'Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you...'
Cycling has always been my passion. Something I have continually embraced through leisure and sporting pursuits. Cycling is a huge part of me, part of my character and an essential aspect of my existence, here on planet earth. I cycle everywhere, here in the Netherlands, back in the UK and anywhere my travels take me.
To the shop, to the park, all over in fact. It is generally, just me and the bike, my chosen mode of transport.
Each day I wake up early, around 5.30am and start my 52km round trip, from my home to my work. It is my time. My time to indulge in something I love, my time to keep fit and stay healthy. My time to do what I can to save this planet of ours.
Of course, there are times when I question what I'm doing, or others might do it for me. I try not to think about it too much and continually keep it all in perspective. The way I see it... it's something to do and before the influx of modern-day modes of transportation, its what we all did anyway. These days everything is far too simple, too convenient or people are happy to be lazy.
To do such a thing needs continued determination and focus. Believe me, it is not easy to wake up on a cold, wet and often windy Autumnal morning and think what you are about to do is fun. Cycling across dark, pan flat Polders, with the wind howling around you and the cold biting at your toes, isn't everyone's idea of fun, but to me, it's simply a way to get to work.
In doing such crazy things, preparation is key and having the right equipment is extremely important. In fact essential. Like everyone else, I have learnt from my mistakes and developed, a better way of doing this, over time. Sourcing the correct equipment isn't easy, but when you have it, it certainly makes everything seem that bit better or even easier.
For this latest Blog Post, I have been lucky enough to work with Aquapac, who are essentially a British company, based in London, that specialises in outdoor waterproofing and products. The Aquapac story started back in 1983 when a group of friends were chatting (down the pub) about how to keep a 'Walkman' dry while Windsurfing? From this point on, their story and vision has grown dramatically and they are now world leaders. At the cutting edge of all things outdoor waterproofing.
Like all potential opportunities, that come my way, this opportunity was great, as it allowed me to use some of their fabulous products, while out in the open, battling against the elements. Simply doing the things I love, but of course remaining dry
Read on for more of my review.
All About Aquapac
What makes Aquapac so special?
The good people at Aquapac genuinely seek every opportunity to design useful products that continue to help people get out and enjoy the great outdoors. They endeavour to make and sell products of the very best quality – the same they also hope for, when buying gear from other companies. Aquapac is a company that simply doesn’t cut corners, as they aspire to give customers top-notch quality gear in return for their hard-earned cash.
The vast majority of their products are made by their committed and talented team, based in the company's very own factory, as they have been doing so, since the business started out. Five of their team have been working at Aquapac for over 20 years, and the average employee service term is over 15 years. This shows commitment to a long standing and well-established company.
Their vision is to simply treat you the way they’d like to be treated themselves. With a customer service team having a simple mandate – to make you a happy customer who’ll come back for more.
For this collaboration, I was lucky enough to obtain and test out a variety of products, that are all available on their website store.
The Best Selling - Heavyweight Waterproof 28L Day Pack
The pack is one of Aquapac's 'best sellers' and is a 28-Litre heavyweight waterproof backpack, which is from the Aquapac TrailProof range. I loved this bag! It’s a really comfortable pack and is designed to keep your gear waterproof during all types of rugged adventures. It is simple in design, with no unwanted extras attached.
I found this pack to be essential for rainy days on the bike, as it kept the water out and everything remained perfectly dry inside. Water hit the bag, during length spells of persistent heavy rain and water simply repelled off.
It is also the perfect companion for other pursuits like paddling, long distance biking, vacations and other types of extreme sports. My pack came in cool blue, which was actually my favourite, but other colours include – acid green and matt black.
- The bag is extremely hard wearing and is made from very Tough 500D Vinyl which resist scrapes and abrasion out on the trail.
- Noticeably the bag is well made and is sealed perfectly, to keep traces of water out.
- At the top of the bag is a functional roll-down seal with side (compression) or top (maximum volume) closure. This is easy to use and allows the bag to be fully packed.
- Extras include mesh side pockets for drink storage or to simply store quick-access items. I used it to store my lock, my banana and a granola bar. All essential when riding the bike.
- There are breathable mesh straps and also padding, to ease tension on the shoulders and back. Even when the back was fully packed, it was comfortable.
- Lash points on the front of the bag are cleverly located for lights.
- Daisy-chain webbing is also included to allow you to secure carabiners to the side of the bag.
- There is also a very handy grab handle, positioned on top of the bag for grabbing easily.
Close Ups on the bags finer details.
