Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Klymit Dash 18 and 30

Being a UL hiker (SUL is stupid expensive) I tend to use smaller packs. I also tend to use fewer pockets because what I really need is bags whether they are ziplock, compression sack or contractor bags.
Dash 18 over Dash 30

When I started making UL gear decisions I went to the Klymit 18. At the time I still had too much gear and the 18 was only good for day hiking although having to stop and pull a bottle from the pack was a pain. It was also demanding to remember to make more water because I almost had to empty my pack.

Later I bought the yellow Dash 18 and it was awesome to be able to see inside the pack. Keep in mind that my packs was still full so being able to see inside it is kinda meaningless. Of course you can still make an argument for or against visibility vs dry time. Not to mention that when I kept my water in the black Dash 18 it was always tepid.
Dash 30 cinch

As I continued to transition I bought different packs only to find a Dash 30 was being manufactured for MassDrop and Klymit sold me one from the overrun. The 30 is a great pack because they added shoulder pockets that could carry a 1L Smartwater bottle although a 750ml was better. In addition to the extra volume and a larger zippered pocket there was a flap over the drawstring opening. Unfortunately the material used in the upper was weak and the coating would peal and weather after just a few hikes. Klymit customer service replaced the pack. Unfortunately the same thing happened to the second pack. If memory serves they offered to replace it again but I declined because I'm certain it would happen again.
Dash 18 air frame visible

If you're not familiar with the Klymit Dash it uses an inflatable frame similar to their sleeping pads. Recently one of the inflation/deflation valves malfunctioned and had to be replaced. A quick call to customer service and they replaced the valve which I installed. I wish that was the end of the story but it's not. The frame does not keep inflated and while it's a quick few pumps to inflate I feel like I need something more reliable; furthermore I've come to depend on the shoulder pockets.
air frame removed

One other lesson I've learned is that it is possible to be UL and cheap at the same time. You have to pick wisely and be able to live with some discomfort.

Dash 30 shoulder straps. (air frame for contrast)





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