During the Christmas Holidays my brother and I started online shopping for new toys and good deals on Amazon.ca and Indigo.ca. As it turns out we liked shopping online. There’s a thrill of waiting for a package to arrive and while I had some bad luck on Amazon, it was still nonetheless exciting.
In one of our many purchases, we bought Pacific Northwest’s (PNW) Sea to Sky Waterproof Backpack. The backpack was a kickstarter project that was funded in 8 hours and while we got a deal on them, it wasn’t as cheap as I hoped. After taxes each backpack (we bought 2) came out to be about 59.99 USD + taxes and shipping. The grand total was 139.98 USD after conversion, it was 186.45 CDN.
This is one of the more pricier waterproof/water resistant backpacks I’ve purchased, but the ones I previously bought had older technology, so I thought why not give it a shot.
A quick rundown of the bags and backpacks I have that are waterproof or water resistant:
RAINS backpack – designed to carry a laptop and as a fashion piece as well, it is the sleekest looking backpack I have. My very first water resistant backpack was the NorthFace backpack, it’s so old that it has gone through two colleges and a chunk of travelling. Safe to say the NorthFace backpack was well loved but nowhere near waterproof. In addition to these two backpacks I also bought two EVAC DrySack Sea to Summit sleeve bags (I used the sleeves in my NorthFace as a guarantee), and two other water resistant bags from SWIMS, a company that designed boatshoes that are fully submersible in water, pretty much indestructible in water; but your feet will get soaked.
Vancouver is notorious for having just really wet weather, so when we spotted the Sea to Sky backpack we were excited to see a pack geared towards the wet and rugged terrain the Pacific Northwest had to offer and it was made by a company that was pretty much in our “backyard” so to speak.
Things to note/Key Features of the PNW Sea to Sky
- They come in bright colours or black
- They are designed to be fully submersible in water (test to come)
- They are lightweight fully packable, and when shipped comes in a small pouch roughly 4″x 1″ 2.5″
- It is made almost entirely of 30D Cordura Fabric
- The pack has a 24L volume with two mesh side pockets
Real World Application
So, I took this out into the real world, (Winter in Vancouver is disgustingly wet) and I used it for a solid 2 weeks . I went to the gym, commute on public transit to work and I have to say overall I am impressed with this backpack. It kept all my belongings dry, while my chinos were soaked and my wool jacket was wet. It was light weight enough that even though it was stuffed to the brim with all my stuff, it wasn’t too cumbersome to move around or to move around other people. By the way I packed it full, I had an extra pair of jeans, workout clothes (compression shirt, shorts and socks,) bottle of shampoo and bodywash, Blender Bottle and a light hoodie just in case I am still cold under my wool jacket.
Things I would like to see changed
There are a few things I wished was different on the backpack though, and that was the shoulder straps and more compartments.
I wished the backpack had broader or more padded straps, something just a bit more substantial and easier to put on. I found the straps got twisted quite easily and hard to put on. Once they were properly on however, it was comfortable enough that I didn’t mind how small they were. My other pet peeve was because the backpack was made to be compact it lacked compartments. I wished it had just another compartment where I could store my used gym clothes or just another compartment to separate things so it didn’t all go into one bucket.
Would I buy it at the price I bought it for again? Probably not. While I love the bag, the price was just too high. That being said, now that I have one, I think I will start to use this more during the rainy months of the year here and will very likely be using this backpack for travelling in the near future.