Ok, I live in a pretty gloomy area of the world in the winter months. Does it really rain as much as they say? No… but it’s gray in the sky, and threatening to rain at any moment for a few months at a time.
I have a few backpacks that I bring to and from work… just carrying lunch and stuff, and also for bringing shopping back home. Most of my backpacks have a rain cover, or are somewhat water resistant. The rain covers work, but it’s a pain to take the bag off, get the cover out, and put it on over top of the pack. So I decided to start looking at a totally waterproof backpack to avoid having to do anything like that… and also something a little larger to handle a good sized shopping trip.
Those searches led me to the Aqua Quest Rio 40l backpack. There’s tons of pro’s, a few con’s (to me), but in whole, I’m really pleased with this pack. Pro wise… the thing is super waterproof. The top of the bag is a roll top design. You seal a velcro flap, and then roll the top at least 3 times and seal it up with a buckle and you’re waterproof. You have to be careful to get some air out before rolling the top, otherwise it will be really puffy (maybe you want it that way). Other features that are positive, there is a inner zippered pocket, and an outer zippered pocket. The outer pocket doesn’t look like it would be waterproof, but it is pretty rain resistant. Both are a good size for holding things that need to be separated, or easily accessed. The straps all have an elasticized circle on them to hold the extra strap behind the buckle. This allows you to cinch the straps and not have excess dangling around… a nice touch to me. The back is nicely padded so you’re not feeling all the bulges in the bag.
Con’s… the backpack straps could be padded a bit better. They’re ok, but if you’re carrying a large load, you might feel it after a while. The pack has no frame… it is really more of a bag than a pack in my thinking…. this makes the bottom waist band not as effective. A good waist band can help spread the load of a pack on to your hips instead of your shoulders, but the frame of the pack helps spread that load evenly on to the hips… this pack with no framing makes that load minorly ride the hips, majorly ride the shoulders. This could cause some fatigue on the back and shoulders with a longer use with larger weight.
If you need a water resistant, or rain proof backpack and don’t want to spend a huge amount of money… this bag is a great value with a nice feature set. Definitely Jeff approved. 🙂