Now that it’s Spring and we’ve had our three days of early good weather, the snow is gone and the cold rain is here. If you don’t want to get wet, you don’t go out. Either you stock up on ziploc bags and stow everything you need to keep dry in a wet bag, or you get a bag that holds the weather at bay, like the Overboard Waterproof Backpack.
The Overboard Backpack offers no fancy features other than a single 21 liter waterproofed compartment with roll-up seal, but the bag does provide more than just basics. Inside the bag there’s a zippered compartment for maps or other thin-profile items. On either side you’ll find mesh compartments large enough for water bottles or other fast-access items. Shoulder straps and waist belt adjust for a custom fit, and a sternum strap keeps the shoulder straps tucked in where they’re most comfortable. On the straps are reflective patches cyclists will appreciate, since it’s always nice to be seen by drivers in bad weather before they run you off the road.
To seal this pack against the weather all you do is roll up the top and snap the clips to their matching sockets on the side of the bag. It’s a waterproof but not air-tight system, good enough to keep gear dry and even tight enough to float if you don’t squeeze it too hard. Comfort will depend on your expertise at storing gear properly because although the pack is built for airflow against the back there’s no significant padding. Rigging loops on the pack allow lashing extra gear on the outside.
Best applications for this handy and durable backpack include wet weather hiking, kayaking and canoeing, boating and fishing, and bicycling in nearly any part of the country until the last part of May. We have another three days of good weather due then, before the summer rains start up. See the Specialty Packs area of the Marked Tree A-Store for several other good light backpack choices.