See how the 70L DAKINE Descent Bike Duffle handles our MTB gear!
Words and Photos: Mike Blewitt
I'll admit that I have never been a wheelie suitcase sort of guy. I used to scoff at riders who would turn up to race weekends with a mini wheelie suitcase that represented the order and clarity that their life had. I tended to use a duffle bag, or worse, a couple of backpacks, with a whole assortment of items thrown in rather haphazardly. On a deeper level I realised how my packing style represented where I was in life at the time.
Move on a decade or so and I still opt for duffle bag for most weekends away riding, or major trips overseas. They are light, squish into gaps beside my bike box in the car for the airport run, and they tend to be easier to deal with compared to a full clam-shell opening big suitcase. Yes, I often wish I had wheels on my bag, but not often enough.
A closer look
Dakine have a huge range of luggage, but their Descent Bike Duffle is a winner if you're looking for a bag for a short trip away. The main pocket is cavernous, but it's the addition of internal sleeves, a key clip, two internal zippered pockets, a divider and elasticated accessory holders that really help for sorting the myriad of bike gear you need for even a short trip. Oh, and there is a bottle opener too! There's a zippered side compartment that is ideal for shoes, complete with a fold out pad to stand on while you put your bike shoes on. On to there is a pocket that sits above the main compartment. Add two stash straps to the side and some webbing for attaching extras, plus a haul handle and twin carry straps and this thing is full of features. Make it all from 600D ripstop polyester with a water repellant finish and you'll have it for a while.
Packing up the Dakine Descent Bike Duffle
The 70L bag volume is perfect for shoes, a helmet (full or open face), riding gear, knee pads, spares, eyewear and probably a towel and some toiletries and casual clothes. Now, if you use an open face and don't wear guards, you can probably fit even more.
Compared to a normal duffle bag this allows far more organisation, and thanks to the wide opening main zip, everything is laid out in front of you. So this is an ideal bag not just for a weekend away, but also a drive to the trails. You could store everything in the bag and be good to go once at the trail head, especially if you don't like driving to and from the trails in kit.
As a 70L bag it also works beyond the specific bike realm. This is easy to use as a regular piece of luggage if you are packing up light and have all your bike gear in a bike bag. The internal divider lays flat and you end up with a useful duffle bag to serve it's mountain bike specific purpose once you get to your destination.
If there are any downsides it would be the black colour on the inside making it harder to see small items in a rush, and the limits of a 70L bag. Once you have your gear in there it is tempting to use it for anything else you might need to take for a trip away, but if if you're heading anywhere cold or wet, or away for a long time, you'll come up against the 70L volume pretty quickly. As it is, it's a really useful piece of luggage, being light, well-made and high on features.
- Lightweight and organised
- Well-made with great features
- A one stop gear hauler for day or weekend trips
- Could use a highlight fabric inside