Dakine Enduro Hip Pack: Defended

Not just for Rollerblading anymore

Words by Pete Roggeman. Photos by As noted.. Video by . Posted by
July 22nd, 2014

Music with too much synth. High-waisted jeans. Neon. Terrible haircuts. Fanny packs. If you added rollerblading in spandex, we’d be talking about the 80s, but it’s 2014 and you could throw your old Pet Rock down any busy street and hit someone flaunting all of those things, oblivious to their many crimes.

Except that we’ve learned a thing or two from our layer-haired precursors of 30 years ago. Music is probably no more timeless, although neon is used more discriminately. High-waisted jeans? Women of the world, please just stop doing that to yourselves. But the fanny pack is back, and before we go further, we’re going to stop calling it that. And by we I don’t mean ‘we’ in the weird way that writers refer to themselves in the 2nd person, but rather me, you, and everyone else. Do you even know what a fanny is? Let’s forever after refer to it as a Hip Pack.

So hip packs have come to mountain biking. At first I wanted to make it rain with insults falling on anyone wearing one, but I decided to bite my tongue and save my energy for tearing down hipster hairstyles instead. Then Dakine sent us their Enduro Hip Pack 9L and I was no longer able to stay on the sidelines.

Dakine_Enduro_Hip_Pack 001

It may seem a stretch to claim that this pack can carry 9 litres of cargo, but I believe it. The main compartment is ample and contains two elasticized pouch-style pockets, a velcro loop for a pump (not shown – I went with CO2 on this ride instead), and a large zip pocket – it’s easy to keep things organized. Photo: Pete Roggeman

Like most of you I’d rather not have to wear a pack when riding but didn’t feel I had much choice in the past. Fancy ventilation or not, your back will get sweaty, it will shift around especially as the trail drops away from you, and who wouldn’t prefer to ride without shoulder straps tugging at them? For most of the year in the PNW you need a jacket with you, and for the other 2 weeks it’s hot and you’ll want a lot of water along, at least for any ride over 2 hours.

True, there are rides where a pack is simply the right tool: lots of liquid, extra gloves, two tubes…whatever you feel you need. The thing is that a lot of my rides are 2 hours or less, I often wear a jacket the whole time or bring a compact one just in case, and if I’m not dehydrated to start with, one bottle is good enough since I usually slam one before the ride starts. And I’d wager a mix tape of 80s hair band classics that most of you are the same.

Ironically, what kept me from using the Dakine Enduro Hip Pack more often is that it wouldn’t play nice with my roof-mounted bike rack, which grabs the down tube right where a bottle cage would sit. Thanks to a rack change, the hip pack is back in play and I’m really happy about it. You could fit a regular 12 oz. bottle in the main pocket but it wouldn’t be easy enough to access, although a spare bottle in there would be fair game for longer or hotter rides.

The waist strap is wide and snugs down with two straps that face forward, so you can cinch it while pedaling if needed – but if you get it sitting right before you start your ride, you’ll never have to touch it again. And while a bit of sweat will build up behind it, it’s a much smaller backprint than the smallest hydration pack, so go ahead and enjoy the wind flowing through your jersey, and the lack of straps on your shoulders. Five stars for fit.

Dakine_Enduro_Hip_Pack 002

Two hip pockets are my favourite feature, putting a multi-tool, phone, and a gel within easy reach while on the bike. The outer main zip pocket is perfect for a wallet or extra food – you could squeeze a sandwich in there if you needed to. Photo: Cam McRae


As modeled by Nathan Riddle: even when full, the Dakine Enduro Hip Pack stays in place and doesn’t swing around. Yes, you can fit a compact jacket in there. Or your goggles, EnduroBoy. Photo: Morgan Taylor


The Dakine Enduro Hip Pack 9l is available in Black, Hood (with subtle topo detail of Mt. Hood from Dakine’s home state of Oregon), and Camo.

The Dakine Enduro Hip Pack 9L retails for $54.95 CAD / $50.00 USD

Fanny packs Hip Packs: Yay or Nay?


  • ItsAFannyPack

    I actually ride with something like this on my short rides. But if you’re gonna rock one of these you have to give up and just get shameless. No matter how hard you try and re-brand it, they will always be fanny packs. That being said, I like my fanny pack. For rides under 2 hours it carries a sufficient amount of gear and is much more inconspicuous than my normal bag.

  • Mike MacKinnon

    just like in the world of clothing . fashion and trends go in circles . when i started riding back in the early 90,s it was water bottles and hip/fanny paks , not to mention frame bags and under seat bags which are making a comeback as well . nothing new just a modern design and look

  • Walleater

    ‘Enduro’ is creating some great bikes, but some of the fashion is hilarious. As an aside, if it’s not a FANNY pack, it’s a bum bag. To it’s credit it does look like there is plenty of room for some enduro specific sandals.

  • Oldfart

    Not even close to convinced that these are a good idea. I feel cut in half already with a bouncing appendage strapped on. A belt pack would be OK with only a few lightweight things inside but 9 liters with say tools and stuff and a jacket? No thanks. been there done that.

    • Dakine’s version has a thick waist belt, so even when full, it stays in place nicely – pinned against your back rather than floating and bouncing around.

      • andy eunson

        Nope. Looking at the photos above the belt is about 3 cm? I used lots of different bum bags since the 70’s for skiing. While skiing I only needed wax and a cork and maybe a little food so it was small and light. Later I tried it for mountain biking and commuting. I am judging from personal experience that a bum bag is only good for light loads. I think they look just fine. I have a really nice Arcteryx bum bag with an external bottle holder. A bottle being all cantilevered out back bounces so I have to cinch the waist belt and load stabilizers it tightly or else it will bounce. Tight waist belts restrict breathing. Bum bags with any weight ion them other than super light, don’t work well.

        We went through this in the 80’s with large lumbar bags with actual shoulder straps to stabilize the load.

  • Raymond Epstein

    The problem I have with this one is that one thing that would really a benefit for it to carry, a spare bottle, it does not. Many bikes, Endor-O or whatever have bottle mounts in less than desirable locations if at all. The fanny pack (yeah, it’s a fanny pack) from Osprey actually has bottles included.

  • muldman

    Nay. Might as well just run a huge saddle bag.

  • avsolrac

    back in the mid 80’s to 90’s this was all i wore. the average person is a 2 hour ride. i’ve tried back packs for the last few year, but always drifted back to fanny pack. smaller and more convenient. can carry my keys and and minimal gear as needed, especially when riding in the WBP. i agree i think the dakine can use an extra bttole carrier due to its 9ltr size. would for those wanting to go loner or with out a frame mount cage. my preference woudl be that dakine makes a smaller “waist pack”. especially for those fashon conscience persons who would want to try and hide it under their jerseys.

  • tashi

    Amazing. I can’t wait for the seat bag/jersey pocket combo that I still use to be rebranded next. Derp.

  • Agleck7

    I like the idea and have tried em for shorter rides. Maybe I need to do more core work but any substantial weight focused there gets uncomfortable. A well fitting pack is way more comfortable to me, even if overkill for short rides. Thinking the SWAT bibs could be the ticket though.

  • Funny how words can mean completely different things in different places, lol.

  • Rosiu

    Hi there, I’ve got one question. What is the length of the belt. I need to know if I can squeeze myself into it before buying one.