The nomad is awesome for EVERYTHING!
  • + 2
 I think the reality is that most companies that are competitive and have a good track record make good packs. Similar to current bikes. Also, everyone asks different things of a pack. I still use my Dakine here and there. Osprey make great bags. I have backpacking and approach bags by Osprey that have lasted and I remember thinking when I bought them that they fit better than any other company I had tried on at the time. I haven't tried their biking bags but would assume they are also well done. Thank Vishnu for an environment in which we have some great products to choose from and don'tneed to feel pigeon holed into settling for something that doesn't get us stoked to use it. The only complaint I ever had with my Dakine Nomad was in regards to the waist belt. I found it a bit poorly placed for me and too awkwardly designed to ever support weight at all. I found it was a bag built to carry weight on the shoulders and not the belt. Were they to redesign the belt and lower supports to better carry weight I would have more interest in the bag but again...but different strokes for different folks and I have no need to venture away from my Evoc as I love the thing.
  • + 2
 look at this new French brand ! Prism offroader pack , crazy stuff !!! 10 years warranty !
  • + 2
 The Prism's look cool @fanawinn. I couldn't find am image of the interior of the pac but they appear to have a similar belt style to evoc (which I love) and external construction and features. I'm curious about the positioning of the belt, with the bag extending below it. That may be cool as the bag could sit lower on the back when the pack creeps up slightly with riding position. I'd give one a go... if only I could read french or they had local distributors.
  • + 1
 Hey I was looking at the osprey packs. How do they hold a helmet? Well or not at all? I love my 80l osprey but ya I think I'm leaning towards the nomad for a Biking specific pack.
  • + 2
 @TylerRae I've got the 10L Zealot, it has a specific pouch for the helmet and it packs it away very nicely. The pack also breaths a lot better on the back then Dakine's neoprene sweat machine. My only criticism is that the hip strap on mine is not padded and is a very basic, bare bones strap
  • + 3
 I'd agree with all those points. the lidlock thing, or the outer pouch, works good for half helmets, & hanging the full face by the chin bar works just as well as my old nomad(which was bought because it offered a way to carry a full face.)

If your concern is carrying a helmet, the Osprey's a better pack, since it has a way to carry a smaller helmet without undoing straps.
  • + 1
 Thank you ! Cheers
  • + 1
 Thank you ! Cheers
  • + 3
 Can't thank you enough! I looked into the zealot and fell in love with it. Went a bit out of town to an osprey dealer to get mine! Works so great and holds helmets awesome too. Cheers. thanx again.
  • + 2
 Zealot 10 is what I've got, plus the Raptor 6. Found the Zealot was more than I wanted to carry on short loop style rides(when you're going to be so close to the road, & on such a short ride, that you'd rather just walk back than F around with trailside repair.) Nice thing about the small Raptors, is that you can find them on clearance usually super cheap(cause most people want a bigger pack.) Think I grabbed mine from REI for about $50.

I think it's the best of both worlds, rather than having to use one pack for everything.
  • + 6
 Dakine stuff is solid but I'm sold on Osprey hydration packs right now. Something about a company that specializes solely in backpacks. The features are largely the same as most other brands, but the ergonomics and fit blow Camelbak and Dakine out of the water.
  • + 3
 I really like my Acre, smaller company than Evoc or Dakine or Camel buuuut i feel like everything is incredibly thought out. i mean, water proof, weather proof, incredibly strong, they're just awesome bags
  • + 3
 I'll probably get an Acre pack to replace my six year old Nomad pack. Very little has been improved on this pack compared to the one I have, plus the cost at $135USD is only $50 less than an Acre. The other pack might be one of the Osprey packs.
  • + 2
 I have an Acre pack - its unique and has great construction and materials BUT...the worst thing about it is seemingly a no-brainer, and one detailed in the Dakine pack above - which is that the inside surface that sits against your back has minimal ventilation. I wore it on an early morning ride on a hottish day in the Seattle area this past summer and it stuck to my back like a open-faced peanut butter sandwich on the kitchen floor.

