Bought 1 to see what it was like and how it fit on the kayak. Ordered a
second after seeing the first. Spent 5 days paddling Okefenokee
swamp and it was great to have things in easy reach and not have to
open the hatch. It is definitly not waterproof, as stated in the
description. Good storage space for the size.
This review is a comparison of the Northwater and the NRS
expedition deck bags. The Northwater is tough Canadian designed
stuff, built the same way. Simple, basic, foolproof, no frills. When
you're gearing up for a heavy expedition, you want tough and
reliable, even at the cost of a little extra weight. The Northwater is
heavier than the NRS, but it's the kind of heaviness that builds
confidence. Potentially, this bag will look better after two years of
tough wear than it looks out of the box. It fit the deck of my CD
Solstice GT more securely than the NRS, but the security straps at
the cockpit-end of the bag were too short to reach the deck lines of
my kayak, which has a 24" beam. It would be easy to extend the
back two straps however, so as to correct this minor issue. The
Northwater velcro attachment to the bungie lines is very secure and
there would be few non-emergency circumstances in which you'd
need better attachment than the velcro provides, without using the
supplementary straps. In comparison to the lighter NRS which has
a too-light vinyl sheet to give the bag shape, the vinyl here, like the
bag, is a tank, capable of resisting abuse. There is a small "hood"
that shields the main zipper from torrential rains, a nice touch. The
NRS had a better mesh pocket and better zipper pulls than the
Northwater, but you could buy those separately and change out the
ones that come standard on the Northwater. The aesthetics and
"feel" of the Northwater are those of the naked Northwest, overcast
skies, rain, fog, rocky beaches, squirting clams at low tide, big
swells, heavy winds and chop . . . This bag would be good for that.
When you take out the vinyl shape sheet, the bag lays flat in the
hold without taking up much space. I would use a 12" x 20" Opsak
inside to waterproof sensitive stuff, but you could use small dry
bags. The compartment itself isn't waterproof. My only criticism is
that the front mesh pocket needs to be deeper.
This deck bag is very roomy so
was perfect for the week long
Kayak trip in the San Juan
Islands last week. It stays
dry inside with light spray
and splash. Waves breaking
over the bow which covered the
bag did let some water inside
as expected but bag did not
velcro attachment system
worked fine but I strapped the
bag down on each side just in
case of a capsize. Lots of
attachment points make
clipping on items easy. shock
cord on top worked great for
holding waterproof charts.
Did not get in the way of
A great bag if you are on a
longer trip or have
significant gear to store on
The North Water Expedition Deck Bag is a great bag. I have tried others. It's easy to put on, holds a ton, including my big SLR, and is reasonably water resistant. I haven't soaked it yet! I have bought it for a few of my friends.
This bag is just what I was looking for. I have a current Designs 'Storm' and it fits very well. It provides ample storage for items that you need quick access to while paddling. Only draw back is that it is a little pricey, but it is the most functional and best fitting deck bag available.