Review by Arnie P
Aquapac Waterproof Camera Pouch
The Aquapac Waterproof Camera Pouch was provided by Aquapac for review purposes.
The camera pouch is lightweight and waterproof. A padded container is provided to protect items in the waterproof pouch. A shoulder strap also is provided as a convenient way to carry the pouch. The pouch weighs 2.9 oz and is made out of TPU nylon. The seams are welded and the pouch and is rated down to -40 C/-40 F. The pouch is about 7 in wide and 10 in high. The removable padded container is 3 in x 3.7 in x 6 in and weighs 0.9 oz. The waterproof pouch is closed with a roll down top which has buckles that attach to the pouch. The shoulder strap which is about 41 in long and ¾ in wide slides into an attached panel and weighs 0.7 oz. See picture below. There are 2 places to attach the pouch to a strap or belt. The slot for attaching to a belt could possibly accommodate a belt up to about 1.5 in wide, depending on the thickness of the belt.
Trying it out
I found that I could easily fit both my compact P &S digital cameras into the padded container and still have space for my cell phone. For backpacking I would add matches, maps, identification, and other small items that need to be kept dry. I have been using various plastic bags to store the above items. I think the waterproof pouch may provide a simpler drier more efficient method. Since I use suspenders on most of my hiking pants I will probably not be using the belt attachment. I did put my 7.7 oz digital camera in the pouch and carried it by way of the shoulder strap. While carrying it this way, I could not feel the weight of the camera. It was light enough for me to wonder if I had put the camera in the pouch. As a test I put my camera in the padded container in the pouch, rolled down the top, and cinched the straps. I could put a fair amount of force on the bag and it felt almost like a balloon. I think there is enough trapped air for the package to float on the surface of water. I think I will find the pouch especially useful on backpacking trips or hikes requiring stream crossings. I do have a backpacking trip planned with a friend to do Owl’s Head. This requires crossing a stream several times. The water is usually very cold, swift and the bottom is covered with slimy slippery rocks and sometimes an unexpected deep spot. I feel I will be less concerned about getting my water sensitive items wet.
As I use the pouch more, I will probably find other items to carry in it on hikes and backpacks. Please check back in a month when I will have more to say about the Aquapac waterproof camera pouch.
Life always has surprises and shortly after I finished my last report, I discovered the Aquapac is quite different from other dry sacs I have used. I noticed that there is a seal similar to the seals on Zip lock bags located just below the regular seal. It was time to start using the Aquapac.
Initially I used the Aquapac for occasions when the threat of rain was possible or there was a chance I could get the contents of the pack wet. Then, I started taking the Aquapac on hikes where I was using the Aquapac to carry items I needed while on the trail. I usually store the items I need quickly in my shirt pocket or in small waist pockets on a backpack. However there are times when these pockets are not available or I don’t have enough space for all the quickly needed items. There are times when I may be carrying some of the following items; camera, cell phone, traditional compass, small snacks, knife and some kind of GPS device in the future. I don’t expect to be carrying all these items at once very often, but it’s nice to know that it is possible.
Ways to use the Aquapac waterproof camera case
The easiest way is to store the Aquapac inside my backpack or to attach it to the outside of my backpack. The problem with that is that I don’t like taking off my backpack or asking someone to get something for me. I then started trying different ways of carrying the Aquapac using the strap that was supplied. It turns out the strap supplied is too short for me to use as a waist belt. The belts I have were too thick or too wide to fit easily into the slot provided for a waist belt. I also found out that using a belt over a backpack belt would be clumsy at best. I think it could work on day packs that don’t have waist belts.
I tried 2 positions, first over my shoulder and then over my neck. When I tried using the Aquapac over my shoulder, I felt I needed a longer strap, it just was not long enough to be useful or comfortable for me. Using the Aquapac over my neck in front of me, was a lot better. I found I was using the belt in the fully extended position all the time and sometimes wished the belt was longer. The shoulder strap is attached to the Aquapac about in the middle of the pack and sometimes I think it would be nice if the strap attachment were placed closer to the top of the Aquapac. This would be more stable.
I have recently bought a much lighter but smaller backpack and will be using the Aquapac to carry items that I can access without having to remove my backpack. I like using the Aquapac a lot so far. Please check back in a month when I will have more to say about the Aquapac.
A last look
I am so glad that the Aquapac compact camera pouch (021) can be used in dry conditions as well as wet ones. As mentioned in my last report, my new backpack is smaller and I am finding the Aquapac compact camera pouch may provide some of the space I lost when going to a much lighter and somewhat smaller backpack. My plan is to put into the Aquapac compact camera pouch a lot of the smaller items that I want have access to while hiking as well as items that need to be kept dry. I found out quickly that lightweight backpacking requires a number of skills, organizational ones being the most important, followed by eliminating unessential items, but allowing for a few exceptions. My down pillow is the exception for me, a luxury I don’t want to give up at this time. This could happen if I found a lighter, smaller, and almost as comfortable pillow. When I started using a lighter backpack, I no longer had a number of compartments and pockets in which to store and organize my items. The Aquapac compact camera case restores a pocket I lost. At this point in time, I am still looking for the best combination of items to put in the Aquapac compact camera case.
Hiking and overnight backpacks
One of the concerns I mentioned previously was how to wear the Aquapac compact camera pouch. I decided on 2 possible ways. One is using the strap provided and having the Aquapac compact camera pouch hang from my neck in front of me. The other is to strap it to my backpack facing backwards as I hike. As can be seen from the picture, the pack does hang down and may look a bit strange. This may prove to be a blessing in disguise. With tighter budgets trail maintenance is not as it used to be. This means I encounter a lot more trees that have been blown across the path than usual. If the attached pack was rigidly in place, it would pose a higher profile for me when crawling under a tree that crossed the path. I am hoping there is enough slack to avoid getting caught while crawling under a tree. Since all these situations are different there is almost no way to prepare for them ahead of time.
This had been planned, then cancelled, then with good weather in the forecast it was back on again. My wife and I met feral cat (trail name of a hiking friend) at Great Brook Farm. We had a good hike and I was able to try out the Aquapac compact camera pouch attached to my backpack. The Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2011 Windrider backpack and Aquapac compact camera pouch )021) were ready for their inaugural trip and this would be a good conditioning hike for me. Within a half hour I found the Aquapac compact camera pouch was bouncing and this was too annoying for me. My wife was able to find a better way to attach the Aquapac to my backpack and this did work well. I had filled the Aquapac compact camera pouch to capacity. I am now wishing this pouch was a bit larger.