I have a Mission Workshop (who makes Acre) backpack for work which is almost better than the Acre in terms of ventilation. If Acre could have just included some kind of provision for airflow beyond the perforated foam - such as something that actually keeps the mass of the pack away from your back - it would be perfect.
  • + 1
 i live in San Diego man, i have no problem with ventilation, but it may just be the shape of your back is different.
  • + 2
 yup. hunched. hunched over the bars suffering on the climbs Wink
  • + 4
 So many nice hydration pack offerings nowadays! Dakine, Osprey, and EVOC are all producing amazing stuff. Camelbak - not so much (imo)
  • + 2
 made their colorways similar to evoc bags. i have the dakine nomad in black camo(?) and it is money well spent! the only thing that put me off was the hydration bag, which leaked in the first use and i believe dakine do not manufacture those hydration bags but nalgene(?)
  • + 1
 I bought the 2014 Nomad. It's an excellent pack, well constructed with good features, BUT I'm tall and it sits weird in my back. It's too short for me. I wish they had different sizes, because I think it would be great if it was longer.
  • + 1
 Looks like a good pack and another good option vs camelbaks. I've had several camelbaks over the years and they all were ok, I liked the low slung bladder of the new charge but the pack tore pretty easy towards the bottom and on the side pockets. I have since moved on to osprey, and the raptor is currently my go to pack. It's made of durable material, bladder removal and filling is simple, and there are several pockets that are accessible and very useful to separate gear.
  • + 2
 Handling a camelbak and an osprey/dakine/evoc/acre at the same time makes it clear how behind camelbak is
  • + 2
 l would like to get a fancy new pack (like EVOC) but l have a dakine nomad and a dakine drafter (a little smaller pack). have had both for years and they are just too good and won't fall apart!!
  • + 2
 Love my Drifter Pack. Admittedly I basically take no care whatsoever of that pack- it hasn't been washed in years... (gotta keep that good dirt from across the country on it) and it's still functioning as well as the day I bought it. It's great for more than just riding, too.
  • + 1
 Platypus Duthie. I went from a 17L camelbak to the 10L Duthie with better storage layout, a larger reservoir, with room for pads and carrying a fullface and most importantly it stays put and doesn't overheat you during the climbs. Overall, just a lot more useable and feature rich and didn't feel like I was going on an overnight.
  • + 1
 I'm rocking my 2007 Nomad to this day and it really proves that Dakine stands behind the quality of their products. Not even a single tear on my bag, which is amazing consider the abuse it went through 7 years. That's why I just ordered an additional Dakine bag and will continue to buy their stuff for years to come.
  • + 1
 I like mine, but how about sending me one of those improved bite valves? The last generation of hydrapak valves were oddly susceptible to damage from biting, which is something I really think the designers should have seen coming.
  • + 1
 ....so, my two year old is out happily shredding on his balance bike and suddenly (like, nanoseconds later) decides he's had enough so I then need to get him and his bike back to the house...ideally I want to strap the bike onto my pack...does anyone else have to do this (obviously with their own child, not mine) and what backpack works for you?
  • + 1
 the nomad looks like a great pack. Love the fact that it can hold my half shel or my full face helmets. Ospeay have always been my go to for packs. But I don't see one that holds a fully ?!? Does anyone have a MEC? They have the eldorado and the pipeline. Both look like they would be a good pack too. Mec has always surprised me with quality and price for value.
  • + 2
 I like my Nomad pack quite a bit. I like the look of the EVOC but I didn't want to pay the extra money. I got the Nomad for less than $100.
  • + 1
 How about when you take you pack off and straps and bite valve are in the dirt while using the clam. I would like a magnet on the bag side too, so I can keep my biter out the dirt.
  • + 9
 It's just physics, man. Don't you know no matter how your backpack sits the bite valve finds the dirt? Big Grin
  • + 1
 I have got CUBE FRS 20 Blackline Protector and it has issues with zippers. i am returning it for refund. Otherwise it would be excellent pack!
  • + 1
 I picked my Dakine Nomad up from Backcountry for $40 last year. It was the year prior's color, but still the same pack. Great, and functional pack.
  • + 3
 Dirt makes everything prettier. Pretty backpack.
  • + 2
 My Nomad pack from 2007 is still perfect, great quality for the dollar! Now they've maid it stylish..
  • + 1
 Great looking pack! I think the design would lend itself to a 27.5 wheeled bike vs a 29er.
  • + 1
 Maybe if we did sequence Saturday with dakine people would actually get their bags.
  • + 2
 Just looking at this pack for Christmas... good timing on the review.
  • + 1
 have to stick to my osprey best one yet loads of room helmet holder as well
  • - 2
 Mike: I'm a bit surprized to see a review of a BACKPACK that doesn't seem make any mention of the packs cargo volume??
(yes, I saw the bladder capacity is 100oz, I'm talking the storage capacity of the pack itself)

I just recently received my SOURCE PARAGON hydration pack, it has a 3L hydration bladder & 25L of cargo capacity. It arrived the following week after we got snow here, so I may not get a chance to try it fo awhile, but having spent a bit of time transferring all my gear from my previous pack, I'm expecting it to be really good!! Smile And they certainly made use of as much space as possible, as even the "wings" off the main pack for the waist harness have a zippered storage pouch built into them!
AND, it has a rain cover built into a pouch @ the bottom......

sourceoutdoor.com/en/37-biking-packs
**packs over $60.00 ship free!!

sourceoutdoor.com/en/hydration-packs/128-paragon-hydration-pack.html


25L for cargo not enough, they have bigger ones in their tactical rangeSmile
source-military.com/35-hydration-cargo


**and instead of a magnetic hose retention setup, I went with a veleau Lapeleau, which is retractible
www.showerspass.com/products/lapeleau
  • + 0
 ACRE SUPPLY PACKS! Made in the US by the Mission Workshop Guys. Hands down the best fitting and most thought out pack I have tried!!
  • + 1
 Geigerrig for me, easy to clean and easy to drink out of. I did like my old Dakine Apex though.
  • + 1
 Does this or any other packs fit with neck braces?
  • + 1
 Does this come clean as well??
  • + 1
 Looks good... why hasn't it got 'Enduro' somewhere in the title ?
  • + 2
 Because it's Dakine and they can sell products even if they are not labeled to be "enduro".
  • + 1
 do you really enjoy 18L on your back when racing?
  • + 1
 Deuter are good too. Smile
  • - 3
 Looks like a childs backpack.

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