In need of a surf backpack to lug your soaking wetsuit around in, or just to carry your laptop and books in, or maybe even both at the same time? So called wet/dry backpacks contain waterproof compartments that enable your damp surfing gear to sit alongside electrical equipment, clothes, and other everyday possessions in the same bag without getting them wet and without leakage. Reviewed below are five of the most versatile, stylish, ergonomically designed surf backpacks around, suitable for surfing trips, feral exploration, and days out at the beach, as well as the simpler demands of modern urban existence.
Surf Backpacks & Wetsuit Bags: Patagonia Jalama 28L
Patagonia, a brand that specialises in hard-wearing outdoor clothing and equipment, makes excellent backpacks—bags that are both highly pleasing as tactile objects and eminently useful as functional pieces of kit. The Jalama, billed as the “ultimate wet/dry backpack”, is the specialist surf bag in the Patagonia range.
The beauty of the Jalama is that the wet compartment can take up as much or as little space as the situation requires. The backpack’s made up of three main compartments, each opening from the top, the middle one insulated by a completely waterproof barrier. The less stuff you put in the other two compartments, the more wet equipment you can carry and vice-versa. What’s more, the wet section of the bag can be pulled inside out, so it can easily be cleaned and then used for stuff you’d rather not get damp and salty.
At just 28 litres it’s relatively slender, making it great for ordinary day use, but due to the clever design you can still make room in there for all your winter surfing gear. Even with a 5/4 wetsuit and boots inside, I found (with a little perseverance) space in the adjacent compartments for a laptop, a 500-page book and a few other bits and pieces.