Gear Review: Geckobrands Waterproof Sports Series All Sport Backpack

So….were you at the Carolina Cup this year?  Did you do the Graveyard Race? On SUP? Well, let me just apologize to you now for making you wait for your turn to go through the shorebreak carnage.  I was the one outrigger who huli’d four times just trying to make it to the first buoy.  Since I delayed your start, let me at least hope I gave you some good entertainment while you were waiting.

That was my first Graveyard and first open ocean/beach start race in the outrigger.  I finished.  I was near last.  And while I was and still am happy that I didn’t quit, especially after that start, following the race, I needed a little boost.

I did what any red blooded American would do.  Retail Therapy.

I needed something to make me feel better about the spectacle.  Geckobrands had a very engaging display booth.  It is well-documented that I have a bag fetish.  Needed another one like I needed a hole in my ama. Which, by the way, I almost got in that hellacious start. Nonetheless, I grabbed the first bag of theirs I saw and whipped out the Amex. It happened to be the AllSport Backpack.

Turns out, it was a well-played impulse buy.  The bag is ample in size but not too gargantuan. The website stated dimensions are 18″h x 14″w x 9″d – the outside mesh compartment is approximately 17″h x 14″w x 5″ d, but is large enough to hold a basketball.  It’s dry bag section is approximately 18″h x 14″w x 4″ d.  Sections can flex to support needs to ventilate or keep items dry.  In other words, you can cram this baby full of stuff.

Geckobrands Allsport Backpack

Now, Geckobrands is quite clear that this is not the bag for a SUP expedition on your deck – it is not meant for submersion nor will it float.  But, it will provide a modicum of protection for the contents in the dry compartment, as long as you use it correctly.

So, this is the bag for the beach, for the gym, when you need some protection from water but not ballistic protection.  I recently used it as my carry-on for my flights to and from Maui, where it performed perfectly.  It has a laptop or tablet compartment, which is adequate, though when I had the bag crammed full of stuff for the return trip, I was worried that my iPad Pro would be a bit vulnerable.

Geckobrands all sport

It has a great padded backpack harness system that kept the pack in place and comfy on my back, even with loaded beyond capacity.  One drawback though, the sternum strap seemed a bit misplaced and didn’t offer me that much help.

The bag’s main compartment closure is like a dry bag – fold it over three times and then seal with the clips on the side. That helps compress the load inside, too, making carrying the bag easier.

Geckobrands all sport

There is a separate mesh pocket on the outside, which is great for wet clothes or towels, or smaller items that need to be kept at hand.  Throughout my trip, the bag functioned as my post-paddle gear bag, my race prep bag, beach bag for snorkel and GoPro gear and shopping bag.

I loved the ample side pockets with the bungees that allow me to really secure water bottles in.  The bungee means the bottle is not going to slip out.

Aside from the sternum strap issue, my one complaint of the bag is that it does lack some organizational components.  But that’s just a minor gripe.

At $69.99 this a great bag to have on hand for a wide variety of uses, as long as you understand it is not meant to be fully dunked in the water.  Definitely worth a look.

 

Lisa
Lisa is managing editor of PaddleMonster.com and is an avid paddler of all the things - including sup, SurfSki, outrigger canoe and prone, though she especially enjoys paddle surfing and downwinding. She is a former journalist with more than 30 years experience in print and broadcast journalism and in government communications. She is a six-time Chattajack finisher, racing both sup and OC2. When not paddling, she is an outdoor instructor.

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