You’re probably thinking – a pack and a jacket, in one review? Well, why not?
Dakine, in case you haven’t checked them out yet, is a big manufacturer of quality gear for mountain biking and other action sports. Not only do they produce great packs and luggage, but they also offer an extensive line of clothing for both men and women.
Having really stepped up my camera gear kit, I needed something just as serious to keep it all safe when I ride to take my pics. Now, seeing that most of my riding is on the slopes as of late (DH is just too much fun), and a fall could really ruin my day (not to mention my equipment), I needed something with a bit more padding than my old setup. The Sequence pack is just the ticket.
This mid-priced bag has enough room to carry all my camera gear, laptop, and more. The padded block allows you to carry your camera body and a barrage of lenses but you can also remove the padded camera block and configure it to exactly match the gear you’re hauling.
I set up my bag so that the camera body and other small parts sit in their own section, while each lens is cradled in its own padded cube. My flash, charger, and extra battery sit in another padded section which protects all the gear, keeping it from bouncing around. The great thing about the padded block is that it has full-length velcro so that you can set the bag up virtually any way you want. The actual Sequence bag holds my laptop, mouse, power supply, pens, notepad, and technical manuals in the zip flap. The main flap also has room for a 15″ laptop and two small organization mesh zips to hold other stuff (ID, credentials, snacks, and the like).
Up top there is a zip pouch that holds the deploy-able rain cover. I also use this pouch to store my Blitz jacket. Two side pockets can hold water bottles or, when zipped open, a tripod. A big plus to the pack is the robust waist and shoulder straps which rivals the best hydration packs for comfort. In the waist strap there is even extra padding for the small of the back.
Using the Sequence for every bike trip and hiking situation I could muster, I have to say that I love this pack. I was a bit nervous when I first started carrying the big kit (what I call all my gear), but once I got used to the extra weight I was fine on all but the craziest of slopes. Not only does it keep my 15+ pounds of photo and computer gear safe (weight weenies are cringing right now), but when riding to spots on the slopes I appreciate the stability of the pack. Yes, the amount of gear I carry is a bit extreme, and most people may not take that much with them. My point in bringing this up is how much gear you can carry and still keep everything safe.
When things got a bit wet, all of my gear stayed nice and dry, thanks to the full construction of 420D Nylon and the easy-to-deploy rain cover (I still sprayed Scotchguard on the cover for added protection). On long trips, I doubled the space and packed my clothing in the main 33 liter compartment, while still carrying the padded camera gear along.
The Blitz jacket is another super product from Dakine. Coming into the fall season, this is a must-have item here in Ontario and especially in BC, where we get a lot of rain during the fall. Packing water resistant gear is a must, and the Blitz is a great jacket. Constructed with a nylon outer shell and a polyester liner, this jacket is breathable too. It also stuffs in a pack easily.
The fit on the Blitz is roomy which is great if you’re wearing armor. If you usually ride without body protection, go one size smaller than you usually wear. This jacket holds up well to washing (I wash using cold water only).
The Blitz features two front zips with pockets and vents (all in one) and one left breast pocket. The full-length front zip is weatherproof, and there is a rear vent to help regulate body temperature. One of the Blitz’s coolest features is that the hood can easily accommodate a helmet or can be pulled closed (with the draw strings). The cuffs are adjustable with a very nice velcro arrangement which keeps the long sleeves from sliding up. The Blitz is not cut like a typical cycling jacket with the raised front and lowered rear waistline. Instead, this jacket features a regular cut, making it far more versatile since I can use it both on and off the bike. The waist does have a drawstring to allow you to tighten up if necessary.
The Blitz is rugged enough to be used as an outer layer even if you’re on a freeride rig and the durable shell can take abrasion from those close encounters with trees and bushes. The jacket also does a great job of keeping the wind out. This time of year when the weather can (and does) change quickly I keep the Blitz handy all the time. The jacket can get a bit too warm at times, especially if you’re in a high humidity situation. But seeing that fall is here with lower temps and humidity, the Blitz makes perfect sense.
The Sequence Pack runs $205 MSRP and the Blitz Jacket is offered at $170 MSRP. The Sequence pack comes only in black while the Blitz is available in Charcoal (pictured) or a style called “Phantom” which is a dark, textured color.
Thanks to Dakine for sending these items up for a review. Check out Dakine’s website for more great MTB gear.