By Huw Oliver
On any given day there are probably a few dry bags inside my pack, especially on days when the bike is my office. They organise things and make groups of items, like a first aid kit, instantly recognisable in amongst the general detritus, not to mention keeping my sandwiches dry. Sharp objects have a habit of appearing from nowhere over the course of a ride though, and it’s never long before a dry bag is riddled with tiny holes; I was keen to see if Overboard’s durable-looking bag could stand the test of daily use and abrasion. Overboard, as the name would suggest, come from a watersports background, but can their tubular dry bag make itself useful to us among the mud, bog and miscellaneous slop of the typical British mountain bike ride?
The long, thin profile of the bag is a little unusual, but on top there’s a typical roll-top and buckle to give a secure and waterproof closure, aided by a strip of plastic to give a neat fold. Immersion testing in the river revealed that folding the top neatly is critical though, as the robust fabric leaves gaps and channels for water to enter if you don’t keep everything in check. When closed carefully, it survived several minutes of full submersion without any water making it past the first roll, which should be fine for anything bar the apocalypse. I initially thought of using the bag as a pack liner, keeping the entire contents of a rucksack safe and dry, but the shape doesn’t lend itself to fitting neatly inside any bag I’ve ever seen, and makes it tricky to fish around at the bottom for that spare pair of gloves that are lurking down there. What’s more, the fabric is much thicker than your average dry bag, which gives some peace of mind against it springing any leaks, but makes it impractical to scrunch the bag down when it isn’t full.
I was beginning to wonder if the Overboard bag had a place in my kit after all, but realised that I just hadn’t found its niche yet: where the Overboard bag shines is as a handlebar bag for bikepacking setups, or even on the front of a commuter to store a change of clothes. Twelve litres is a good size for lightweight summer loads without becoming unwieldy, and for research purposes let it be noted that five stubby baguettes can fit inside with or without fillings (you’re welcome). The shape is perfect if you want to maximise both storage space and front tyre clearance, and works very well with any harness system designed to take handlebar bags. If dedicated bikepacking kit is a bit of a wallet-stretcher, I even found that it could be strapped, if a little awkwardly, directly to the handlebars thanks to the thick material; while abrasion to the bag might not be such an issue, it will still rub the hell out of your bars and controls though, so be warned!
Overall: At under £20, it’s cheap for a sturdy bag that should last more than just a season of hard use, and while it might not have the useful double-ended opening of dedicated bags, it will happily take a bashing when used for other purposes without falling apart. A bargain if you need more dry bags in your life (who doesn’t?) while being perfect for the occasional overnighter ride.
DEALS ON OVERBOARD DRY BAGS
|Product:||12l dry tube bag|
|Tested:||by Huw Oliver for 1 month|