Dakine backpacks are as much about sustainability as they are about style and convenience. You’ll look good and you’ll be able to take all you need in one well-crafted bag. You’ll even have a great time just packing and organizing your things.
And at the end of your trip, everyone around you will want to know where you got your backpack from. Dakine gives you all that and a little extra. What’s that? Check out these products, handpicked for your travel pleasure.
Best for Everyday Use:
Best for Laptops: Mission 25L
Best for Snow Sports:
Heli Pro 20L
Drafter 14L Bike Hydration
Best for Skating:
Best Camera Backpack:
Best for Women:
Best for Kids:
Campus Mini 18L
Table of Contents
- Campus 33L Backpack
- Mission 25L Backpack
- Heli Pro 20L Backpack
- Drafter 14L Bike Hydration Backpack
- Duel 26L Backpack
- Sequence 33L Photo Backpack
- Jewel 26L Women's Backpack
- Campus Mini 18L Backpack
- Dakine: Surf and Snow, Wind and Water
- Let’s Start at the Beginning: A Little Time Warp
- Why You Should Root for Dakine
- Give It a Go
Campus 33L Backpack
This is what you would traditionally call a back-to-school backpack. It’s particularly enticing if you like extra storage and a few pockets that help you decide what goes where. It comes in two sizes: 25 L and 33 L and has a laptop sleeve, because, what’s the point otherwise? The 25 L can fit a 14” laptop or tablet and the 22 L accommodates a 15” device.
There is an insulator cooler pocket where you can store your lunch, snacks, and drinks for hours.
The strap is adjustable, of course, and is padded to protect your shoulders from the weight of whatever it is you throw into it.
There are two mesh pockets on the sides for storing water bottles or maybe your cell phone. It’s good for whatever you need quick access to.
This is something you can carry around with you all day long every day. That means it is made to last long. If you are someone who carries around an extra tee along with your books and devices you might want to go for the 33 L backpack. It’s big enough to accommodate your books, binders, and food. But honestly, it also doubles up as something you can use to pack for short trips.
It has four compartments - main, laptop, insulated cooler, and sunglasses - they are a thoughtful breakdown of what one looks for in an everyday backpack. It also has a small zippered pocket in the front for miscellaneous items that we all know we carry and often struggle to find when thrown into the main compartment.
It comes in a dozen colors and with a limited lifetime warranty.
As advertised, it is good for everyday use. There are a bunch of pockets that help you organize but only if you are the kind to throw everything in a bag and run. If you are specific about which pocket is where and does what, this might not be the one for you.
It has a good amount of space, even if a bit clumsily organized. It will get you through the day and then some. The shoulder padding is a hit among customers across ages and professions, which means it can take some weight.
That it doesn’t have padding at the bottom is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes that is exactly the design you want because it saves space when you pack light.
Mission 25L Backpack
This is a good one for the working professional. If you’re like me and the most important thing in your backpack is your laptop or iPad, this is the one we’ve been looking for. It is exactly what the kind of backpack that airlines ask you to store under the seat in front of you. It is lean and has two straps in the front that let you keep the contents locked-in tight.
It has a padded sleeve that can fit any 15-inch laptop. It also has an iPad sleeve with fleece-lined pockets. Like Campus, the Mission laptop bag also comes with a separate fleece-lined pocket for your sunglasses.
It has straps on the back that allow you to carry vertical boards. They are ergonomic, adjustable, and more importantly, come with a breathable mesh strap. There are two zippered pockets on the side to store small, easy access items. It also has a waist belt.
It is lean and is perfect to fit devices with a couple of books and other small items. The padding in both compartments allows you to carry two devices in the same bag. It has a waistband that keeps the bag close to your body and prevents your devices from jiggling in the space. Packing light feels like the compliment that it is. It also has carry straps in the back for those who like to strap on a vertical board.
It is meant to satisfy a working professional with two laptops but let’s be honest, no matter what it is made for, a lot of people use backpacks for multiple reasons. So it’s no surprise that some customers who have used older Dakine models were surprised by this model and it wasn’t always pleasant.
It is slightly narrow and does not excel when put through everyday wear and tear. But it can sustain the pace of a child on multiple travel occasions. The backpack is thinner when compared to other models from Dakine and that’s probably why it might feel like the fabric is cheaper and weaker. But it holds together as an office piece for adults or hand baggage for people of all ages.
Heli Pro 20L Backpack
The Heli Pro is best described as a chameleon, a shapeshifter. This one was made particularly for you ski-bunnies out there. But it could transform just as well from a backcountry safety kit to a daylight backpack. Your weekend ski adventure won’t be perfect without this little guy.
