While most of our bag needs are pretty diverse, there’s certain professions or pursuits that are flaming demanding on a carry item. The cool thing is, it’s usually these areas where most of the innovation happens; before later getting watered down for a more general bag, wallet or pocket.
We’re talking about bags, packs and wallets devoted to a niche area of carrying – think Da Kine’s Builders Pack or the Kata 3N1 – 22. Anyone who is building packs for crew hiking in to the jungle to build crazy creative Mountain bike trails is def getting some specialist love…
Every couple of posts from here on in we will be reviewing or giving the once over to a bag we think is ‘specialist designed’. It’ll all be under the Specialist category up above – check back for more late, but for now read on about the first pack – The Dakine Builders Pack
For many years, if a brand wanted to get cred for their backpacks, they’d try and build a camera pack for their users. They figured that photographers trying to get good snowboard footage are way more demanding than plain snowboarders, so they could showcase some good tech and ideas.
Then a few years ago DaKine thought – mehhh, done that. What about the dudes hiking in to Squamish back country and building those rad cantilevered mountain bike trails with see-saws, whoopdidoos, and how’s your mothers?
Enter the Builders pack (as in ‘trail builders’ pack).
That front sleeve? Yeah, that holds your chainsaw. Just in case your mad crazy and need to chop your leg off cause you snapped it dropping down a 20ft gap. Jokes aside, it’s actually kinda ingenious, as it adapts common bag features for totally new uses. Ice-axe loop? Yeah, that can hold a hammer. Drink bottle holder? Yeah, you’ll need a fuel bottle to power that chainsaw.
There are issues with it (like having your heaviest item so far out on your back isn’t great for comfort or stability), but there’s also excuses for those issues (who really wants a tyrannosaurus chainsaw right against their neck…?).
Improvement inspiration: Better zipper protection against sharp tools (look to skate packs). Width adjust on lopper sleeve (narrow loppers slip too low, look to ski holders).
Lets hope DaKine can still play with these niche products under their new Billabong ownership.
PS: We’d recommend not running with an uncovered saw like you’ll see on DaKine’s site. Not because of the carnage it will inflict on your head in a crash, more just because it might damage the front pocket zipper.