Tested: Anfibio DeckPack

See also: Packraft Deckbags

In a Line
Easily fitted, low-profile 22-litre bag with waterproof zip

Cost: 99 euro from Anfibio Packrafting Store  (supplied free for editorial work)

Weight, Size & Volume
Bag: 224g; straps 11g each (verified)
59cm wide, 43 cm long and ~15 high when full. Volume: 22 litres

Where tested
Northwest Scotland

tik • Waterproof construction including IPX7 zip 
• Light
• Variety of position options, providing you have the mounts
• Four 58-cm straps included

cros • On the bow (where most tabs are) can be a bit of to reach
• Not convinced it works well as a floor bag.


What they say
Waterproof zippered packraft bow or stern bag for easily accessible essentials on the water. Fits any Packrafts (and a lot of other boats) by full perimeter daisy chain (for variable fastening).
With the Anfibio DeckPack you can transport your essentials safely and securely in all conditions. Splash-sensitive valuables like a camera, keys or documents as well as emergency equipment and spare clothing are always at hand on the bow, the stern or on the floor beneath your knees. The DeckPack can also be quickly converted into a daypack for excursions on land or the use as hand luggage on your journey.

Review
The problem with packrafts is there’s nowhere to put your stuff other than the bag it comes in, usually a backpack. I wrote more about it here, before making my own small Pakbag.
Otherwise, I like a 20-30L holdall, like my old Watershed Chattooga, despite its fiddly roll-top seal, or my current Ortlieb Travel Zip (right) with a handier TiZip and mesh-zip external pockets. These bags sit accessibly, but out of the way, under my knees, and on previous packrafts attached to a tab mount glued to the floor for when you flip.
Anfibio’s DeckPack is another way of doing it. It resembles Alpacka’s larger, 24-litre Bow Bag but costs 25% less at current $/€ rates. It’s a vaguely semi-circular, PU-coated bag of around 22 litres which, unlike the Bow Bag, has a perimetre of daisy-chains (continuous attachment loops, a bit like Molle). It fits most obviously on a packraft’s bow as shown above, as this is where most packrafts have four tabs and where the weight trims the boat best. But you could as easily mount it on flatter sterns (as on my Nomad) if you already have a big backpack up front. Anfibio also suggest it can go inside on the floor too. Arranged as shown by them right, I don’t think the zip would be easily accessible without pulling the bag up, but that may not matter. Using the supplied straps, the pack can also work as a shoulder bag or daypack, when away from the boat.
On my Nomad it it just so happened  the bow mounting tabs where just right to fit the bag without using the supplied straps. Mini carabiners or more rust-proof fishing snaps (right) enabled a snug fit. So would reusable zip ties – also rustproof. But mounted on the bow it was a bit of a reach on my long boat unless I shuffled off the seat.
In fact there are enough hull mounts on my Nomad to position it further back (left) using two straps. Here it acts as a splash guard extension and was much more accessible on the water without making getting in and out too awkward.
It works similarly well on my IK too (right) – something I’ve been trying to work out for years.
I submerged the DeckPack in the bath and, pushed underwater (ie: under some pressure) air bubbles slowly leaked out via the zip head. But Anfibio tell me:

Please note, the zipper is one-way air penetrable, that means it will release air to the outside under some pressure along the zip, not only the head, but it remains watertight. It is actually rated IPX7. Under any circumstances, it can withstand submersion.

Without pressure, there may be no leakage and so the DeckPack doubles as a secondary buoyancy aid – always reassuring on single-chamber packrafts.

Once I realised it would work well on the IK, I ended up liking the Anfibio DeckPack a bit more than I expected, but here are a couple of suggestions:
• Drop the price and make the straps (right) optional. Most paddlers will have their own mounting means or ideas.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA• A curved, meshed exterior zip pocket would be really handy for knick-knacks or having a GPS in a readable position. Or, run a line of daily-chains alongside the main zip, so you can DIY a mesh pocket to the outside without interfering with the main zip or bodging as I have done (left). It would make the DeckPack even more versatile and save over-working the waterproof zip to access stuff while on the water.


MYO Seatback Mesh Pouch
As mentioned above, zipped mesh pouches on exterior surfaces are dead handy. You can put stuff in them, they drain or dry fast and they enable handy access without digging into a main bag. It’s one of the things I like on my Ortlieb Travel Zip (right).
On ebay I found 9″ x 7″ zip mesh pouches for makeup at about 3 quid each and quite well made. I zip-tied one around the side hem to the buckles on the back of my packraft’s foam backrest (above and right). It’s a handy place to stash the inflation bag, some cord, snaplinks, zip ties and the top-up adapter for my K-Pump. I may even try to fit one to my Anfibio DeckPack.

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