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What’s the distinction between “waterproof” and “water resistant” on the subject of bikepacking baggage? The truth is a few firms affiliate the time period waterproof with merchandise that aren’t, and it’s time to uncover the reality. On this information, we take a look at the distinction between water resistant and waterproof bikepacking baggage, present some concerns for weighing out the choices, and record our favorites in a number of classes…
Bikepacking is all about venturing into the unknown and studying to anticipate the sudden. Nevertheless, there’s one certainty you can depend on throughout any prolonged journey: you’re going to get moist. Okay, possibly that’s not all the time the case, however except you’ve got nice timing otherwise you’re within the desert in the course of the dry season, there’s a excessive chance that you just’ll get rained in some unspecified time in the future on throughout a multi-day outing. Usually, that’s only a fleeting bathe, however different instances, persistent rain can soak you and your gear to its core. For many people, having the occasional “yard sale” show of drugs drying within the solar is a part of the journey, however it’s important that some gear stays dry, equivalent to down jackets and sleeping baggage, cameras and delicate electronics, and garments meant to maintain you heat.
One situation we hear from many readers is that they anticipated their new bag to be waterproof however it wasn’t. That is the place issues get complicated. With many supplies being touted as “waterproof” however utilizing building methods that nullify that declare, there’s quite a bit to contemplate. Watch Neil’s video that digs into the subject under, then scroll down for an inventory of realizations and concerns from our final decade bikepacking via all kinds of tumultuous climate.
If having extremely water resistant or waterproof bikepacking baggage is essential to you, there are a number of components to contemplate when perusing the myriad choices in the marketplace. As Neil talked about within the video, most of us right here at BIKEPACKING.com like having a minimum of one waterproof bag in our system to retailer clothes, electronics, or different delicate gear that shouldn’t get moist. Discover some concerns under:
1. Luggage which are stitched are usually not waterproof (more often than not).
If a bag is stitched and the phrases “water resistant” or “waterproof” are used to explain it, be cautious. To ensure that a stitched bag to maintain out the weather, the seams need to be sealed with a seam sealant compound or a seam tape. If a bag doesn’t have both, it’s doubtless that it’s going to do a poor job of maintaining out water throughout heavy rain.
2. Some supplies lose their water resistance.
One downside we’ve skilled with X-Pac (the most well-liked materials utilized in bikepacking baggage) is that it appears to wear down and lose its water resistance. Regardless of X-Pac’s declare of being one hundred pc waterproof, we’ve got frequently seen this material begin to leach over time. That is doubtless on account of solar publicity or put on and tear, however we’ve had that have each the 3- and 4-ply X-Pac. Quite the opposite, TPU nylon (see under) appears to keep up its water resistance extraordinarily effectively after a variety of use. Working example is the TPU materials utilized in merchandise like all Ortlieb baggage, the Revelate Terrapin, and the Rockgeist Huge Dumpling, which may stand as much as heavy use and stay waterproof. That being stated, there are materials utilized in stitched baggage which are far more sturdy and waterproof, such because the engineered Stratex material used within the Revelate Pronghorn dry bag.
3. Some stitched two-ply baggage are extremely water-resistant.
We’ve discovered some two-ply stitched (and non-seam-sealed) baggage to be nearly waterproof. One instance is the Luggage By Chicken Goldback (Cordura with a thinner liner layer); it may get extraordinarily moist in a deluge and does fairly effectively at maintaining out moisture. The identical will be stated for Mission Workshop/Acre Hauser backpack, which has an X-Pac outer and nylon inside liner.
4. Waxed canvas is an especially water resistant possibility.
This all-natural, old-school weatherproofing method includes melting bees wax into cotton duck material. After all, this leads to a heavier materials, however it’s extraordinarily weather-resistant, even in heavy all-day downpours.
5. You don’t have to make use of waterproof bikepacking baggage.
One profit to utilizing non-waterproof baggage is the truth that they’ll breathe, permitting the bag and its contents to dry out with the wind and solar, thus stopping issues from getting musty. I personally like having a breathable material body pack and counting on different means for maintaining stuff dry. One in every of my favorites is having a pair Sea to Summit Ultrasil dry baggage on the prepared. They’re light-weight and do an excellent job of maintaining their contents dry, though remember to maintain them tightly packed, or they’ll rub different gadgets and develop holes. Another choice is simply utilizing plastic baggage: bread baggage, grocery sacks, and zip-lock baggage come to thoughts.
6. When unsure, go along with a welded bag.
Whereas there are various seam-taped stitched baggage which are waterproof, welded baggage are a positive wager. In abstract, welded baggage use radio frequency (RF) welding or warmth to bond thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) materials to create a seamless be part of. TPU materials are powerful and 100% waterproof.
7. Roll-tops and TIZIPS make it really waterproof.
Even welded baggage will not be totally waterproof. To have the ability to make that declare, baggage ought to be capable of be dunked in water. To perform this excessive score, a roll-top closure that enables 4-5 rolls or a water-proof TIZIP zipper have to be used because the closure. The waterproof zippers utilized in most baggage—such because the Tailfin Aeropack, as Neil demonstrated, are merely water resistant and might’t stand as much as water stress. That’s why many Ortlieb baggage and the Revelate Terrapin use an air-bleed valve. Their air- and water-tight design requires the flexibility to let air our to compress and pack the bag. In case you’re unsure, fill the bag with air, then squeeze it to see if there are any leaks.
