Review & pics: Robert Carroll
Being able to finally hit the water just as the emergence of spring and the lifting of Covid restrictions combined brought some profound joy – not to mention the opportunity to test the new Overboard SLR Dry Bag.
To date, I’ve never risked taking my DSLR and 24-70mm lens combination in the kayak, primarily because our nearest, chosen route is precarious and going for impromptu swims is a common occurrence. After the arrival of the OB bag, its dedicated purpose and build quality gave me the confidence to take the leap of faith, hoping that the increased photo quality would pay dividends – thankfully, they did.
When familiarising myself with the bag before the first trip, it seemed a bit too snug for my chosen camera/lens combo. Still, it is the smaller bag of options available, and in fairness, my 24-70 lens is at the larger end of the spectrum when it comes to lens size. Most common lenses, such as the 18-55mm kit glass that comes as standard with many amateur SLRs, would be much smaller.
The relatively tight fit didn’t hinder the use of the bag, and while the bag didn’t end up directly in the water, it wasn’t in a dry pouch and spent five hours in the exposed seating area of the kayak. Rain and splash made their way onto the bag on numerous occasions, and the bag and its contents had their fair share of tumbles due to our cohort having to navigate over and around fallen obstacles throughout the route. I was relieved that the thick skin of the bag not only kept the innards watertight but offered mild protection to the camera when knocks occurred.
I shall be making more trips with the bag in the coming summer months, but now, I have the courage to make my camera kit an essential item on the expedition list for the first time. It looks like it will stay that way until smartphones can genuinely mirror the quality achieved by their hefty ancestors.