DAKINE HOT LAPS 2L HIP PACK REVIEW
Words by Robert Johnston | Photos by Dusten Ryen
Dakine has been making their Hot Laps “Bike Waist Bag” series since 2018, adding some models and refinements along the way for riders looking for a hip pack to carry the essentials on their rides. The Hot Laps 2L sits in the middle of their fanny pack lineup, which begins with the Hot Laps Stealth and 1L, and tops out at the Hot Laps 5L lumbar pack. The Hot Laps 2L is a versatile pack that’s capable of sustaining reasonable length rides, so was surely going to be the perfect item for our typical daily shredding. Read on to find out how it’s been performing.
Dakine’s Hot Laps 2L Bike Waist Bag is designed to be a sleek offering, but offers lots of adaptability to allow it to grow and transport more than the 2L size would suggest. The exterior of the pack is made from a 450D ripstop fabric made from recycled polyester (rPET) to offer impressive durability without being overly heavy at 300g unladen. There’s a breathable padded airmesh that sits against your body, with a slightly stretchy strap around the front that secures with a buckle.
The volume of the main portion of this Hot Laps pack is 2L, letting you comfortably transport enough snacks, tools and spares to sustain a few hours out on the hill. Within this main compartment are multiple dividers and some elastic straps to help to keep things secure and organized when riding hard. There’s a padded fleece-lined pocket that’s ideal for storing your phone or eyewear, with an easy-access zip on the top. Each flank receives a bottle holder that can be collapsed when not in use for a lower profile, cleaner looking pack; and extra security is provided by an elastic toggle to hook onto the nozzle of the bottle and prevent it from falling out. On the outside there are webbing loops to attach gear to, as well as adjustable straps to secure pads or a jacket with.
Dakine offers the Hot Laps 2L hip pack in a variety of different colors and designs, with the standard price of $55, or $60 for the “Evolution” colorway tested.
If I’m going to carry a pack with me on a ride, you can bet I’m going to try and cover as many bases as I can to justify the extra heat and minor discomfort (compared to not wearing one) that it’ll bring. At the same time though, I love a minimalist and free feeling when I ride, and so value the smallest and lightest weight setup that I can get away with. A tough balance to manage, the Hot Laps 2L has proven to be just the ticket for my rides lately, offering a comfortable and relatively lightweight setup in which I’ve managed to pack all of what I consider to be essential carry items for rides longer than a “quick rip”. That constitutes a basic medical kit, tire pump and plugs, spare lightweight tube, multitool, zip ties, quick link, small gorilla tape, and a handful of snack bars. On the outside I’ll run one or two bottles depending on the ride plans.
The Dakine Hot Laps 2L Bike Waist Bag manages to house all of these items (albeit at a stretch) without giving away that it’s over packed, and provided the strap is done tight enough it stays put impressively well. The inside dividers are reasonably effective, though some of the internal pockets can be somewhat difficult to access when the pack is reaching capacity, and the pump loops positioning means the pump blocks entry to the portion closest to the back of the main pocket. It’s considerably less of an issue when the Dakine Waist Bag is packed more conservatively, and given the overall low profile it’s a reasonable layout.
The bottle holders are excellent, and though they can leave the bottle protruding a little and in harm’s way through tight tree-lined runs, the execution overall is excellent. The bottle never fell out throughout testing, and the pocket collapses neatly when not in use to remove any real indication that there’s the option to carry a bottle. Whether zero, one or two bottles were added to the pack, it managed to stay put well on the back and avoided feeling overly imbalanced. Similarly, the gear loops on the outside happily carried a set of knee pads or helmet chin bar without disturbing the fit of the pack, but you’ve got to be careful not to let these catch your rear tire or saddle on dynamic movements as they can end up hanging fairly low.
The breathable padded mesh does a stellar job at keeping things comfortable, and though you can certainly feel it there, it doesn’t add an unbearable amount of heat. Over many sweaty rides it’s managed to avoid picking up any smell, so there’s clearly some form of antimicrobial property to it, which is a nice touch. The material is very durable elsewhere and isn’t showing any sign of fraying or deterioration thus far, so it’s clearly a pack in it for the long haul, and I’m looking forward to using this Dakine pack for many rides in the future.
The Wolf’s Last Word
The Dakine Hot Laps 2L Bike Waist Bag is an excellent option for shorter rides without compromising on the essentials to cover you for most eventualities. Comfortable, sleek, durable and well considered, it’s an excellent option in the hip pack market, with a reasonable price to make it all the sweeter.
Price: $55 – $60