Northstorm 20L dry bag
Allan had been researching companies that sell dry bags to protect our valuables and prevent them from getting wet when travelling around Australia. North Storm was at the top of his list and after entering a competition, we were lucky enough to win this one. It has travelled Australia with us and has been very useful and proven Jess' first impression wrong (read below) which surprisingly she is happy to admit, so we have since purchased another one of their bags.
Our First Impressions
Jess was skeptical at first saying "it's just another bag, it adds weight and we'll never use it", but boy was she wrong. Allan was more accepting of the bag and could see its practical use. One of the first things he noticed was how thick the PVC is, yet it's still flexible enough to manipulate. He also noticed the D-rings on the front may become handy (refer to pros and cons section), and the shoulder strap would make carrying the bag easy.
We have had this drybag for a bit over six months now, and it's been put through it's paces all around Australia in all types of situations. We have taken it on all the hikes we have been on throughout SA, NT and QLD to carry our valuables. It has waterproofed our phones, camera and keys while enjoying sunset views on a boat around Darwin Harbour as well as out on a professional crayfish boat in south east SA. It's even been attacked by blue swimmer crabs while crabbing on SA's Yorke Peninsula. It has never let any water in and has always handled everything we have thrown at it.
Pros and Cons
So the good stuff first, it does its job and it does it well. We have never had any water get in and it hasn't got any holes or sustained any damage (even from the crabs). We have never had any mud, dust or anything else in the bag. The D-rings are a fantastic addition to hang items on, such as a torch or anything else that doesn't matter if it gets wet. They keep everything within reach and provide easy access. The reflective safety strip is handy when heading out on early morning hikes to make sure you can keep an eye on the bag and whoever is carrying it. Adjustable shoulder strap is a bonus as well. Because Jess and I swap who's carrying the bag its a quick easy way to make sure the bag is comfortable to carry. When the bag isn't in use it simply rolls up and takes up next to no space which is always crucial when living on the road.
The less good stuff, to be honest there isn't really much we don't like about the bag. The only thing would be the splashproof pocket on the front. There isn't anything wrong with it, we just haven't found a use for it yet as it isn't entirely waterproof. I'm sure there is plenty it could be used for, but we just throw everything in the main section.
The Final Score
It's a dry bag that keeps everything you put in it dry!
Size wise we found that 20L is just about right for shorter adventures out exploring. It has enough room to hold keys, phone, gopro, camera, couple water bottles and some small items of food. If you were looking at going on an all day adventure, you might want to look at the 30L backpack for that little bit extra storage.
Overall quality and construction is great and being an Australian company, it really is a no brainer from us. So much so that we have since gone and purchased the 30L backpack. Stay tuned for a future review of that one!