One of the things I hate about being on or near the water is my stuff getting wet. Now, I’m not talking about the stuff made to get wet, but those items you take with you (change of clothes, phone, etc.) that are there not to get wet. That’s why I am always on the lookout for a nice waterproof backpack or bag. Recently, my “go to” knapsack finally reached its retirement age when I ripped a massive hole in it from getting it caught on a horn cleat on my friend’s boat.
So I found myself on the market for a new waterproof bag. I had a 45 litre backpack and was looking to upgrade to something a bit bigger. That’s when I settled on the OverBoard Waterproof Tube Backpack. The model I bought is 60 litres and has proven to be more than enough for my needs.
As with most gear I buy, I try to take some time to look it over to get a feel for what I just purchased. This helps ensure that when something goes wrong, I usually have a pretty good idea on how to fix it. I’ll admit that a backpack does not provide a lot of crisis situations, but you’d be surprised what happens when Murphy’s Law is in effect.
• 100% Waterproof Backpack Dry Tube (Class 3) – Never realized there were classes to waterproofing. So far, the bag has lived up to its reputation because it has kept my gear dry when either out on the water or caught in a downpour.
• Floats safely if dropped in water – They claim this as a feature, but I haven’t been brave enough to try it.
• Suitable for quick submersion – Then again if it floats, what would it take to submerge it? Another feature I have to be honest about and say I haven’t tried. If I was a hardcore reviewer I might try, but I actually use my own money on this equipment and do not want to risk ruining it or the gear stashed inside.
• The manufacturer claims that the backpack contains fully welded seamless construction and that the bag is made from PVC coated 600D nylon. My initial opinion was that the material was pretty strong. Nothing has changed that.
• Removable padded shoulder straps and waist belt – This feature might be a good one for some people, but it proved a bit troublesome since I wanted the bag to perform like a backpack, but the “removable” straps were removing themselves thanks to being attached with Velcro. The straps were prone to separating if too much weight was placed in the bag. Deal breaker? We’ll see.
• Roll-top closure – One of my favorite features on any bag I own that has it. A roll-top is great for providing that extra level of protection from the outside elements. Zippers are nice, but they do break over time from use and abuse. Can’t break rolling up the top of the bag.
• Side Carry Handle – With the issues I mentioned above concerning the shoulder straps, the side handle would become my primary carry mode. It does what it claims it can do. It lets me carry the bag. (click here for more backpacks like this)
I admit I was not overly fond of the tube design. I like my backpacks more “backpack looking.” However, the tube design provides a simple, clean look. After some time getting used to it, I can safely say, it looks like a tube with a handle. “It is what it is,” a friend once told me after his wife left him. I find that saying can apply to almost any thing or situation. It definitely applies to the OverBoard. This is not a negative. I just can’t say I’m overly excited about the aesthetic of the bag. However, I believe in function over form, so the bag’s appearance is secondary.
Okay, so here is my field report after running around with the OverBoard Waterproof Tube Backpack for a few trips. After playing around with it, the Overboard is one of the better tube bags I own. Like I said earlier, I’m not the biggest tube bag fan, but they are great for just stuffing things into. The OverBoard’s 60 litre capacity is perfect for my needs. I never feel that I’ve run out of room.
Furthermore, this is one super dry backpack. I’ve gotten it pretty wet, thanks to rain and sea spray. In all these instances, my gear has stayed nice and dry. Clothes and electronic devices all come out bone dry. This makes me a happy user of the OverBoard. I have not tried to make the bag float or submerge it, but so far so good on the waterproof front.
I do admit that the backpack straps gave me some trouble. When I go over a certain weight packed into the bag, the straps separate along the Velcro bonds. The weird thing is that the weight varies. This does not happen every time, but when it does,
I just resort to the side carry handle. This is not the most ideal of situations and may be a negative for most people. I file this under design flaw. However, it does not take away from the bag’s other pluses that I mentioned previously.
When all is said and done, I would recommend the OverBoard Waterproof Tube Backpack for anyone looking for a simple, no frills waterproof bag. Just be sure to take note of the bag’s idiosyncrasies when it comes to the straps and you should have no issues with it. It has proven to be a great waterproof bag in those instances where I was caught in a wet environment. That was the primary reason I bought the OverBoard. Everything else is just gravy. Should you be able to find a deal on the bag, I say go for it. It will serve you well.
Below other model from this range ( OverBoard Waterproof Window Tube Backpack, Black, 60-Liter ) :