Monday, October 29, 2007

Guidewater Duffle

I've been meaning to circle back on some questions that came up in past comments about new gear. One question was about an angler-inspired duffle bag. Here is some workbook copy and pictures for you to review.

Whoever said getting there is half the fun obviously wasn’t dealing with dripping waders, muddy boots or current airline restrictions. Whether you’re traveling by truck, skiff, floatplane or jetliner, the Guidewater Duffle makes hauling gear easy. This new design is a more technical version of our original Wet/Dry Gear Bag with a welded waterproof dry compartment and breathable/drainable mesh side. The coated, floating baffle separates wet and dry gear, so your wading boots won’t soak your “coming home” shirt. Tough dual-coated fabric, high-airflow mesh, water-resistant zippers and rod tube attachment points combine to create the ultimate angler’s duffle. Better yet, both sizes (reg. and large) meet domestic airline carry-on requirements, eliminating worries of arriving waderless. So maybe getting there can be, shall we say, a quarter the fun?

Let me know what you think. I'll try to address the Double Haul changes in a future post too.
Top photo by Rene Braun
Product shots by Steve Swartzendruber
Copy by Dylan Tomine

13 comments:

Mike Thompson said...

I used the regular size on a recent saltwater trip. It was a perfect fit for the Hells Bay storage compartment. The duffle fit my raingear, hip pack, camera, etc. It was a one hand off to the guide. It definitely created comments and a touch of gear envy.

Oregon Steelheader said...

if this works, I'll be impressed, though I'm already flush with gear bags

Bought 2 (two) of the original wet/dry in the largest size before I realized that the "dry" part wasn't dry at all. The suck in that winter steelhead rain in the back of a driftboat, leaving extra clothes and gear totally soaked. They've become my fair-weather fishing gear and travel bags, still allow me to separate wet/stinky from all else, but not "dry" as an outdoor person thinks of the word.

got a Stellar black hole waterproof bag, same big size. This is my winter boat bag now, keeps stuff dry, but no separation ability. This compromises its utility when traveling on winter steelhead trips, necessitates a separate bag inside the bag for the dry stuff to keep the boots and waders away.

if you could combine these two, I'd be happy - but not likely to shell out money for one, as I've already spent several hundreds on several bags that "sort of" work.

the inside pocket is critical - wallet, keys, spare contact lens, other essentials.

I wish I could trade mine in!

El Pescador said...

Thanks for the weigh in OS. When approaching the development for the Guidewater Duffles, the product briefs essentially said, "black hole bag meets wet/dry gear bag". This new duffle series uses the same construction and materials on the welded side as the Black Hole. I hope you will be impressed, that is if you need another gear bag. Have a great steelhead season.

Flytimes said...

I'd just be happy as hell if they just brought back the Porter bag/pack thingy.

El Pescador said...

Bringing back the Porter will be a longshot, plus it's not my category, but I'll pass along your request to the Equipment/Luggage team. It's cool that you remember the style Flytimes.

topher browne said...

I've use both sizes of the new Guidewater Duffle for all of fishing season '07. I now regard them as indispensible pieces of kit, and would not travel anywhere without them.

I use the smaller duffle to store fly boxes, fly lines, and other sundries. It also perfectly accepts 1 pr. wading shoes, one set of Watermaster 2 waders and a Deep Wading Jacket.

The larger GWD will carry everything that I need for a day in the boat or in the canoe. The "dry side" of the duffle really works: I've been in some very hard rain without any problems at all.

I have not submerged the duffle to see how truly waterproof it is. For the hardcore whitewater crowd, it's a great place to store a wet suit and p.f.d.; but for true submersible protection, a sealable dry bag is probably the way to go. Not the end use of the Guidewater Duffle, however.

The divider is loose enough so as to allow either the "wet side" or the "dry side" to be used exclusively and to full capacity. There are, therefore, three different combinations for potential end use (dry, wet, wet/dry). Versatile and light, these duffles are mighty useful.

cheers, tb

it_guy said...

I've got one of Patagonia's old Porters. Seemed like there was a fad in the luggage industry for a few years with those backpacks that could be zipped up to check onto a plane.

Its definitely a great piece for the traveler that uses public transportation at their destination city. Throw it on your back and you're on your way.

PD said...

OK, you've really intrigued me with that comment about changing the Double Haul. How can you possibly improve on it?

Anonymous said...

Just curious - will you guys be making fly-fishing specific caps for the Spring?

JoeSak said...

Great piece...you guys have always made the best. I started a new blog called ReelGear and I would love to see some Patagonia comments. I invite everyone to post gear reviews!

Ezra said...

I took the regular Guidewater to the Leeward Islands recently and found the "Over the Head Only" shoulderstrap carring system to be less than desirable. The older wet/dry duffle handle that could be used as backpack style shoulderstraps would have been a dream getting in and out of planes, boats, and ferries. The rod tube straps could be more accommadating for two tubes and be so that the attach more securly to the bag so the don't bounce around causing the buckles to loosen. I understand that it was designed with fishing in mind, but think about the possibilty of a surfer using it as well, and the many places and situations that we fisherman/surfers find ourselves in.

El Pescador said...

Thanks for the test feedback Ezra. The Regular and Large GWD's both have traditional grab handles that can work as shoulder straps but they don't have adjustability. You can see in the picture of the GWD post that I'm carrying the Large bag this way. For S9 we introduce a GWD "Max" version which does have the adjustable shoulder strap system like on the old Wet Dry Gear Bag (Large). The old Wet Dry Gear Bags (Small and Medium) did not have this feature.

The "split strap" does have a range of adjustability so it can be customized for snug "over the head" carrying and single shoulder carrying. It also splits to fit over the closed carrying handle which keeps it from straying. This is useful when stowing the bag in the overhead compartment of a plane or boat hatch.

The lash points accommodate a single rod tube well but when trying to load more than one tube I have found that it's more secure to lash rod tubes together first with a large enough strap and then attach the bundle to the GWD lash points.

As far as these duffels being applicable to surf, the Regular GWD (smallest) has already become a daily favorite among surfers for packing a wetsuit, towel and wax/accessories. You can also lash the towel or a Remat to the side if desired. The bigger bags can handle dive gear or just more stuff but surfing was definitely considered an application for this duffle collection.

Huge thanks again Ezra. Keep the feedabck coming. I know it's not easy to reply with criticism but that is precisely what I need from you and the rest of the Way Upstream community. All the best!

El Pescador said...

I saw this review on Surfline - http://www.surfline.com/gear/checking-out-patagonias-guidewater-duffel_28756/ Nice to get the surfer perspective.