Seattle Sports Company is a brand with an established pedigree in water gear. I’ve owned one of their dry bags for years. It protected my gear on the stormy 2015 Cape Cod Bay Challenge. This paddle was rough, with three foot seas hitting us constantly. Despite the conditions, my gear was always safe, a testament to the durability of the bag. It’s still my go-to deck storage! So when I had the opportunity to review another Seattle Sports dry bag, I was happy to do it.
The Seattle Sports LocoDry WetTrek is a backpack style dry bag designed for serious adventure It’s genuine dry bag with a 50 liter capacity. When you open the top it looks like the mouth of a grouper, ready to devour your stuff! (I mean that in a good way.) It’s pretty easy to stuff whatever you need in there: books, food, camping gear, cameras, the kitchen sink. I mean everything! However you won’t find multiple sleeves inside like a bookbag. This is meant for outdoor gear, not laptops. (And do you really need a laptop on a camping trip?)
Sealing the top is pretty simple. You pull the plastic clasps apart, which pulls the two edges of the top together. Think of it as closing the mouth of the fish. Then you twist the clasps in the same direction, rolling the top seam upon itself. After about three rolls, clip the ends together and you have some good waterproofing. Make sure the turns are tight! The closed end also doubles as a nice handle.
There’s only one small pocket on the exterior for odds and ends, and this lays pretty flat. It’s best for phones, keys, or maybe a wallet. Perhaps anticipating a need for more storage, the WetTrek comes with a small external bag called the ModPok. This has an outside chamber for a water bottle but also a zipper pocket for power bars and other small items.
I like the silicone shoulder straps more than I expected. They initially felt flimsy, and I was wanting cloth. After walking with it though I started to appreciate how the straps sort of stuck to my shoulders and didn’t slide down my arm like a cloth construction would. So score one for new materials. The bag comes with a set of black and lime straps, and you can buy other colors to customize.
Of course my real question was “How well does this bag work on my board?” The test came one sunny afternoon. I usually don’t take much on my outings, just water, phone, and a camera, but I decided to stuff some clothes in the bag just to give it some heft. My go-to river board has a set of bungies in the front, which the WetTrek fit neatly underneath. Even if the bag was three times as full, it would fit snugly on the deck. Racing cruisers are designed more for speed, not hauling stuff. Even my board, an older racer-cruiser, doesn’t want big things on the deck. Yet the WetTrek seemed pretty comfortable up there; it’s pillow shape was low enough to not destabilize the board. At the end of the trip, my clothes were dry, even after a fall.
This is a very nice dry bag, large enough for many uses. With 50 liters of storage, it’s probably too big for a casual paddle, but it’s perfect for a day excursion. It can hold food, drink, and accessories for yourself and several friends. (Tour leaders, take note!) If you’re planning a paddle camping trip, this is a perfect bag. It can hold your food, clothes, and gear in one large package, leaving the rest of your board deck open for a sleeping bag, tent, and whatever you’re shlepping. The thick walls also makes the bag resistant to tearing. The fact that it’s a backpack means you can conveniently pack inside your house then carry your items to your paddle craft. It’s also a fine regular backpack, especially if you need to carry bulky items.
If you’re looking for a backpack style dry bag, this is a good choice. Seattle Sports takes its bags seriously. They’re made of heavy waterproof material that’s tear-resistant, so it will last a while. (My old deckbag gets used pretty often and shows almost no wear and tear.) If you’re looking for a bag that will carry a lot of stuff on and off the water, seriously consider this one. If you’re planning a paddling tour and you need a waterproof sack to hold your traveling gear, put the Seattle Sports LocoDry at the top of your list.