Anyone who fishes with me will tell you how particular I am about having two sets of dry clothes in my boat at all times. Accidents happen to everyone, regardless of experience or skill level. This time of year in frigid temperatures, a failure to prepare can be deadly at times. If you fall overboard, it's imperative that you change into dry clothes the second you climb back into your boat. Otherwise, hypothermia can kill you.
With all of that being said, I have been relying on the Evolution Outdoor Tarpaulin Series Fishing Gear Bag to keep my gear dry at all times. You might be wondering why I just don't keep my clothes in a rod locker or something. Well, the lids of a 21-year-old bass boat aren't necessarily waterproof. I got tired of my extra clothes mildewing and my emergency toilet paper disintegrating, so I stuffed all of my essentials into this bag.
So far, I have been wildly impressed by its ability to keep my stuff bone dry. I'll quickly go through a few important features of this bag.
First and foremost, it keeps your stuff dry
I have about 10 dry bags in my shop that I've collected over the years and so far, roughly eight of them leak. I used to be a co-angler years ago, so I used dry bags a lot for tackle storage and transportation. So I've become fairly used to being disappointed by these types of bags.
So far, however, the Evolution Outdoor Tarpaulin Series Fishing Gear Bag has kept my clothes, towels, socks, toilet paper and everything else bone dry throughout every condition. While shooting these photos, my wife actually dunked the entire bag underwater (I had a mini heart attack) and guess what? Not a drop of water in the bag. Everything was completely dry. You can't ask for much more than that.
I also have a pretty bad problem with moisture in my shop where I store my boat. I have a shady lot covered in trees, so even stuff in my rod lockers can get damp after a few rainy days. So far, this bag has done an excellent job at protecting all of my essentials.
The zippers are very smooth
Another problem I've often had with dry bags have been rough and poorly operating zippers. They'd come off the track, get snagged on the bag material or just completely break. This bag, however, has some very high-quality zippers that have big pulls on them for easy access and no matter what I do, I can't get 'em to snag or mess up.
Once you see them in person, you can really understand what I'm talking about. They're much larger and sturdier zippers than what you're probably used to with other bags. And again, they keep water out without any issues whatsoever.
Convenient carrying handles
You can carry this bag however you'd like. It has side handles, front handles, back handles and top handles. I actually plan on storing some of my expensive camera gear in this bag while I'm on shoots because it's so easy to carry this bag and transfer it from boat to boat.
Padded shoulder strap for extra comfort
Most anglers, myself very much included, are notorious for overpacking. So if you put a bunch of unnecessary gear in this bag and it weighs 40 pounds, it's no big deal. The shoulder strap has a bunch of padding in it, which I think will be especially useful for co-anglers. A lot of times, it's a long walk from your truck to the boat dock to meet your boater. You're stuck with carrying five rods, a cup of coffee and a store's worth of tackle several hundred yards in the dark. This bag makes that trek a bunch easier thanks to the extra padding. It's very comfortable to haul around.
Very spacious interior
I have two sets of clothes (one for me and one for my co-angler), two towels, a roll of toilet paper, sunscreen, socks, bandaids, peroxide and crackers in this bag and I could fit a bunch more if necessary. No matter what you need to transport and keep dry, this bag will be able to handle it.
EVA compression molded bottom
I really like this feature. The bottom of the bag is EVA compression molded, so it always holds its shape. It seems to keep your stuff a lot more orderly and you don't have to worry about the bottom ripping or tearing. Once again, I have ripped the bottom of several dry bags as a co-angler and photographer over the years, but the bottom of this particular bag is tough as nails. You can drag it over gravel, concrete or anything else without any worry of damage.
This is a really good bag, especially for the price point. I suggest the small-sized bag, which is actually on sale now for $15.00. The smaller size will fit just about anywhere in your truck or boat and will hold everything you could possibly need. Evolution Outdoor did a solid job with this bag and I will continue using it.
The Evolution Outdoor Tarpaulin Series Fishing Gear Bag is available at EODoutdoors.com.