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Thread: Waterproof Bags?

  1. #1

    Default Waterproof Bags?

    I am looking to outfit my new raft and I was wondering if people have some preferences when it comes to waterproof bags for their trips. I would like one backpack style and one large rolltop. Primarily for weekend to 5 day trips. Any input on brands, styles, likes/dislikes and value would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Brian

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    NRS Bill's Bags. They'll last forever. I just did a product review of them on our site here, AT THIS LINK. Check it out!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  3. #3

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    That's a great review thanks Mike. What about hard cases? Pelicans? Action Packers? Is there a place for stuff like that on a float or should I stick to soft bags?

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Jackson View Post
    That's a great review thanks Mike. What about hard cases? Pelicans? Action Packers? Is there a place for stuff like that on a float or should I stick to soft bags?
    I would be careful about hard-sided anything when it comes to flyout trips. You can get by with an Action Packer or so, but you mostly want soft stuff because it's a lot easier on airplane fabric. Just my take though.

    We do bring a 48-quart Coleman cooler on most all of our float hunts, for the frozen foods. But they have rounded corners and pack well into the boat. I would for sure avoid aluminum dry boxes, because of the airplane issue.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    Sealline also make some really nice dry bags, and I've found out that ya can't have too many dry bags. As far as boxes go, I usually have several dry boxes on my float trips. I always have an aluminum dry box and usually carry one or two action packer type boxes. Mike does have a valid point with the aluminum dry boxes, so far I haven't had a problem with mine. For most of my fly-out float trips I've used beavers, and have never used anything smaller than a 206.

  6. #6

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    The frame of the raft is very bare bones and has two slots for coolers to nest in...this will also act as the seating. I was wndering if anybody has mounted crazy creeks onto cooler tops with success? I think I will stick with coolers with rounded edges...it just seems like it will prevent some potential issues.

    Thanks for the input
    Brian

  7. #7

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    Personally, I use the smaller dry boxes. As for dry bags check with SOTAR, at sotar.com double round bottom. By far the best.
    I have one that has made 4 trips to Australia and as many to Russia as a checked bag and many-many miles on the rivers and still rolling. Just came into Louisiana this week with a new one and not a scratch on her- as brutal as the airlines and TSA can be. This is not a promotion for SOTAR only a valid opinion from a lot of experience.
    Goo

  8. #8
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    I've used both NRS Bills Bags and Sotar bags, along with several others. The NRS is a good bag that I like, but after years of use my Sotar bags show less wear. Probably due to using urethane instead of PVC I suppose. Also, sometimes the clear flap at the top of the Bill's Bag cracks at the corners (usually when using an old bag in the cold) reducing their sealing ability. Otherwise both seem to seal well if you get the first couple folds down tight. Just make sure you actually FOLD them tight and not just roll them when you start. Rolling the top never seals anything in a bag.

    Anymore I use Pelican cases for camera gear, but I have used padded military ammo cans with good results too. But check the seals before you waste your time gluing the padding in. Some of them leak. Ammo cans work well for storing personal items that need occasional access during the day. Problem with ammo cans is they add a bunch more metal to bang your body on.

    Most of my trips are drive-to launches so I pack a large cooler full of food and supplies that stays in the boat when at camp. I use it for a seat, sometimes with a Crazy Creek strapped on top. I also sometimes use a very large plastic drybox in a slot at the front of my frame, but this is only for heavily loaded trips where I can drive to the put-in and take-out. Both of these never come out until the end of the trip. Otherwise I use a set of Action Packers and other assorted boxes that get strapped down. Clothing and small personal gear usually goes in soft bags, but kitchen and hard camping gear usually get put in a box.

    BTW, I have found that I can switch from using the cooler as the rower's seat, to the drybox as a seat faster than I can turn the boat around. So in desperate situations having the space cleared out in front of me works out well.

    If you're flying with this stuff, none of what I said will apply for that trip.

  9. #9
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I have used several different types on remote floats and my favorites are the Pacific Outdoors Gobi bags. Backpacks, in different sizes, makes them easy to carry around. I use two smaller ones for food and two larger ones for gear. Also, the straps come off and they can be used as regular dry bags if you don't need the backpack straps. Not cheap, but the WX-Tex material is very durable and gravel bar tested. Occasionally you can find good deals on them on Sierra Trading Post.





    http://pacoutdoor.com/water-gear/view/gobi




    -Dan

  10. #10

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    All good points, not much extra to add in the way of what has been recommended already. In regards to fly in trips and preparing to fit all your gear into a plane, my general impression is pilots like smaller objects for packing instead of one large object. Two smaller bags / boxes are easier to fit into a small space than one large bag / box. Although I realize if you're looking to use the box holder on your frame as a seat, that would dictate you take a large box / cooler. North Face use to make a nice duffel bag style dry bag, not sure if they still do or not. I never used one but my friends have and they love 'em. I think they're pricey though.

