Being part-time ‘baby’ sailors, I wasn’t sure how much wear we would get out of this Aquapac TrailProof duffel bag. We were lucky enough to trial a 40 litre duffel bag, which basically holds 4 big rain/winter coats, or overnight clothes for two adults.
However, as we live in damp Britain and have two small children, the waterproof material was soon put to the test. At one point last weekend, the bag ended up upside down on the floor of our very wet tender (small boat) during a downpour, and the items inside survived. We have also used both bags when camping, where they were put to the test while we packed up the tent in the inevitable rain. The children were more than happy to throw their wet balls, bats, muddy camping toys etc into the bags. The clean-up at the other end, once home was simple due to the “wipe-clean” nature of the material.
The duffel is easy to close, though does require folding over three times, so actually contains less than you might first think. This folding and velcroing system also slows down your packing speed, contrary to the makers claims that it is simple to close. Having said that, these folds and straps, as well as the compression straps, do the most important job of preventing ingress into the bag. The only drawback is the lurid acid yellow, which almost made me look like a firefighter! Aquapac claim that this yellow reduces how hot the bag will get in the sun, but we have been unable to put that claim to the test in this country!
The quality of stitching and material certainly seems excellent and the bag looks and feels very durable, with the only possible weak point being the velcro strip, which from experience tend to attract dirt and general detritus eventually clogging them up. However, when closed, the strip is not exposed and so hopefully the bag can survive being kicked around wet and not-so-clean places providing it is packed, unpacked and stored when not in use so that the velcro strip is not dirtied.
We were also given a smaller TrailProof Drybag, which was less easy to carry due to its’ handle, but just as waterproof. This bag just has one simple buckle, which also forms the handle. Again it kept everything safe and dry, despite our sons’ best efforts when mooring on a rather wobbly pontoon on a big high tide! It also encouraged our 6 year old to pack his own overnight clothes for once!
At £45 for the duffel bag this presents great value for money, particularly when compared with some of the pricier similar bags available. And on reflection, as I write this, the lack of zip on the duffel means that there is less to go wrong with this bag and so I can imagine it lasting a long time. They do also come with a full 5 year warranty. Overall, we are very pleased with both of these bags and would recommend them – with a check on the capacity first.
Price: £45 for the 40L duffle / £13 for 7L Drybag