Rated 4 out of 5 by LifelongRiverRunner Great bag; needs wheels
I never write reviews, but I'm taking the time to write this one in the hopes that LL Bean will make the folllowing changes to this otherwise-great bag:
1) Add wheels and a telescoping handle; vastly improve, or get rid of, the backpack straps.
2) Pad the laptop case.
3) Reduce the size of the logo.
4) Improve the handle.
5) Add an expansion feature.
Now for the long story.... This bag is fabulous for keeping gear dry. I took it, and an LL Bean "Adventure" duffle, on an unguided trip through three countries, with most of the time spent in Ireland--both duffles saw a lot of rain, wind, and general abuse (I'm not gentle with my luggage). At one point, the duffles sat for half and hour out by a small air strip in drenching rain. But when I arrived at my destination, everything in the waterproof "hybrid" bag was completely dry and moisture free. (The "adventure" duffle performed well, but its contents were either wet or damp.) I've since taken the waterproof "hybrid" coast to coast and outside of the US on several more occasions, and it's held up very well through everything. (It was great--e.g., I tossed it in the back of a ragtop jeep in the Virgin Islands with no worries about storms, surf, or sand).
I like to slip my padded laptop case or some camera gear into the waterproof latop cover in inclement weather; otherwise, the laptop cover makes a handy waterproof tote.
My only caveat with this bag is, you must roll down the top of this duffle several times or it will pop open during airline transport--so don't try to overstuff it.
Now for details about suggested improvements to earn this bag 5 stars instead of 4:
1) The backpack system is thoroughly useless. The poorly designed straps cut into your shoulders, throw the bag weight totally off balance, and are hard to remove at the airport. So there's no convenient way to carry the bag except as a traditional duffel.
2) The two-piece handle is a bit awkward, a little pinch-y at times, and can come undone at inopportune moments.
3) You must roll the top multiple times or it will pop open when handled by the airlines. So you can't overstuff the duffel at all. Thus, it'd be great to have an expansion feature (bottom, pockets, something).
4) It's a major pain to take through customs. Since the backpack doesn't work, you're left carrying the duffel on a shoulder or in your hand; it's not that big but gets really heavy after a while. It needs in-line WHEELS and a telescoping handle!! (Then this bag would be perfect.) Plus, it has no coordinating luggage except other duffels--so you can't "daisy-chain" anything together; your just left kicking along a big ol' pile of bags, lol.
5) The laptop cover is not padded. Putting a padded laptop case in it works fine, but that's one more layer you have to unpack in a customs line--because laptops have to come all the way out for inspection. It'd be great if the waterproof laptop cover itself were padded.
6) The huge screen-print logo is a bit much for my personal tastes; I always thought quality goods spoke for themselves and didn't need a massive brand display. :-)
May 5, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by AcornEater Here's a better description of this bag
I bought this waterproof duffle bag and returned it. The description provided by LL Bean is not very detailed so here you go. The design is a standard roll-top dry bag with buckles on the sides, with removable backpack straps. When the bag is closed, there is separate zippered laptop case that can be attached across the top of the bag. (For taking your laptop on a river trip?). The laptop case has no padding. The construction and materials appear to be good throughout, standard LLB quality. I was not looking for a roll-top dry bag so that's why I returned it. If Bean had called it a roll-top or showed a photo of the top of the bag, I would not have bought it.
April 10, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by RiverRat37 Not so hot
This is a strange "device". It's half duffle and half backpack and ...... 100% a failure, in my mind. The backpack part does not really work. The attachment points for the shoulder straps are in a strange position. I could not see how it could work and esp. with no strap across the chest to hold the two shoulder straps on the shoulders.
What's goofy is that this is a drypack and one would expect that it would need to be carried. Maybe you can figure out how to make it work well ... I couldn't.
Of course if you never expect to carry it (canoeing without portages?) it might be OK.
I returned mine, unused.
October 11, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Jeffrey888 Best Waterproof Bag So Far
There is only one flaw with this waterproof bag. The handle stinks. It's inconvenient and doesn't stay together, pops open, and when the bag is full and heavy it's very uncomfortable in your hands.
Now to the good part. This is perfect as a carry on. Perfect as a small waterproof bag on a raft or float trip. I use it fly fishing on my raft. I keep pump, emergency kits, cameras, extra clothes, food, fly boxes, reels, etc... in it. Very easy access to your stuff, unlike the tube roll top water proof bags. It has never leaked. Totally waterproof, even submerged. Perfect size to travel with as a small carry on.
Overall the best waterproof bag I have yet found and if the handle was softer with velcro this bag would belong in the best products of all time hall of fame.
September 15, 2012