An Honest Review: Creatures S-LOCK DRY BAG 35L - Stab Mag

An Honest Review: Creatures S-LOCK DRY BAG 35L

A backpack for peace of mind and snorkeling.

Words by DANNY JOHNSON

I saw some friends flip a jet ski while attempting to navigate some juicy conditions on the way back from South Stradbroke Island last year. My pals were fine, the ski was fine, but at the time it flipped, they were both wearing backpacks full of expensive camera gear, phones and a couple of half-eaten salad sandwiches.

It was a dark mood on the boat ramp as they unloaded their backpacks full of water, worthless electronics, and soggy half-eaten salad sandwiches. A split-second mistake that leads to thousands of dollars disappearing is really hard to let go of. It’ll form thoughts that remain on loop haunting you for weeks and leaving you temporarily insane.

They were mad.

If you surf long enough, you’ll eventually find yourself straddling jet skis, jumping between boats, and crossing rivers on your way to finding better or less crowded waves. Dangling your possessions over nature’s casino is part of the deal. The ocean has great prizes but it can rob you blind if you sit at the table long enough.

Hardware brand Creatures Of Leisure are a partner of Stab‘s, so when they release products they’ll occasionally send our office little bundles of joy. Our Australian HQ was recently sent a S-LOCK DRY BAG 35L to play with. I had no idea what “S-Lock” meant but I was well across the meanings of “dry” and “bag”, and having recently watched my friends’ ill-prepared jet ski mishap, I eagerly took on the challenge to put this stealth-looking futuristic backpack to the test.

Surely protecting ourselves from all moisture-related misfortune in our lives couldn’t be this simple? A relatively inexpensive bag that creates a waterproof seal by rolling its top section up and latching each corner? What is this sorcery?

Can this system really be functional enough to save my valuables? I had my doubts. I kept thinking of that Bruce Lee quote “be like water”, and I figured that metaphor goes both ways because trying to stop water from getting into things is like trying to beat Bruce Lee in a fight.

I picked it up and instantly recognised how highly-engineered the S-LOCK DRY BAG 35L is—it felt and looked serious. This is no grade school knapsack. The folks at Creatures seem to be pretty confident in their design too, in particular the ‘S-LOCK’ feature, (or “triple-sealed airtight closure tech” as they describe it on their website) because they’re claiming it has an “iPX8 Waterproof main storage”, which is technical jibber-jabber for being able to withstand 1.5 metres of water pressure depth.

The other tech specs they’ve listed include: High-Grade Waterproof TPU Fabric, Waterproof Welded Seams, Coated Zippers and Lash Loops. Of course, this marketing lingo is all worthless drivel if it ends with you eating soggy salad sandwiches, so I put it to the test.

I don’t have access to a jet ski to flip, but I do sometimes ride my pushbike to work and live in a subtropical climate. The next time it rained I decided to jump on my bike and take on god’s tears. I loaded my laptop and other bits of tech into the S-LOCK DRY BAG 35L and hit the road. As I started to pedal into the rain, I calculated that I had roughly $8000 worth of electronics inside the bag, which was clearly more valuable to me than the contents of my skull, because I wasn’t wearing a helmet.

When I got to work I toweled off and then began nervously emptying the contents of the bag onto my desk. To my relief, my gizmos were all bone dry. I repeated this test multiple times and even experimented with conditions that the weather people on the nightly news would describe as ‘torrential downpours’, and still nothing but desert-like aridity inside. Since then, I’ve been on a few boats with the dry bag and the ease of mind it offers has left me thinking that I’ll probably always own one of these S-LOCK suckers. I’m officially a dry bag guy now.

I’ll never get on a boat, plane to Indo, or visit my dad (who spits a lot while talks) without my trusty S-Lock in tow. Even if you’re not a tech wizard with expensive cameras and lenses, there are 35 litres worth of space to fill, things like your shoes, your towel, some clothes, your phone, or 35 one-litre bottles of milk if you happen to be hyper tolerant of lactose.

Click on through to the Creatures site here if you’re interested in learning more.

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