Dynafit Denali 42L ReviewAugust 24, 2014
- Best back-panel-and-hip-belt fit of any pack I tested this season
- Most versatile hydration options in its class
- Loved the option to remove the bottom compartment and turn it into a 28L pack
- Ski-carry system is inadequate for anything but superlight skis sans boots
- Resembled a sagging duffel bag when filled to the brim
- It lacks a helmet carry system
The Dynafit Denali 42L proved very efficient for skiers who are conscious of every ounce they put into their pack. Unfortunately, the pack is not a good choice for the rest of the tribe. The back panel is reinforced for stability in transit but the rest of the pack had a tendency to droop under the types of heavy loads that you’d expect to carry with a 42-liter pack.
The back-panel and hipbelt created an exceptional fit for the Dynafit Denali 42L but fit alone doesn’t make for a comfortable pack. Other facts, suck as the previously mentioned lack of load support, hindered comfortable carrying.
An elastic band on the Denali’s shoulder strap secured 160-centimeter rando skis just fine. Unfortunately that’s all it held. I was skiing a 12-pound setup that sagged considerably.
The Dynafit Denali 42L offers some great secondary features. I loved the Denali’s hydration options: An inside bladder sleeve as well as an external shoulder-mounted insulated bottle holder. I also loved the summit pad in the bottom compartment, which you can remove if you don’t need to stow crampons or skins.
The Dynafit Denali 42L manages to keep weight down despite the features. It would be difficult to find a 42-liter pack lighter than the Denali, which rolls in at 3 pounds, 7 ounces.
In order to build light-and-fast packs, compromises have to be made. In the case of the Dynafit Denali 42L, it seems that occurred in materials selection. The pack bag material ripped when I set it down in scree. I also wonder how long the elastic on the shoulder strap’s ski-carry hook would maintain its elasticity under substantial use with heavy rigs.
It would be hard to find a hut-to-hut pack for under $200, but unless price is the most important consideration in the decision, it might be worth spending more for something burlier.