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Review: Klymit Dash-10 and Dash-30

It's been a while since I've posted a proper blog entry. It's not because I'm bored or lazy; rather I've been enjoying the Google+ format. It reminds me of a time when I read an article about "getting your way with executives". Anyway...

I have a love/hate relationship with Klymit. They make or sell hiking gear including inflatable pillows, inflatable mattresses, backpacks with inflatable "air frame", and sleeping bags. For the most part I like their pillows and mattresses. Now that I have several; only the Static V Junior is a problem. The valve seems to leak unlike the screw valve. But the real hate comes from the Stash-18.

The Stash-18

  • I only recently read that it is a runner's pack. I disagree. If you want a runner's pack then you need to look at Ultimate Direction. So this is a push.
  • The top of the main compartment is a cinch. If it rains the contents are getting wet.
  • there are no side pockets or shoulder strap pockets so carrying water means 3rd party strap pockets or a hydration bag.
  • The sternum straps seemed less functional and needed adjustment in order to access my water.
That's when I saw the Dash-10.
  • It is 10L instead of 18L. That's not much for a day hike so long as the kit you bring is limited to the bare essentials for "survival"
  • One great feature is the shoulder strap pockets.
  • A feature most runners want is something to keep the pack's contents from bouncing around. This pack has shock cord on both sides
  • Compared to the Stash-18 the shoulder strap connects to the bottom of the pack and about 1/3 the way from the bottom.
  • The materials include two different grey colors
The Dash-30 is similar to the Dash-10
  • Look closely at the pictures. The 30 has a cinch but it also has a flap that covers the hole.
  • It also has a buckle that keeps the top in place.
  • Instead of shock cord for compression they used 5mm webbing.
  • instead of one sternum strap the Dash-30 has 2 which are on a glide similar to other more expensive packs.
  • The pocket on the front seems larger
  • There is a stretch pocket on the inside that appears to be intended for a hydration pouch. While I did not notice it at first the flap attached to the cinch has a water-drop stencil and a small port.
Overall the Dash-10 and Dash-30 seem to share many cues and the 30 has a few more features. Flat they look very similar in volume but I think that's an illusion because it's missing the depth.

If I had to buy another hydration bag I'd get an osprey. Several models have a rigid feature.

One feature all of these packs have in common is the airframe which gives the frame a shape. The videos say that it can be used as a sit pad or a pillow but I'm not sure I want to tear apart the pack to get to it every night.

On thing that I would consider a killer feature is the customer service. My Dash-10 had a manufacturing defect and while we were talking the rep offered the Dash-30 as a replacement. I have been looking forward to receiving the pack that I almost requested a second.

PS: one thing I did not like about the Stash model was that the black material made it difficult to see inside the pack. I liked the orange because the color reflected the light and I did not have to dump my pack to see inside.


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