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Carry Awards


Best Waterproof Bag Champion | Carry Awards IX

by , March 24, 2022

We’ve welcomed a new category in our Carry Awards IX: Best Waterproof Bag. And it’s off to a flying start with our category champion. Your wet gear worries are well and truly over with this superb submersible champ…

1st Place

Subtech Pro Drybag 45L

A lot of waterproof bags are great at keeping water out… and not much else. With the primary focus on being a barrier to the elements, a lot of practical features can fall by the wayside. But that’s not the case with the Subtech Pro Drybag 45L.

This burly beast of a bag offers everything you could want in a waterproof bag. Naturally, it’s 100% waterproof but also submersible down to 50 meters (164 feet). Its IP68 waterproof rating is achieved through features such as welded seams and a hard-wearing, waterproof Hypalon fabric that offers a good balance of durability and light weight. Rugged adventures without hauling the kitchen sink? Two thumbs up.


So it’s airtight and watertight, but what else makes it stand out? Well, the airtight construction allows it to serve as a floatation device. Neat. Not to mention incredibly useful in potentially gnarly situations. Then you’ve got a choice of interior mesh pockets to organize gear, plus an optional Smart Pack System for additional organization if desired. An optional Shockproof Inflatable System provides even more protection for fragile gear and easily inflates via an oral inflator.


Sounds good so far; so what else? Carry options. Lots of them. The pack comes with detachable padded shoulder straps and a detachable waist strap with a trusty Cobra buckle. Backpack mode, here you come. Fancy the grab-and-go ease of a duffel? You’re sorted there too, with magnetic grab handles for easy portability. Plus the bag also has burly side handles on either end; great for maneuvering in tight spaces or quickly grabbing the bag to load in a vehicle or boat.


Super tough, completely waterproof and airtight, and offering multiple carry options, this is a bag that will go wherever travel and adventure takes you, on land and water, in any season. Keeping your gear 100% protected from the elements so you can embrace the journey. Superb work, Subtech!


Highly Commended

These are the pieces that just missed out, and in most cases, by the smallest of margins. To them, we award a High Commendation. The below were of outstanding quality, displaying fine craftsmanship and design flair. With honor, we bow our heads in the utmost respect and kudos. If this were a dais, they’d be biting their teeth into silver medals, while their flags were hoisted into the horizon – a feat not to be overlooked. And we’re sure they’ll be back, to take it one notch higher, next year.

Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack


The Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack may initially come across as a flyfishing pack but don’t think it’s limited to this sphere. Is it a dependable pack for long days by the stream? You bet. But it’s equally versatile for boat trips, wet weather hikes, camping trips, and anywhere else where you can’t afford for gear to get wet. It keeps the elements at bay through a combination of 900D TPU coated NewStream fabric (made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic) and a self-healing TRU Zip closure on the main compartment.  

Organization-wise you benefit from a removable interior zippered pocket, a water-resistant quick-access pocket, and multiple exterior attachment points. Add in the foam shoulder straps, wide hip belt, and molded back panel and you get a waterproof pack that comfortably carries loads for extended periods of time. Fishpond is the first flyfishing company to become a certified B Corp, and it’s great to see a sustainable approach to making waterproof carry that’s multifunctional for fishing, boating, hiking, or even rainy-day commutes. High five, Fishpond!

Ortlieb Atrack CR


Ortlieb have a solid reputation for building tough, waterproof gear using dependable German manufacturing. And that reputation is only strengthened with the Atrack CR. If you’re looking for secure on-the-go carry, versatile functionality, and 100% waterproofness, this might just be your perfect wet-weather companion. The pack maintains a sleek silhouette while you’re on the move, with a discreet zipper opening on the back panel; handy for thwarting opportunistic thieves.

The pack’s tough Cordura exterior and TIZIP zipper keep the water out and stand up to hard use. So you don’t need to worry about using this bag as a workhorse for adventure travel, the daily commute, and more. Exterior mesh pockets and laser-cut daisy chains are complemented by four interior zippered pockets, giving you options for organizing changing loads. Another useful element of this bag is the adjustable back panel, allowing the pack to suit a variety of different frames. Tough, waterproof, and versatile, the Atrack CR is a great multifunctional piece for urban and outdoor use alike. Awesome job, Ortlieb!


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