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Published on August 14th, 2011 | by Greg

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Aquapac: Water Protection For Your Gear

Whether you like to bike, run, jog, moped, hike, or sim­ply walk your dog through the oc­ca­sion­al in­clement con­di­tion, it’s a good idea to be pre­pared for the oc­ca­sion­al spill and pour. Noth­ing ru­ins a nice day out like a wa­ter­logged phone, tablet, or cam­era- we know be­cause we’ve had it hap­pened. The sud­den end of your de­vice might not be as dra­mat­ic as a for­got­ten phone in a pock­et dur­ing an im­promp­tu wad­ing ses­sion to­wards a wa­ter­fall, but we could’ve saved a bunch of mon­ey had we been in pos­ses­sion of to­day’s help­ful piece of kit. Aqua­pac makes a va­ri­ety of to­tal­ly se­ri­ous, wa­ter­proof cas­ings and shells and bags. We’ve tried out three, and with some trep­i­da­tion, found each to hold up against the el­e­ments.

The Aqua­pac Storm­proof SLR Pouch is great for any pho­tog­ra­phers with a DSLR and some equip­ment, who want more wa­ter pro­tec­tion than your av­er­age bag al­lows. Sure, it al­so works against dust and sand as well, and like most of their cas­es, should float in wa­ter. It’s nice­ly padded, can hold some ma­jor lens­es (up to 7 inch­es long) and hold most bod­ies- we tried out Nikon D90, but it seemed like oth­ers, even a D3, would fit snug­ly. This one isn’t meant for sub­mer­sion, but in­stead al­low­ing you to feel safe against storms and rains, even se­ri­ous ones, or the stray drop in­to a pud­dle. Seams were ex­cel­lent, and the bag wasn’t too heavy and felt sol­id. As a roll-seal dry­bag, it was good, but def­i­nite­ly a bit less com­fort­able than oth­er cam­era bags, and slight­ly lim­it­ed in room for oth­er items that you would of­ten want handy. At $75, though, it’s a good deal, though we wouldn’t rec­om­mend it to any­one in need of a reg­u­lar bag for dai­ly use.

There aren’t yet a lot of wa­ter­proof tablet op­tions. But their Whanganui iPad case is fun, as it al­lows you to con­tin­ue to use the iPad even while se­cure­ly pro­tect­ed. Of course, we found that it wasn’t that use­ful, since it can be slip­pery and get a big fog­gy, but nonethe­less it’s po­ten­tial­ly handy. This one will al­so work for oth­er tablets, and any­thing that you might want a de­cent-sized wa­ter­proof bag for. We ac­tu­al­ly took them at their word here, and took our iPad orig­i­nal out to the beach, safe­ly en­sconced. The mech­a­nism is pret­ty nifty- they call it the Aqua­clip, and it of­fers a firm seal with a quick twist. It all stays in one piece, and can be eas­i­ly wiped down or cleaned. The in­clud­ed shoul­der­strap is so-so, but we’re hap­py that one was thrown in. And the whole bag floats, and is sub­mersible to the IPX8 stan­dard (mean­ing fif­teen feet un­der­wa­ter for thir­ty min­utes). We didn’t quite go that deep, or hold it down that long, but af­ter a few deep breaths and a cou­ple of stiff drinks, dipped our sack un­der and tossed it about to no harm. At $45, we rec­om­mend it for ev­ery­one who might be near, un­der, or in the wa­ter with mid-size elec­tron­ics.

Fi­nal­ly, the Aqua­pac Padded Dry­bag is clos­er to the SLR pouch than the iPad case- it’s meant for pro­tec­tion against splash­es, mud, rain, and spray. It can fit up a 17-inch lap­top, and the as­sort­ed portable mice and pow­er cords. With their roll-seal sys­tem, you sim­ply fold over the lid a few times, and buck­le it all in­to place. As with the bags above, it comes with a nice five-year war­ran­ty, which cov­ers the com­plete re­turn or re­pair of any bag, and the ship­ping costs, for de­fects in ma­te­ri­als or work­man­ship (should a seam come loose or for any oth­er rea­son). It won’t cov­er your gear though, ex­press­ly- if your DSLR gets wet, it’s on your head. This one was more at­trac­tive than some mes­sen­ger bags we’ve seen, though again the shoul­der strap isn’t nice­ly padded. And while the in­te­ri­or pock­ets aren’t amaz­ing, the padding was good, for some pro­tec­tion against bumps and drops. $70, avail­able on­line and in stores, though they ap­pear to have on­ly one col­or.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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