You can strap on a vertical board on the back or diagonally on the sides. It has a comfortably large 20 L main compartment for all your essentials and a hydration sleeve. It also has a fleece-lined pocket for your goggles. Dakine has also thought of LED light loops, side compression straps, and a rescue whistle on the sternum strap for your safety.
When it transforms into an everyday backpack, it comfortably fits in your 15-inch laptop into a non-padded sleeve and still has enough space for your books and binders.
This is made especially for skiers. Providing backpacks for outdoor gear is Dakine’s specialty so this is a keeper. You can strap on your skiboard on the back or on the sides.
It is a lightweight backpack with a spacious main compartment. Throw your goggles on the top without its case. Don’t worry about scratches because the pocket is lined with fleece.
When you are in the mountains, you can rest assured that the safety aspect of it will be taken care of with LED light loops and a rescue whistle. The backpack is hydration compatible so keep your water bottle wherever you please.
This is great for a ski trip. Many customers have vouched for its strength and durability. You could probably push it by strapping two ski boards on but beware of the weight you add to your shoulders. If you have confidence in your upper body strength or plan to carry it for a short distance you could probably make it work.
You can also take your ski shoes in the main compartment if you pack it well. The LED lights and rescue whistle can be a lifesaver. It not only takes care of security but also saves you the effort of buying accessories for your trip, especially if you’re a first-timer.
When you’re not outdoors, you could turn it into a regular backpack so that’s a plus. The so-called laptop sleeve has no padding so that’s a bit of a bummer. It is narrower than a usual backpack but if you pack light that can be considered a plus. It is also a pretty good gift for anyone who loves backpacks.
Drafter 14L Bike Hydration Backpack
The 14 L Drafter is a great bike hydration pack. It is a durable and compact backpack to keep all your essentials during a mountain biking trip. Apart from hydration, it also takes care of safety. The Drafter comes in four colors with a breathable design. It has a 1,000-ounce Hydrapak reservoir. And to help you keep a low center of gravity, it is located in the lumbar region of the spine. The bite valve has an impressively high flow and disconnects quickly.
Drafter provides ultimate comfort on the move with its high-suspension back panel and ergonomic shoulder straps.
Not surprisingly, it has an organizer pocket with a good deal of space for you to place all the gear (and replacement parts) where they belong. It has a pocket right on top of your goggles. There’s a pouch where you can store your helmet before you take off on the road (more like the mountain). The backpack itself is designed in a way that protects your spine from the weight of your tools.
Drafter is the perfect backpack for outdoorsy fun. The hydration pack is big enough to keep you going for a while without having to make pit stops. The main compartment is big enough to store riding essentials. The organizer pocket takes care of the smaller tools that need to be kept intact. So if you know what all you need and where you want to keep it, this is one for you.
he straps allow you to hold the helmet tight in the back and there is a side pocket on the opposite side of the hydration pack where you can keep things like a cell phone for easy access. It’s not what you want when riding up the mountain, but it’s nice to have a choice.
If you go on mountain biking trips regularly then it’s a great buy. But it works for that and that alone. When you compare it to some other models, you might be a tad disappointed to find out that it’s not multi-purpose. So you don’t get to come back home, empty it and put your laptop in there and take it to school or work.
But that it’s not meant for everyday use is not a vote against it. This is an extremely light backpack which is a very important factor if it’s going to stay on your back for a long time. The hydration pack is a great addition. There’s nothing more annoying than interruptions on a ride.
Duel 26L Backpack
Duel is a quick and easy-to-use backpack. It has one 26L main compartment, which, I must tell you, is a pretty spacious one. There is a special sleeve that can fit most 15-inch laptops. There is an extra sleeve for you to throw in an iPad too.
It has two pockets on the front where you can store smaller items like stationery and keys so that you are not forced to throw everything in the main compartment and waste time rummaging through it.
There is a dedicated cooler compartment where you can store your lunch, snacks and drinks for hours. And yes, for those who love skateboards, there is an external carry strap to hold it together. If not, you can use it to hang a jacket. It is durable and lightweight which makes it a great bag to carry around all day long.
This polyester backpack is pretty cool for multiple reasons. That it is durable and easy to hang on to all day long is just the beginning. The 26L main compartment is huge. It’s bigger than most models in its price range offer.
It has a padded sleeve for a laptop and then an extra fleece-lined sleeve for an iPad. This is heaven for tech-savvy folks. But as pleasing as it is to Apple nerds, it also has vertical straps so that you can carry your skateboard. Yes, there’s no reason you can’t do both.
This is a pretty good backpack for skateboarders. The main compartment is big enough to fit all essentials and perhaps a little extra too. If you are a bit clumsy in packing and don’t mind being that way, then this is a great bag. Throw in all your gear and extras into the main compartment. You can figure out what goes where even after reaching your destination.
