Spotlight - equipment views and reviews from the AK team
The how and why of using Drybags
By Jay Oram
15, Aug, 2014
We run through the uses of all our Airlok drybags and the best way to get the most out of them
England can be a bit damp - I'm not sure if you noticed, but I don't often have a weekend away without a drop of moisture in the air...
The most versatile bit of equipment you can own and a good investment is a drybag. With so many uses I have a bag full that I dip in and out of for every trip. At Alpkit we have a couple of different styles of drybag all designed to keep your stuffs dry in a range of situations. (Read all about them below or skip to the video at the bottom - Jay)
The plain Airlok is lightweight and made of a tough silicon coated cordura. Ranging from the 1 litre size that regularly carries my phone, wallet and car keys to the largest 35 litre to line my rucksack for a day in the hills. Back in the day me and friends would just use carrier bags - in fact between the three of us we had different supermarkets - Morrisons, Tesco and Asda. The rustling and struggling to find the correct bag was only tolerated because it was free!
We have a range of colours and sizes so you can split bits up and when you empty your bag on the floor looking for your lunch or to find the car keys at the end of the day it's a lot easier. Pop a white sticky label on the outside and use a marker to label bits - especially your first aid kit so everyone else can find it to.
Airlok Xtra's also come in a range of sizes and colours, they are the Airlok's heavier duty sibling. If you need a bag to strap on the outside of anything, a bike, a canoe or just your rucksack, these are much more abrasion resistant. With the added Hypalon attachments and strap you can clip, strap or attach this to anything or jsut throw it over your shoulder. A customer recently used the smaller version to mix pancake batter inside - multi-use I guess.
A new addition to the range are the Airlok Xtra Dual bags, we noticed everyone using the 8l,13l and 20l Airlok Xtras strapped on to their bike handlebars - what a great idea! - so we adopted this and went riding ourselves. The product guys like to tinker though and we realised that when packing down jackets or sleeping bags into the Airlok we would stuff lightly to begin with and then ram the last bit in, making it a bit one sided. The dual helped blance this out and allowed us to shove a down jacket in one side and waterproof in the other depending on the situation. Thes ebags come with two stealth clip adjustable straps so you can buy this and add it to the bike as a lightweight simple cockpit bag.
My favourite and most used is the Gourdon - this is a no frills rucksack, basically the same tough fabric as our Airlok Xtra, but we have added a padded back pad, rucksack straps, chest strap and minimal waist belt. We couldn't tell you what this was used for now, originally a lightweight waterproof bag for quick alpine ascents or days out on the hill, now I commute every day on the bike no matter what the weather knowing Gourdon will keep everything dry, I use it for the beach, deep water soloing missions, sea kayak storage, canoeing, trips to the shop and waterproof storage while away.
The smallest of the three - Gourdon 20 is great as a day bag, go with the Gourdon 25 for bigger days, carrying the kids waterproofs as well as yours or a wild camping weekend. Lastly the Gourdon 30 for a bit more space or cheekily hand luggage for flying - it's the perfect size!
Check out the video below for a quick run down on the bags and how to close them properly. Let us know what you use your bag for - the more bizarre the better!
Run through of Alpkit Drybags
Airlok 1l1 litre roll-top drybag: silicone-coated ripstop nylon with fully-taped seams to keep your stuff dry when paddling, swimming, or dancing in the rain.£7.50
Airlok Xtra 65l65 litre drybag with attachment point and shoulder strap designed to be tough and adaptable for adventures and expeditions, ideal for lining your pack or carrying everything on an expedition£32.00
Airlok Dual 20lExpedition size 20 litre dual ended bikepacking handlebar dry bag. Spacious and lightweight, long distance gear protection£19.00