We’ve been impressed with some of OverBoard’s kit in the past, offering practical waterproofing baggage solutions. The trolley backpack is something of a departure from your traditional outdoors adventure-y type bag or rucksack and moves into the business traveller market. But can this combination appeal?
The bag is constructed from heavy duty PVC tarpaulin. The bag is black all over so it doesn't shout at you like some waterproof packs do, but is made of PVC. So it has that sort of satin sheen about it that brings to mind certain scenes from Pulp Fiction. It would be unfair to describe it as the gimp bag, but it’s difficult to shake off to tag once your colleagues adopt it.
They won’t be laughing when their dainty trolley bags are soaked by the rain, whilst you stride on with not a care in the world.
Measuring 50 x 33 x 24cm it falls into the dimensions required for hand luggage if you are a frequent flyer and features a 55cm telescopic handle, so rolling it on the two bottom-mounted wheels should present no problems. These wheels are well attached and the solid plastic base extends to surround the wheels, so should survive kerbs and car boots with no problems.
The main compartment contains a sleeve that will hold a laptop – OverBoard say up to 16-inches and our 15.4-inch test PC fitted with no problems. There are also two dividers that would keep documents under control whilst the rest of the compartment should be big enough to accommodate a change of shirt and underwear for an overnight trip.
There is also a zipped expansion section, so if you find things are a squeeze, you can open things up a bit, giving you a few extra inches. The main compartment features two overlapping zip flaps which should keep out the most inclement weather, but this does mean the zip is a bit tougher to operate than some.
The front of the bag sees an accessory pocket which is reasonably substantial, and features another padded pouch that would house an external hard drive or PMP, for example. You also get a section with the obligatory pen loops and several folds for stuffing business cards into, whilst a clip loop will secure your keys. This pocket also has a port so you can connect up headphones to a device on the inside.
A final flap on the front is just a flap, which OverBoard suggest is a document pocket – it would certainly be convenient for stashing flight and hotel details without having to root around in the rest of the bag, but it does seem a little excessive to have such a heavy-duty zip for what is essentially a single flap of material.
Besides the wheeled option, the bag also gives you padded shoulder straps, which will tuck away in a zipped pocket on the back when not in use. The back is also padded so when you are using it as a backpack it is fairly comfortable, but not ideal for long-term use. The straps do seem a little short too, but if you find yourself somewhere that you can’t wheel your bag then you do have a variety of carrying options.
You also needn’t worry about getting your suit dirty if you do use it as a backpack because there are neat little wheel covers hiding around the sides.
The OverBoard Adventure Trolley Backpack gives you plenty of storage, whilst keeping your essentials safe and dry, giving your laptop the benefits of both padding and waterproofing. The overall look is perhaps not to everyone’s taste, but if you’ve even found yourself with a soaked bag, you’ll recognise the benefits.
For many people, however, this won’t be a problem, but if you find yourself travelling to places where you may have to deal with the weather and can’t always guarantee your shuttle to the airport will arrive on time, then this might be right up your street.
We like the gritty, practical and somewhat hardcore approach that OverBoard takes to its cases and bags, we just aren’t totally sold on it as a trolley bag.