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DaKine Pro II ski and snowboard pack

dakinepro2DaKine Pro II Pack—a great low profile day-pack for hitting the sidecountry or day-trips into the backcountry

If you love to duck into the sidecountry for quick jaunts to deep powder when skiing in the resorts, then you will definitely want to make sure you have a pack on you to carry you important avalanche safety gear. Growing up in Colorado, where the mountains are notorious for touchy slopes and are usually very avalanche prone, skiing without the proper equipment is just down right stupid. And, while most of us who ski the backcountry at all should probably invest in a Black Diamond ski pack with an Avalung, not all of us can necessarily afford that expensive (yet potentially life saving) piece of equipment.

If you are like me and you like to ski mostly in the resorts with some hikes and jaunts into the sidecountry, you don’t necessarily need a pack with an Avalung. You also don’t want a pack that’s too big and will be uncomfortable when you are riding the lifts.
The Dakine Pro II seems to strike the perfect balance. It’s big enough to fit all of you essential gear, while being small enough that you’ll hardly even notice its on when you are ripping down the mountain or riding the chair lift to the top for another go.

This pack features a hike or sled carry system, which allows you to strap on those skis or snowboard when hiking up the steep stuff. The bag also has a pocket especially for snow tools and a deployable seat for taking a bluebird break (or maybe indulging in some rolled substances in the woods).

While it can be tough to find a good pack that’ll carry both skis and a snowboard, the Dakine Pro II excels at both. It’s easy-to-use retractable cable system can accommodate even the fattest powder skis as well as being able to carry snowboards horizontally or vertically.

The DaKine Pro II also features a quick draw ice axe/shovel handle holster as well as an insulated hydro sleeve. The pack also has a zippered wasitbelt pocket that fits most digital cameras, so you can keep your digi ready to capture those awesome action shots. The fleece lining inside of the pack also helpd protect all of your precious (and expensive) gadgets and gear.

The pack is also super light (just about 3 lbs.), which adds to its low profile. However, despite this bag’s fairly compact size, it is certainly big enough to fit all your essentials for a day on the slopes. It is also designed to mold to your body so you hardly even notice it’s there when you are ripping those lines and cutting fresh tracks through powder stashes.

>>Check out more of the best ski and snowboard backpacks

The Quick & Dirty:
Where you can get one:
Buy Dakine Pro 2 – $115

Why it Rocks:

    • Carry board vertically or use cross-carry system to haul board horizontally against your back for optimal balance and even weight distribution
    • Retractable cable ski carrying straps hold alpine or backcountry skis
    • Large front-loading outer pocket and 2 Quick-Draw ice axe holsters let you easily manage gear on technical ascents
    • Features external zippered tool pocket and shovel pocket
    • Also features a waterproof, fleece-lined camera pocket and deployable water bottle pocket
    • Insulated compartment for hydration reservoir (sold separately) and insulated shoulder pad prevent frozen hoses for easy hydration on long treks

Seat-of-the-pants rating: 8 out of 10

While this bag is more spacious than it predecessor, when you have the full bladder in this bag it does limit the amount of gear you are able to carry. However, at maximum capacity, the bag should still be big enough to carry your shovel, probe, skins, first aid kit, snack, a few items of extra gear without any problem. The bag’s small size is also great for when you are taking it on the chair lift—its low profile means you’ll hardly even notice it’s there.

The other slight problem with this pack is that the diagonal ski carry system can put a little strain on your shoulders for longer hikes. It would also be nice if it featured a vertical A-fame option for carrying you skis. That being said, the positive elements of this pack far outweigh the negative ones and this is overall a great pack that fits the body comfortably, and has enough functions and accessories to efficiently execute a backcountry tour.

Looking to buy? Here’s where you can get one:
Buy Dakine Pro 2 – $115