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06-24-2013, 08:01 PM   #1
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waterproof bag

I'm looking at camera bags for canoeing. I would like one that is waterproof and floats. I saw some by Overboard and Lowepro (more expensive). Does anyone have a waterproof/floating bag that they like? Or are there any brands that you've heard of?

06-24-2013, 08:49 PM   #2
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I have no personal experience with the Lowepro waterproof Dryzone bags - but personally I would go for the more expensive option because when it comes to bags you generally do get what you pay for. I have colleagues that have used them and can vouch for the Lowepro Dryzone camera bags - though they do require regular maintenance of the waterproof sealing* if this is done as prescribed you shouldn't have a problem.

* as I recall a silicone compound has to be used on the zippers to repel water, this substance can cause sand to gum up the zippers which could be problematic.
06-25-2013, 12:22 AM   #3
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06-25-2013, 12:35 AM   #4
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I agree with JohnX, I use a standard similar dry bag for waterproof, but I don't know about floating depend on how much air you leave in the bag before sealing.

06-25-2013, 04:04 PM   #5
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It's been MANY years since I've been canoeing, but when I did I remember that we used some sort of "buckets", similar to a paint-bucket but with a lid-joint, for carrying stuff that wouldn't do well with water (maps, camera, batteries, ...) and which we wanted to float if tipped over.

I do not recall from where we got those, but I remember them being incessantly cheap, and sold for something entirely different from canoeing....darn if I could recall.....
06-25-2013, 06:07 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tclausen Quote
It's been MANY years since I've been canoeing, but when I did I remember that we used some sort of "buckets", similar to a paint-bucket but with a lid-joint, for carrying stuff that wouldn't do well with water (maps, camera, batteries, ...) and which we wanted to float if tipped over.

I do not recall from where we got those, but I remember them being incessantly cheap, and sold for something entirely different from canoeing....darn if I could recall.....
Many restaurants will sell this type of bucket for very little. They receive things like chopped onions, or pickles in them. Ice cream vendors (hand scooped, not soft-serve) have a different but comparable type of bucket and will often sell them.
06-25-2013, 08:46 PM   #7
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I look for similar advice. I am going to shoot to sand desert in Peru (Ica next to Paracas) and there should be also lot of humidity. Its exactly place where desert meets Pacific. Can you advice me, how to keep camera safe and operable?

06-26-2013, 05:45 AM   #8
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Another, more expensive but reliable option, is to get a Pelican case (or similar stuff from other brands). they're probably the best to protect just about anything from shock, water, etc.

Regarding humidity, the best advice is to avoid sharp transitions from cold to warm and from dry to humid. Leave the camera in a bag or case that lets it change its temperature slowly, keep a few packs of desiccant handy for emergencies, and shoot away!
06-26-2013, 02:51 PM   #9
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I've been looking online at various options. The Overboard bags seem okay but there is no separation inside so I would need to come up with something for that. I was looking at the Overboard Pro-Sports backpack or the SLR bag. The Aquapac Stormproof case has some separate spaces but looks too small. The Watershed Largo Tote looks good but again it would need something to separate lenses. And that one looks easier to get in and out of. Then there are the Lowepro 201 duffle bag which has separate spaces and looks like it is easily accessible. And the Lowepro 401 backpack, which doesn't look like it holds as much and is more expensive. If you have any experience with any of these or just take a look, let me know your thoughts. They are all on the B&H web site. Oh, and there was one more, the Watershed Largo Tote looked interesting, also at B&H.
06-26-2013, 03:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
Yes, that is my recommendation to. I use the Aqua Cam Large. I haven't actually tried if it floats with the camera and lenses in it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does. It is air tight and it is relatively cheap.
06-26-2013, 05:17 PM - 1 Like   #11
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A avid photographer friend had his entire camera kit (SLR and three lenses -- not Pentax!) ruined when his canoe broached on a rock and filled with water. He was using an inflatable waterproof bag with a zipper-type closure which also rolled over several times and buckled. This was three decades back, and I can't recall the bag manufacturer.

The point is that the bag couldn't withstand the pressure of a river flowing onto it as it was lashed to a thwart. That's an extreme test to give any waterproof container, and his DryBox broached, as well. Even so, it was a lesson to me. If you paddle whitewater, consider a rigid box like the Pelicans, as others have mentioned. I use a military surplus ammo can, lined in closed cell foam. It's been bomb-proof.

When you buy whatever bag or box you decide on, make certain it is indeed waterproof. Test it. Put a cotton cloth, some paper towels, or a wad of toilet tissue into the bag, close it securely, then immerse it in water for a time. This isn't easy, as buoyancy will fight you, but do it. Then dry the outside of the bag or box, dry your hands, and open the bag/box to check the cloth or tissue. It should be dry.

Also, when paddling, it's a very good idea to securely lash your bag/box to the boat with a lanyard that's just long eough and not too long. The goal is to keep the camera kit with the boat if you capsize, but not to have so long a lanyard that you tangle in it.

Good luck and have fun!
06-26-2013, 05:33 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tamia Quote
open the bag/box to check the cloth or tissue. It should be dry.
+1 Do a dry run - - okay, okay that is a very bad pun. One lesson learned early by every scuba diver is the term 'waterproof' is pretty meaningless. Nothing is waterproof; many items are water resistant. And the user always needs to pre-determine the conditions under which water will be excluded.

Another thing that nobody has asked is if the OP intended to open this container while on the water to take pictures and then reseal the container? If so, and I would expect so, then some consideration also needs to go into how easy it is to open and properly close this water resistant container on the go.
06-26-2013, 07:42 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
+1 Do a dry run - - okay, okay that is a very bad pun. One lesson learned early by every scuba diver is the term 'waterproof' is pretty meaningless. Nothing is waterproof; many items are water resistant. And the user always needs to pre-determine the conditions under which water will be excluded.

Another thing that nobody has asked is if the OP intended to open this container while on the water to take pictures and then reseal the container? If so, and I would expect so, then some consideration also needs to go into how easy it is to open and properly close this water resistant container on the go.
You've said it, Jim! Excellent points.
06-27-2013, 08:16 AM   #14
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I would need to have things easily accessible since I would be using my equipment at times. I'm leaning towards a backpack style since we would be getting out of the canoe and hiking at different areas. The backpack style ones available are the Overboard Pro-sports backpack, Watershed backpack, Lowepro backpack, and also the Ortlieb backpack (although this one doesn't list if it floats). With the Overboard and Watershed I would need to figure out some dividers since they have just one compartment. The Lowepro comes with dividers inside, but is much more expensive and I'm not sure about the zipper system vs the roll down method the others use as far as being airtight. I need to make a decision soon. Thanks for all your help and suggestions.
06-27-2013, 12:42 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Many restaurants will sell this type of bucket for very little. They receive things like chopped onions, or pickles in them. Ice cream vendors (hand scooped, not soft-serve) have a different but comparable type of bucket and will often sell them.
Yeah, that sounds just about right, I was thinking "potato salad", but weren't quite sure
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