Outdoor gear should look the part. Or should it? When it comes to dry bag backpacks, most look like haul-everything, bomb proof monsters. Most act the part too. That’s a good thing. Some products and companies just go their own way. There are a lot of waterproof bags that add features like shoulder straps to straddle the line between dry bag and waterproof backpack. Most adjustable straps are an add-on, and some are clearly an afterthought. The Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack/Dry Bag does a solid job combining all the standard features of a dry bag with the durable, comfortable straps of a backpack creating a multipurpose product with tons of different uses in the outdoors.
One can clearly see through our other reviews that we dig versatility. Lots of points are credited to waterproof products that can be used just as well on the water, trail, or bike, as they can at the beach, or even in the city. The design and look of the Chaos Ready backpack lends itself quite well to each of those categories. It has a no-frills look and with the standard roll top closure, maintains superior waterproof protection as a dry bag backpack should.
No need to reinvent the wheel. Most dry bags in the same category and price as this one from Chaos Ready are made from 500D PVC material for a reason. It can take an absolute beating. If you are tough on your gear, and therefore expect it to perform, then you can’t go wrong with investing in a dry bag made from PVC, or polyvinyl chloride. There are lighter, more eco-friendly options, but the material maintains outstanding waterproof capability and holds up extremely well to abrasion, tears, and reasonable punctures. If there is a downside, it would be that in colder temperatures, PVC becomes stiff and can be difficult to work with when trying to get a good seal on a roll top closure.
Chaos Ready includes three other unique features that all add convenience and functionality. The dual mesh side pockets, front pocket, and backpack straps allow this waterproof backpack to be super functional as a stand-alone piece of gear.
Dual Mesh Side Pockets
The addition of two mesh pockets located on each side of the dry bag backpack are great for holding smaller to medium sized water bottles. They are made only from a nylon mesh which adds nearly zero weight, and are not meant to be overstuffed. A waterproof outer layer could fit in each one, but not much beyond that.
Other dry bags and waterproof packs have small front pockets or even stash pockets with bungee straps to secure additional gear. The front pocket on the Chaos Ready bag is intended to do the same. While the pocket is slightly larger than the same feature found on other bags, it is secured via stitching and the opening is Velcro, whereas most are seam sealed zippers. In one way, this is no big deal. However, the stitching and Velcro closure eliminate most of the water resistance. It is still a convenient feature for keys, identification cards, etc. However, items requiring protection from water should not be placed in this pocket.
By far our favorite feature of this waterproof backpack are its straps. Like we mentioned before, most bags that offer add on straps will come with an adjustable strap or two that are removable. Those have their purpose for sure. However, if you are looking for a true waterproof backpack that both acts like a dry bag and doesn’t come in an enormous size, Chaos Ready answers the mail. The straps are secured and the connections points are radio frequency welded to the back of the bag at the top and on each side at the bottom. They are substantial enough carry the pack comfortably when loaded. Another added design plus is that the straps are secured in a way that doesn’t interfere with the roll top closure.
Best Recommended Use
Overall, Chaos Ready includes very useful features on their waterproof backpack. At 22L in volume, the unique size makes it a great choice for just about any activity. The fixed backpack straps may cause one to opt for a traditional dry bag for adventures on the water. On the trail however, it is a great option for day trips and an even greater option for excursions when you don’t want to carry a heavy pack, but still require enough volume and waterproof protection for additional layers, cameras, food, and more. This backpack doesn’t scream outdoor adventure. We actually really like the somewhat plain design and grey color. They work together to make this piece of gear an excellent choice in the bush or in town.
We love the idea of being prepared. Preparation in the outdoors is directly proportional to the amount of enjoyment you can get from any adventure. If you’re prepared, it will be awesome. If not, well there will probably be a story to tell. Chaos Ready has a great preparedness theme to their company and this product is a great tool to help provide waterproof protection when you need it most. Adding to the features and functionality, they offer a 100% money back guarantee and back their product with a lifetime warranty. Above all else, we like that this product functions as a hybrid backpack dry bag of sorts.