Mark Evans tries out the Aqualung Explorer Roller Bag.
AQUALUNG EXPLORER ROLLER BAG | SRP: £128
Mark Evans: Aqualung recently released a whole new range of dive bags, and our aim is to test all of them over the coming 12-14 months. First up is the staple of any diver’s bag collection, a large and sturdy roller bag with a 140-litre capacity that can take all your dive kit and a couple of weeks’ worth of clothes and see you off on your next adventure. And weighing in at a respectable 4kg, it isn’t going to eat into your precious luggage allowance too much either.
The Explorer Roller has an ultra-durable 1680D polyester PVC coating to take on the abuse dished out by airport baggage handlers – we’ve all seen bags getting slung about as they come off the plane conveyor! – and extra-wear areas are further reinforced with thick abrasion-resistant tarpaulin.
The cavernous main compartment is easily accessed by a large U-shaped flap secured with corrosion-resistant zippers with extended pullers, and there are two large fin pockets on either side. I took my Force Fins to Indonesia and as they are an odd shape, they wouldn’t fit into these pockets, but most standard fins will go in – and even if you elect not to use them for fins, they are perfect for sticking shorts, T-shirts, flip-flops and your undies! There are also two rows of webbing anchor loops stitched down either side of the main compartment flap, and these can be used to attach water bottles or hand luggage with karabiners, or you can even secure it to the deck of the boat during particularly stormy crossings!
There is a retractable top handle to make towing the bag a doddle, and the rollers are robust and designed to take a beating.
It survived my trip out to Manado in Indonesia, only showing a few minor surface scrapes and scratches as its first battle scars from the experience. The main compartment was more than big enough for a 3mm full-suit, travel wing, fins, mask, regulator, booties, camera arms, camera housing, and two weeks worth of T-shirts, shorts, underwear and swimming trunks, though the odd bit did get tucked into the fin pockets. It was nice to roll around, and with grab handles top and bottom, it was easy to hoick on and off detector and luggage conveyors, and in and out of minibuses. It looks smart, and the subtle logos identify you are a diver without screaming ‘I contain expensive kit, steal me!’
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