Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Product Review: Aquapac Wet & Dry 25L

Our Thoughts

OK, I have to point out from the onset that I am a lifelong Aquapac fan, their products have followed me all over the world and have been there when I needed them most. Aquapac protected my Ipod in the Patagonian freezing rain, it saved my camera from the humidity of central India and it even saved my handheld GPS from a certain drowning whilst sailing in the Med last summer, you can definitely say that I am a grateful customer. I am also very fond of their ecological principles and their continuing efforts to become more efficient and greener using the latest available technologies. So, when the chance came to test one of their new limited edition products I was very excited indeed.

At first glance the Aquapac Wet & Dry is a very plain rucksack, there are no external pockets and no dangling elastics or bright crazy colours, it is a very pleasing and simple design that appealed to me straight away. It is also incredibly light, something that I have grown to consider extremely important, especially when you have heavy gear to carry or you have a long way to carry it to. Having used the classic waterproof canoe bags, I was already very familiar with the 3-roll seal, the idea being that on the last turn you clip the bag shut and create a simple yet very effective waterproof seal. And effective it really is, I had it with me through a grand storm in France just 2 days ago and if that wasn’t enough I then brought it back home and dunked it in the bathtub. Nothing, not even the slightest bit of moisture went in, very impressive.

I think you would have a tough time getting water in this bag when fully sealed and I would be very confident to take it anywhere in any weather. Inside the bag the spaces are divided through an inner and outer lining allowing you to store wet clothes away from dry or sensitive items. At the top of the bag there is a key pocket which I found very useful for storing money and other loose items, you do suffer a little for the lack of outside pockets (or mesh) and there are times when you might find yourself wondering if a second key pocket inside the bag would have been a useful addition.

On the outside there are plenty of places to attach things (GPS, water bottles, etc) through carabiners, one of them is supplied with the bag too. The back support can be removed to make the whole thing even more supple and to give you space to store a hydration bladder. The bag is fitted with a sternum and waist strap which are great for keeping the bag steady on rough terrain but are also the source of my only disappointment with the sack. I do wish they had been made to be removable; there is nothing more annoying than loose waist straps when you don’t use them and someone who is unlikely to use the bag for serious hiking is going to be forced to cut them off, which is never advisable. The price is also a little on the high side but then again you are paying for some serious technology!

RRP in the UK is £65.00 and in the US $95.00.
Click Here for US, Here for the rest of the world

Test results at a glance

Pros: Fantastic waterproof system, all weather and all terrain bag, perfect for any outdoor activity, stylish too!

Cons: Straps cannot be removed, slight lack of pockets and a touch on the expensive side

The Green Credentials (straight from Aquapac)

The backpack itself was designed to do a unique job (keep wet and dry separate), whilst using as little material as possible. This is with a conscious effort to reduce the usage of manmade materials, and also weight in shipping (and thus fuel).

Without giving away too many trade secrets, we specify all our materials from sources which provide an ethical and environmental code of practice. We do not use PVC or other harmful materials, and where we must use plastics we try to use those with the least harmful impact (TPU instead of PVC for instance).

We comply fully with EU end-of-life rules, and offer a recycling service for all Aquapac products at the end of their life.

We use minimal packaging - the backpack for instance is supplied with a single A4 sheet of recycled paper, printed locally to avoid fuel costs.

And perhaps most importantly, let's not forget that Aquapac is in the business of prolonging the life of electronics and other equipment, which otherwise might end up in landfill or polluting watercourses after it was damaged by water. Our cases have a small impact in order to gain a much greater saving on our environment.

For more information Click Here

Latest feedback from Acquapac:

You'll be pleased to know that v2 of the backpack, which is coming very soon, has a removable waist-strap, an internal key-pocket in clear material (so you can see into it), a yellow inner bag (so you can see to the bottom easily), and external mesh-pockets for water bottles or bicycle pumps. We took on board all the early blog and beta-tester reviews and we hope that v2 is the every-man bag that you all wished you could get.

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1 comment:

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