Part of what makes the great outdoors so satisfyingly challenging is the unpredictability of Mother Nature and the terrain you may encounter. In my experience, there are plenty of surprises for the avid adventurer, and protection from rain, rivers and all forms of unexpected moisture is a must for anyone going into the unknown. Assisting in your preparation to keep your gear dry, Tuff Truck Bag has made products that are particularly suited for the task. Using a simple and effective design, these bags are great at what they do and easy to use.
The red Tote was the bag I was lucky enough to test out, and just in time, as this summer in Austin, TX was the wettest I have seen by far. With all of the rain, we had a constant flow through the Barton Creek Greenbelt and any trip in the area guaranteed a water crossing. My phone has fallen victim to the waters of the Greenbelt and careless protection many times before, and often a change of clothes is very difficult to keep dry due to the very likely chance of waste deep water crossings. At 18”h x 14”w and a 28” circumference, the red Tuff Tote easily stored 2 towels, shoes and a cell phone with plenty of room for more. At first I was skeptical because of the lack of an actual seal on the opening of the bag. To seal up the Tuff Tote you only have to roll up the opening and clip the two ends together, creating an actual water tight seal and at the same time creating a makeshift handle.
The red Tuff Tote Bag is the only Tuff Tote product that is equipped with the handle on the side and the shoulder strap featured above, making for a comfortable carry on the trail without being too cumbersome. After slinging the bag around my shoulder and tightening the strap, my hands were free to help me maneuver the trail and guide my unwieldy dog (featured below with the giant stick in his mouth). Other Tuff Tote bags don’t come with this feature and would be a burden to transport being more suited for keeping tools dry in the bed of a truck or stowing items on a boat.
Once the bag was in the water it performed wonderfully, even after being fully submersed for a brief period. Constructed by heavy duty, non-leak PVC material, the Tuff Tote bags are rated as a Class 3 waterproof bag. For those that might not be familiar with waterproof classifications, Class 3 guarantees a waterproofing so tight it floats and can handle quick submersions. Situations where the waterproof seal could be compromised would be prolonged submersion, submersions of more than 3 feet in depth and high-pressure water applications. That basically covers most water crossings and rainy day situations and was suitable for my needs. After submerging the bag briefly and allowing it to float across the surface of the water I was pleased to find all of my items safe and dry, allowing me to confirm the claims of a class 3 water proofing. Descriptions on waterproof classes can be found HERE
After my first use of the Tuff Tote Bag I immediately wondered why I hadn’t included a product like this in my travel kit before. Nothing can match the security of knowing your items will be safe in the face of a strong rain or a float across the river. As far as using this bag on a bike ride I could not find an application, but I know a few bikepacking buddies that might make good use of it in the future. The red Tuff Tote Bag is currently on sale for $25.99, which is a steal for the quality of this bag, but at a regular price of $41.95 this product is still reasonably priced. Think of it as a dirt-cheap insurance policy and you will not have a problem justifying the purchase.
To find this bag and other Tuff Tote Bags follow the link HERE.
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