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Overboard Ninja Waterproof Expedition Bag

Some women have handbag fetishes, I have a rucksack fetish. Rucksacks are wonderful creations (and obviously perfect for carrying big loads over rough terrain) but they have one drawback: it’s a pain to get at the stuff inside. No matter how well you pack, it always seems that the important things that you need RIGHT NOW are at the bottom. Rooting through a large rucksack countless times a day can be a total pain in the neck.

If you are into mountaineering and have the luxury of staying at a basecamp, then a top opening expedition bag is the perfect solution. You can’t carry them long distances by hand, they’re designed for hauling stuff around in cars, trucks, and on the backs of donkeys etc to a basecamp. Obviously, most end up hauling stuff to the Lake District in the back of a VW Golf.

Unfortunately, most expedition bags cost over £100, which seems a little steep for what is, in effect, a tube of cloth with a zip across the top (you are paying for that ‘coveted’ North Face or Berghaus name, of course). If you don’t want to get ripped off then Over-Board, makers of superb waterproof bags, now produce a range of expedition bags.

The Ninja Duffel Bag holds 130 litres of gear, is completely waterproof, and costs a reasonable £60. It’s made from super tough ‘military grade’ waterproof cloth with sealed seams throughout. Instead of a zip across the top it has a special seal that’s simple and watertight.

The Ninja is as tough as old boots and comes with a plethora of heavy duty buckles and clips. If you fancy throwing it around, it has rubber haul handles on each end, and a nicely padded shoulder strap. The base is reinforced with PVC (not so good for the environment) and has two internal zip pockets. On the outside it has a useful large mesh pocket.

To test its waterproofness we threw it in a bath of water for half an hour , stamped on it and left it out in the rain. It kept everything nice and dry.

Ultralight backpacking along the south west Coast Path (reviews of the best and lightest equipment available)