Klymit Dash 10

The Klymit Dash 10 is a well appointed daypack or overnight fast-pack. It is elegantly designed and competitively priced, though this reviewer had some issues with its durability.

klymit dash 10

klymit dash 10
Taking the Dash 10 for a early winter climb up Desolation Wilderness’ Pyramid Peak

Features

Air Frame

Hiking backpacks typically come in two varieties: soft frame and hard frame. The Air Frame is a hybrid approach. The backpack has an inflatable air bladder that sits between the wearer’s back and main compartment. The bladder can be inflated with a small squeeze bulb pump hidden in the righthand shoulder strap.

klymit dash 10 bladder
The Air Frame, removed from the pack.

The idea is sound for higher capacity backpacks but I found it unnecessary for the Dash, a 10L pack. A full water bladder provides a similar cushion, and a well packed 10L load should not require additional support (typically clothing and soft sleeping gear). The Air Frame would be useful for an especially heavy load (perhaps climbing gear) or an especially long outing.

If the Air Frame isn’t for you, it is easily removable: open the velcro pocket containing the Air Frame, unhook the squeeze bulb, and thread the hose out.

Pockets

The Klymit Dash 10 is advertised as a 10L pack but carries gear like a 20L pack.

I’m not sure whether this is because most of that volume is in a single deep main compartment or because the advertised volume is a little conservative.

klymit dash 10
The Dash 10 sitting next to the Patagonia Fore Runner, also advertised as a 10L pack.

 

Either way, I couldn’t stop gushing about my love for the form factor of the Dash 10. It easily swallows an overnight kit or technical day’s worth of gear without having to strap anything to the outside. The drawstring closure on the top of the pack was easy to use, durable, and water-resistant. Check out the “Capacity” section below to get a sense of what this pack can hold.

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Behind the main compartment is an additional flat, full-width, half-height pocket that’s perfect for quick-access gear like a map, headlamp, or pocket knife.

On the shoulder straps are two spacious elastic-drawstring pockets for water bottles or even-quicker-access gear, like a cell phone, camera, and snacks.

Above those chest pockets are two small velcro-ed pockets, one of which is occupied by the Air Frame squeeze-bulb (if not removed) and the other is open for other small pieces of gear, like keys.

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Material

I had the good fortune of getting caught in a wild rainstorm in Ventana while using this pack and was very pleasantly surprised by how dry it kept my gear.

Durability

It is hard to draw conclusions from a sample size of one, but I had some small issues with the durability of the Dash 10.

The double sternum straps are attached along a runner, so their vertical position can be adjusted. Unfortunately, the straps are prone to sliding off the ends of the runners and, once off, are difficult to reattach, especially for cold and tired hands. I lost one half of a sternum strap this way while hiking up a particularly cold mountain and was unable to reattach it on the spot. Back at home the following week, I was still unable to reattach it.

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I also had one end of one the shoulder strap pocket drawstrings come unfastened during one of my first outings with the pack.

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I would think both of these problems would be covered under warranty.

Running Stability

Even with one of the two sternum straps missing, I found this pack exceptionally stable while running or hiking, even while carrying big loads.

Capacity

Winter Hiking

  • ice axe (attached to outside)
  • crampons
  • heavy down jacket
  • waterproof shell
  • running tights
  • camp stove & pots
  • gloves
  • warm hat
  • 1 day of food
  • 2 liters of water

Fastpacking (California Winter)

  • lightweight sleeping bag
  • lightweight sleeping pad
  • camp stove & pots
  • light down jacket
  • waterproof shell
  • 2 – 3 days of food
  • 2 liters of water

Stats

  • Price: $89.95
  • Weight: 15.9 oz/451 g
  • Volume: 10 L
  • Load Rating: 15.5 lbs / 7 kg
  • Fabric: 210D Nylon

Highlights

  • great price for a full-featured fastback, $89.95
  • huge main compartment volume (more than 10L?)
  • huge chest pockets for water bottles, snacks, phone, or other gear
  • large and stylish reflectors on front and back
  • double sternum straps to keep pack snug and stable

Lowlights

  • poor durability
  • doesn’t come with a hydration bladder

Conclusion

The Dash 10 is a great choice for anyone looking for a slightly larger technical pack at a great price. Its large main compartment can hold surprisingly large loads while sitting stably during a bumpy run. Despite the Air Frame being a little over-engineered and some buckles/straps being a little under-engineered, I really enjoy using the Dash 10 for overnight adventures and cold-weather hikes.

Buy the Klymit Dash 10 here!

If you’d like to purchase the Klymit Dash 10 pack, please consider using this link.  It’s an Amazon affiliate link and a few nickels will drop into the URP coffers. Thanks!


About the author

Like this review? Lucas has also reviewed the UltraSpire Zygos here and the Ultimate Direction FastPack 30 here. He’s a 23 year old ultrarunner, mountaineer, and software engineer at Mapbox. Find him on Twitter at @lucaswoj.

Disclaimer: This pack was provided to URP/Lucas for review purposes. All words, thoughts, and pictures are our own.

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