Can A Board Bag And Luggage Set Change Your Life?
Since probably 2014, I’ve spent the better part of 200 days a year on the road, most often with an enormous eight-foot coffin bag stuffed with anywhere from four to six boards, a Pelican case overstuffed with aux chords and Zooms and Sennheisers, and an oversized waterproof rucksack slung over my thoroughly strained shoulders, lurching headlong into whatever airport snafu or transit drama awaited me and my unwieldy burden.
So earlier this summer, as borders began to open back up, and life looked like it might get back to its normal non-routine, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to try out a handful of Scandinavian luggage brand, Db’s disruptive designs, especially their just-released surf bags—a 3-4 board coffin and a ingenious little daybag—to add to their literal award-winning luggage.
It was with great curiosity that I encountered their first board bag effort, rolled up like a murdered-out sleeping pack on the cold concrete of Taylor Paul’s San Francisco oasis. Unclipping the simple steel-hook fasteners, the bag rolled out in perfectly machined segments, as the side-walls stood tall and formed an almost structural frame to the bag—this is Db’s patented “Rib Cage” design, which also features on much of their luggage.
Crucially, the coffin is insanely light, one third the weight of my coffin bag.
A few details revealed immediate improvements from nearly any coffin I’d ever seen. Handles in locations for literally every conceivable ergonomic position—for easy rolling, carrying, and pulling. Where other coffins barely fold in thirds (and become permanent obstacles in hotel rooms and shared spaces on surf trips) the Db compresses to just 30% of its original size rolled up, and stashes away so easily.
And don’t even get me started about how smooth this fucker rolls. The oversized wheels are one thing, but they seriously feel like they have a fresh pair of Bones Swiss inside. The blacked-out, bombproof nylon is insanely durable, light. And amazingly GSR certified 100% recycled, which might give pause to those scarred by fragile eco friendly gear—no dramas here, Db’s bags come with a Lifetime Warranty.
The first bag of Db’s that really caught my attention was one of their massive roller bags, the which my dear friend and No Contest collaborator Jacob Wooden carried with him for two round-the-world seasons, adding a backpack and a few other Db items to his baggage quiver, and singing each piece’s addition’s praises as he went.
Now, most of Db’s bags are designed to clip together, and if f the coffin’s utility and lopro aesthetic wasn’t enough, I have had the true and sincere pleasure of effortlessly breezing through airport doors, one hand free, the other almost effortlessly pulling literally hundreds of pounds of boards, camera equipment, wetsuits, and gear behind me, all ingeniously connected together with Db’s “Hook-up” system.
For my own needs I opted for the 90 liter Hytta and the Strom 90 liter bag. The three bags can be assembled in seconds after unloading at departures, clipped together cleanly—pulling the Strom linked to the front of the coffin, with Hyatta clipped to rear. With 180 liters of gear, and four boards, the effort to move the entire load is comically easy—literally possible with a single finger.
I have never been approached by strangers more in my life than while dragging this elaborate haul through a departures lobby—the thing is a full spectacle. Meanwhile, given the understated look of the gear, and the ease with which baggage handlers move it, I haven’t gotten hit with an oversized fee once since adopting the system—which I’m realizing at a few hundred bucks a pop, the savings along would pay for the entire luggage range in just a handful of trips. Also worth noting, no boards have incurred any damage, whatsoever, nor have any of the contents of my Strom and Hyatta, despite my abuse and carelessness.
The only limitation, personally, is the biggest bag they make is a 7’0. But if and when Db offers longer options I will not hesitate an instant to buy, and honestly I’d never use another board bag, nor piece of luggage, ever again. There is no denying the true improvement to my quality of travel life the Db system has provided—for a full-time traveler, the experience has been nothing short of an epiphany.
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