Published on August 14th, 2011 | by Greg0
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.