REVIEWED: OverBoard Pro-Sports waterproof SLR camera bag

Dunk-proof roll-top one-trick wonder that keeps rain and sea-spray at bay, but can’t hack a long hike

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The soft flowing stream and the long exposure waterfall are both staples of travel photography, but they’re wet work. With long exposure star trail and astrophotography photos also becoming popular, the need for waterproof and dew-proof protection for D-SLR camera is high. Cue the welded seams of the OverBoard Pro-Sports Waterproof SLR Camera Bag, which has a roll-top fastener and claims dunk-proof waterproof-ness. However, it’s more likely that rain and sea-spray will threaten your expensive optics.

Clever design

The design is simple yet very functional. All of the seams are reinforced and waterproof, and the 50x381x249mm bag, which takes 15 litres, closes at the top just like any dry bag; you fold the top a few times attach two clasps to each other. No zips, no gaps, so no water. It also creates a handy carry handle. On the outside of the durable PVC tarpaulin is a small light reflective patch at the bottom, four shoulder strap D-rings, and, oddly, a cheap carabiner clip for attaching some keys. The inner section contains only a couple of elasticated mesh pockets, though I’m not convinced I want to put a delicate lens in one of them. At least, not unless it’s already wrapped in something padded. This bag may be ambitious, but it’s very basic.

Poor support

Despite the clever lightweight build of the bag, those shoulder straps  – simple clip-on nylon straps – are not technical enough to make the bag comfortable to wear; we’re talking a short jaunt from the car into a wet wilderness area, or a boat-ride, rather than an all-day hike. On our short test hike the bag banged against our back, and we longed for the old trusty dry-bag in a proper backpack. However, when used on a day-trip to a small island to photograph puffins and with little walking to do, the OverBoard proved handy not just for the boat ride over, but for the downpour that ensued.

Rough-and-tumble

The premise behind the OverBoard is simple; wrap-it up and protect it against water. That’s fine – it’s something it does well – though we’re not completely convinced that it protects against other, frankly more dangerous hazards. Who hasn’t dropped, kicked, knelt on or otherwise abused their D-SLR camera bag while taking pictures? Granted, it’s usually while the D-SLR camera is out of its bag, but lenses and accessories are therefore most at risk. With little padding, the OverBoard doesn’t quite do enough to be considered a rough-and-tumble all-rounder.

One-trick wonder

GoPro, be gone; we don’t all want to walk around with a stupid looking camera on our heads. For those photographers who prefer to rely on their massively more advanced Canon or Nikon D-SLR cameras, the OverBoard Pro-Sports Waterproof SLR Camera Bag is a great solution, though it would have been nice to have much comfier straps, a slightly sturdier base and a touch more padding. It may be a one-trick wonder, but if you consider the low price, the OverBoard is a great value addition to any photographer’s arsenal of travel gear. Plus, it’s easy enough to roll-up and stuff in a suitcase or rucksack for foreign travel, and should do the trick for cabin baggage, too.

Price as reviewed: £32.99

Buy the Overboard Pro-Sports waterproof SLR camera bag