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Thread: Waterproof bag choices

  1. #1
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    Waterproof bag choices

    I have quite a few TB bags, and they are great.

    However, I have a specific need for a waterproof bag. Well, maybe "proof" is too strong a word, but I want to be able to stand in an uncovered train station in heavy rain and wind without my bay's contents becoming drenched. I carry a full sized 15" laptop, papers and an iPad, a kindle, cords, etc. My Cadet is almost the perfect size. I know it has some resistant capabilities, but I want it to be awesome at this, without buying a Pelican....

    I am not sure the current TB bags meet this need. What are your experiences and should I lose my monogamous relationship to get this specialty item?

    Potential Cheater (though I love you Tom!)

  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    My Dyneema Synapse has withstood some serious, sustained Chicago wind and rain. The zippers are pretty well sealed so none of the contents got wet. If you get a product like Nikwax, you can increase your bag's water resistance. I apply Nikwax to my rain shells and stuff and it works very well.

  3. #3
    Registered User CallaVandy's Avatar
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    Here is answer to your question...
    TOM BIHN: FAQs
    According to TB, all of their bags are water proof. So I think you don't have to leave your relationship....

  4. #4
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    Even though the FAQ says waterproof, make sure you buy and use that Nikwax! Nothing is forever... The treatments and coatings can wear off, especially in the conditions you described.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger View Post
    My Dyneema Synapse has withstood some serious, sustained Chicago wind and rain. The zippers are pretty well sealed so none of the contents got wet. If you get a product like Nikwax, you can increase your bag's water resistance. I apply Nikwax to my rain shells and stuff and it works very well.
    I bought Nikwax but I am confused on how to apply it.

    How far do you hold the bottle from your stuff and how much do you use?

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    Directions should be on the inner label, which you have to peel away to see.

  7. #7
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    Darcy's post in a different thread should help resolve matters:

    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    Lay your Brain Bag (unwashed; completely dry) on a flat surface on top of an old towel or some rags and spray it evenly with the Nikwax. You don't need to use the whole bottle, but you do want to make sure the bag is coated with Nikwax.

    Follow the Nikwax directions from there: wait for 2 minutes, and remove any surplus Nikwax with a damp cloth. Check to make sure you haven't missed any areas of the bag. Let your bag air dry. After several minutes, check again for any surplus Nikwax and wipe it off with a damp cloth.

    Does that help?

    Make sure you're using Tent & Gear Proof Nikwax!

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    I was going to buy some Nikwax and read some on-line reviews. One of the reviewers mentioned that the material has a yellowish tint to it and slightly discolored his bag. Has anyone experienced anything like this?

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    I used it on some light grey shoes last week and I can't tell the difference in appearance.

    It works though... I splashed some water over the edge of the sink this weekend and it was like there was an invisible dome over my feet.

  10. #10
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Beau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CallaVandy View Post
    Here is answer to your question...
    TOM BIHN: FAQs
    According to TB, all of their bags are water proof. So I think you don't have to leave your relationship....
    Just to clarify, we wouldn't call our bags "waterproof" because the seams aren't heat sealed or RF welded. However, our bags are super weather-proof; the fabrics we use are coated with urethane and treated to have a water-repellent outside. Semantics, I know, but we feel it's important to note the distinction.

  11. #11
    Registered User itsablur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beau View Post
    Just to clarify, we wouldn't call our bags "waterproof" because the seams aren't heat sealed or RF welded. However, our bags are super weather-proof; the fabrics we use are coated with urethane and treated to have a water-repellent outside. Semantics, I know, but we feel it's important to note the distinction.
    So to further spell it out, "weather-proof" vs. "water-proof" means you can stand out in a heavy rain and everything inside the bag should be dry, versus I can submerge the bag in water and everything will come out dry. Correct?

    For the latter, you would need the seal all of the seams and change all of the closures, much like many of the roll-top water bags have no/few external pockets.
    Own: Aeronaut 45 (Navy/Iberian), Aeronaut 30 (Steel/Ultraviolet), Night Flight (Coyote/Steel), Guide's Pack (Steel), Synapse 19 (Olive/Steel), Daylight (Navy), Aeronaut Packing Cube Backpack (Wasabi), Founder's Briefcase (Black), Pilot (Steel 400d/Steel), Co-Pilot (Black/Iberian), Side Effect (Black/Ultraviolet), Travel Tray (Iberian), various cubes, pouches, sacks, and straps

    Want: EVERYTHING.

  12. #12
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    Water can be very insidious and will find the most minuscule way in to your bag. While most fabric will have coatings and/or membranes that do a good job of keeping water out the seams, flaps and zippers are the problem. I will obviously yield to the more experienced folks at Tom Bihn, but I would not expect my Synapse 25 to resist water penetration if exposed to an extended steady rain. If you want to assure no water gets in the best option is a pack rain cover from someone like REI.


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