    Jeff

  11. #11
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    One more thing you might want to consider (at least I always do), SealLine bags are made in the USA.

  12. #12

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    Hey Brian, when I built your frame I set the 14" space as the seat spot to row from with the right placing of the oar stands and the front 16" space for a 100 qt coleman for your passengers to sit on. Let me know if the blades made it. I do not know when I will be back from Louisiana, but have my computer here and check it often.
    And by the way, your SOTAR was also made in AMERICA. Let me know if any questions.
    Goo

  13. #13

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    As Goeux said Sotar is also made in the USA! I have Sotar bags and they seem really tough. So far I have no complaints on the Sotar dry bags at all, and if you wait tell the Great Alaska Outdoor show the last two years they have been 50% off.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russp17 View Post
    As Goeux said Sotar is also made in the USA! I have Sotar bags and they seem really tough. So far I have no complaints on the Sotar dry bags at all, and if you wait tell the Great Alaska Outdoor show the last two years they have been 50% off.
    Is that the Outdoor show in Fairbanks? That sounds like a no brainer at 50% off. Thanks for the input.

  15. #15
    Member AK Troutbum's Avatar
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    I'll definitely be checking out the Sotar bags, As stated before, you can't have too many dry bags.

  16. #16
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    Along with an assotment of various size NRS bags, I carry a Pelican case with my DSLR camera and lenses. The Pelican case is just about bullet proof and orange for good visibility.

    I'd reccomend at least 1 clear dry bag to carry whatever you think you might need while floating (rain gear, snacks, sunscreen, whatever). It's a whole lot easier to find stuff when you can see through the bag.

    A cheap alternative are the orange plastic 5 gallon buckets from Home Depot with lids. Line the buckets with a heavy duty trash compoactor bag for additional waterproofing. These work excellent for carrying charcoal and stove fuel and double as camp chairs.

    I'm also adding 2 rifle size dry bags this winter. I don't really care for the 2 floating cases I have now.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Jackson View Post
    Is that the Outdoor show in Fairbanks? That sounds like a no brainer at 50% off. Thanks for the input.
    IT was the one in Anchorage. I don't know about the one in Fairbanks.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    Along with an assotment of various size NRS bags, I carry a Pelican case with my DSLR camera and lenses. The Pelican case is just about bullet proof and orange for good visibility.

    I'd reccomend at least 1 clear dry bag to carry whatever you think you might need while floating (rain gear, snacks, sunscreen, whatever). It's a whole lot easier to find stuff when you can see through the bag.

    A cheap alternative are the orange plastic 5 gallon buckets from Home Depot with lids. Line the buckets with a heavy duty trash compoactor bag for additional waterproofing. These work excellent for carrying charcoal and stove fuel and double as camp chairs.

    I'm also adding 2 rifle size dry bags this winter. I don't really care for the 2 floating cases I have now.
    Those are some really good ideas. I'll certainly have a bucket or two when I start floating next year. Those messy items are always a pain...designating a cheap bucket to them for storage is perfect. I agree with the clear plastic stuff sack..I already have one and they are super handy.

  19. #19
    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    On a float hunt, I used the Cabela's bags pictured below, and they help up perfectly. The light-green bag, is an e-Vent bag for some less water-vulnerable stuff. FWIW, I put most of the stuff inside the Cabela's bags in the light e-Vent water-proof, breathable stuff bags for double-protection overkill. I also marked the different e-Vent stuff bags to keep things organized and to be able to find things.


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    Default Watershed duffles

    I've used a variety of bags over the years, and agree that Bill's Bags are a pretty good product. I've got a Sealine bag that is is perhaps just a notch below that -- but plenty serviceable. If SOTAR's bag is as good as their small cat's, I'm sure that's a good bet too.

    But I've become attached to Watershed's duffles, which have much wider openings, a positive ziplock closure, welded seams, a tougher poly-coated nylon than most PVC bags, and a "just right" size and amount of fastex buckles and attachment d-rings. They run a little longer and flatter than PVC bags, and are lots less slippery, which is good if you have dogs and kids that scramble around on your load. Sealed right, I've never had them leak.

    Their downside is cost. The "Colorado" runs $150 for 6,400 cubic inches vs. about $80 for the similar-sized heavyweight Bill's Bag. I've accumulated 4 in different sizes over the years when I felt I had some disposable income, but I've got other bags too because I couldn't always justify the expense.

    I have no idea if they are made in the US anymore, but I remember meeting the guy who invented them at an outfitter conference in New Orleans in maybe 1989 or 90, who called himself and the company "Man of Rubber" (since changed to Watershed). He was an outfitter on the Ocoee in Tennessee. My oldest bag is approaching 20 years and still has no leaks, although it has lost a buckle or two. My PVC drybags from that era are long since retired from pin *****s that I can't be bothered to hunt down and patch.

    http://drybags.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?...y_Code=Duffels

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