Overboard Ltd, who are based in the UK, manufacture the Overboard Waterproof Backpack. Started in 2006 by two young guys who were travelling in Asia when they came up with the plan to design and produce a range of waterproof bags aimed at the outdoor pursuit market, the company has since grown and now distributes their range throughout the world.
I first stumbled upon their bags during a visit to a boating shop in the UK and their backpack design was exactly what I had been looking for to stow my gear when heading out for sailing trips. I initially chose a 30 litre backpack which is great for when I need to lug a change of clothes, jacket, sunglasses and also various other spare gear if I have some work to do on the boat. The bag was great but perhaps a little too oversized if I just wanted to take a change of clothes for an afternoon out on the water. So a few months later I decided to buy another Overboard backpack, this time a 20 litre model. I like having both sizes so that I can grab the perfect size depending on what I need to pack that day.
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(price as of Sep 10, 2014)
Overboard bags are great quality and the first backpack I have owned is over 2 years old now and is holding up well. Construction is a waterproof material that is ‘high frequency welded’, which ensures it is watertight and the bag opens and closes via a roll-up top, which is secured by click buckles. Once closed, the bag will also float if you happen to accidentally drop it in the water.
Internally, the backpack is not sub-divided apart from a small internal zip pocket for smaller items such as your phone or keys, and on the outside there are more quick-access pockets but these are not for items that need to stay dry.
The Overboard range is extensive and I chose the backpack, as I prefer to keep my bag secure and my hands free for the times when climbing on and off the boat. Although I don’t need to wear the bag for long periods of time, the support is well designed with confortable padded shoulder straps and additional waist and sternum straps if you do need to carry heavier a load for longer periods.
Overall, would highly recommend Overboard products, and particularly their waterproof backpacks.