As reviewers of all things waterproof, we believe in waterproofing everything. Why not? Dry, protected gear can make an adventure one for the books. The alternative can be pure misery. But it isn’t always about life on the trail or the water. Rain happens. The everyday commuter or gym goer can stand to benefit from keeping their stuff dry just as much as someone on a thru-hike or rafting trip. Admittedly, rocking a dry bag or dry sack to the gym could look out of place. Okay, it doesn’t really look cool at all. Still, a 20L dry bag is great for carrying sweaty gym clothes around the rest of the day without the stench of excellence infringing upon everyone else who comes within a few feet. So what is the alternative to keeping things dry, or even keeping wet things separate from the rest of your day’s haul? Enter the waterproof duffel.
Waterproof duffel bags are excellent for cramming in a lot of items, or a few larger items that other bags simply don’t have the volume for. Another huge thing that waterproof duffels have going for them is that you don’t have to treat them nice. Most are made from PVC so they combine superior waterproof ability, natural puncture, abrasion, and tear resistant qualities with large open compartments to create a haul anything, protect anything piece of gear. One of the best out there is the DuffelSak by Skog Å Kust. At both 40L and 60L sizes, the uses are as wide open as the outdoor imagination.
Like any high quality waterproof product, the DuffelSak is constructed with 500 Denier PVC material, superior welded seams all around, and solid plastic connection points & buckles. Essentially, it functions like a super large dry bag complete with a roll top closure and front splash pocket. The design is unique in that way and mirrors Skog Å Kust’s line of other excellent waterproof products. The difference is by being a duffel, and waterproof, it functions incredibly well for the traveler or commuter when a dry bag is too limited and doesn’t fit the need. Like the rest of the Skog Å Kust line, the DuffelSak comes in a variety of cool colors; black, blue, grey, yellow, digital camo, and white.
Roll Top Closure
There are other duffel bags on the market that claim to be waterproof. But, and it is a big but, if it has a zipper to close the main compartment then it is barely water resistant at best. Like we said earlier, the DuffelSak is a dry bag’s peculiarly large big brother. The telling sign they are related is the roll top closure. If used correctly, and steering clear of any purposeful intent to submerge the bag, the roll top will eliminate the possibility of water soaking the contents inside. Just like it functions on a dry bag, rolling the nylon reinforced closure three to four times then buckling on each side will keep things dry and happy. Specific to the duffel, with the roll top’s attachment points located on the sides, the bag’s true volume is maintained.
Zippered Splash Pockets
Gotta say, we love extra pockets. Even if they aren’t fully waterproof, water resistant pockets will do. The DuffelSak has three. Two exterior pockets located on the front and back are perfect additions for convenient access to the standard stuff, keys, credit cards, IDs, etc. Again, they are closed with a zipper covered by extra material that keeps most water out, but are not waterproof. With a single large cavity inside the bag, there isn’t much room to get creative with organizational options. Skog Å Kust addition of a zippered pocket is a cool design feature since in a duffel, it can be difficult to locate small items in the abyss of other crap crammed in there. The small pocket adds another convenient place to stash essentials that require quick access.
Straps and Hardware
Adjustable shoulder straps aren’t the sexiest feature but they are pretty darn critical. The DuffelSak includes one adjustable, padded strap that connects to the same point as the roll top closure through high quality plastic hardware. Bottom line, the strap does its job. The secondary strap is a carrying handle designed in two parts that close with slightly padded material that, like the shoulder strap, does the trick. What’s cool is that there are two features integrated in to the strap system that offer versatility and function that could be needed in any setting. Nylon webbing with plastic clips stretch across the bag from front to back adding the ability to compress and reduce excess volume when needed. Plus, the compression keeps items inside secure and stable if needed. The other nice to have feature is a set of heavier duty plastic D rings located at the bottom of the carrying strap handles. These serve as attachment or tie down points if the bag is being used in that way. Very nice to have.
Taking another feature from Skog Å Kust line of dry bags, reflective trim is added around the front splash pocket. It is yet another convenient feature allowing the user to find the bag at night at camp under headlamp, or providing a bit of reflection walking or biking at night. Either way, it is a small feature that potentially adds a lot of safety and ease of use.
ID Card Pocket
Up front, the DuffelSak looks like it isn’t solely intended for use in the bush. We mentioned before that a PVC waterproof duffel is a great option for traveling. The transparent ID card pocket on the front panel is a perfect feature for the traveler who knows all too well that airlines don’t care about your luggage.
Best Recommended Use
We kind of covered it but there really are a ton of uses for a waterproof duffel. The DuffelSak is awesome for traveling and casual adventuring. Even more, we highly recommend it for those who have the freedom to walk or bike from place to place, be it the gym, work, or elsewhere. Products by Skog Å Kust have a cool look and function extremely well so you really can’t go wrong. The 40L and 60L sizes offer options. 60L is a bit big to be hauling around town, but 40L can be perfect. The opposite is also true. 40L may not be enough to haul scuba gear to a dive or a ton of gear to a camp site, but 60L is. We’ve reviewed a lot of dry bags that are great for tying down to a kayak or canoe, the DuffelSak can work just as great in that capacity as well. Finally, dry bags are most often viewed as a necessary item to keep things dry. The DuffelSak is a perfect companion for the gym, beach, or other waterborne quest when wet items need to be packed and carried back home.
If you, like us, believe that you can’t have enough bags, then definitely pick up a DuffelSak. What the hell, get one in each size. If nothing else, when you combine high functioning features, a simple cool look along with complete waterproof protection in a product that can get take as much punishment as your adventure can dish out, that’s a product worth having. Better yet, just hose it off when you get home and you’re ready for the next big event, or bike ride to work the next day. The DuffelSak is definitely worth the investment to protect your stuff and have a piece of gear that can handle a wide range of activities. Skog Å Kust continues to drop cool waterproof outdoor products. Big win.