The Dakine Helipack (a skiing / snowboard rucksack) is an awesome bit of uni equipment.
After a friends’ positive experience with them and discussions on RSU recommending them I took the plunge and ordered one (I bought from www.wiggle.co.uk - they had a good pricing offer on them and do free shipping). It is an awesome piece of kit - it could have been designed with unicyclists in mind.
The bag offers several carrying modes: diagonal ski carry, vertical snowboard carry, quick access snow shovel carry. It has luggage straps galore on the outside (two horizontal straps, one long strap that can be added on as an extension or separate strap when needed, one short strap for gripping skis. Each of these fastens shut with a plastic clip - all except the ski carry strap are interconnectable via compatible clips!). There’s also a webbing loop for gripping the lower end of the skis.
It’s hard to describe just how versatile these straps are; since each of the main straps comes in two parts (which can be separately adjusted and interconnected). A number of webbing loops are also available. There is an enormous selection of possible arrangements for carrying whatever load you need to shift.
The pack has chest and waist straps for extra support and padded shoulder straps. Two external compartments (plus the shovel carrier) for easy access to small items, plus a decent sized main compartment. There is a netting pocket for a hydration pack inside the main compartment, plus an insulated route for the drinking tube leading from the main compartment to the left shoulder strap.
The pack itself is compact and can be strapped securely yet comfortably - should be good for muni / long distance expeditions although I haven’t tested this yet. My main application so far has been for strapping unihoc equipment to myself before bicycling out to practice. This has been a shining success: my 20" uni straps securely to the back of the pack without making it uncomfortable to carry. It is vastly superior to my previous strategy of looping luggage straps through the shoulder straps on my old backpack. Whatsmore, there are enough loops and straps to hold every part of the uni firmly in place - no more worrying about the frame swinging about. I’ve recently bought a hockey stick bag which I can also strap onto the helipack, making it easy to carry all my unihoc kit on my back.
In my view, the Helipack is just plain awesome, I’m glad I spent the money. It’s well designed, versatile, and could have been designed for unicyclists - or anything else that requires compactness combined with easy load carrying.