We were heading through the five foot surf into the Pacific Ocean in a little panga boat and Adam was cringing. He wasn’t afraid of the waves, he was afraid of his super duper nice DSLR Cannon camera getting wet. Our buddy also brought his really nice telephoto lens that has a set 400 zoom so we could get some pictures of each other from the boat surfing at Punta Mango in El Salvador. We had the picture taking rotation down, but keeping the camera dry was proving to be a pain. We ended up wrapping his camera in a towel and putting it in our buddy’s backpack and just hoped it would be A-OK, but it would’ve been so much easier if we had a waterproof backpack from DryCASE.
I finally got my hands on one after the Surf Expo in September and you know I’ve been putting it to good use. The best performance I’ve seen from it was on the last day of summer, when Alison and I did some canoeing down the Wekiva River in Central Florida. It was great knowing that I could pack some towels, electronics, snacks, etc. into one bag without them getting wet. Let’s face it, when you’re in almost any boat, you’re bound to get wet. I took the back of the canoe and threw the pack in the middle and even with all the water drippage from my paddle, the water just beaded down the backpack’s marine grade waterproof vinyl.
There’s no way I was going to intentionally flip the canoe to see how the backpack would do in the water, so we beached the canoe and I waded out into some knee deep water for my last bit of testing. I just dropped the backpack in the water and it started to float downstream. After I went an retrieved it, I had to see how waterproof this thing was. I fully submerged the backpack in the brownish/red river water and didn’t see any bubbles come up.
That’s always a good sign!
I did this a couple more times and it was finally time to see how everything panned out. I unrolled the top of the backpack and everything was dry. I did notice that some water was trying to seep in through some spaces in the roll-top, but that’s to be expected.
After all was said in done, here are my thoughts:
- Padded shoulder straps and hip belt
- Air valve
- Marine grade waterproof vinyl
- Huge compartment
Have you ever noticed that most backpack companies seem to incorporate comfort into their designs? I always hate wearing a backpack with nice shoulder straps, but just a strap for a hip belt. Everything on this backpack is padded, providing you with all the comfort you need for a long day on the trail, at the beach, or on the water. To help push air out of the backpack, the folks at Dry Case use an air valve at the bottom of the backpack. I found it really tough to roll down the top of the backpack when the valve was closed, but when opened, the air easily escaped. Once I secure the top, I even like to squeeze out a little air, so the backpack isn’t so bulky. The main compartment is enormous, I mean I fit two beach towels, water bottles, electronics, and snacks in there with about another 15 litters of space. You can rest assured that you’ll get everything in there that you want. Say you want to go kayaking and need to strap this baby down. You’ll find that it’s easy to secure with the D-rings that are on the hip belt and top handle.
- One size fits all
- Roll top closure
This backpack has so much padding on it, making it very comfy to wear. However, one size doesn’t fit all, in my opinion. For those that have a longer than normal torso, like myself, are going to find that the backpack kind of rides up. When I put it on, the weight pulls it back and makes the bottom of the backpack push into my back because it sat on my back at an angle. When I tightened the strap to get it fitted the right way, the backpack rode up so when I had it in a good place to secure the hip belt, the hip belt was just above my belly button. In addition, the roll top closure could potentially let water in. If the backpack’s completely submerged for a long period of time or if the top isn’t rolled tight, then water could definitely seep through the cracks.
All this being said, I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons and would say that this is definitely a solid backpack that any weekend warrior should have. I’d give the backpack a solid 4 out of 5 stars, mainly because of the one size fits all aspect. Aside from that, this backpack does what it’s made to do, keep your tech dry when you get wet.
This wasn’t sent to me as a complimentary product to review. This was bought by me and the reviews expressed are my own…as always.