Dakine Heli Pro 20l Pack

The latest generation of a great backcountry pack.

Whether you are just ferrying a packed lunch and a few extra thermals or a hardcore kit load of crampons, ropes, shove and probe, the Dakine Heli Pro is the place to pack it.

Board Portage
Board can be carried vertically or horizontally. The two compression straps can be extended and joined to hug the board vertically. A second pair of straps pulls out from a sleeve near the bottom to provide the lower fixing. For horizontal carry, the board slides in between the body of the pack and the cushioned back protection panel.

Ski Carry
Ski carry is diagonal across the outside back of the pack. A loop pulls out of a stash pocket on the bottom corner of the pack; the skis are dropped through and secured at the opposite top corner by an adjustable snap-clasp strap.

Rock Solid
Wide padded shoulder and hip straps hug the body comfortably and make the Heli Pro feel very secure. Even fully loaded it is well balanced. This stability is essential: the last thing you want is a pack that moves on you back mid way through a tricky manoeuvre and throws you off balance.

Too Much Webbing
There is an excess of webbing; the amount of adjustment is twice as long as it needs to be. The loose ends of straps hand down and could possibly prove dangerous if they snagged on part of a chair lift or a tree branch.

Kit Carry
The main hold is huge and can easily accommodate a reasonable sized pair of snowshoes, a shovel and still have room for a layer or two of clothing. Both compartments are easy access via a large horse-shoe zip. The secondary compartment is also quite generous and has a reinforced section in the bottom for carrying avalanche probes. Two loops and a webbing strap on the outside allow for quick-draw, ice axe storage.

Special Pockets
A fleece lined goggle pocket is standard for most good snow packs, but the Heli Pro also has a fleece lined and waterproof pocket attached to the hip band. This is for carting a camera. Though perfect for small digitals, it’s not big enough for higher end bridge cameras like Canon’s G10.

Anti-freeze
A final touch is a zipped sleeve in the shoulder strap for stowing a hydrations tube to stop it freezing.

Pros
Well balanced
Comfortable
Stable
Good ski/board carry
Well designed compartments

Cons
Straps too long
Small camera pocket

Stuff Says
Comfortable and functional – a classic backcountry pack that keeps getting better.

Star Rating
5

Tech Spec
Volume 20 litres
Dimensions 53x28x14cm
Hydration compatible Yes
Compartments:
Waterproof camera pocket
Fleece lined goggle pocket
Water bottle pocket
1 secondary hold
1 large primary hold

£64

www.ellisbrigham.co.uk
www.dakine.com

Stuff.tv January 2009

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