Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch

Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch

Below in box is from the website (including picture).  http://www.aquapac.net

Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch (022)

Muddy, rainy or spray conditions

 

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Key Features

  • Padded sections for camera and lenses
  • Separate zippered pocket for accessories
  • Supplied with shoulderstrap and belt to stop it bouncing around
  • Like most of our cases it’ll float if you drop it in the drink.
  • The seams are high-frequency welded to form a super-strong bond.
  • The roll-down seal will keep out any rain or mud, or spray on a kayak.
  • The integral lashtab is perfect for lashing it down to a deck.

 

 

The great outdoors and SLRs don’t always mix.Rain, dust, sand and mud aren’t a worrywith this rugged bag,which is designed to rest securely on your hip.

Review by Ron J.

Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch was provided by Aquapac for the purpose of this review.

I asked to review the Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch (I will call it the pouch for the rest of the review) because my wife is an avid photographer. We do not take her “good” camera on any of our outdoor adventures because she is afraid something will happen to it. We sacrifice picture quality since we always take our “not as good camera” that does not take as good of pictures but if something happens to it, we won’t be too upset.  I was very excited when I received the pouch in the mail.  I pulled it out the box and was instantly impressed on the quality and thickness of the TPU Nylon.  The enclosed information says:

This bag is made from TPU Nylon, which is tough stuff.  It won’t leak because we weld or tape all the edges.  And it’ll work across a big range of temperatures: this pack does its job right down to -40C.

 

All of our products undergo rigorous testing by us as well as independent assessors, and we certify this product as “IPX6”

 

Aquapac has led the market since we invented ways of windsurfing with a Walkman in 1983.  We won a Queeen’s Award for Innovation in 2007.

 

Inside the pouch is another padded pouch that easily holds our SLR camera and a zoom lens that can be held with the two extra Velcro pads dividers.  There is also room for the plug for recharging the camera.  On top of the padded pouch there is another zippered compartment that we could fit the USB cord in.  The internal padded pouch does not zip or Velcro close which surprised me but the top flap easily closes and stays closed as long as it is sitting upright.  Once I loaded the internal padded pouch with the camera, I found it difficult to get the internal padded pouch back into the external pouch without squeezing the bottom of the padded pouch and almost forcing it in.  I found that it is much easier to pack and unpack the internal padded pouch while inside the external pouch instead of taking the internal pouch in and out.

Now it is time to test the Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera pouch in the water.

The website claims:

Like most of our cases it’ll float if you drop it in the drink.

The website also states:

 

What does ‘StormproofTM’ Mean?
The roll-seal system used on this Aquapac has been used successfully on drybags for years. With a very simple 3 or 4 folds of the opening and then clipping 2 buckles in place, you can guarantee that the hardest rain or spray will be kept off your expensive gear. Whilst we don’t recommend that you submerge our Stormproof pouches, they should also protect against accidental dropping into puddles if they’re retrieved quickly

 

After reading both statements, I decided I would test the pouch in the worst case situation.  If I’m going to be allowed to take our “good” camera on our outings, I am going to have to prove to my wife that it will be protected. My wife would not allow me to do my first water test with her “good” camera so I decided to wrap a brick in newspaper (figuring the weight of the brick is heavier then all her camera equipment and would be the maximum weight we would ever have in the pouch).  The enclosed instructions say:

100% waterproof and buoyant.  Roll and seal tightly 3 times before you close the buckle and your pouch will be waterproof.  Pull down the straps nice and tight for a better seal.

