The Dakine Shuttle 6L is designed for carrying the essentials and a good amount of fluids during short rides. It’s light, carries weight well and can hold a surprising amount, however, there are just a few niggles that hold it back from a perfect score.
The Dakine Shuttle 6L is a simple bag. You get three pockets: one at the front that's great for tools, snacks and spares; a goggle/sunglasses pocket, which actually works extremely well for phones; and the main pocket which has a pouch for your mini pump, space for a small jacket and a two-litre bladder.
The straps are thin and there’s not much in the way of padding, but in the case of the Shuttle, there’s not much need for padding as it’s so small and light.
Instead, Dakine has opted for airflow when designing the straps, and they do an excellent job. And because there’s little rigidity to them, they conform to the body really well, making for a very comfortable bag.
You get a clip for the drinks hose, though on previous models it was a magnet – I'm disappointed to see it gone. While the clip works okay, it can get fiddly and the hose is liable to fall out over rough terrain. The magnetic catch was far more secure.
The main straps include a waist buckle, and the chest strap comes with a whistle in case the worst happens or the mid-ride break calls for a ballad. There’s a niggle with the waist buckle though – it creaks. I first thought it was my pedal or something, but with every breath I took, the buckle seized its chance to show off its own song.
Where the bag contacts your back, Dakine has built-in a mesh panel to encourage a bit of airflow and ease evaporation. Because it doesn’t really hold the pack away from your back directly, it still gets sweaty, however. Still, that's the trade off with a light, simple design.
This aside, the Shuttle is an excellent bag. It holds weight incredibly well, for a start – you can brim it with water and maintenance goodies and the weight never becomes a hindrance, staying comfortable, secure and well displaced across your back.
Because the pockets (apart from the goggle stash) follow the full length of the bag , you can stow a surprising amount of kit. So much so that I'm happy riding with this bag on long days, so long as are chances to refill the bladder.
Going back to the goggle/sunglasses pocket, you'll be lucky to fit a pair of specs in, never mind goggles, but you can happily slip a phone in so it’s not entirely redundant.
The two-litre Hydrapak reservoir comes with a lifetime warranty. Having used the warranty more than once before, I can absolutely vouch for it. Within a week of contacting them about my old leaky bladder (in the bag, people – in the bag), I’ve had a replacement through my front door.
If you’re looking for a bag that’s perfect for two-hour jaunts yet can stretch to longer, the Dakine Shuttle 6L is great. It’s comfortable, holds a surprising amount of kit and comes both in this understated design and far louder colour schemes. It’s not without its niggles – the hose clip, the goggle pocket and the potential warmth – but they're easily overlooked among its many positives.
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