You can carry this around like a regular backpack with the addition of pockets that let you store your gear. It might not have the benefit of an organizer pocket but overall it is lightweight and durable. That’s a pretty good deal.
Sequence 33L Photo Backpack
Sequence was designed with you shutterbugs in mind. And along with the camera, you can also take your vertical board along, strapped in the back. The bag also has a padded laptop sleeve for when you want to use it as a carry on for school or work.
Now, it comes only in one color but it is highly utilitarian. It has a back panel entry system that is padded. It’s designed to be a camera block and is removable. It keeps your equipment tight and close to your torso. This is helpful in preventing turbulence on the road and hence, damage.
In the front, it has a padded sleeve that can fit one 15-inch laptop. This part is also a bit of an organizer pocket. It has a great deal of space for extension wires, photo rolls (in case you are old school), hard drives, and perhaps some stationery.
It gets better. The bag also has a deployable rain cover because you shouldn’t have to stop clicking pictures, come sun or rain. For extra safety, it has a padded waist belt and the sternum strap is adjustable.
Carrying a backpack and a separate camera bag can get quite annoying. And unfortunately, a camera is not an item you can shove in a bag simply to avoid carrying multiple bags. For every photographer out there, professional or amateur, a spacious backpack that takes care of the camera and leaves room for a few other items is a gift. It takes all the anxiety out of travel. And that’s precisely what Sequence offers.
This is something every photographer loves to buy. But it is for gear and gear alone. You can try to convert it into a regular backpack but only if you don’t have too much equipment. That the camera block is removable is fantastic, you’ll agree. And the deployable rain cover is the perfect icing on his cake. If this is your first camera backpack, Sequence is a great choice.
Jewel 26L Women's Backpack
If you can excuse the name that is of light sexist tendencies, Jewel is a pretty utilitarian bag designed for women. It is made especially for those who like specific slots for specific items. This 26 L backpack is a pretty big bag that can easily fit your books, binders and then some. It has a second padded compartment which can fit most 15-inch laptops. It also has a sleeve inside this compartment to accommodate your iPad. Yes, this is every bit the backpack you want to use daily.
It looks cool and has an organizer pocket in the front. It has slots for your phone, keys, stationery and all those miscellaneous items you want to throw in your bag in the last minute. At the bottom is an insulated cooler pocket for your lunch and snacks.
This model comes with two mesh pockets on the side. An added benefit is the padded bottom that allows you to put the backpack down without worrying about it tipping over. It is made of polyester and comes in a variety of colors.
The first benefit is that it has two compartments which means you can store books and devices separately without worrying about scratches on your laptop or iPad. The second compartment having a discreet sleeve for an iPad is a pleasant surprise. The organizer pocket in the front is another delight. No more diving into the main compartment looking for a pen!
The insulator cooler pocket is not a staple but appreciated. The padded bottom is a great addition.
This is a great bag for both school and work. Some moms and dads have used it to keep diapers or as hand baggage while traveling. This only means that the bag has more uses than the company probably imagined and that’s never a bad sign.
Everyone loves that it has two compartments, especially those who have art supplies to stock. All the stationery goes in one place and there’s space to throw in some miscellaneous small objects which makes life easier. There are plenty of outer design options if you want to make a fashion statement.
Campus Mini 18L Backpack
This 18L Campus Mini is designed to capture the attention of your little ones. It has one spacious main compartment and some more storage in the front in the form of two smaller compartments. This includes a cooler pocket for snacks and drinks. The other can be used as a tabled sleeve if you’d like your child to carry one of those. The backpack has reflective details and an adjustable sternum strap in the front. This helps the kiddie balance the bag’s weight.
There are two mesh pockets on the sides for a water bottle and perhaps a snack bar or extra tissues.
The main compartment is big enough to fit everything a kindergarten kid needs. The cooler pocket in the front is quite useful and the other one can be used for any easy access materials they might need. It is fairly cheap and if push comes to shove, it can be used by adults too.
It is uncomplicated and makes for a good first backpack. The shoulder straps are adjustable so you could perhaps drag it out till they finish kindergarten, unless, of course, they destroy it.
This is a basic backpack and serves as the first bag for a cool kid. I say cool because it comes only in black and children often like bright colors. We move on to only black a little later in life. Some folks have also used it as a gym bag and frankly, the size allows for that possibility. So, I can’t complain. If it had a fleece pocket on top it would’ve been a good one for small hikes too.
Dakine: Surf and Snow, Wind and Water
Respect is one of the first things you need to know about Dakine’s value system. The company’s entire philosophy is based on the idea - respect the land, the sea, and the locals. Sustainability is one of the core values of Dakine. It was built on the premise that every man-made product has an impact on the environment.
