Recently, I received a couple waterproof bags from the folks at Ocean Racing for my review.
One was a large duffel, suitable for several days offshore, and the other was a backpack with a removable neoprene laptop sleeve, kind of like a wet suit for a laptop computer. Both had considerable internal volume and were an attractive navy blue and black color.

At first glance they seemed to be well made. The fabric is a heavy duty, PVC impregnated nylon on which water just beads up and runs off of. Inside the seams were sewn, RF welded and taped like a good foul weather jacket and the zippers are waterproof.  Ergonomically the backpack seemed pretty good too, with a big grab handle on the top and padded straps and back.

I was impressed, but then I'm easily impressed, so I decided to test them out just to see how waterproof they really were.

I had an old laptop lying around collecting dust, but it still worked and the weather was nice, so I decided to pack it into the laptop storage bag, in the backpack, and go for a swim. 
In fairness, the people at Ocean Racing explained that their bags were not designed to be fully submerged, but rather to keep items dry for the duration of a long, wet race or offshore passage. None the less, it was time for a swim! .

Naturally, the backpack became completely submerged, when I dived into the water wearing it. I swam around for a bit, then went back to the pontoon and climbed out. After drying myself off, I opened up the bag to see how the old computer had fared. There was some water in the back pack, but only enough to get a couple of paper towels wet, but the laptop inside the inner bag was still dry and fired up right away! Not bad, not bad at all!. Considering how much you can spend on a laptop alone, not to mention your accessories, software and data to go along with your racing effort, I think this kind of protection for your laptop is a small and very valuable investment by comparison.

The large duffel is great for your foul weather gear and a change of clothes that you want to stay dry, no matter what happens on the race course.

Although the name of the company that makes these bags is "Ocean Racing", I can see a much broader group of people benefiting from such products; cruisers, campers, kayakers, fisherman, hunters, basically anyone who wants to keep their items dry while traveling would appreciate the quality and functionality of this luggage.

The designer of these bags indicated that based on his experience in the Fastnet, Bermuda and Jamaica races, these were the two bags he found the most useful.

I didn't do the Chicago Mackinac race this year, but when I do it next year I'll definitely have my gear in these bags.
More images, like those illustrating articles, are in the BYM Photo Gallery
I decided to find out just how waterproof they really were.
Not designed to be fully submerged. Nevertheless it was time for a swim.
The laptop fired up straight away.
A small and very valuable investment.
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