Our Favourite Waterproof Bikepacking Luggage
There are a number of manufacturers that make 100% waterproof bikepacking baggage. Just a few to notice who use welded building methods embody Ortlieb (their tagline will depend on it), Revelate Designs, Blackburn, and Tailfin. Listed below are a number of of our favourite waterproof bikepacking baggage we’ve examined through the years. You probably have a water-proof or extremely water resistant bag you want, tell us within the dialog on the backside of this publish. Listed below are some favorites we’ve come to belief through the years:
Waterproof Handlebar Luggage
Ortlieb Handlebar-Pack 15L
All of Ortlieb’s Germany-made baggage are one hundred pc waterproof, together with the RF-welded TPU Ortlieb Handlebar-Pack 15L, a bag we’ve put hundreds of miles on. The 15L mannequin affords simply the proper mount of house, and Ortlieb did an excellent job at making a stable and usable bag. You too can get a welded roll-top accent to go together with it.
Made in Germany / 420g (14.8oz) / $165 at REI
Revelate Candy Roll 11L
The Revelate Candy Roll was one of many first handlebar baggage of its sort, and it additionally options an RF-welded waterproof TPU building. Like all of Revelate’s baggage, the Candy Roll has glorious consideration to element and is a sturdy possibility that we’ve put severe miles on through the years.
Made in China / 439g (15.5oz) / $115 at REI
Whereas the Revelate Harness isn’t essentially waterproof, the idea behind it was designed with waterproofing in thoughts. Basically, the Harness was the primary of its sort handlebar answer made to holster a third-party dry bag or Revelate’s personal Salty Roll. There are many different harnesses in the marketplace, however this was the primary and stays the most effective. Discover our evaluate right here.
Made in USA / 425g (15oz) / $95 at REI
Waterproof Seat Luggage
Ortlieb Seat-pack 11L
The Ortlieb Seat-pack 11L was distinctive in that it was the primary welded seat pack to retain a easy saddle rail and seatpost connection and a light-weight kind issue. We’ve racked up hundreds of miles on this one, and it even works with a dropper publish.
Made in Germany / 345g (12.2oz) / $175 at REI
Revelate Terrapin 8L
The Revelate Terrapin differs from typical seat bag designs in the truth that it’s a holster system that secures a dry bag that may be shortly faraway from the bike for “within the tent” packing or unpacking. It’s an excellent answer and is one hundred pc waterproof.
Made in USA/China / 369g (13oz) / $179 at REI
Tailfin 10L Panniers
There are many waterproof panniers in the marketplace, however we’ve got a particular fondness for Tailfin’s 10L Mini-Panniers. Not solely are they the right dimension, additionally they have a number of sensible particulars, together with a superb locking cam and a nice-roll-top with reverse clips. Discover the total evaluate right here.
Made in China / 380g (13.4oz) every / $105 every at Tailfin
Rockgeist Mr. Fusion
The previously Canadian-made Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion (now Rockgeist) has lengthy been considered one of our favourite seat packs. Not solely is it utterly waterproof, however the mini-rack/holster system prevents sway and motion higher than another seat pack in the marketplace. It’s additionally extraordinarily sturdy (learn my 5,000-mile evaluate from 2016 right here).
Made in USA / 560g (19.7oz) / $230 at Rockgeist
Waterproof Body Packs
The 52Hz was the world’s first totally waterproof body bag, primarily based across the roll-top design discovered on Porcelain Rocket’s unique Orbiter roll-top body pack. Now made by Rockgeist in North Carolina, the 52Hz lives on as one of many few waterproof body pack choices.
Made in USA / 380g (13.4oz) in dimension massive / $240 at Rockgeist
The Ortlieb Body Packs are the one different waterproof body baggage that we all know of. They arrive in two flavors: a roll-top design, which we’ve used and like, and a zipper design with a TIZIP zipper. Each are totally waterproof.
Made in Germany / 250g (8.8oz) in 6L / $140_ at Ortlieb
Waterproof Accent Luggage
Rockgeist Huge Dumpling
Using the identical welded/waterproof methods which are used on the 52Hz body pack, the Rockgeist Huge Dumpling is a one-of-a-kind hip pack. A number of of us on the crew use this bag day by day for on-the-bike camera-carrying duties.
Made in USA / 377g (13.3oz) / $175 at Rockgeist
Revelate Egress Pocket
The Egress Pocket is a welded, waterproof accent pouch that makes an excellent companion piece for the already widespread, waterproof, seam-sealed Sweetroll handlebar roll or the Handlebar Harness. It may well additionally stand alone, secured to the bars with included straps.
Made in China / 283g (10oz) / $75 at REI
Ortlieb Fork Pack
Ortlieb’s totally waterproof Fork-Pack is an fascinating quick-release roll-top pack designed so as to add 4.1 or 5.8 liters of packing house to every fork leg (with or with out eyelets). It makes an excellent answer to front-load packing or simply including additional quantity to your setup. Discover our evaluate right here.
Made in Germany / 290g (10.2oz) in 4.1L / $65 every at REI
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