Shopping for a hydration pack is a very personal matter. Different people want different things out of them. Lucky for you, Dakine has you covered with a pack for just about everyone. The Nomad 18 is designed for the rider who is out for a few hours at a time and needs room for water, food, tools, and a possible emergency change for wet weather.
Built around a 3L Shape-Loc hydration reservoir, this pack has many features that the up and down rider will like. Along with the reservoir, you’ll get a quick release for easy cleaning and a high flow bite valve. The pack itself is constructed from a mix of 630D and 1260D Ballistic Nylon. Dakine knows that a pack like this is often used for all-day rides, so the molded back panel is designed to feel light and cool, thanks to venting that allows for good air flow. Other neat features include a strap for carrying a full face or XC helmet, along with additional armor carrying straps.
Inside the various smaller cavities of the Nomad you’ll find a fleece-lined padded phone pocket that is easily accessible. Other convenient smaller pockets for tools, snacks, and wallet are included. The main compartment easily fits other crucial items like a wind breaker, larger food items, and extra water if necessary.
If for some reason you don’t need the added support of the waist belt, the belt can be removed.
The fit of the Nomad works best for slightly taller people. I’d say anyone over 5′ 6″ would be comfortable when using the Nomad with the waist belt. My buddy Claudio is modeling the pack in the photos; he’s 5′ 10″ and it fits him nicely.
Life with the Nomad is great. Over the course of my review, there was never any issue with zippers or stitching coming apart. The clever orientation of the pockets makes for easy access to phones, snacks, and other crucial items.
Overall the Nomad is a no-nonsense pack that will last a long while. The cool little features, the neat orientation of the pockets, the easy to clean bladder, and overall good comfort and fit make this pack worth looking at.
A big thanks to the folks at Dakine for providing the Nomad for review.