Jan 08, 2016 by John L
Ability Level: Advanced Beginner •
Riding Style: Groomers for now •
Days You Ride A Year: 10 •
Height, Weight And Boot Size (for Boards, Boots & Bindings): 5'9" 160 lbs
I received this pack along with a Camelbak Antidote 1.5L bladder as an early Christmas gift and it has proven to be an excellent backpack. Like James said in his review, the ski straps are useless to us and do take a bit of space, but that downside is not enough for me to rate this item as anything but fantastic.
Unlike James, I don't mind the goggle pocket at all. I stored both a backup lens and a pair of sunglasses in the pocket, and fell a couple of times right onto my butt and back while trying blue runs for the first time. No problem whatsoever for the goggle pocket - there was no damage to any of my items. Also, I was nervous that falling on my back might somehow burst or damage the bladder inside - no trouble with this either. I'm sure that's at least partially due to the bladder's design, but the pack must also affect that as well. As far as comfort is concerned, I didn't even remember I was wearing this while snowboarding, and am not experienced enough yet to know whether I like or dislike having a pack while I ride. However, I was only carrying a couple of layers, a hat, wallet, snack bars and the hydration bladder. With more weight it might become more noticeable, but the strap system is very comfortable and adjustable - I mostly used just the waist strap and didn't bother with the chest, but both configurations are comfortable. A nice detail that Dakine included was an elastic strap leash so you can tuck the hanging strap into the leashes so they're not swinging around everywhere. Great touch.
Also, the tube sleeve is a little less accommodating of the hydration tube than I'd like in terms of getting it in and out of the sleeve, but there was not even a hint of freezing happening during my time with this pack, even in weather below 20 degrees F.
I compared the Baker to a similar offering from Burton and just based on looks, feel and apparent build quality alone, the Dakine wins for me, hands down. I recommend this to anyone looking for a snowboarding backpack.