How waterproof is it?
I personally found the bag to be excellent, with plenty of room inside and fully waterproof throughout.
The pack is well designed and certainly stood up to whatever the weather was throwing at me. I used my pack while out cycling, but it is also an ideal accessory, when participating in activities close to or on the water.
I made several journeys in heavy rain and strong winds. My entire contents, along with my laptop stayed completely dry. Even my sandwiches did too!
The pack is fully Stormproof and the link goes a long way to explaining how this all works.
You can buy the Toccoa TrailProof Backpack, direct from Aquapac's Online Store.
The ultra-lightweight PackDivider™ drysacks
I found the Pack Dividers to be so useful, they were perfect for fitting all the extra little bits. They come in a range of colours and sizes, they are measured in litres. The products I tested came in four different sizes, those being 2, 4, 8 and 13 litres. They are ultra-lightweight and waterproof. Allowing me to pack individual items, inside other bags and keeping them dry and ultimately safe.
The range of ultra-lightweight waterproof drybags are useful and really functional for any type of use. On the bike they are perfect, as I could stuff all manner of items into them and they would continue to remain dry. I really like using them and have also used them before when backpacking, traveling, camping, paddling, sailing and expedition use. For example, when commuting everyday, I need to take my clothes to work. They were ideal for allowing me to roll up my clothes up and then keep them fully dry.
- The drysacks come in translucent white nylon. This is really handy as it means you can make out what’s inside, without actually opening the bag. Perfect if you are in a wet environment.
- At the bottom of the bag is a bright colour section. This allows you to easily find it, within a bigger bag.
- At the bottom of the bag is a purpose built grab handle. Each time you pick up the bag, you can use the grab handle at each end. Making it easy to pull out.
- The bags have fully-taped seams and not welded seams. Makes the bag smooth and again fully waterproof. Giving added security that your items inside will be secure.
Important information on the 4 Sizes
ltrs Height Weight Grams Base
2 21cm 11cm 32g yellow
4 24cm 15cm 38g blue
8 30cm 16cm 44g green
13 35cm 20cm 55g orange
Once again the drysacks are extremely durable and really stood up to the elements. I was very impressed with how Stormproof they are and by clicking on the link, it provides information on how waterproof they are.
You can buy the drysacks seen above, direct from Aquapac's Online Store.
Waterproof Phone Cases
Stormproof Phone Case
This is a super lightweight phone case that comes in two different sizes, small and mini.
Why is the case so special?
Again this is another quality product and a must have for anyone spending their days in the outdoors. I found it to be personally invaluable, as I continually worry that cycling 2 hours a day in unpredictable weather will often put my mobile at risk. Fear not, here are some great reasons why you too should have one of these.
- This phone case was incredibly light and comfortably fitted in my Samsung S7 phone.
- My phone was fully waterproof to IPX6 which basically means that it is fire-hose proof.
- If the case comes into contact with mud or dirt, it will simply wash off!
- Once inside the case the phone was fully functional. I could talk and hear through them without a problem.
- You are also still able to establish great photos and videos, with the touchscreen working normally.
- You won’t necessarily have to buy a new case when you upgrade your phone. They are generic rather than a form-fit cases. Unlike hard cases, they’re not tailored to a specific device.
What else do I need to know?
- Fingerprint recognition such as Apple’s Touch ID won’t work through the Aquapac – you will have to enter your pass-code. I have a Samsung phone and it worked just fine.
- The cases are available in two colours, those being Safety Orange and Cool Grey. I particular liked the Safety Orange, as it is highly visible and eye catching. Those images can be seen below.
You can buy the phone cases seen above, direct from Aquapac's Online Store.
Thank You and Recommendations
Well, this has been my latest collaboration and I would like to again extend a huge thank you to Aquapac for allowing me to work with them.
For me, it has personally been a great collaboration, as the products are so use and I cannot stress how well made they are and they do exactly what they say.
Would I recommend Aquapac and their items?
Without hesitation, of course I would. Aquapac are a leading brand and are certainly at the cutting edge of waterproofing. Their products are well design and really do serve their purpose. I did not try out all their range of products, but what I did test. I was suitably impressed and would love to of course see more.
For anyone spending their days outdoors will inevitably encounter difficulties and challenges with nature and the weather. Aquapac goes a long way to ensuring that you can still do and of course enjoy all aspects of the great outdoors without feeling hindered by the weather.
My advice would be to get out there, enjoy it, but remember that good equipment is there for a reason.
Thanks for reading.