 

After I wrapped the brick in newspaper, I placed the brick in the padded pouch and closed the lid.  I then closed the Ziploc type seal on the external pouch and rolled the seal three times then buckled the pouch.  I tied the pouch to my fishing pole and threw it out in the lake.  The pouch floated so I was feeling good about my initial test.  After 5 minutes I reeled the pouch in and opened it up.  I first unbuckled and unrolled the seal, pulled it apart and looked inside.  I saw a few drops of water and thought it was probably from the outside when I opened the pouch.  When I opened the internal padded pouch I was glad my wife’s camera was not in there because the newspapers were soaked and there was about two inches of water inside.  I was concerned so I took the brick out and dried the padded pouch and external pouch out completely and tried again.  This time I decided to try using something that was a little closer to the weight of the camera.  I used a 16oz glass jar of pickles.  I again wrapped the jar in two layers of newspaper just so I could see if any water got in the pouch.  I made sure I followed the instructions exactly.  I sealed the Ziplock type seal and again tightly rolled the seal three times.  This time I made sure I pulled the straps tighter.  When I was tightening the straps, I pulled the straps straight up and to make it as tight as possible.  As I pulled it tighter, one of the buckles released by itself.  I thought it ripped off or broke but luckily it just came unbuckled.  I am not sure if I did not have it buckled properly or it has a bad buckle.  I found that if I pushed down on the top of the pouch while I pulled up on the straps, I could get a tighter seal and it put less pressure on the buckles minimizing the risk of them coming unbuckled.

Brick test above.  Last picture shows the paper soaking wet.

Before I threw the pouch in the water, I wanted to test how well the padded protection did so I raised the pouch above my head (I am 6’ 3”) and dropped it three times on concrete and checked the glass jar.  Luckily I did not have pickle juice in my new bag.  I have complete confidence in the protection the pouch offers for our camera if I were to drop it on the trail.  I again tied the pouch to my fishing pole and threw it back in the lake.  I did notice the pouch was floating more upright this time and after five minutes I reeled it back in and opened it up.  This time it was as dry as it was when I packed the jar in the pouch.  I was very happy to see that.

Pickle test above.  Last picture shows everything is dry.

The Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch comes with an adjustable shoulder and hip strap that allows the pouch fit snugly against your body so it won’t flop around as you walk, run or ride a bike.  You could even strap it on your kayak or a rack on your bike if you do not want to wear it on your body.  The pouch can also be worn on your belt by simply putting your belt through the attached belt loop.

The pouch comes with a 5 year warranty /  guarantee and can be found on their website. http://www.aquapac.net/usastore/warranty-claims-1134-0.html .  There is a lot of good information on the website including two videos.  One on how the pouch works and one on how to attach the straps.

I am very confident that the Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch will keep our camera dry and protected on the trail even if I got caught in a big rainstorm.  I will test it a couple more times in the lake before I take it on a canoe or kayaking trip.  I believe the first test with the brick failed because I did not have it sealed properly and strapped down tight enough.  I will have feedback on how it does on the trail and a bike ride in my next update in a month.

Update 06/24/2011

 

I was concerned on how well the Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch was going to perform after my first test in the lake but, since then, I have been impressed with the pouch.  I have used it on all my outdoor adventures which include hiking, mountain biking, camping and kayaking.  I am convinced that the first test I did with the brick in the bag failed as a result of user error.  I did not have the pouch sealed properly and since then I have made sure I follow the directions exactly by sealing the Ziploc type seal, roll the seal 3 times, buckle the straps, then pushing down on the top of the pouch, tighten the straps.

I took my boys on a three mile day hike up in Pisgah National Forest and was given permission to take our good camera as long as I used the Aquapac and did not just throw the camera in my backpack.  She was very impressed with the drop test with the pickle jar and felt the pouch would protect the camera if I were to drop it.  I packed up the camera and we were off.  I put the pouch over my shoulder, buckled the hip belt and tightened them so the pouch fit snug against my body.  The pouch felt comfortable as we hiked and it did not flop around.  The only issue I had is where the shoulder strap comes across my neck.  It rubs slightly and can be a little aggravating..  I pulled my shirt up between the strap and my neck and that helped.  I think some sort of adjustable padding on the shoulder strap would help eliminate this problem.  Since the pouch protects your camera so well, it is not a quick grab if you want to take a quick picture but a good trade off for keeping your camera safe.

