OGIO DAKAR 3L HYDRATION PACK
— Testing a worthy trail accessory —
Water isn’t our favorite liquid to consume, but it is the most important and absolutely required to stay alive and keep having fun. Our favorite rides are long, all-day adventures over trails that are rarely explored and far away from camp. We require storage for tools, food and gear, with water required to stay hydrated. Ogio has a great hydration pack called Dakar with a 3-liter water bladder incorporated into it for $129.99. We picked one up and spent multiple ride days testing it.
WHAT YOU NEED
This hydration pack is filled with a ton of features. Comfort and fitment are usually the most stressed-over parts of a pack. It could contain great storage, but if it doesn’t fit well, then it won’t get used much. The Dakar has a very adjustable strap setup with one quick-release buckle across the chest and one buckle on each lower strap. The chest straps come with one adjustment point with strap keepers. The hydration hose runs through one strap keeper and connects to a built-in clip so it is easily accessible while riding. Each lower strap has two adjustment points. You can lengthen the straps by changing it to connect to the upper point, and then fine-tune it with a lower adjustable clasp. Padding and air channels are built into the part of the Dakar that rests on your back.
The first zippered pocket has hard-shell protection. Once opened, the main part of the pocket is deep. There are three different zippered compartments and one open divider inside. Ogio designed in a key hook, and there are two adjustable straps that can be connected to buckles on the outside of the pack. This is to fit larger items, like your riding jacket. The bottom of this big pocket does have air holes that are open to the elements, so be sure to not stick small items in any of the pockets that aren’t zippered.
Moving up, the next compartment is a zippered and felt-lined pocket that can hold large cell phones and sun glasses. Beyond that is the largest compartment. It can easily fit tools, your food for the ride and more. On the sides of the pack are one small zippered pocket and another with an elastic closure system.
The final large pocket holds the 3-liter water bladder. The bladder has a hard plastic piece that runs from the hose insertion point up to the plastic filler port. There is a quick-hose disconnect, and two clasps keep the fill opening firmly closed. This Ogio has a Velcro strap that attaches to the bladder to keep it in place while riding. Finally, there is an insulated cooler fabric lining that is claimed to keep liquid cold 30-percent longer.
We are pleased that many more companies are gravitating towards the center clasp design that pulls the straps further away from your shoulders and arms. The fitment doesn’t hinder our range of motion, and multiple riders were able to adjust the Dakar hydration pack to fit them comfortably. We stuffed more than enough items in the pack for simple trail repairs, a spare jacket, a lunch with extra snacks, the bladder 3 liters full, and our keys, wallet and phone included. While the Dakar was weighed down a lot, the straps didn’t pull too hard on our chest. It remained comfortable, and the air flow around our back on a hot day was very pleasant. The price of $129.99 seems more than reasonable for a hydration pack with this many features! Go to www.ogio.com to check out their full lineup of packs and cargo systems.