First-time white water rafters have a number of questions before they even set out on their first adventure. Questions range from the typical “what should I bring” to the slightly more dramatic “will I make it back alive?” While we can’t promise you’ll make the trip unharmed, we can recommend a bag to ensure your belongings do.
The Amphibian Water Defense Backpack from Outdoor Products is a 20-liter pack made from 420 Denier fabric with TPU coating. Welded seams, a watertight roll-top seal and durable fabric ensure your gear stays dry in the main pocket under any conditions. But before we could recommend the pack, we had to test it ourselves.
We filled the main compartment with towels, which would soak up any water that might leak in. There were three pockets on the outside of the pack, one was mesh and the other two appeared to have a watertight seal, we fit two small towels into the sealed side pockets and began testing.
The whole pack held up to splashes and short dips in the water, but we decided to test the limitations of the pack. For the final test we submerged the pack in three feet of water for 30 seconds. To be clear, with the air inside the pack we needed to hold it down, so this pack would not normally sink. That said, the outside pockets let water in during the final test but the main compartment held up and stayed completely dry.
The solid performance in tests paired with the rugged material and surprisingly roomy interior make this pack easy to recommend. It’s a winner even in the details, from the reflective accents to the straps for trekking poles. The Amphibian is a must-have on the river and a great choice for all your summer adventures. The pack sells for $60 and you can find it at Outdoorproducts.com.