It’s safe to say that be it in the military or outdoor world, if you’re carrying anything of value in a bergen or rucksack, you’ll be using some form of dry bag to keep it protected from the ingress of water.
We’re all used to the big names such as Ortlieb and Exped, but BCB International have weighed into the fight with their Ultralight Dry Bag range.
Carrying four sizes, the range has 1, 4, 13 and 35 litre bags which means you’ll have the right bag for the right job.
The one important point to note here is that as the name states, these are ultra light bags. The implications of this are fairly obvious, in that although the bags are ripstop and PU coated to give a good level of durability, they will never match up to the heavy duty (and thus heavier!) dry bags from other brands.
Is it a bad thing? Only if you use these bags in the wrong environment. For everyday outdoor use, these fit the bill fairly well as a suitable option for protecting your electronics or clothing, or anywhere as long as you’re comfortable they aren’t going to be given much abuse.
The design of the Ultralight is very straightforward and functional and it’s nice to see the addition of ripstop fabrics as well. These are made with a technique that has the nylon fabric woven in thick threads to create a crosshatch pattern. This ensures that should a hole develop in the material, it can’t grow of its own accord, being stopped by the thicker threads.
The bags are sealed by the standard roll-top and buckle clip, so all you do is once your items are in the bag, you roll the top down, squeezing the air out as you go (Unless you intend to use them to aid flotation of your rucksack) before pulling the clips together and locking shut.
It’s a wise man that tests a dry bag before actually putting anything of value in it, and the Ultralight does the job as expected.
The prices weigh up well compared to alternative ‘ultralight’ bags by Ortlieb, so if you’re on a budget they’re a more than suitable replacement.
Overall? You can’t ask for much more and at the lower end of the market in terms of price, makes them a safe answer for tight budgets.
Three year update: One of the 4l bags failed on the seam, but thankfully not whilst submerged. The larger 13L bag is still going okay but looks worse for wear and my confidence in it isn’t what it once was. Still, for the money paid, can’t complain!