There were two reasons I wanted to protect all my gear in waterproof bags and cases.

Firstly, my Ortlieb panniers are no longer waterproof, being scarred with small holes from the Africa ride. Since besides their waterproof properties, the panniers are still fully functional, I decided not to replace them yet.

Therefore, to keep everything dry when it would inevitably rain, I wanted lightweight drybags to stuff my gear in.

Sure, plastic carrier bags would work for a while, but daily rummaging usually means they rip regularly. Neither do they seal completely, while ok as a liner, they don’t quote compare to a waterproof bag.

Exped Drybags

The Exped Drybags however, with their roll-down tops are completely waterproof and really lightweight too.

Exped Drybag (L)
Exped Drybag (L)

The material seemed very thin and I suspected wouldn’t last the rigours of several months of daily use. But I was wrong. And of the bags I’ve been using, to store clothes, electronics and food, all are still waterproof.

They come in a range of sizes (i used large ones) and colours which is great for organising gear within your bigger bags/panniers.

The lightweight bags would not be strong enough as an outer bag though, and for that I would recommend ones of tougher material.

Aquapac MP3 case and phone case

The second reason I wanted to waterproof my gear, was when I left the bike and went packrafting. To protect my phone and ipod from possible submersion, I used Aquapac’s cases.

Aquapac mp3 and phone cases
Aquapac mp3 and phone cases

Both cases use a unique open/close system with two small levers, which is easy to use. The case is see-through and I could use my touchscreen phone with no problems. I use the small Whanganui phone case, which fits my HTC Desire HD (it will also fit BlackBerry Bold 9000, the Motorola Droid X, and the Samsung Galaxy S2).

The ipod case came complete with waterproof headphones, which connect to a jack that threads into the case ensuring it remains free of water or moisture. The earphones lasted about 6 months, but the cable wore at the join and now I only hear from one earpiece. That said, it would be easy to replace the earphones. The case itself is still in good condition.

I never used the armband but if you run outdoors I can see it would be useful. However, the case does seem a bit bulky to wear on your arm, but you’d probably get used to it.

As for the phone case, I was surprised at how well the touchscreen still works through the case, even when it is wet (unlike the phone alone when there is moisture condensed on the screen).

The good thing about Aquapac is that they guarantee their products for 3 years. During that time, they will replace not only the case but also the contents if there is a failure.