Twice the pro, half the problems.
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Can never go wrong with Dakine
I used my old Pro 2 for many years and finally decided it was time to get a new one for skiing. Having a 26 liter volume it can fit your avi gear, camelback, and extra gloves/layers and anything else you need. Definitely not a backpacking pack though. It can fit one or two layers at MAX with all the other gear in there. No waterproof problems. Used the ski carry every day multiple times a day doing fourpines hikes and I was always able to get my skis on my pack before my friends. It's also very versatile and isn't just a backcountry backpack and can be used for normal travel and school, but more importantly it's a great backcountry backpack. Buy this pack
Is this pack 100% waterproof? As in......
Is this pack 100% waterproof? As in... could it be used as a motorcycle pack in a Florida rainstorm?
No - its not. Check out some of the SealLine packs, such as the Urban Backpack.
Does this have an air vent system for the...
Does this have an air vent system for the back/lower back?
no. if you are looking for that, check out the osprey stratos 24.
Can the Osprey Stratos 24 take skis/snowboard?
Solid side/back-country pack
Ample space for all your necessary gear and well designed pockets for them. Plenty of extra room to carry other layers, extra socks, goggles, etc. Pack also has compression straps to keep bulk at a minimum. I snowboard and the carry options are great! The lifetime warranty is just icing on the cake.
Okay, but it's got some issues...
This pack works fairly well, but I definitely ran into some problems.
First off, it's really not big enough for anything besides avy gear and a hydration bladder. Good luck fitting even an extra layer in it. The pack is really only useful in-bounds at a resort, it's just not large enough for a real day of backcountry boarding.
The second problem is that I've only had this pack for one season, and the shoulder straps are starting to tear at the bottom from carrying my board horizontally. There is hypalon on top of the straps that's supposed to protect them from the edge of the board, but mine are cut most of the way through after only a few months.
Now on to the good...
I love the avy pocket. It's huge, and it's one of the few packs I've seen that will fit my Voile Telepro shovel head along with my probe (the probe barely fits, but I can get it in there - BD Quickdraw 265). The pocket won't fit the shovel handle, but the ice-axe holder on the right side does a good job of keeping that in place.
I like the hydration tube routing, even though it could use some more insulation (my hose froze up a couple times this year).
The goggle pocket is pretty sweet and does a great job of protecting the goggles.
Overall, I like this pack, but it's just too small for it's intended purpose and the hypalon straps at the bottom are a little too fragile to trust out in the backcountry. Fix these problems and I'll take another look, but as of now, I wouldn't recommend it.
This pack vs. Heli Pro DLX 20L
This pack vs. Heli Pro DLX 20L
Which one should I buy?
What do you want to use the pack for? The Heli Pro is specifically designed for back country skiing/snowboarding... where as the Pro pack can cater to a more diverse set of users; students, business folks, etc...
Too Small for Me
This pack is way too small for a full day tour. I filled my 3L camelback to put in and the bladder took up 3/4 of the space in the pack. There is now way (unless strapped to the outside of the pack) to fit everything you would need,i.e. skins, extra layers, lunch, water & all the other little items I bring with me to the backcountry. The straps are rediculously long. The ski carry I found to be time consuming to use & a little awkward. I feel that Dakine has moved away from the quality packs of the past. If all you carry is a beacon, shovel, Probe, and maybe a couple small items this pack may work for you, but if your looking for a pack to carry a full day tours worth of stuff look for something different.
Does this come with a hydration bladder?
Does this come with a hydration bladder?
No it does not come with a bladder, just the sleave along the shoulder strap.
Durable, comfortable, versatile
It appears that I have an earlier version of this unit; however the basic idea is the same. This is a durable peice of gear especially since I use it year-round as a day pack. I do end up with my probe sticking up through one of the zippers but you can interlock the toggles on them so they don't come apart casually, but you can still pull them apart when needed. It does have internal pockets for probes but they don't accomodate the probe I have. I would like the shovel blade pocket to be easier to get the shovel in and out of but it does fit, and the handle does fit right into the side loops. The two small mesh inner pockets near the top are nice; in my case they carry 1) compass, survey marker tape, headlight and 2) matches, lighter, tinder, space blanket instead of goggles but organization is always personal. The hip belt pocket has a clip for keys.
I actually like the extra webbing; one strap is detachable and this provides a lot of options if settling in to a location for a while.
Full season of use
Well after one full winter (and summer)I think I've got a pretty good idea of what this pack can and cannot do.
for starter the good: So much room! from my laptop, to puffy and snowshoes.
The snowboard cross carry is probably the most stable I have ever hiked with a snowboard. Great insulated sleeve for hydro pack. The back panel has a hard plastic piece that keeps it rigid, very important to me! The pockets are nice and conveniently located. the hide away cable for the ski carry works smooth even with my hellbents and is a nice pocket as well. Back access is awesome when you gotta layer down or grab a snack without unhooking ski\board.
The bad: the webbing is sooooo long!! I'm an athletic guy and have a lot of slack on every strap! Including the straps for vertical board carry. I actually have had to cut some and tie the others off. hip pocket is directly on my hip bone resulting in one smashed camera. The side pocket zipper constintly falls becoming half zipped. a waterproof zipper here would be awesome!! when the temp goes up this pack will make you sweat where ever it touches. its nice when its cold but it does not ventilate.
I cannot seem to fit any of my ice axes in the quick draw so that they do not stab me. And as Matt stated, a probe does not fit straight inside.
Overall if the zippers were waterproofed (Apex), the straps shortened, and the vertical board carry were revamped a little this would be my goto pack. for now its my back up plan.
Perfect for backcountry
Great backpack, a lot of useful features, the right size for hors-piste. The only thing, I found the ski attach system not very convenient.
Sweet red bag!
Really loving the red used for this bag, as well as the design and build quality! Originally went with the Dakine Heli Pro DLX, but after checking out a friend's Pro II I was in love with the softer feel of the Pro II, as well as the added feature of the back access to the bag. Would definitely buy another of this bag!
Very good pack with a couple small issues
This pack is excellent for single day tours and sidecountry. It will fit skins, water bottle, mittens, and an extra layer, but not too much more. The back access panel is very useful. It easily carries even the fattest of skis. It does have a couple of issues: my probe doesn't fit inside the pack correctly so it has to be put in diagonally and pushes up on the top of the pack. The side pockets open slightly on their own. And the straps are incredibly long.
Can you carry your skis A Frame style with...
Can you carry your skis A Frame style with this pack if not any recommendations on one that does?
The Dakine Tactic is able to carry skis A Frame style.
Dakine PRO 2: Goes Everywhere With Me
This is one of the only gear items which I didn't purchase or use thanks to a sponsor. It belonged to a friend of mine who passed away in a freeskiing competition. He used it everyday we went in the backcountry, and now it goes everywhere with me. I've taken it to Alaska, Florida, California and everywhere in-between.
It has handled the demands of alpine touring (stuffed full of fleeces and snacks) to packing my sandals and sunnies for a day at the beach. Dakine makes good packs, and now I know why.