When I think of Filson products a number of things come to mind, mostly canvas, leather and classic designs that speak to their century old legacy. I admit I don’t associate them with dry bags, so getting a chance to evaluate their Dry Duffle peaked my interest. The modern dry bag is not a terribly exciting thing, typically employing unfettered designs heavily biased towards utility. The Filson Dry Duffle on the other hand, isn’t just another waterproof sack. As I would expect of the Seattle based manufacturer, it is a proper piece of refined luggage.
Whereas most dry bags borrow vibrant colors from Crayola, the Filson Dry Duffle is available in just two colors: black and a subdued green. I particularly like the green color with the black leather and nylon accents adding to its Filson-inspired aesthetic. Unlike any other dry bag I’ve ever used, it has the look and feel of Filson’s timeless canvas bags.
Made of 18-ounce PVC fabric, the Dry Duffle is rugged enough to take on any bold adventure. The radio frequency welded seams and roll-top closure ensure 100% waterproofness and reinforced attachment points promise years of hard use. The large longitudinal opening makes loading and unloading the bag a breeze and provides easy viewing of the entire bag’s contents. I find I don’t have to rummage around a dark abyss trying to locate smaller items as everything within is easy to see. I was even able to slide my rather large two-person tent into the Dry Duffle without any problem.
On the exterior of the bag there are perhaps more features than found on the typical dry bag. The large webbing carry handles wrap under the bag to provide even support. The included shoulder strap is nicely padded and attaches at offset ends of the duffle, again to give a balanced carry. Those attachment points are reinforced with a double layer of PVC fabric for maximum durability. Last but not least, a webbing strap folds over the top of the bag and is held fast with a large patch of Velcro.
As a piece of luggage for general travel, the Dry Duffle probably offers more weather protection than most people need, but for those looking for a solution for the tail of an adventure motorcycle, or perhaps something to stow on a roof rack, it is superb. On a recent outing I plucked the Dry Duffle from the airport luggage carousel and plopped it on the tail of my motorcycle. It’s right at home plowing down a dirt road or slung over a shoulder walking into a hotel lobby. Try that with a bright yellow conventional dry bag and not feel like a lost raft guide.
It is another excellent offering from Filson and one that recalibrates my expectations of what types of products define their storied name.