Cheap Insurance with Straps - Amphibian Weather Defense Backpack

Most cruising sailors I know have an assortment of dry boxes and dry bags to keep valuable equipment safe from the elements. We've personally got a small cylindrical dry "box" on a lanyard for toting small stuff (keys, cash, etc.), a couple of slightly larger dry boxes for our phones, and two large dry boxes for tools and gear. We also use a large dry bag as our ditch bag.

But until now we haven't had dedicated dry storage in one of the places where it tends to get the wettest - our dinghy. Who among us hasn't been swamped by a wave when nearing the beach on a dinghy? Or caught in a rain shower while on a shore excursion? We certainly have.

The Amphibian Weather Defense backpack from Outdoor Products combines the utility of a backpack with the water protection of a dry bag. Essentially, this is a 20 liter roll-down dry bag with shoulder straps - perfect for toting gear, clothes and valuables around on the dinghy and to-and-from shore. The 20 liter main compartment features a watertight roll-top seal with clips at the corners, just like most traditional dry bags. But what I really like is the two watertight side pockets that provide quick access to phones and wallets. There's also a mesh pocket on the front for items that can take some water (sunscreen, etc.).

Now I can load up the Amphibian Weather Defense backpack on the sailboat, strap it on my back and easily board the dinghy via our stern ladder with free hands. So far we've used the backpack several times on the dinghy and our inflatable kayak and find it to be the right balance between big enough to carry the essentials (sweatshirts, iPad, phones, snacks, water bottle) but small enough to remain comfortable and unobtrusive. It's also a good looking backpack, so you won't feel odd wearing it in to town to pick up supplies and groceries.

This backpack provides more than just "weather defense". It will shrug off waves that make their way into the dinghy and keep you from cussing if your 2 year old happens to drop it in the water when your iPad is stored inside. Think of it as cheap insurance with straps!

Notice the roll down top and TPU coating on the inside

>> Don't forget to visit SFLF's Gear Review page for more sailing gear reviews/tests. <<


  1. We've managed to break three different dry bags in just the past few months. We're in the market for a new backpack dry bag so I'll have to check this one out. Great review! -Kim


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