Have you ever arrived at your destination to watch (in horror) as your checked baggage came across the luggage belt wet from monsoon or blizzard? ¬†Or hiked into that remote stream only to find rain seeped into your sleeping bag and tent? ¬†Or have you ever pushed off for float trip, then had to portage your awkward dry bags around some obstruction? ¬†Even if the answer is no, fish long enough and the answer will probably be yes.
All of us, though, have hiked up a river for a day trip with a backpack’s worth of food and warm clothes only to see a surprise thunderstorm slide in over the western ridge. ¬†Do you turn and hike out? ¬†Heck no; the fishing is gangbusters before a storm. ¬†So you deal with wet clothes and soggy sandwiches and tell yourself there must be a better way.
That better way is Hyalite’s (formerly Pacific Outdoor Equipment) newly redesigned Gobi pack.
Think dry bag with a sturdy waist, shoulder, and chest harness like you see on high-end frameless packs. ¬†But this dry bag isn’t heavy and stinky like those dry bags in your boat. ¬†This one is ultralight–yet durable–and odor-free.
I’ve used my Gobi for backpacking, float trips, and airline travel, and its become the staple that I never realized I needed. ¬†I’ve had forty pounds worth of gear in the pack and found it completely comfortable on my back. ¬†For float trips, it holds my sleeping bag, pillow, clothing for five days, and still has room to spare. ¬†And for airline travel–this is my favorite part–I can load everything I’ll be taking for a week of fishing into the pack and usually still have my carrier agree the thing is carry-on. ¬†Even if the carrier gives me grief, I don’t have any worries about checking the bag, because I know my gear will remain dry.
The Gobi comes in two sizes, the 84 liter and the 60 liter. ¬†Think of the 60 as the perfect carry-on, overnight pack, and clothes bag for a float trip. ¬†The 84 is big enough to work for longer trips. ¬†But since these are roll-down bags, why not get the 84 and, if you don’t need that much space, simply roll it down?
I’ve subjected my Gobi to wet conditions. ¬†No rain storm penetrates. ¬†I’ve submersed mine as well, and never discovered leakage. ¬†There’s no zipper to fail either. ¬†I’ve also busted through blackberry bushes and traversed windfall and haven’t yet caused a rip in the bag.
I do wish, though, that the bag came with straps to hold a rod tube on each of its sides. ¬†That would make hiking and flying easier. ¬†Also, I wish the bag had a mesh sleeve that would hold a water bottle, as that would simplify day travel. ¬†But all in all, this is the gift I’ll be giving this holiday season. ¬†I don’t know an angler who doesn’t need one.
For more information, contact Hyalite at firstname.lastname@example.org. ¬†Or¬† http://hyaliteoutdoorgroup.com/