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 Post subject: My mini-review of the Dakine Altidude 40L ABS pack
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:41 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Been using this pack for around 10 days now, and since I haven't found any other good reviews of it, here are my impressions for those considering to buy.

I have not spent any time on the backpack in "non-ABS" mode, but the included standard backpack unit looks nice enough, probably very similar to other Dakine packs.


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The pack zips on to the ABS unit like any other pack, no surprises there. It has one room in front for shovel/probe, one main room and loads of small utils compartments throughout the pack. The shovel/probe compartment doest not fit my 320cm G3 probe, but the standard 240cm ones fit nicely. I'm gonna replace my probe with a shorter one anyways.

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Both sides of the pack has a small room room for a bottle, my 1litre nalgene bottle fits perfectly in in here. With a bit of training it should be fairly easy to grab it without taking the backpack off.

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between the main compartment and the shovel compartment there is also a small room for camera/tools etc. Be careful not to fill this up with too much stuff (gopros, sunglasses etc) because it gets in the way when getting stuff in or out of the main room. I ended up moving a lot of my bits and pieces to one of the drinking bottle compartments instead, which works perfectly but the chance of losing stuff is bigger I guess.

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The pack has 2 compression straps on each side, one on top and one at the bottom. Still, this being a "classical" backpack with a regular lid, it kinda loses its shape when too empty, especially with a helmet attached to the lid.

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The helmet net works as it should. I use a Sweet Trooped helmet with a visor so I ended up putting the helmet on the side to avoid the visor getting in the back of my head. The lid also has a google pocket which is fleece lined.

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There is an ice axe carry, and my 53cm Grivel fits perfectly under the lid. For longer axes (or shorter ones for that matter) I couldn't seem to find a strap to hold the axe handle, so I guess the straps for the vertical snowboard carry are designed to hold to axe handle as well. Since there is lots of room for a shovel inside the pack, there is also the option to put the ice axe in the shovel handle holder on the side of the pack. As long as the axe has a fairly straight handle this should work well.

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I really like the diagonal carry option. I find that most times I need to bootpack something I'm already in ski-mode so it doesn't make sense to transition to snowboard-mode before putting the board on my backpack. The Altitudes diagonal ski carry has a lower strap made of plastic coated wire, and feels very solid. The top one hides in a room below the lid and is long enough to fit any kind of board (I presume). The steel wire makes it possible to rest the board on the pucks instead of the bindings, which helps get the ski halves a bit up from the ground. Very helpful when it's not too steep to avoid banging my heels on my board when bootpacking.

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The vertical cary also works nicely, but I'm suspecting the straps will eventually wear out if you use them a lot - just standard webbing. When not in use, the straps hide in small pockets which is really nice.

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All in all I like this pack a lot. It has a ton of features and it's probably the best 40L option for the ABS system out there right now. If I were to buy an ABS pack right now I would just skip the ABS rooms altogether and get the Altitude 40L for splitboarding and the Arva 18L for lift-based shredding.

Despite the steep price compared to the original ABS packs I'm really happy with this unit. It seemes to be made to stand the test of time (except for the snowboard carry straps) and has all the small details I've been missing. Bring on long spring splitboarding missions!

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Trondh (Zurich, Switzerland)
Prior Fissile 172 split / Prior Swallowtail 172 split / Prior AMF 162 Split / Never Summer Premier F1 159


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 Post subject: Re: My mini-review of the Dakine Altidude 40L ABS pack
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:09 pm
Posts: 684
Location: white room
Good info, I'm a big fan of Dakine packs. Lot's of well thought out features.

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 Post subject: Re: My mini-review of the Dakine Altidude 40L ABS pack
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:57 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:59 am
Posts: 46
Location: Eastern Alps / Austria
thanks for your interesting review!

i own the 25l altitude and i'm not really happy with it :(
i have previously used the dakine heli pro dlx and i really liked the tough material that was used aswell as the well-thought out storage options. i expected the altitude to be kinda similar, but it doesn't meet my likings. the material is really soft (probably a way of reducing weight, but makes the pack really sack-like) and for example the goggle compartment makes me wonder if anyone thought about how practical usage of it would look like. when i put my avy gear in the front compartment, both the probe and the shovel handle push into the goggle compartment and reduce the available space to a minimum :/ i don't want to put my goggle in there unprotected.

my learning from this: never buy gear without checking it out in real life.
of course i could have sent it back, but then i would have had to wait even longer until i can use my abs pack. thankfully, there will be many more new zip on options in the next season (from what i've seen at ISPO).

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 Post subject: Re: My mini-review of the Dakine Altidude 40L ABS pack
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:41 pm
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Location: Zurich, Switzerland
That's really interesting. I don't know if they are using different materials on the 40L and 25L, I kind of doubt it. I'll just have to see how it holds up with use.

THe 40Ls google pocket is in the lid, where it kind of rests "inside" the helmet so no worries there.

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Trondh (Zurich, Switzerland)
Prior Fissile 172 split / Prior Swallowtail 172 split / Prior AMF 162 Split / Never Summer Premier F1 159


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 Post subject: Re: My mini-review of the Dakine Altidude 40L ABS pack
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:59 am
Posts: 10
Thanks for the review - I ordered the 40l before finding this - you're right, there's not much to read on the bag. Hopefully it will allow me to dip my toe into ABS units (they can be hired in Chamonix) but still have the storage that I want.


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 Post subject: Re: My mini-review of the Dakine Altidude 40L ABS pack
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:56 am
Posts: 21
Is it a true 40 liter pack? Seems a bit small. I have a Millet Pro Rider 18L pack which is quite roomy, but I´m looking for a bigger pack.

Currently I can take a
-2 liter camelback, put in between the base unit and the pack.
-0,5 liter drinking bottle (in case the camelback freezes)
-0,5 liter thermos bottle
-thin down jacket
-ski crampons, nested around skins.
-SLR with a decent objective (18-200)
-2 breads to eat and some candy bars
-spare gloves
-probe, shovel, some small parts

If I want to take rope(30m, 8mm) and a harness I have to leave the SLR and put the harness outside the pack. Same with crampons, I have to leave the SLR.

I´d like to fit all the aforementioned, including rope, harness, crampons and a thicker down jacket(no thin jacket then ofcourse). Is it doable?


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 Post subject: Re: My mini-review of the Dakine Altidude 40L ABS pack
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:41 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
Hard to say. It feels about as roomy as an Osprey 38, but I haven't measured it. I usually dont fill it up all that much, and the helmet goes inside the backpack instead of on the lid if I have room for it. But I don't feels it's any smaller than other 40l packs I've tried or owned.

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Trondh (Zurich, Switzerland)
Prior Fissile 172 split / Prior Swallowtail 172 split / Prior AMF 162 Split / Never Summer Premier F1 159


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