The Phantom Aquatics Walrus (you’ve got to love their naming patterns) is a great choice if you’re looking for some versatility in your waterproof backpack. Plus, there are several color variants available, so you can even get one that matches your outfit. Seriously, though, if you want plenty of choices and a good bang for your buck, the Walrus is definitely a good way to go.
Why Get a Waterproof Backpack?
If you’re expecting to spend a lot of time on the water, hike through an area known for its many streams, creeks and waterfalls, or just want to be prepared for all sorts of inclement weather, you’ll need a backpack to match. Waterproof backpacks are pretty much what it says on the tin – backpacks that will keep your belongings nice and dry even if (especially if) you get drenched. Of course, this means they’ll have to sacrifice some of the bells and whistles you’d normally find on a specialist hiking backpack, but the trade-off is well worth it.
What Makes the Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 Premium Waterproof Backpack a Great Choice?
The Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 Waterproof Backpack is pretty much what it reads on the tin – a waterproof backpack with the capacity of 25L. It should be noted that the backpack is indeed 100% waterproof, and will keep your belongings as dry as a bone even if you submerge it for a spell, not to mention all the times it’s bound to be accidentally dropped into the water, showered by sudden downpours or being dragged along while you try to navigate a stream. Of course, it can also serve the purpose on your daily commutes to and from work/college, and keep everything nice and safe while you’re working on your tan at the beach.
You can get the Walrus in six vibrant flavors: Black (though it looks more like charcoal gray, to be honest), Blue (not quite azure, but far from navy), Olive green, gentle Pink, Red and Yellow. All of these feature black straps, back and side panels, as well as elastic webbing on the front. Moreover, all models sport highly reflective patches on the front and both shoulder straps, which goes a long way to making the backpack (and yourself, obviously) visible in poor conditions. This is a great feature for two reasons – one, it makes the backpack easier to find if you happen to drop or forget it (hey, we’re not judging); two, it makes walking next to a road in poor visibility conditions much safer.
In the way of storage, the Walrus features one large compartment, which accounts for the most of its 25L of capacity. There is, however, a sizable zippered pocket on the inside, where you can put your wallet, ID, keys, sunblock, matches, and whatever else you need easily accessible. Weirdly enough, the backpack features only one mesh side pocket, on its right hand side. It fulfills the standard purpose – water-bottle holder, bug-spray carrier, random-object fitter, you know the drill. There’s also a length of elasticated webbing on the front that you can use as attachment points for various tools and other gear.
The straps we mentioned earlier are fairly adjustable and even come with a decent amount of padding. Add the padding and the air-flow design of the back panel, and you’ve got yourself a comfy backpack for any situation – hiking, canoeing, rafting, tanning, you name it. In case you pack heavy, the backpack also comes with a waist belt and a chest belt, which help with distributing the weight. Speaking of weight, it’s worth noting that the Walrus weighs a mere 2.8 pounds, and measures 18 x 11 x 2 inches. Now, it is essential to close the backpack properly if you want it to keep your things from getting wet – fold the top three to four times, and then cinch it down. With this in mind, be careful not to overstuff your pack, or else you won’t be able to fold down the top enough to ensure it’s watertight.
We weren’t all that happy with the seams, as they seemed not really up to game (pun very much intended). This is somewhat backed with a number of reviews on Amazon that complain of the same thing, but the overwhelming majority does say it holds up well. Best way to be sure is not use the backpack for demanding activities. You might perhaps want to reinforce the weak points, but there really is no way to do it without sacrificing the integrity of the fabric and making your waterproof backpack essentially just a backpack. Well, no way except probably duct tape (that thing will solve anything). On a more serious note, the Walrus appears quite sturdy overall, and should be good for years of service if you treat it properly.
- The Walrus has plenty of space available (25L), though most of it is just the one large compartment.
- Features a smaller zippered compartment, ideal for small things that you need easily accessible.
- There’s also a length of elasticated webbing on the front, in case you want to use it to attach some tools or other gear.
- Completely waterproof (provided you roll down the top and cinch everything properly).
- Nice selection of colors (black, blue, olive, pink, red and yellow).
- The front panel and both shoulder straps sport super-reflective patches, which is a nice safety feature.
- Not only waterproof, but also dust-, dirt- and sand-resistant.
- Ample padding in the back, as well as shoulder straps; also, the back panel is plenty breathable.
- Also sports a waist belt and a chest belt, which helps with weight distribution.
- Oddly enough, the Walrus features only one mesh side pocket (on the right hand side).
- The seams are HF welded, which in and of itself is nothing special, but they could be better done.
When everything is weighed and measured, the Phantom Aquatics Walrus seems like a nice and affordable option for anyone hoping to spend a great deal of time near or on the water. Sure enough, it’s not cheap, but no one would go as far to call it expensive. And besides, you’ll be getting a 100% waterproof backpack, and durable to boot.