OverBoard Carbon Backpack

If you spend your leisure, or professional, time jumping in and out of canoes or boats, you’ll know what it feels like to have your baggage drenched, either by an unplanned dunking or from lively ocean spray. OverBoard, as you would guess from the name, provide a range of bags that should appeal.

The Carbon range takes the roll-top concept an evolutionary step further, providing a range of carrying solutions, with the Backpack providing the largest capacity and greatest scope for carrying around your gear. The design is in a classic black, with the "carbon" element in the form of a carbonfibre weave effect on the front panel, which give this rucksack and good manly no-nonsense look.

The rucksack is constructed from the familiar heavy-duty TPU, which provides a 100% waterproof material, and common in bags of this type. The seams are "high frequency" fully welded, which means they are not only hard-wearing, but fully waterproof. For those not in the know, the roll-top seal is also 100% waterproof, which zips and flap closures cannot boast. This is not just a boast, it really is completely waterproof.

It is not just waterproof, it is also airtight, which means that careful packing is needed before closure to keep the bag compact. On the flipside, the trapped air will mean that the bag will float if you throw it overboard, or have to swim across a river. Needless to say, it is also dust and sand proof whilst closed and if it does get dirty, you can simply hose it down, or dunk it in a stream.

Inside you’ll find a zipped pocket, which is extremely useful, meaning you have a place to put your wallet and phone so they are not knocking around in the bottom of the bag. Otherwise, you have the main 25 litre area which will give you sufficient capacity for reasonable length expeditions. Care should be taken not to overfill the bag, so that the roll-top still has space to close.

Moving to the outside you have two options to secure the top: either the standard option of clipping them together, or you can secure down the side with additional straps, avoiding the customary loop on top. One advantage this has is it stops people carrying it by the closure and is easier to pack into smaller spaces.

The load carrying shoulder straps are well padded, so carrying a full load is comfortable. There is also back padding and lumbar support, so this feels like a proper rucksack rather than simply a canoe bag with a strap. The back padding is also channelled, so there is some ventilation which is a great bonus when on the move. The shoulder straps are fully adjustable, as well as having top tensioners so you can pull the load in tight to your back for better balance.

If there was one criticism, it would be that bigger guys might find the straps are not long enough – whilst the padded section is of ample length, we found the pull adjuster straps were at their longest (on a broad-shouldered, 6ft 1in, 42in chest man) when carrying a full load. This will depend on whether you want to use the waist strap and how tightly you adjust the top tensioners, as well, but worth considering if you are larger than average build.

Whilst the lumber support is comfortable against the lower spine, the waist strap is mostly for stability, pulling the lumbar padding into your back, but has no other padding of its own, so won’t take much of the weight off your shoulders. Unless you are carrying gold bullion, with a 25-litre sack this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Also on the outside you get elasticated webbing, which is useful for securing things on an ad-hoc basic, such as a kayak paddle or your jacket, and there are two water bottle holders on the side, which will take a normal sports bottle.

Verdict

The OverBoard Carbon rucksack will be ideally suited to your active lifestyle around water and you will know that you can throw into the bottom of a boat or strap it onto a pack mule without the contents getting wet. The load carry straps are very comfortable to use with the little details making this a rucksack that is convenient to use.


>