Tested : Ben’s DaKine Syncline 12L Hydration Pack Review.

DaKine have waded into the highly competitive hydration pack market with their Syncline range and Ben has put the 12L version to the test.

Ben has been testing the smaller of two sized DaKine Syncline hydration packs, the 12 litre, that comes fitted with a 3 litre Hydrapak bladder and will accept a CE-certified back protector.

Key features:

  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • 3L Hydrapak lumbar reservoir
  • quick disconnect
  • High-flow Blaster bite valve with shut-off
  • Magnetic hydration hose clip
  • Breathable Air Flow backpanel and shoulder straps
  • DK Impact CE-certified spine protector compatible (not included)
  • £90.00 RRP including bladder
  • DaKine.com

Whilst we all enjoy riding without a pack, sometimes the distance or conditions mean that it’s necessary. A mid-sized pack like the Syncline needs to carry your water, spares, snacks and clothing whilst being comfy and stable for all day missions.

The Syncline 12L pack from DaKine is packed full of features and has an unusual layout. It also comes with a 3L Hydrapak water reservoir that is held low in the pack similar to Camelbak’s lumbar reservoirs.

12 litres of storage is split between a front compartment with organiser pockets for tools and spares and a larger area ideal for a jacket and a cheese sandwich. It also has a soft pocket for your glasses or phone and elasticated side pockets for some snacks or even an extra bottle if needed.

Stans Flow EX3Stans flow EX3

After a couple of rides of forgetting where I packed stuff I quickly found myself appreciating the layout of the DaKine pack. The tools are easily accessed by two front zips and it was easy to organise your gear so it would not move around or rattle. This layout also keeps hard items like pumps away from your spine which can only be a good thing if you fall off. On that note this pack is also compatible with a spine protector that DaKine sell separately.

The Hydrapak reservoir is easy to refill and clean, thanks to the quick release hose and wide opening. Water flow is on par with other packs I have tried and the hose is secured with a magnet like on Osprey packs.

What do we think?

Overall this is a very well made piece of kit that I am confident should last a long time. It is secure on your back, very adjustable, and has plenty of features that will make riding with it easy and comfortable. I like having the weight of the water down low in a lumbar reservoir and find that it is more stable than normal reservoirs when riding the steepest and most demanding terrain.

If you need a mid-sized pack then the DaKine Syncline 12L is a highly functional and good quality option.

We love

  • Layout of storage areas
  • Quality construction
  • Lumbar reservoir

Could do better

  • I don’t like the brown clips and buckles.

You can check out the full DaKine Syncline range over on their website here.

Read all our reviews over on our Gear page here.


Thanks for sharing! Why not follow us for more content just like this?