We were super excited when Level Six launched their Portage Gear Bag this spring as our old paddling bags had gotten quite weary and worn out. Our local river run is only ten minutes down the road, so we make do with the good old mesh bag or Ikea bag approach, but this won't cut it for adventures that require you to get in a vehicle or on an airplane.
The Portage Gear Bag is 90 liters in size, which at first had me wondering what to expect until we got one in hand. It is very spacious without being huge and cumbersome like some duffel bags are. The outer material is abrasion-resistant, which means you can throw the bag in the back of the truck with the boats without having to worry about damaging it!
For our first small road trip, I easily packed my Level Six Freya drysuit, Salus lifejacket, helmet, spray skirt, Level Six gloves, and shoes in the main section. Not shown in the photos is that I tossed my Level Six Shoreline Boots on top at the last minute, which easily fit in. My underlayers – Level Six vesta onesie plus a light fleece shirt (I usually get cold) and fat snugly socks, were in one of the end pockets. The alternate end pocket got my winter hat and mitts along with snacks for after paddling.
A fantastic feature is the 'wet gear' feature that allows you to put your wet gear back into the main pouch after a day of paddling. It includes two pocket areas where all you have to do is open the top and end pockets, made of mesh lining, which creates convenient airflow to allow your gear to dry. The remaining pocket has an extra-large stuff sack for all your dry gear to keep it separate from the wet. Game-changing!
The last feature that I love and must mention is the option to use the duffel bag strap or the backpack strap! I love having both options because it's convenient for longer paddling trips when you may be carrying boats and gear.
The Portage Gear Bag gets a 5-star rating from us. It is definitely worth checking out!
All photos courtesy of Lee!
Check out the Portage Gear Bag Walkthrough video below.