For the habitual over-packer, or the adventurer that takes pride in being prepared for every circumstance and packs more than they’ll ever need, this review is for you. It is also for those who need total and complete waterproof capability as a standup paddle boarder, kayaker, or scuba diver. Better yet, if you enjoy travelling on two wheels and need to protect your stuff from the elements, read on. As much as we dig dry bags, the concept of waterproof duffel bags has us totally hooked. There are two main problems with many waterproof duffel bags. They either cost way too much or they aren’t completely waterproof. That’s why we like the COR Waterproof Duffel Dry Bag. It counters those two problems with certainty and can hold up under the most extreme conditions.
Before diving into the features, let’s quickly differentiate between dry bags and duffels. Dry bags can be extremely useful and adapt to a variety of conditions when waterproofing is critical. They can be stashed in a pack, slung, or worn like a backpack. Sizes typically range from 5 to 30 liters and there are some in the 40-plus liter range that can hold the kitchen sink. Duffels on the other hand, are meant to be loaded down, gear haulers that range from 50 to over 120 liters in volume. They won’t offer a ton of comfort when carrying despite some with padded straps. Think of expedition photos with pack animals loaded down with gear. Duffels are made to work. They don’t have to be flashy, feature packed imposters of adventure gear. They just have to get the job done.
COR’s 60L waterproof duffel comes in dark green and black and is made from reliable, totally waterproof PVC with nylon webbing straps. A total of three compartments comprise the duffel; the super large main compartment, an interior zippered pocket for organization, and a large sized, seam sealed zippered water resistant exterior pocket.
For large duffel bags, compression straps are a major component. While you can pack everything you own, you often don’t. Depending on what you are securing a duffel bag to, the excess room can get in the way of attachment points, or just be an annoyance. Compression straps solve that problem by eliminating the extra space and pushing the air out of the bag resulting in a more compact situation. Perhaps the most important side effect of using compression straps is that the contents inside the bag are more secure and will shift much less than if straps we not used. The COR bag includes two larger compression straps that are well placed at each end and compress from the sides over the top.
Roll Top Closure
Like a regular dry bag, the COR duffel has a roll top closure that functions the exact same way as a dry bag or waterproof dry sack. The one difference is that instead of clipping back to itself, end to end after rolling, this closure attaches to each end of the duffel. Attachment points somewhat double as compression straps since when rolled tight and secured, they help reduce excess volume. The closure is solid and will withstand a moderate degree of immersion.
Carrying Strap & Handles
COR offers two options for carrying the duffel in a padded shoulder strap and a simple handle. Both are made of nylon. The shoulder strap features some padding and is fully removable. The carrying handle is reinforced at the grip and functions as it should.
Plastic D Rings
Since this is a duffel, and sometimes duffels are better suited tied down rather than carried, COR neatly places eight plastic D rings to help the cause. Each D ring is made from durable plastic and placed at the top and bottom of the compression straps on the side panels of the bag. They offer multiple tie down options and configurations which offer security whether on a SUP, motorcycle, or roof rack.
We love pockets. The more the merrier. A lot of dry bags these days feature what we call a seam sealed, water resistant pocket. By seam sealed, we mean that there is extra vinyl extending over top of the zipper closure protecting the zipper and shielding the opening from water and debris. It isn’t a total seal, and isn’t waterproof, but they do typically keep splashing water or rain out. The exterior pocket on the COR Surf bag is very generous in size and a good addition for those quick access items that don’t need complete waterproof protection.
Best Recommended Use
We like the COR Surf Waterproof Duffel Dry Bag best for doing what it is designed to do; haul gear. It boasts confidence in protecting your gear from water, debris, snow, sand, or anything else thrown its way. When it comes to bulky gear that doesn’t work well in a backpack or day pack, a waterproof duffel is the perfect solution. Another great use for any outdoors enthusiast is to keep a waterproof duffel on hand for those moments that don’t exactly go as planned. Whether it is at camp, in the woods, or on the water, this 60L duffel is great to pack but also great to have when the weather goes sideways. At the last minute, it is easy to throw your gear, backpack, camp kitchen items, or anything else needing waterproof protection in this bag and know that it will stay dry.
If you are looking for a waterproof bag solution that can carry a ton and protect what is inside, you can’t go wrong with the COR Surf Waterproof Duffel. 60 liters can hold a lot and even when full, the bag is very manageable. A note on price. There are big outdoor brands that charge more than double for a bag of the same volume and function. Admittedly, the manufacturing process or materials those companies use could cause the price to be higher. Or maybe it is just simply about branding. If you are looking for a waterproof bag that can haul gear, take a beating, and protect your stuff, then you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars. COR Surf is a great option. Plus, the company has a cool vibe and offers a total money back guarantee.