Dakine Cyclone Dry Pack Review
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Living by the water you find yourself taking advantage of it in many ways. Surfing and stand up paddling are a lot of fun, as are kayaking and just sitting at the beach. But ocean life and adventures have their own unique set of challenges- mainly having to do with the water itself. Either you’re trying to keep something dry, keep something wet from getting other things wet or trying to get something wet to dry out. When you have a mix of gear, clothing and electronics it can get difficult to keep things dry and safe. Not only that, but sometimes you want to take some gear with you out in the water, even though it’s not necessarily an aquatic device, think phone, wallet and iPod here. Thankfully, Dakine has a bag that can solve those issues.
The Cyclone Dry Pack is an elegantly simple design that works brilliantly. Made from 420d polyurethane coated nylon, using welded seams and a simple roll top closure, this bag is not only earth friendly, but completely water proof. Just fill the bag with your gear, roll the top down as tightly as you can and use the side straps to secure and cinch it down. You know have a bag that is impervious to water. The simplicity can not be overstated here. Really, any gear that you want to keep dry or any wet gear you don’t want soaking other things, can be thrown in the Cyclone and you won’t have to worry either way.
Not only that, but this bag is huge- as in cavernous. With only two compartments, it also keeps things easy. At 36L, it can swallow up my rash guard, 4/3 wetsuit, some towels, a camera, paddle jacket, leash, sunscreen and still have room for an extra pair of board shorts and flip flops and still roll down tight. If you’re grabbing gear for your friends, keep the top up and just keep stuffing the bag. The second, stash spot is a small zippered compartment on the outside. It is the perfect spot for smaller items like your phone or iPod.
I was initially a bit worried about only having two compartments. I usually look for bags with compartments and pockets with the idea of being super organized. However, what I’ve come to realize is that I likely waste more time scouring through eight pockets than if I just had to pick through one large compartment. Rather than meticulously organize things, I’ve come to love just throwing it all in and finding it when I need to. I’ve found that I find what I’m looking for just as quickly and don’t worry about making sure every zipper I had to open is re-closed. The only draw back is that sometimes I have to be a bit picky in how I load the bag to ensure it has good weight distribution, but that’s pretty simple.
I’ve used this bag a lot for dawn patrol paddle sessions and it’s been awesome. I keep all my water gear in the bag and at the ready so I can be gone the minute I see the right conditions. It’s been especially good for dawn patrol sessions. Early in the morning it can be cold, but in a few hours that all changes. By having the bag with me as I paddle, I can peel off or add layers to stay comfortable. Before I had to decide, do I want to be cold to start, or too hot when I’m nearly done? Additionally, when I’m done paddling I can pull out the puffy or hoody that kept me warm to warm me back up as I trudge back. Having the gear with me rather than leaving it on the beach and hoping it doesn’t go walking away with a stranger is a great peace of mind. More peace of mind is offered with the elegantly simple and highly effective roll top closure. It seems like it is too simple, just folding the top over a few times and cinching it down, but it is 100 percent effective. I can throw in all the things I may need (you never know the wind and water will throw at you) and not worry about them getting wet if, and when, I dump it. Even the front pocket is waterproof- I know from vigorous testing. I also use it for regular surf sessions to store my wetsuit and leash for the drive home. I know I can throw all my wet gear in it and it won’t seep through on to my seats or leak out the sides. Basically, if I’m headed to the water, this is my bag.
But this bag isn’t just for surfers, adventure travelers would do well with this bag too. Say you are traveling and may be doing some kayaking, or hiking to some waterfalls or anything near the water. You’ll likely want your camera, but you certainly don’t want it to get wet. Use the Cyclone as your carry on luggage, it fits the regulations, and then when you get to your destination you can use it’s waterproof and expansiveness to your advantage. I’ve taken it on a few trips, even when not headed to a watery location, just so I can have the extra room.
The padded shoulder straps are comfortable, though under heavier loads they dig in a bit over time. But since this isn’t an expedition style bag for carrying super heavy gear, I can’t ding them too much for that. The back panel features an aerated mesh to keep the bag slightly off your back. This is a nice feature that comes in handy on hot beaches. Normally, this is found only on bags meant for long excursions The center chest strap is adjustable via the two slides on each shoulder strap and it does help with keeping the pack balanced. The top pull handle makes picking the bag up, either from the beach or the airport conveyor belt, a bit easier.
The Cyclone Dry Pack is a simple, well executed bag. What it may lack in sophistication it more than makes up for in performance. Made to withstand the rigors of aquatic use, this bag holds its weight in water, and that’s a compliment.
For more info on the Cyclone Dry Pack and other Dakine products, visit www.backcountry.com or www.amazon.com/dakine.