Thursday, 28 March 2013

Aquapac Selection

A while back I got a selection from the Aquapac family. If you're not already aware of Aquapac they pretty much have something that will keep anything you carry on the hill, or elsewhere, bone dry. They have a couple of competitors on the market that provide similar products but the range Aquapac provide is impressive and if you have something of any size or shape they will be able to keep it waterproof I would imagine. There's also a couple of handy variations with earphone sockets for mp3 players or phones.

Mini Camera Case with Hard Lens 
This little bag with a stuck on plastic tub is to allow compact cameras with a zoom lens to be used even if submersed in water.
It comes with a bright lanyard and couple of desiccant packs to absorb any unwanted moisture inside the seal. If you aren't aware of Aquapac's sealing method there is a plastic clamp held in place with a twist lock. Initial thoughts on the set up was it is quite bulky compared to a velcro or roll top system, however, using it on one of the other products it actually gives something to hold on to whilst using the thing inside. It also feels more robust and if they say it can be submersed then it must be. I haven't been brave enough to try it underwater. Also the lack of velcro means there's none of the ripping sound when opening it.
The truth is the I received this and hoped it would allow me to take pictures in wet weather, without the fear of trashing a camera. What happened just before the cases arrival was the camera in the bag below was dropped (not by me) and the lens is stuck partially out and won't take pictures. I had hoped to prove whether or not there was a massive reduction on quality taking pictures inside the bag. I will come back to you soon with the results. They also do a big lens SLR version too.

Stormproof Padded Drybag
I have mixed feelings for this one. What it is is a big roll top dry bag which can be used to put fragile items, such as a laptop, in it to give it some extra protection when you are on an adventure. It has tabs on one side as lash down points to a kayak or a deck. In addition to that it has 2 adjustable straps which change it in to a make-shift rucksack or courier bag.
I used it as an everyday bag for a long time. It allowed me to carry a reasonable amount of stuff. I played with the variations on the straps to get it to suit me as a pack and a courier bag. It didn't really sit right either way. The straps individually are too short to make it a courier bag, joined together it becomes uncomfortable as the plastic clips joining them in the centre just keep getting in the way. When I used it as a pack the lack of any padding on the straps dug into my shoulders along with the roll top closure making it awkward around the rear of my neck.
In the short term it can be used as a bag. It houses a laptop and a couple of accessories quite easily. You just wouldn't want to be carrying it very far. I feel I have been fairly negative about this one. What it does do is keeps things dry, allows those dry things to be transported securely and safely to their destination. This bag will live with the rest of my drybags not my packs and will probably be used on car camping trips or out of country adventures in the future.

Medium Whanganui
This has been the triumph bit of kit for me. The case has the same closure system as the camera case, it is the perfect size for my second most carried bit of tech, after my mobile, the Nexus 7. It fits perfectly in there, as will most 7" tablets and kindles. The touch screen can be used through the case, now that's genius! It's probably very simple but its the simple things that make us happy. You do need to make sure that the case lies smooth over the screen and is kept taut, it has nearly sent emails as it wasn't sitting right.

I have taken it camping, day hike and pretty much everywhere my Nexus goes. I have a desiccant packet in it for obvious reasons and haven't had any issues with condensation in any condition.
There is not much more to say about this one other than I'll be getting one of the smaller versions for my phone as well because it just works.

And for anybody who may be wondering, the strange name is taken from the Whanganui river from the north island of New Zealand.

I think its safe to say, after I looked at the range, that Aquapac will be the first place I will now refer to when looking for waterproof cases and dry bags. If I want stuff to be kept dry why would I look anywhere else?