Autumn is mine favorite time in the south. There is one day, usually at the end of October, when the humidity finally breaks, the air moves and you can feel it in your bones: summer is over. If you’re in the Midwest, that might be a shame because snow is coming, while those of you in California might be thinking, “What are seasons?” But for us down here near the Gulf of Mexico, cool, dry air is something nice.
The endless hum of the air conditioning stops and the insects can be heard again. The windows swing open and you can lie on the couch, book in hand, and remember why you live here in the first place. That, my friends, is a good life. The only problem is that when you’re busy preparing dinner, the lovely afternoon breeze can blow away. At midnight, your open window is an invitation to the thunderstorm that will soak the couch and the bag full of camera gear and batteries you left on it. That’s exactly what happened to me earlier this year.
couches dry. So bags. But the camera and batteries would have been ruined (including one, ahem, that wasn’t mine) if I hadn’t decided a few months earlier to keep my batteries and cameras in dry bags inside my actual carrying case.
I spend a lot of time near water, so that’s not as exaggerated as it might sound. But the real key to this decision was my discovery of Matador’s very stylish, slim and light dry bags. A conventional rubber-type desiccant bag is bulky and difficult to get in and out of another bag. I have traditional bags but I really only use them when I’m paddling on the water.
The ingenious thing about the new bags from Matador is their lightweight construction. The 8-liter bag weighs just 2.3 ounces and is made from waterproof 70D ripstop nylon that isn’t bulky. Even with such lightweight materials, they achieve an IPX7 rating (meaning they are submersible to a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes).
Something for everyone
There are two sizes, a 2 liter and an 8 liter. I use the 2 liter to store all my batteries and the 8 liter to hold my Sony A7 along with two lenses and a pair of binoculars. This setup means I just grab two bags on my way out and know I have everything I need, whether I’m putting them in a backpack, shoulder bag, or camp bin. Matador’s dry bags also have a flat bottom, which means you can put them down and they won’t automatically fall over (whether they stand upright ultimately depends on what’s inside, but mine do).
The pockets aren’t seam-sealed, which initially gave me pause, but Matador claims the welded construction used is more reliable and durable than seam-sealing. I’ve only had them for about three months so can’t comment on long-term durability, but so far they’re fine and I haven’t seen any signs of stitching or delamination along the seams. They feel very sturdy and come with a 1 year guarantee. The bags can also be repaired afterwards.
Perhaps the best feature is the small clear vertical window that runs down the side of the bag, allowing you to see the contents of the bag without opening it. With only two (of different sizes) I know what’s in it, but after the rain event I ordered another one and it will be nice to see at a glance which ones have batteries and which clothes – all dry.
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https://www.wired.com/story/matador-flatpak-dry-bag-rave/ Save Your Gear From the Elements With These Waterproof Bags