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North Storm Travel Bags tested

By Kev Smith, 08 Feb 2021 Outdoors

North Storm bags

These locally made North Storm travel bags keep gear dry and clean, and they're tough enough to ride atop a 4WD.

THERE’S a lot to be said about the quality of gear on the market these days, and I reckon I’ve found some of the best quality adventurer bags around.

North Storm owners Marc and Lisa saw a demand on the market for decent waterproof bags and began the process to design several configurations for the market. They now offer three different waterproof bags to suit most outdoor adventures. Each bag has its own features, are versatile so they can store your gear when you’re in the great outdoors, and you can also separate wet and dry stuff while on the go.

North Storm offers a 60-litre Duffel Bag, a 30-litre Backpack and a 20-litre Dry Bag. They all have an IP66 waterproof rating, are lightweight, and are made from 100-per-cent waterproof flexible and durable 500D PVC tarpaulin material, with various lash points.

The waterproof rating makes the bags totally resistant to dust ingress, as well as provides protection from high-pressure waterjets or a quick dunking.

Now, I won’t lie, I’ve been giving a couple of these bags a caning the past few months and I’m suitably impressed. The 30-litre Backpack is absolutely huge, with heaps of usable storage; it’s got an extra layer on the base, EVA back pads (thick foam that breathes) on the adjustable back straps, an easy-to-use chest strap, side mesh pockets, and the list goes on. I’ve been using it as a fishing backpack when searching for remote spots that require hiking and wading across the odd creek or two.

At the end of the day the bag has been designed to be hosed off inside and out, and it dries quick due to the PVC material it is made from. Inside you say? Yep, simply stand the bag on the ground and fill it up with water, then empty. You’ll achieve two things here: it’ll wash out any muck inside that has spilled, and you’ll realise how waterproof these bags are as nothing leaks out.

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The other bag I’ve been using is the 60-litre Duffel Bag made from the same material. It has all the same features, but it also comes with additional removable straps to be used as a backpack. This bag has its own serious tie-down points (eight in total) so it can be strapped to the top of a 4WD, on a bike or jetski, and even inside a boat. Two large internal pockets, an external mesh pocket (great for wet or smelly clothes), end grab handles, a large waterproof roll closure system, as well as a host of other features including hard-wearing oversize buckles and zips, makes life easier when fumbling in the dark.

This bag has been riding on top of my 4WD for some time now and been through dust, dirt and rain, plus the local car wash, and there has been no trace of any moisture inside the bag. When out on the tracks all day, it’s been great to throw the dirty recovery gear inside the bag knowing it won’t dump mud and grit inside the car. To clean, just give it a quick hose out with water, a wipe down and set aside to dry – it’s that simple.

So what makes these bags stand out for me?

Well, it’s good knowing they have been designed for our conditions and come from people that have actually put some serious thought and effort into a product. Marc and Lisa breathe the outdoors and saw a gap in the market when they couldn’t find a suitable product for their own needs.

Being made from thick and tough PVC material, the bags are so easy to clean and store; plus, being non-rigid, they can be folded away if you can’t hang them up. Across the range, all seams have high-frequency welding, where a radio frequency has been used to fuse two pieces together to make a join (it’s a bit more complicated than that, but it works).

North Storm’s quality standard has resulted in making the joins as strong as the material itself, making the bags buoyant if dropped in water. The range also includes heavy-duty strapping and reflective strips, and the Duffel and Backpack each feature a light-coloured inside base to make it easier to find lost items.

The bags have been a success with a host of different professional users, from divers, commercial photographers through to sports people and offshore fishers, hikers, travellers and 4WDers. North Storm is gaining a reputation for quality, and these bags are only available online with free postage within Australia.

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

www.northstorm.com.au

HOW MUCH?

$59.95 20L Dry Bag; $139.95 30L Backpack; $169.95 60L Duffel Bag.