The Awesome Waterproof Backpack of Awesome

I just bought the boys Overboard Backpacks.

Chas is skipping about, fully packed for any contingency.

We have been on an adventure down rainforest gorges with a waterproof bag which leaked, and we've hiked in the rain too, and Chas spent five days in the forest on a research trip when it rained non-stop, so we know ALLLLL about getting wet and having wet food and wet clothes and wet first aid kit and wet hammock and wet everything.

Chas and Sam ride their bikes to school now, and English weather is drizzly, so sometimes their school stuff gets damp. The two of them are heading back to their rainforest for Christmas (Chas needs the rainforest like the rest of us need air), so I finally bought them both AWESOME waterproof backpacks.

Waterproof bags are generally bulky, very heavy and hideous. But THESE babies, they are so cool! Light and attractive, Chas reports that even fully packed, his backpack is very comfortable with padding in all the right places. Mesh pockets on sides for water, gloves and keys. Reflective bits in the right places. Hip strap. Available in several colours! The bright yellow is very visible in the dark and drizzly Dorset mornings.

The boys are leaving in oh, over a month. But the bags arrived today and Chas is READY. He is SO! EXCITED! He wants the world to know that the Overboard Waterproof Backpack will easily fit:

  • One Hennessy Hammock (see below) 
  • One carefully rolled up blanket
  • One heap of technology (in zipper inner pocket)
  • A Book (Terry Pratchett, 'Reaper Man')
  • One pack of cards
  • Clothes for a week (i.e. a couple of underpants and some dry socks. apparently no-one cares how researchers smell) (Yes, socks and sandals. I know.)
  • Chocolate (lots)
  • Coffee
  • 5 or 6 cans of vienna sausages (he's assuming. we don't have any now but he figures they would fit down the sides. vienna sausages are gourmet research fare, and you can cook them in their can) (when Chas came out of the forest after his research trip, he ate two family-size meat feast pizzas and went to sleep for 20 hours. they really did live for 5 days on vienna sausages, chocolate and coffee, and the odd bit of foraged vegetation.)
  • Fire Steel (and a normal lighter) 
  • Utensils and even an enamel plate, which is optional (?) but nice to have. 
  • camping towel
  • knife
  • toilet paper
  • There are leaves which you can rub on you to keep bugs away, but YOU may want to take bug repellent.
And there is still room for more!! (Edited, 2011: On a school day, heavy textbooks, pencil cases and large files fit perfectly and the waterproof material is tough enough that they do not tear through, even after 6 months hard labour.)

Chas has filled the bag with air and sat on it to see if it leaked, which made me yell at him (It didn't leak). He did NOT immerse it in the bath, because I didn't let him, but the Amazon reviews of the bag said that buyers had immersed it and everything stayed dry. You can bet your bottom dollar that Chas will throw his bag into a river the first chance he gets. (Edited, 2011: he did. It floats, even fully packed, and everything stayed bone dry inside. Months later, both Chas and Sam's bags are still in perfect condition despite regular hike, bike and school abuse.)

We bought the 20-litre size, which is perfect for us. There is a larger 25-litre size one. In the blurb it says "Laptop Bag", and I say "NOT". There is no padding for a laptop, so if you're looking for something to protect your laptop get a padded sleeve for it.

The boys have gone to bed. Chas' backpack is within arms' reach. Where he can pat it from time to time, and dream of a hammock in the rainforest.


Other Camping Products, Sheppard-tested.

The Hennessy Hammock is perfect for warm-weather forest camping. A million times more comfortable that a tent, it's up out of the wet (the rainforest floor is often waterlogged) and seals out bugs. If you're spending any time camping in the rainforest, it's a must.

We're on our second Waterproof Olympus in our family, and they are tough, boy-proof, sea-proof, camping proof and take great photos. Nearly all of the photos ever shown on this blog were taken with this very camera. Very recommended. A++

And without Tevas, we'd be dooooomed. They are even cool with socks.

Want to visit our rainforest? Get accommodation and truly great tours with our dear friends Carl and Kelly at


The Mother said…
My kids tend to go through 2-3 backpacks per school year, simply because the kitchen sink is so heavy that it tears through just about anything.
Anonymous said…
That backpack sounds like a great gift for my Boy Scout!
Nan Sheppard said…
So far, no tears! Definitely a great gift, I'm thinking of getting a few more!