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Storage Review

 

Lowepro's waterproof backpack caters to both adventurous photographers and avid anglers (continued)

Ergonomics: Digital SLR, lenses, snacks, water, and fishing tackleÖ all loaded up into the DryZone Rover backpack, weighing in at 24 pounds, the entire package is heavy. There goes the idea of traveling light but the main thing here is how does this load feel on your back. I stuffed the bag with 24 pounds of gear for the tests, anglers do not have to carry such weight when using the Rover while fishing. When initially put on you can definitely feel the pressure on your shoulders, but how well does the entire system give support is the critical point here. The combination of shoulder, waist, and sternum straps does an excellent job at easing the load and the Rover, even though heavy to start off with, doesnít feel all that bad afterall. In addition Lowepro incorporates adjustable straps to balance the load so it feels more comfortable to carry. The DryZone comes with quick instructions on how to adjust the backpack, and then fine-tuning the load for the perfect, ergonomic fit. Fishing with the 24 pound backpack on the back for multiple days on various trips didnít wear me down at all.

 

Adjusted correctly the sternum strap ensures your arms don't lose blood flow when carrying a heavy load

 

The waist strap is comfortable and has a cut-out to provide better airflow

 

The padded shoulder straps, back support, and waist belt all utilize Loweproís DryFlo mesh-covered pads that provide comfort while allowing your back to breathe and keep cool.

 

Hydrapak hydration system is used in the Rover. This water pouch is durable and odor-free

 

The EasyFlo system uses a bite-activated valve. When you apply pressure to the tip water will begin to flow

 

The pouch carries 50 fl oz of water

 

In the past when fishing Iíve skipped drinking water because I was too lazy to take my backpack off to get the water bottle or the bite was too good to put down my fishing rod. Well, with the Hydrapak on the DryZone Rover backpack that pretty much eliminated the issue of wasting precious fishing time to grab my water bottle to quench my thirst. The DryZone uses a hydration system designed by Hydrapak (www.hydrapak.com), a durable, taste-free polyurethane pouch that holds 50 FL OZ / 1.5 Liters of water or your favorite beverage. The hydration tube comes from the top of the Rover and can be routed either over the shoulder or under your arm, depending on how each angler likes it. The Hydrapak EasyFlo system makes it simple to quickly take a drink. It has a safety on/off thatís push and pull just like a sports bottle, and even in the ďonĒ position, water wonít leak until you trigger the EasyFlo bite-activated valve. Just stick it into your mouth and bite on the valve gently to allow water to flow. The Lowepro Rover supplies two bases, either straight or 90 degrees allowing each person to customize it to their needs. Though the tube and base is clipped onto the shoulder straps, I found the tube to swing free when Iím taking the backpack off. The only thing thatís missing here is a valve cover. A cover would prevent any dirt or contaminates to get onto the valve that Iím always sticking into my mouth to take a drink from. Yes, this would make it harder to operate but itíll keep it clean when not in use.

 

The base of the tube has a 90 degree angled EasyFlo valve but the backpack also comes with a straight valve. Anglers can use whichever is most applicable to them

 

Durability: When we first looked at the backpack we knew that this bag will be rugged. Constructed with top-notch components and material, the DryZone Rover is very durable. Throughout our field tests and taking the backpack from one location to the other, getting it wet and tossing it around in the truck and boat, the Lowepro DryZone Rover survived every bit of it. The zippers are still sliding smooth, the Hydration System remains fresh while the lock-out bite valve functions flawlessly, and no damage neither to the backpack shell itself or to its components. The only thing that requires attention is the waterproof zipper. Lowepro suggests that you regularly reapply grease to the TIZIP waterproof zipper for long-term performance.

 

JIP taking a break on the bridge and quickly quenching his thirst without removing his backpack to access the water

 

To help balance the load additional adjustable straps are provided right above the shoulders

 

Price & Application: Do you spend over $100,000 on a high-end sports car and buy cheap tires for it? Same concept applies to expensive electronics and camera gear. Almost every angler today has a digital camera along with other valuable electronics including cell phones, PDAs, GPS, and more. You pay so much for this equipment, why not make sure they are well protected? The DryZone Rover can be seen as pricey, but 100% protection comes at a price. The Rover is a waterproof backpack one can trust to keep their investment dry even in the nastiest conditions, or even when accidentally dipping your backpack into the water. As an angler, photographer, and adventurer, I always carry my camera gear with me when fishing to capture amazing scenes, big fish photos, and much more. This Lowepro backpack will carry your fishing gear, camera, and other essentials, and go with you wherever you may end up, rain or shine.

 

Small accessories such as additional batteries, filters, and cords can be kept in the removable pouch

 

Ratings:

Lowepro DryZone Rover Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality

The workmanship on this backpack is excellent, and the materials used are top-notch. The outer fabric of the upper compartment is water-resistant and durable, resisting tear even when hiking through heavy brush. The DryPod fabric is tough and TIZIP zippers are the best at keeping the compartment dry

9
Performance

A great performer! The backpack has good storage capacities, has many straps to ensure balance, and the bottom compartment is 100% waterproof even when tossed into a lake

9.5
Price

Price might seem steep to some but $200 is peanuts for a waterproof backpack that will protect your expensive gear while fishing

8.5
Features The DryZone Rover has a boatload of features such as a waterproof compartment, a hydration system, padded camera inserts, tripod/monopod/fishing rod holder, meshed pockets, padded and adjustable shoulder and waist straps, adjustable sternum strap, carrying handle, and much more 9
Design (Ergonomics)

Weighing in at 5.13 pounds without anything inside seems heavy but looking at the construction you can tell where the weight comes from. When loaded the Rover feels good on your back thanks to the ergonomic support and balancing straps

8
Application

Though made to target photographers, this waterproof backpack is excellent for anglers, adventurers, and any outdoorsman. It can hold your photo equipment along with fishing tackle and even a multiple piece rod in place of a tripod

9

Total Score

8.83


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J 100% waterproof DryPod L Hydration system needs a valve cover
J Comfortable to wear L 5.13 pounds without any gear inside
J Built-in hydration system  
J Good storage capacity  
J Tripod/Rod holder  
J Durable  
J Great design  

 

No more worries about getting cameras and other electronics wet while fishing thanks to the Lowepro DryZone Rover backpack

 
Conclusion: My search for a backpack to keep my expensive Nikon camera gear dry while fishing ended when I found the Lowepro DryZone Rover. This backpack is amazing in design, providing a water-resistant top compartment while sporting a 100% waterproof lower pod with a padded camera insert to keep my equipment from any harm. The backpack can store enough camera gear along and still hold fishing gear to include two 3600 size Plano tackle boxes, fishing reels, and much more. When the DryPod isnít used for camera equipment it can hold other water-sensitive electronics such as a PDA, cell phones, and more. When anglers get thirsty the Rover makes it simple with its built-in hydration system that carries plenty of water. The backpack feels great on your back thanks to the supports from the waist, shoulder, and sternum straps, and the adjustable straps to balance the load. Aside from the waterproof DryPod, the other best thing about this backpack is that you can carry a second rod in the tripod-fishing rod holder. Designed for serious photographers, the Lowepro DryZone Rover has just found a new purpose, to serve avid anglers on their fishing adventures while protecting their gear in any type of condition, wet or dry.

   

                                        

 

 

   

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