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nathanm

padded wet bags for carrying housings in dive skiffs

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About 20 years ago, I bought a couple of waterproof padded bags from Underwater Photo-Tech that used to be in Derry, New Hampshire. The bags are big enough to fit a housing and flash units (with arms folded). I have used them for years to carry my camera in the dive skiff. They are great because they are padded, so they offer some protection against the inevitable bumpy boat ride. They are waterproof so you can use them as a dunk tank if need be. When dry, you can even pack things (not housnings, but I often put other items in them) for travel.

 

I typically put the whole rig into the bag on the dive boat or shore, then ride out in the skiff or other dive boat, with the housing in the bag. It goes from the bag into the water, and then as soon as I hand the camera to somebody on the skiff it goes back into the bag. I have used these bags for so long that I don't even know what other people do.

 

Well, the zippers have finally given out so I need some new ones. I can't seem to find any current substitute.

 

I think that the bags were originally intended to be soft-sided coolers for taking to football games etc, but they were private labeled by Underwater Photo-Tech. UPT was apparently absorbed into Backscatter, but I don't see anything like this on the Backscatter web site.

 

I also can't find any other solution for carrying housings in the boat. There seem to be no end of specialized bags for carrying dive gear and/or cameras WHEN DRY, but I don't see any solution out there for this specific need - carrynig the wet housing to/from the actual dive.

 

I have looked at other soft-sided cooler bags, but so far everything I have found has drawbacks. Many of them are too rectangular - they are designed for six-packs of beer. They are not padded as well either. The larger ones tend to have wheels and so forth which won't really work.

 

Does anybody know where to get these? Or, if not, then what do you use to carry your housing to and from the actual dive site?

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Here is the direct link where you can see some different options. I have two of the boat coolers. One to hold the full rig with strobes and a smaller version for snorkeling. Recommend the ones with the dry zippered pocket on the side. Great for keeping a towel handy and other small bits. They work great as coolers too.

 

Cheers,

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Here is the direct link where you can see some different options. I have two of the boat coolers. One to hold the full rig with strobes and a smaller version for snorkeling. Recommend the ones with the dry zippered pocket on the side. Great for keeping a towel handy and other small bits. They work great as coolers too.

 

This is great - just what I was looking for. What size cooler holds the full rigs? The 24 pack or larger?

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I use a hard cooler and pad it inside with a sheet of foam and over it my towel to provide shadow.

If needed i can fill the cooler with water and it keeps the rig at water temperature.

I belive that the hard cooler protect my rig better than a soft one and the last soft cooler

became real stinky after some use as the foam inside don't dry well.

Chris

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Yes i use the polarbear 48 pack cooler. This is also used for transporting some of my gear on Airplanes (check in baggage) and works great as the whole bag is nice and padded.

 

Cheers,

 

Diggy

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I use the 48 pack polar bear. Thing is built like a tank. Completely waterproof, so I can fill it up and have my own personal rinse tank on the boat, no other cameras allowed!! So far, no boat has objected to this. On the way home, the sloshing of the water cleans everything out, saving me a half hour of work!

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I use the 48 pack polar bear. Thing is built like a tank. Completely waterproof, so I can fill it up and have my own personal rinse tank on the boat, no other cameras allowed!! So far, no boat has objected to this. On the way home, the sloshing of the water cleans everything out, saving me a half hour of work!

 

You leave your rig in the bag full of water, sloshing about on the way back? Your brave

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Last winter I dove in Cozumel off Dive with Martin's fast boats. The rinse tanks were just small buckets more suited to a couple of P&S housings than my DSLR rig.

 

I thought of using a soft-sided cooler like those mentioned here but felt the weight would be too much. Isn't a cooler filled with water and a housing heavy, awkward, cumbersome, etc.? How much water are you putting in the bag?

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For rinsing housings when diving from day-boats here in the UK I take a 1.5ltr pump-up garden sprayer pre-filled with freshwater. Sure, its not a 'comprehensive' rinse but it'll do for the sometimes 3-4 hour passage (mid-channel technical diving) back to port . I've yet to find in the UK a photog friendly charter boat equipped with any more freshwater than to make tea, let alone a rinse tank... :-(

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Here is the direct link where you can see some different options. I have two of the boat coolers. One to hold the full rig with strobes and a smaller version for snorkeling. Recommend the ones with the dry zippered pocket on the side. Great for keeping a towel handy and other small bits. They work great as coolers too.

 

Cheers,

 

Another strong vote for an aocoolers bag. I have a bright red 48can (?) with my name embroidered on the side.

As mentioned, it can either pack in a checked-bag with wetsuits and well padded dome port inside, or it can be used as a "suitcase" by itself.

Useful as a way to carry photo gear onto a day dive boat - once there, filled half-way as a personal rinse-tank (most morons on these boats can't seem to remember NOT to put their anti-fog laden masks into the on board rinse-tank!) - and YES it is very heavy with water inside.

It also makes for a perfect place to instruct dive-boat "helpers" to "Please return my camera to THIS bag, NOT the boat rinse tank."

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I have an AO 36 and I love it. Perfect bag to pack my stuff, fits as a carry or check-in. The sides snap down so it looks like a duffel bag. I want to get the 48 for increased capacity. I use mine to move my gear on and off the boat, works great. I can put in addition to my UW cam gear, another small cam, place for sunglasses, hat, etc.

 

Question, how do you guys get water on it while on the boat? Im diving off these little boats in the Philippines and I can't imagine filling it up with water and carrying it on.

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Apologies for restarting an old thread, but where can you get AO cooler bags or similar in the UK? (I know i could import, but looks like costs would be almost as much as the bag!). Other cooler bags I've looked at all seem to skimp a bit on the padding..

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SMK82:

 

I cannot answer your question about where to find those bags in the UK, but if it helps any, the bags from PolarBear and Norchill are pretty much identical to the AO bags. Perhaps broadening your search will make it easier to find one.

 

Good luck.

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Apologies for restarting an old thread, but where can you get AO cooler bags or similar in the UK? (I know i could import, but looks like costs would be almost as much as the bag!). Other cooler bags I've looked at all seem to skimp a bit on the padding..

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I bought the AO Coolers via the amazon.com website. I thought the international postage to UK via amazon was quite reasonable and quick. The bags are great.

Mark

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Sorry for (again) resurrecting an old thread, but can some of you say *what* cameras you are putting in the various size bags? I have a mirrorless system with Inon strobes, so not SO big. I'm hoping the 36 can cooler is the right size for me.

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Sorry for (again) resurrecting an old thread, but can some of you say *what* cameras you are putting in the various size bags? I have a mirrorless system with Inon strobes, so not SO big. I'm hoping the 36 can cooler is the right size for me.

Yes 36 Can cooler will suffice. I use the 48 for a nauticam/canon7D combo with float arms and strobes

 

Diggy

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I put my Sea & Sea MDX-300 with 12" strobe arms in a Costco "Cooler bag". $10 for a big and small two pack and not so bulky.

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