The least human beings could do is to be aware of that impact, be sensitive towards the needs of the planet, and proceed with caution. Dakine prides itself on being “Product Problem Solvers” so it’s really worth getting to know the team and the company’s philosophy even if you don’t end up buying their products.
Let’s Start at the Beginning: A Little Time Warp
If you are an adrenaline junkie who can’t wait to hit the road (or mountains or water) at the first chance you get, you’ve probably heard of Dakine. They have been around for a few decades, since 1979 actually, manufacturing innovative backpacks, travel bags, accessories, outerwear, and clothing. Apart from backpacks, they are quite skilled in making gear for surfers, snowboarders, skateboarders, mountain bikers, skiers, windsurfers, etc. The list goes on.
If none of that sounds like you, you should still check their products out because they have some great gear just for travel.
Dakine was founded in Hawaii and is located in Mt. Hood in Oregon. It’s actually quite a sweet story. The founder Rob Kaplan was originally a surfer who liked messing with gear. So he became popular among other surfers whenever they needed a fix.
It got to a point where he realized that all surfers were looking for material that could do better than what they had at the time. That’s the beginning of a long and difficult road towards building a company that is one of the best allies of outdoorsy folk today.
In the 1980s, Dakine ventured into windsurfing. It came up with the first adjustable foot strap, made waist harnesses, and created a line of travel bags. The first seat harness was made in 1983 which was the sport’s first. The thermo-molded waist harness that is now a popular part of the gear was perfected by Dakine. This equipment helped surfers in sailing faster and higher in harsher conditions.
While expanding its reach, Dakine consulted with world-class surfers and snowboarders. And from some of those many conversations came the Heli Pack. A custom pack that could fit all essentials, this became a classic creation from the company.
By the early 2000s, Hood River, where the company originated, was a popular destination for mountain bikers. For Dakine, this meant helping solve a new set of problems for the experts (and friends) of the company; problems that were weighing down on the experience.
The riders wanted to ensure the safety of their gear and, well, their bones while enjoying the lovely mountain breeze. They were looking to find a way to keep the experience pleasurable while maintaining the integrity of their gear intact. And they found solutions when they knocked on Dakine’s doors.
Those conversations led to some innovative solutions that made Dakine a popular brand for sports and travel gear but with an eye on the well being of the planet.
Why You Should Root for Dakine
In 2020, there are very few places on the planet that can be described as untouched by the ugly fingers of tourism. Dakine shares those concerns. The company aims to build products that preserve the sanctity of your travel destination while allowing you the pleasure of a fulfilling holiday. A look into their process tells you how they achieve this.
Eco-Friendly Raw Materials
Durability is a priority for companies that are in it for the long haul. Dakine is no different. When a product is built to stand the test of time, it is less likely to fill up your garbage cans after each trip. It’s also important to use materials that keep the bag lightweight, especially with respect to outdoor sports equipment. Heavy backpacks when overloaded can bring upon back issues among children and adults.
The company strives to create gear out of recycled PET materials. PET or polyethylene terephthalate (also referred to PET) is a type of plastic resin or polyester which is completely recyclable. The PET fibers used in Dakine backpacks and other apparel are made of recycled plastic water bottles.
Water-resistant fabrics are commonly made from durable water repellent (DWR) treatment. These DWRs release chemicals that are known to contaminate water. Dakine is working on partners to use materials that are free of these chemicals.
Meeting Industry Standards
Dakine is also sensitive to its employees who are involved in the process of manufacturing. The company ensures that the Restricted Substances List (AAFA 19) is strictly adhered to. It is a part of Dakine’s Code of Conduct Agreement. This also protects the rights of its employees and ensures their well-being while being environmentally friendly.
Clean Production Line
Dakine’s offices have some of the most pristine surroundings. But when you are at the foothills of the Alps or the banks of Hood River, you have to make certain lifestyle choices so as not to disturb the ecological balance. That has inspired their quest to maintain ecological balance while creating commercially viable goods.
Dakine has invested in recycling stations that are accessible to its employees. It has partnered with a composting company in the region that uses organic nutrients to produce food. Most things, if not all, that are headed back to the ground when humans are done with them.
The company also leans heavily on renewable sources of energy like hydro-electric power, wind, and solar panels. This contributes to about half of their energy needs.
It sounds like a PR plug but the company really does all that it can to do as little damage to the environment as it can. Part of that effort is to partner with organizations that promote the right values.
Give It a Go
Dakine is an organization with a finger in every pie. They have focused on eco-friendly raw materials, utilitarian bags organized just the way you like it, and cost-effective products. They also consult experts from time to time to make sure they are on top of the game while staying true to their values.
An organization like Dakine that puts so much thought into your well-being and the health of the planet deserves your admiration, if not support, don’t you think?