The Dakine Heli Pack is the smallest pack in the Dakine Heli range and is ideal for days on the piste or for shorter excursion into the back country. It features carry options for either skis or a board and enough capacity for essential including an external shovel carry. The low bulk and slim profile ensures this unobtrusive pack will not hinder any movement allowing you to ski freely.
The Heli Pack includes the classic Dakine fleece lined goggle pocket for added protection as well as an easily accessible main compartment for stashing essentials. Altogether a great robust pack that wont let you down.
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I'd been looking for a slim pack to use for lift-served skiing for a while, as a straight replacement for a K2 one I've had for years. I've used this one for a week. Back length is really good on me. I'm short (1.7 / 5'7") but have a long back for my height so I'd say it's medium. Space between shoulder straps was a bit narrow but I have climber's shoulders and get this on other packs too. I suspect they'll wear in OK. Interior organisation and shovel flap all work well with my BCA tour shovel & probe.
One of the features I was looking for was very clean lines, with nothing to snag on chairlifts - a weakness with the K2 - and the Heli absolutely hits the spot, with everything tucked away. Fully extended, the ski loop easily takes the tails of my Prophet 98s without splitting the skis to flatten the twin tip. I'm less convinced by the upper ski strap, where I found the way the skis pressed on the fastex buckle a bit worrying.
Where the Heli does lose out to the K2 is the waist belt - the hip wings are minimal and don't offer much support. It's basically a shoulder carry with a waist strap to keep it in place when skiing. I actually find this OK on such a small pack, just don't expect the 'wrap around' of some Ortovox and Mammut packs.
Overall, I really like this pack - 4.5 stars would be fair and a few tweaks would make it a 5.
Excellent bag, great quality, roomy, sturdy but slim and not too bulky. The only thing I would say is it doesn't have many pocket / compartments inside, but that's the trade off you take for having a slimmer pack and not looking like you're wearing an armadillo shell!
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