Words: John Stifter
Today marks the halfway point of the month of May. Which means we're only two weeks out from the kick off to summer and that it's prime season for biking to work. Which means I'm searching to find the ideal commuter pack.
Dakine's latest offering, the Vault, is the answer for my needs. Hitting shops in June, the spacious pack combines the look and function of a traditional backpack with a messenger bag. Complete with a padded sleeve that accommodates a 17-inch MacBook Pro, I can fit my notebooks, magazines, a few books, a Tupperware of leftover quinoa, and my formal work attire of a T-shirt and jeans. Furthermore, the fold-over flap cover with double clips can easily fit a pair of Sauconys. One the side, a zip-out mesh water bottle slot with a cinch holds a coffee mug or water container quite sung. Three spacious pockets hold the requisite residuals--for instance, the pocket on the outside easily fits my MacBook power cord, external hard drive, and other iThis wires.
My only gripes start with a slim fitting sunglass pocket case on the opposite side of the water bottle mesh zip out. Sunglasses fit, but it's a tight slot. Additionally, although I like the fold-over flap for its increased space and messenger bag look, contents inside could be compromised by rain due to a slight opening where the flap doesn't cover the sides of the frame. But there are side straps you can tighten to mitigate that opening and ensure full enclosure.
Regardless, this is the best commuter pack I've owned: it looks damn good and it sits high enough on my back for ergonomic comfort and function. Summer commutes have never been better.