Dakine’s Got Your Back(pack)

Words by John Caldwell 

The story of the Dakine brand starts back in 1979 on Maui’s North Shore. Like many in the area, founder Rob Kaplan was a diehard surfer who had a passion for tinkering and building things in his shop whenever he could. Fellow surfers were increasingly coming to Kaplan with gear problems such as broken surfboard leashes. So he decided to produce a new kind of leash with bombproof materials and stitching. With the name Dakine – which is Hawaiian Pidgin for “whatchamacallit” – being settled on, a true homegrown brand was started.

Fast forward all the way to current times and Dakine is a juggernaut in the surf, snowboard, skateboard, mountain bike, ski, windsurf, kiteboard, and travel industries. One of the product types they are most famous for worldwide is backpacks. Combining the ultimate in functionality, options, comfort, and cool factor, these packs have all situations covered whether it be climbing a backcountry peak with all of your ski/snowboard gear, skating across campus to class, or hitting the jetway for an international adventure. Recently, we were lucky enough to get our hands on one of Dakine’s newest backpack offerings and see just how good it is.

Concourse Pack 31L in Olive Ashcrost Camo

Described as being built for all lifestyles, the Concourse makes staying organized and comfortable easy no matter what you’re packing. First off, we love the comfy ergonomic foam back panel and shoulder straps with breathable mesh and soft laminated jersey. Even if you’ve got this thing filled to the brim and weighed down to the max, your shoulders and back will thank you for choosing one of the most supportive and cushy backpacks made by experts of the industry. And an adjustable sternum strap keeps everything tight and right when you’re really sending it. The Concourse also sports a clever back panel strap system that integrates seamlessly with travel bags for one-handed wheeling.

Efficient and organized storage options are important, especially when on the road. We like easy access to the laptop, headphones, notebooks, extra clothing, and even footwear. This pack starts this theme off with a large, separate, fleece-lined compartment that keeps your computer oh-so safe and protected. This laptop pocket is located at the innermost part of the backpack for added security. Next, the large main compartment with an interior stretch mesh zipper pocket is extra good at storing and separating things like noise-cancelling headphones, notebooks and notepads, and chargers. And finally, there are multiple zippered compartments that are on the outer level of the pack including a low-profile front water bottle pocket for secure storage. There’s even a fleece-lined sunglass pocket to protect that favorite pair of shades.

Upping the innovations in the backpack game is Dakine’s bread and butter and it doesn’t end there with the Concourse. Personally, the game-changer of this pack is probably the shoe or dirty laundry compartment that is accessed with a zipper from the bottom end of the whole thing. Easily shove a pair of smelly kicks or a load of crusty laundry in this massive pocket and forget about stinking up the rest of your tidily stored items that are fully separated. So simple, yet so genius.

Did we mention that the Concourse is also extremely durable and stylish? The super sharp looking Olive Ashcroft Camo version is made from 600D recycled polyester ripstop with print and water repellent finish, bluesign approved material. It also comes in the more subtle, one-tone Greyscale or Night Sky Oxford. If you’re looking for one backpack that succeeds in doing it all with ease, the Concourse is the go-to.

$125 / dakine.com