I’m always readjusting my preferences on travel gear, especially those items I use a log, like bags. Some folks prefer totes and rollaboards. Others like backpacks and duffels. I have to confess that I’m not firmly in any camp, but choose my bag depending on the trip.
On a recent trip in Sweden, my luggage consisted of the Dakine Infinity Pack 21L Backpack and the Dakine Cyclone Duffel 60L Bag.
The Infinity Pack is equally good for travel and for your daily commute. It’s a top-loader that has a magnetic fold-over top with a full-length zipper. The main compartment is a big open space for stashing anything from a change of clothes to a huge DSLR to things to keep you entertained and comfortable on your flight. A separate compartment for your electronics has a neoprene laptop sleeve (that fits most 17-inch laptops), fleece-lined tablet sleeve, and two zippered organizer pockets for whatever you want. If you’re extremely organized, you might use them for power cords and other electronic accessories.
That’s not where the pockets stop, though. There’s a fleece-lined sunglass pocket, two external zippered pockets, one external stash pocket, and two expandable side pockets. The bottom panel is even padded to protect your gear is you accidentally set your pack down roughly. The backpanel and shoulder straps have breathable air mesh and ergonomic foam—making the pack comfortable to wear all day if you need to.
I brought the Cyclone Duffel along because I was going to be on and in boats a lot, and you can’t always guarantee that your bag won’t get wet. I’ve previously reviewed Dakine’s Cyclone II Dry Pack 36L Backpack, and this duffel comes from the same Cyclone family, with waterproof welded construction and coated Cordura Ripstop. The 2-way purge valve is my favorite feature, so you don’t have to roll and unroll the duffel a bunch of times before you can get all the air out.
The removable padded backpack straps also function as shoulder tote straps, which is good because if you’re already wearing a backpack, it’s a little hard to wear the duffel as one, too. But they’re super comfortable and easy to assemble with quick-release Fidlock magnetic buckles.
The Dakine Infinity Pack 21L Backpack comes in two colors: squall (black) and Ready 2 Roll (a peachy apricot color). While I’m always a fan of black gear, I like the Ready 2 Roll style because it’s 1000D nylon and cotton blend with DWR coating, and the bottom of the pack is 420D Hypatex rubberized material. All that means it’s hardcore and extremely curable. The squall version lists for $100 and the Ready 2 Roll version lists for $110 on the Dakine site.
The Dakine Cyclone Duffel 60L Bag comes in black, period. It lists for $160 on the Dakine site.