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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So in my continual quest to find the perfect dive bag, I've got a North Face rolling bag:

It's not quite as big as I'd like (requires careful packing), is heavy, and the wheels are now bust after abusing it for a number of years ;)

There is there Berghaus Mule 140l:

which is light (although not as light as you would think), and has lots of room but it's a pain in the arse to transport around when full.

I also have a Mountain Equipment bag which I use in the UK, but the zips have got salty and now are stuck!

I've also noticed when on liveaboards it would be nice to have two compartments in a bag. One containing your dive kit, the other containing clothes and other stuff. That way when on deck you can separate the two, and only take the clothes bag down to your cabin.

As possibly new purchases I've seen the IQ Smart bag (125ltrs) which seems good.


Quite sturdy, folds down flat, allows the two bags to be separated and at 4.2kg, is not light but it has handles and wheels so its to be expected. At £100 it seems a reasonable price.

The other option is Fourth Elements new manta and remora dive bag, apparently being available at the dive show.

Very light (less than 1kg apparently), and roomy, has the two detachable bags etc. Apparently has shoulder straps, but wonder what it would be like to carry when full on your back? Plus at £100+£50 its not cheap for what it is...

What do you guys think (apart from me seemingly collecting bags!)
 

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My 15 year old TNF base camp duffel (the old, heavyweight vinylised fabric one) is still going strong. Light-ish, rucksack straps and handles. if you need two compartments stuff one lot of kit in a rubble bag inside the big bag:)
 

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I like the Berghaus Mule 140l, I have a great bag that will need replacing soon but trying to find a large bag like this that is very light, preferably with wheels but not with a telescopic handle and frame and all the weight of that stuff, has proved a little tricky so far.
 

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I recently had an IQ Smart Bag (125L) mentioned above. Whilst mostly I agree it is a good idea in principle, in actuality it doesn't work that well. I thought that it would be great having a section for dive gear, and a section for clothes, but the bag broke after one trip only!. The straps that are meant to take the "weight" of the bag away from the joining zip between the two sections don't work very well, even when they are as tight as possible. As a result the zip gets over strained, and inevitably breaks. Whilst it might be ok with the latest extremely light travel gear, anything else you'd struggle with. The section that apparently can take your dive gear in, I struggled to get regs, fins and BCD in there. (I just about managed to get gloves/hood/smb in with some creative packing), but you couldn't get a suit in there as well. My advice would be don't get it!

I looked at the Fourth element bags at the show, and they are v.v.v.light, however I do worry about the seams breaking (ultransonically welded?!?) in transit. However for travel gear you'd probably be ok, although there is not much protection for the gear in terms of padding.

Argyle mentioned that he/she was looking for a large bag/light/no handle/ 120L+? I recently purchased a Northern Diver lightweight voyager, after checking it thoroughly at the dive show, along with other possible options. 130L, 2 comparments, wheels, no telescopic handle, around 2.5 - 3kg. Seems to do what I want. Will keep informed if it survives!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I think you ought to stop buying bags!
I should really :embarasse ;)

I've been using Berghaus Mule 140l: for a few years now and havent had any issues with it at all.
I do like the mule. The only thing is transporting it around. Maybe I need to add a bit of rope or something around the handles on the end, but I'm 6ft 2 and find it difficult wheeling the back behind me, especially when its got like 25kg of stuff in it. I've only got to go a short way and then my arm and shoulder aches bigtime.

My 15 year old TNF base camp duffel (the old, heavyweight vinylised fabric one) is still going strong. Light-ish, rucksack straps and handles.
Never tried to carry a dive kit bag with shoulder straps, wouldn't this be really heavy, uncomfortable and be in danger of knocking everything over? ;)

if you need two compartments stuff one lot of kit in a rubble bag inside the big bag
Ha! Thats actually a very good idea!! :)

I recently had an IQ Smart Bag (125L) mentioned above. Whilst mostly I agree it is a good idea in principle, in actuality it doesn't work that well.
Thanks for the information there smk82. It's really useful when people who have the stuff give their feedback, saves me spending out on something that's not going to be ideal. From what you've said it looks good in theory but definitely falls short of the mark!! Thanks for the heads up, there was 10% of this weekend where they sell this, so would have been thinking about getting it. Nice timing :)

I agree about the Fourth Element bag. Yes its very light, but its expensive for what it is really. I did speak to one of the people on the stand and apparently it has been subjected to drop tests etc, but like you I'm not sure how long it would last with 25kg of stuff in it. Plus there is only shoulder straps, so I can imagine once its filled with stuff and the fabric being so thin, it might be pretty uncomfortable on your back?

Guess its either see what I can do with the mule, or keep looking!
 

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We have the Rolling Thunder North Face Bags; excellent. They are a little heavy, but are a very similar weight to any large bay with wheels. North Face / Mountain Equipment duffel bags are fantastic; but 30kg of dive gear on your shoulder gets tiring real quick.
 

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Big grey Oceanic bag (about 120ltres) Weight 1kg, No Padding or wheels, hell to carry but it does mean I can get my gear and my Ikelight housing and domes and strobes etc in it with some bagged polystyrene chips at each end, fins and wet suit on the bottom. Oh and a few clothes. With just under 30kg. If the bag weighed 5kg I be paying a lot for wheels!
Tim Digger
 

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I have been using bags of various sizes from Tatonka, I took two to the Galapagos. But like the NF they are heavy with a good strong frame, wheels and extendable handle.



With the limited weight limits given by airlines now, some of these bags can be too big and unless packed fully everything inside moves around too much.

Scuba Teavel posted the new offering from 4thE this week on FB and my initial thoughts were too big and certainly would be too heavy once filled to carry rucksack style.
 

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I just use an enormous Gul dry bag with shoulder straps. Weighs next to nothing, wing plate and fins packed round the sides with other gear down the middle (regs wrapped in wetsuit), small daysack on top with clothes and washbag. I never have to carry it far, that's what airport trolleys are for and on liveaboards etc it packs up really small once empty.
 

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Fourth Element Manta fLight. Less than 1kg - 115 litres.
 

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