Overboard Pro Sports Backpack Review
Well at first glance you look at this and think its just a large dry sack with some straps attached, and you aren’t completely wrong, but its a little bit more than that. It’s a sort of ‘more than a dry sack’ and ‘less of a backpack’ combination that might look a little weird but is actually rather cleaver.
There are two side mesh pockets that are a good size for water bottles and one more zipped mesh pocket on the front. Over the front of this zipped pocket is an elastic cord with a quick release buckle which is perfect for a rolled up towel. The inside is pretty much your generic dry sack pocket. It’s a 20 litre compartment with a small zip pouch on the back for a few valuables to be kept separately, but other than that its just a large cavity to stuff whatever you want in there. It easily would fit your general gear you would take to the beach or for a swim/ kayaking session while having plenty of space for your extra’s. So for example I could easily get a camp stove, some food and cooking utensils inside and still have a towel, clothing and my boots with some room to spare. I do like having just a single pouch as it doesn’t restrict the size of the items you can contain, even if it doesn’t let you organise them, but if you saw my desk you would see that I only know the word organise, but have no real world association with it.
The backpack part is more than what you might expect from a product like this, and it’s what interested me in the product in the first place. It’s like somebody took the whole back section of a real backpack and stuck it to a dry sack. From a distance it looks like it could be quite horrible and cheap but you would be mistaken for thinking such things. It’s actually very good quality, and once the pack is full looks rather normal and is much more comfortable than you might think. It has on this side all the usual refinements you would expect from a normal backpack. It has a padded back that’s designed to be breathable along with padded straps (not hugely padded, but enough considering it’s not a general daysack). On these straps are a couple of rings that I assume are for securing the pack to something like a raft and there is also waist and chest straps (the buckle for the chest strap is also a whistle)(nice touch). Now I have to be honest here, I hate the waist strap. It’s not padded and it’s not in a good place for my body size and given you are unlikely to ever carry a heavy load its pretty much pointless too. Happily it is completely removable though, and if you kept it on would be a useful bit of cordage.
The quality is very good on this pack. There is a tougher material around the sides and bottom and all of the seams look top notch. The padding is good and their choices of materials are excellent. It’s also available in yellow if you want the extra visibility. I think ocean enthusiasts (aka nutters who aren’t afraid of sharks) might find the yellow more beneficial as it will contrast against the sea excellently if/when needing rescue. There is also a 30 litre version available in red, brown or black here.
There’s not really a lot more that I can say about this as it’s not rammed with all of the features you might get in a backpack, like hydration compatibility or additional pouches, so let me tell you about some of the testing I performed on it. I sent it down some rapids a few times just to see if it was watertight (it was) and then I threw it from the top of a 30 foot cliff into another pile of rapids. I done this several times with varying piles of gear inside (nothing valuable, just in case) and it held up perfectly fine. For a start there was no water inside, and none of the seams appeared in any way damaged. I also carried about 10-15kg of gear for a few hours while we were out and it was perfectly comfortable.
Overall its a really good little backpack-dry sack hybrid. I have a few dry sacks and backpacks that I use for various occasions and for me Well, almost perfect. If they make this with a hydration bladder compartment then I will be completely happy, but it is still better than any backpack I have for those days out on the rapids. Given that 90% of all of my mates love capsizing boats for childish amusement, admittedly I do too, now at least I wont need to be chasing a dry sack downriver and it’s also a helpful floating aid.
You can purchase one of these great packs here.
Overboard Pro Sports Backpack Review
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