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Podsacs Waterproof 20L Ruscksack

photo: Podsacs Waterproof 20L Ruscksack daypack (under 35l)

Reviews

1 review
5-star:   1
4-star:   0
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

A dirt cheap solution, if you're worried about getting your electronics—or spare socks—wet, on your hike, in your boat or canyoneering.

Pros

  • Tough materials
  • Well constructed
  • Good detailing and features
  • Versatile
  • Very inexpensive

Cons

  • May be slippery/uncomfortable, in hot weather?
  • Limited external attachment options

Pod Sacs has been a revered brand in the climbing community, in the UK.  Their crag sacks, hip packs, and chalk bags were ubiquitous for many years.  The company was sold to bike firm Planet X, in 2014 and they recently re-launched the name, with a clever line of waterproof bike luggage, aimed at the growing Gravel Bike market.

Tucked away in the promo for that, were a couple of backpacks—of 20 and 30 litre capacity—and I bought both! This is a review of the smaller one, which I've carried all winter, on my longer day hikes.

IMG_20210305_162419845.jpg
Note the empty food wrapper, visible in the mesh pocket.  

This is, effectively, a rather burly barrel/dry bag, with three external and two internal pockets added, plus a carry system, consisting of padded shoulder straps, a chest strap, with moulded whistle, and a similarly thin waist strap. 

The outside pockets fit flush. Side pockets have water resistant zip closures and the centre pocket is of mesh construction, enabling companions to see, that I still have two cereal bars, uneaten;-) 

There are loops and a shock cord, to attach an axe, or walking poles, plus reflective detailing strips, which would be handy on your bike, or if you were caught on the hill, after dark. 

Internal pockets are connected. There is a roomy bellows pouch, with Velcro closure—big enough to swallow a half litre flask and a half litre water bottle.  On the outside of this, is a zipped mesh pocket, for your wallet and keys.

The roll-top closure is tough and very secure, with good quality Fastex buckles.  I have carried this through a number of snow and rain storms, with never a hint of water ingress. Even the side pockets have remained dry (although they are pretty small—each big enough for a compass, pocket knife and bandana).

The bag carries well. Straps are perfectly adequate, for the intended uses—with relatively small loads and low weights. The hip/waist belt is thin and unpadded but allows weight distribution to be altered and the pack to be cinched close to your body, for scrambling purposes. Shoulder strap placement would probably work, for a wide range of folks, but perhaps not for really large, broad -shouldered individuals.

Capacity-wise, this bag compares closely, to my go-to Karrimor small pack.  There are no compression features, but a couple of extra turns on the roll-top would provide the same effect, without the ability to precisely apportion the load. With such a small pack, I don't think this is an issue for me—and the trade-off, of robust construction and water exclusion, is an attractive one.

This bag has been on sale all winter, in the UK, for £20. I think it's a great bargain, with many other uses, apart from hiking. Pod Sacs make good dry bags and this product should appeal to many customers for those, water sports and snow sports enthusiasts amongst them.  

I wonder how this bag will feel on my back, in warmer weather? The shiny textured material is buffered by a padded mesh section, which sits against your ribs. So far this year, my ribs have been three and four layers of clothing removed from this material and I look forward to testing the summer utility of the bag, in due course;-)

I gave the bag a five-star rating, because it entirely delivers what is promised—complete waterproof construction and shoulder carry straps. I've never used a roll top bag for hiking, before, but I like the security of it. The trade-off is that there is no lid, to sling ropes under- and overstuffing the main compartment would negate the element-defeating purpose of the product.

I've used, abused, and given away many day packs. My two favourites are 30-plus years old and still work well. It's hard to compare a six-month-old bag with those stalwarts, but I'm happy I gave in to my inquisitive side and bought this bag. Functionally weatherproof and comfy to wear.

BAPOD20LR-MBLK_P1-01.jpg
Side buckles, for tying down the lid.

 

 

BAPOD20LR-REDW_P2.jpg
Or just loop the ends of the closure system, if you prefer.

 

BAPOD20LR-YELL_P2.jpg
Straps work fine, for me. Contents seldom weigh more than 10-15lbs and often much less.

 Did I say they came in different colours?  :-) Mine's the black one at the top, with walking stick and visible food supplies;-)

Experience

I've been using this bag for six months, two or three times a week, in rural Scottish conditions and in temperatures down to -15 degrees centigrade. Covid restrictions have kept my walks local and relatively short, usually less than 9-10 miles.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £20

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice review, Lester! I was curious to see how Podsacs were being sold since the brand was sold, so thanks for sharing a review of your day pack.


1 month ago
Lester M

Thanks, Alicia;-) Planet X are now an employee-owned company- big enough to have stuff made to their specifications.....but still relatively small and approachable.


1 month ago
Lester M

Shame about my editing/spelling of the title......:-)


1 month ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for sharing that info, Lester.


1 month ago

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