Next was the mountain bike test.  I was not allowed to take the good camera with me on the initial test ride because my wife sees how I usually come home from mountain biking (muddy and bruised up) and she did not want her camera to end up like me.  So I brought my favorite pickle jar with me and wrapped it in a thin white cloth that would show dirt.  I closed up the pouch and was off.  The pouch fit comfortably against my body and I forgot I was even wearing it as I rode up and down the trail.  I did not have the issues with the shoulder strap rubbing against my neck while I was mountain biking because my cycling jersey comes up higher on my neck.  The trail was dry so there was not any mud but it was somewhat dusty.  As usual with me in mountain biking, I took a spill.  I did not fall on the side I was wearing the pouch on but it was still a pretty good spill.  At the end of the ride I checked on my favorite pickle jar and it was clean and in one piece.  I think next time I will be allowed to take her good camera and get some good pictures while out on a ride.

While packing for a family camping trip I packed our good camera in the Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch and threw it in the back of the truck.  My wife, being the logical one in the group, suggested we put the camera in the cab of the truck in case it rains.  Of course I said it is not going to rain and it will be fine back there.  We drove up to the mountains and as soon as we parked the truck a huge storm came over the mountain and dumped a lot of rain on us.  It did not dawn on me that the camera was in the back until the rain stopped and I started unloading the truck. Everything was soaking wet and when I saw the pouch I panicked.  Not only was I going to be in trouble because her camera got wet, I was going to be in trouble because I did not listen to her when she said put the pouch in the cab. I quietly took the pouch and opened it up.  As promised by Aquapac, everything inside the pouch was bone dry.  I was relieved and of course showed my wife that I was right when I told her our good camera would be OK in the back of the truck.

I had the opportunity to test the pouch in the kayak.  We recently had a huge storm come over the house and dump a lot of rain in a short period of time.  We live on a neighborhood lake that has a spillway between two lakes that drops 15 vertical feet between the two.  The big rain caused the water to rush over the spillway so we got out the kayaks and me and the boys went down the spillway.  I grabbed the Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch and put newspapers in it, sealed it up and put it between my legs and went down the spillway.  When I hit the bottom of the spillway, water came rushing in the kayak and soaked the pouch as well as me.  When we got done playing, I opened up the pouch and again everything was dry.

As I mentioned earlier, I have been more than impressed with the Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch.  I am convinced that it will protect our SLR camera in the harshest of conditions.  I will continue to test it on my adventures and let you know the results in my final report in about a month.

Final Update

 

The Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch has become a regular part of our family’s outdoor adventures.   My wife, who is the harshest of critics when it comes to her camera, has total confidence in the pouch.  The only place it is still off limits is mountain biking but I think she will come around on that.  In the past she would never take her good camera down to the dock at the lake or out on the boat.  Now with the Aquapac Pouch the camera is always down there with us.  Even with the kids getting in and out of the water and getting the dock totally soaked, there are no concerns that anything will happen to her camera.  Since the pouch floats if dropped in the water, the concern of the camera accidently falling in the lake is gone (we always make sure it is properly sealed when the camera is in the pouch just in case).  We also take the camera on the boat with us since she has the confidence of the pouch.

 

The pouch has held up very well for all the use it gets.  I don’t see any wear on any of the straps, buckles or clasps.  The outside nylon is still in excellent condition other than some ground in dirt and scratches.  The only place I see any wear is at the top of the pouch where the there is a thin strip of woven fabric.  There is some VERY minor frying of the fabric.  The inside padded pouch still looks as good as it did the day I received it.

 

Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch

A few scratches and ground in dirt. Other than that, perfect.

The Aquapac Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch will continue to come along on our hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking and hopefully mountain biking trips.  It will also be with us at soccer, lacrosse, football and hockey games because we know as long as we seal the pouch correctly, the contents inside will be safe from whatever Mother Nature throws at us and will be protected when it is accidently dropped on the ground.  I am very impressed with the pouch and want to thank Aquapac for providing the Stormproof SLR Camera Pouch for me to test and 4AllOutdoors for the opportunity.

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design

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