Our adventures almost always involve water. Kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing trips, getting caught in the random downpour. Adding some Overboard waterproof backpacks to our gear arsenal was an easy decision. On our last family camping trip they proved their worth in a big way.
With our kayaks loaded down with gear we started the paddle across a medium size lake to a secluded campsite on the other side. With tents, totes, chairs and other necessities piled on my kayak (wife and kids already safely across before I started the gear taxi) multiple trips were required.
It took forever and the combination of added weight, afternoon headwind and a decent chop had water sloshing all over everything. Keeping our clothes and food dry was my main concern.
I needed our new, large Overboard Waterproof Backpacks, which were loaded, to really be waterproof!
I am always skeptical that anything is truly waterproof but I can tell you the food and gear we had stuffed in the pack was bone dry (consistent with a bathtub ‘dunk’ test I conducted before our trip). Our tent did not fare as well but did finally dry out before nightfall.
The following morning we set out on a hike to the top of a nearby ridge for a picnic. It was about 2 miles one way so we left early so we could take our time. The prior days wind continued and seemed to strengthen as the day went on and a dark patch of clouds seemed to meet us at the top of each hill.
As you might have guessed, as we got closer to our destination the weather intensified and dropped a blanket of rain on us. We huddled under a stand of trees and waited it out in rain ponchos. Our food and cameras were in the Overboard Pro-Sports Waterproof Backpack and we all smiled as the dry contents were removed after the rain had passed and we set up our lunch.
Overboard Waterproof Backpacks
How do they work?
Pro-Sports packs use the fold and seal system which is a pretty common design in many dry bags. As the video above demonstrates it involves closing and rolling the mouth of the main compartment over several times and then locking it into place either on top or on the sides with the plastic clips. The result is a Class 3 Waterproof Pack capable of withstanding quick submersions and dunks. It also means it floats which is just as important as being waterproof in most cases. After all, will you really care if your gear is dry if the pack is sitting on the bottom of the ocean?
More Than Just a Dry Bag, It's Made For Comfort.
You'll find plenty of dry bags posing as backpacks but most of them lack a really comfortable strap system that you would feel confident taking out long distances.
This was the single biggest surprise with the Pro-Sports. I expected it to be waterproof, that's why I bought it, but I didn't think it would rival my other packs in strap design, cushion, and breathability.
- 20 liter pack dimensions: 17 inches high x 6.5 inches deep x 9.5 inches wide.
- 30 liter pack dimensions: 19.5 inches high x 6.5 inches deep x 13.5 inches wide.
- 2 way seal system, top or side compression.
- High frequency welded construction.
- Large internal accessories pocket
- Back panel with ventilated air flow design
- Lumbar support
- 2 large outer side mesh pockets
(Based on 79 independent reviews)
The Good Stuff:
- Keeps your stuff dry!
- Heavy, confident construction.
- Good value for $100.
- Comfortable strap system.
The Bad Stuff:
- Straps could be more durable.
- Some spots of weak stitching.
- Only one large waterproof pocket, not enough internal compartments.
Adventurers (including weekend family warriors like ourselves) are finding more adventure near water and inclement weather can always be right around the corner. Most of us like the comfort of dry gear and everyone has a backpack, so why not find one that’s waterproof? It’s like a little insurance policy. The Overboard Waterproof Backpacks worked well for our family and I wouldn't hesitate to get another one.