The Dakine Poacher RAS 36L is a well featured 36 litre ski pack that is ideal for backcountry touring. Dakine RAS packs are compatible with the Mammut Removable Airbag System 3.0 which will provide you with additional security from avalanches if installed. If you wish to purchase a Mammut 3.0 Airbag to go with your pack then please do call us on 01943 870550. If you already own a Mammut 3.0 RAS airbag then it is very easy to move the airbag between packs.
A large front pocket is compartmentalised for your avalanche safety equipment, with glove compatible zip pulls it enables fast access in an emergency situation. The main compartment is accessible through the top zip and via the back zipped panel, this makes it easy to pack and allows, once again, quick access whilst you're out on the mountain. The air bag compartment is situated on the top of the pack, by not using a zip, the RollTop closure simplifies the bag deployment design making it faster, more reliable and re useable. The back panel and shoulder straps are breathable and shaped for enhancing wearer comfort, a DaKine Impact Spine Protector can be purchased to fit the Poacher RAS 36L to further enhance the back protection.
Skis can be carried in an A-frame or diagonally on the pack and snowboards are carried vertically. A chest strap keeps the back stabilised along with a padded hip belt. To keep your googles or sunglasses safe and protected from scratches there is a fleece lined pocket for them. Side pockets are suitable for stowing hats and gloves in and side compression straps allow you to pull the pack closer to your back when its not fully loaded. Other handy features on the Poacher RAS 36L include a stowable helmet carry system, a quick draw ice axe loop suitable for carrying a single ice axe, a zipped hip belt pocket and an insulated sleeve for your water hydration systems hose.
After thorough on-line research of spec, reviews & Youtube, I decided Dakine was the best for me. I have other Dakine bags and gear. Their kit is always well designed and strong with a lot of attention to technical detail from the user perspective.
Good pocket size & placement. Very good straps for carrying board or skis. Retractable helmet net. Tall enough to get shovel, probe & Z ski poles inside the bag so nothing has to be outside. The side pocket is ideal for a bottle. Compression straps tighten beyond the zips so as not to stress the zips - something that worried me with the Ortovox bags.
I purchased the 26L and 36L RAS Poachers so that I could trial pack them both with full BC touring & split board kit and also compare the compressed size when empty. The compression is so good that the compacted sizes are almost the same so I kept the 36L bag and returned the 26L (Great service Facewest.) Note that Dakine is generous and 36L means more than 36L usable volume unlike some other brands which are smaller and include the gas and airbag in their quoted sizes. The right shoulder strap has protected zip pocket for hydration tube and/or radio. Some other brands don't have this.
A couple of limitations to note:
(1) the back protector (optional extra) fits into the water bladder pocket so not much space left for water
(2) the tube routing is tight to fit each morning and fully opening the main pocket bends the tube back. Also, I once left the zips in the wrong position (i.e. the middle of the top) and they opened themselves when I had a few tumbles.
Other guys in my group have other brands and the view is than the Dakine is the best kit.
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