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High Quality German Made Ortlieb Duffels
The new Ortlieb Dry Duffles are the highest quality bag of this type you can purchase, period. The German blended pvc of the Ortlieb's could easily be used to build inflatable touring kayaks. Not only does it have a tough 1000 denier polyester base, but the acrylic finish exterior is hard and abrasion resistant. This listing is for the 110 liter (roughly the same volume as our 3.8 cubic foot Riverpack drybag) XL drybag Duffle, which measures 28.5" long, 17" wide, and 14.5" tall. These are our measurements, and the ones in Ortlieb's catalog for this size are misprints as they show it being smaller than the 85l Duffle. The XL weighs 3-1/2 pounds.
All three sizes of the Expedition Dry Duffles feature a completely watertight drysuit zipper, two inside pockets for small items or dirty riverwear, one outside zippered mesh pocket, a strip of daisychains on each side of the zipper that cam straps can pass through, pegs on the ends if you want to stand your bag on a flat floor, removable contoured carry straps that can double as shoulder straps, cordura reinforced corners and bottoms, and an internal compression strap that can make closing the zipper easier if the bag is fully loaded. There is also a ladderlock piece of hardware at each end of the zipper that a camlock strap will pass though. Between these, the daisychain patches, and the handle webbing, there is no shortage of ways to tie this dry duffle ultra-securely into your river boat. The only negative thing we could say about the Ortlieb Duffles is that the combo shoulder/carry straps are not well padded for backpacking.
We stock this size and the 60 liter "Medium" in yellow with black trim. Although there is no reason that this dry duffle should come out of a boat considering the myriad of tie-down points, if it should, the school bus yellow is easy to spot. For some of you this size may be larger than you need, so measure out your gear pile that you would normally take downriver before ordering.
River Packs, drybags, are approximately 16" around with a rolled height that can vary from 27" down to 20", providing a maximum of about 5400 cubic inches. This round-bottom drybags is made from the same PVC coated fabric on the sides as the AIRE Tributary Strike kayaks, with Rf welded seams throughout. These are by far the best value going in a full size "3.8" drybags, equivalent to most of what goes for $79 to $89. These have padded shoulder straps, a waist belt, and a carry handle. The black bottom of this dry bag does not come up quite as far as is depicted in the photo. The River Pack drybags comes with a nylon stuff bag to keep it clean when it's not being used.
Color is sky blue with black bottom. Please note that pretty much all the "3.8 cubic foot" drybags on the market are measured by their unrolled dimensions. There is no logic to this since your dry bag won't work as a dry container with the top open, but it is something NRS drybags started decades ago and has become sort of a skewed industry standard.
With everyone taking their electronic gear down the river, cell phone, camera, webcam..., a high quality drybags are a must!
We've been very pleased with this electric raft pump inflator, using it often ourselves (on an almost daily basis lately).
This small but mighty electric raft pump has turned out to work great in our shop (we've been using two of them fairly heavily) after almost two years of testing with no problems at all. The Bravo / Scoprega OV4 is a 110 volt unit that is rated at 2.2 pounds per square inch, though as with all electrics we always downgrade the pressure rating a bit. It does seem to put out an honest 1.9 to 2 p.s.i. though. This is actually a bit more than our "Big Red" Mastercraft raft pump. You should always use electric raft pumps with your valves in the open position (unless your boat has Boston valves) to start, and with the OV4 only close the valves at the end. This unit has enough pressure to blow through most one-way valves after you "close" them, but you will only get a little more air in each valve this way. The spring on Summit II valves is so strong that the OV4 can barely overpower it in the valve's closed mode, so if you have an AIRE Tributary kayak keep that in mind. This is true of all electric inflators except for the Bravo "12" series.
All electric pumps are dicey in terms of warranty service. The OV4 manufacturer expects the dealers to return defective units to Italy, which is obviously out of the question since the wholesale cost is less than postage to Italy - or probably the retail for that matter. So as with most electrics, we are not implying any warranty on the OV4, however if you ask us we will be happy to test yours before it ships for a few minutes. If you manage to tip the OV4 raft pump backward onto it's intake port while it is running, and you happen to be using it in the dirt, you will suck debris into the opening. This is true of any electric raft pump though.
As we mentioned, the OV4 actually has more output pressure than the Big Red Mastercrafts, and about the same as the 110 volt Gusto's. Of course it has less volume, but not that much less. It still works for large rafts, though we would give you the same advice as we do with all electrics (except the Mastercraft): don't run it more than ten minutes! Even the big Gusto, which is almost double the price, will blow it's internal protection breaker after 12 to 15 minutes, especially on a hot day. We have been using the OV4 mostly to blow up inflatable kayaks, and it's been terrific for that.
The unit has a relatively stable little pair of feet, keeping it off the ground. If you tug on the hose however, this one or the Gusto 110 volt can be knocked over. And on the subject of raft pump hoses, like our Bravo 12, the OV4 has a low quality plastic one. Plan on replacing it with some old garden hose at some point. Full fittings are included, however, there is no twist-in Halkey or Summit adapter so if your boat didn't come with one you may need to purchase that separately. Valve adapters can be found in our repair section. Normally you do not operate this raft pump with your valves closed anyway, so you don't really need a tight fitting for electrics. For most boats you should still plan on using a top off raft pump just a bit after the OV4 has done it's thing.
This 12 volt raft pump unit blows a slightly higher volume of air than the Dyna raft pump, at a much higher pressure - 1.5 p.s.i. to 1.8 p.s.i. depending on your raft's valves. This means you won't have to do much topping off at all. There is one other raft pump that does as well pressure-wise, and blows even more air. That would be the LVM, but the LVM has shown to be less than reliable over the many years it's been on the market. It also costs nearly double what the Hurricane raft pump goes for.
This pump stands up by itself, and comes with four adapters, including one that seems to work for about 80% of the valves out there. The raft pump hose is a bit too short for many applications. Your local hardware store sells various (spa & Tygon) tubing by the foot in the rope & chain section, so you can retrofit the Hurricane with something longer if you wish. A 5' piece of garden hose also works well. The Hurricane uses battery connectors for under your hood, not a cigarette lighter plug like the little Dyna raft pump.