Why The Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Duffel Should Be Part Of Your Travels - A Review

A bomber duffel bag for floating or travel

For those that have been following along, I just got back from an epic 5 day float on the Smith river in Montana. One piece of gear that stood out was the Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Duffel Bag.  Check out the video for my take on why this bag will earn a spot on your raft or on your shoulder while you travel this Summer.

Hey everybody, Erik here from basin and bend. You know if you've been following along on social media, you probably saw that I recently got back from a five -day float up on the Smith River in Montana. While I was able to take a bunch of different cool gear up to test, I wanted to highlight one piece that I found especially useful and kind of critical for that type of environment, and that's the Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Duffel, in this case it's their large version. 

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Now on the front here, you actually have a YKK aqua seal zipper, and while that's not fully submersible, it is very water resistant and this is something that's good for, let's say, putting your documents in while you're traveling or your sunglasses, something along those lines that you just need to keep dry. But you know, if something does go overboard it does stand to get wet.

Fishpond Thunderhead Large Submersible Duffel
Fishpond Thunderhead Large Submersible Duffel

I've had this piece for about a year now and I've had it on multiple flights and multiple road trips with me, its held up really well, but, like I mentioned, this is the first time I've actually had it on a float trip. We had a self bailing floor raft that, this was always put in at the very bottom, sitting on the floor. So water was coming in day in and day out and I never had any issues with it leaking. It's nice getting to camp at night and have everything dry, that's always a bonus. We even got a couple of rain storms, so this was just sitting there getting pounded with rain, and it did just fine keeping everything nice and dry.

So what we've got here is basically a 6100 cubic inch or about a 100L duffel bag, so it's big enough to fit all of your gear that you'd need for a multiple day float or if you're going on a week long adventure that requires some flights and things like that. Basically it's just a great everyday travel bag or weekend adventure bag.

It's actually wide enough that you can fit a full nine foot four piece rod tube inside it, as well as a fishpond jackalope rod tube, which can carry multiple rods, so that's really nice if you're doing, let's say, a salt water trip down in the tropics or something along those lines, that you may get big rains. Or, if you need to fit all of your gear inside for multiple flights or on a puddle jumper or that type of thing.

It also has two different spots on the front and the back to put a rod tube externally so you can carry those as well. In the middle you've got a TIZIP which is basically a super heavy duty waterproof and fully sealed zipper. They actually use these zippers in survival suits and other applications, so very, very heavy duty, very bomber, and once it fully seals up, you can see, if I push on this, there's no air that comes out. That fully seals it, it's fully air tight and you know, if this goes overboard or something like that, it's gonna protect all the gear that's inside.

You see this material here, this orange material. This is actually a 1680 denier nylon made out of Fishpond's cyclepond technology which actually takes commercial fishing nets and recycles them into the base nylon and then they actually coat that with a Thermo Plastic Polyurethane or TPU, which gives it this kind of super rigid feel to it and you'll notice this material is essentially the same material that they make whitewater rafts out of, so it's super durable and super impact and puncture resistant, so great for travelling.

From there you can see I've got two different backpack straps here, these can actually be woven through these holders here when you don't need them, so they stay stashed and out of the way. I found as you do load this bag up with a little bit more weight, it actually carries better with the backpack straps, it's just more more convenient to have it on your back. But when those are stashed and let's say you're just moving it in and out of the boat or out of a plane, you do have these haul handles that are actually braided climbing rope, which you know, beyond being super durable and functional, it also adds a really nice aesthetic to the piece.

So at $399, if you buy this through basin and bend, that means actually $43.99 of that is gonna go back to our quarterly conservation partner, so you get that bonus, it's got a full lifetime warranty, as all Fishpond gear does, and if you need need something that is gonna be in a very wet environment, whether it's on a boat, in the tropics, maybe up in Alaska and need something that can hold all of your gear this Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible is a really good choice.