Between moving to a land-locked state and living under worldwide lockdowns for the past couple of years, it’s been a challenge to find ways to get my fix of Vitamin Sea. When I got my hands on the new Fourth Element Expedition Series Drypack, it was the perfect excuse to grab my freediving gear and head out to explore one of our local lakes.
My first thought on unboxing the Drypack was, “This thing is HUGE!” And indeed it is! For our day at the lake, I was able to pack two swimsuits, three towels, a 0.5 mm dive skin, sunscreen (reef safe, naturally!), lunch for two, my mask, snorkel, and freediving fins, which fit handily in the purpose-built pocket sandwiched between the two dry compartments. All of this didn’t even fill the Expedition to half-capacity. I could easily see this being a go-to for boat dives to keep all your topside necessities neatly contained while you’re below and stow most of your wet gear once you’re warm and dry post-dive, including a modest-sized BCD.
But with great capacity – 60 liters! – can come great weight. The Expedition is thoughtfully designed to distribute the load evenly and has a few added features to make it comfortable to wear even if your dive destination is at the end of a long, rugged hike. Seriously thick padding cushions the back and waist, extending in a horseshoe up across the shoulder area (picture a wing-style BCD), and it’s all covered in breathable mesh. There’s an adjustable waist strap, as well as a sternum strap that can be moved into a higher or lower position along the shoulder straps. Hence, you have more options for a comfortable configuration. I like having everything neatly-stowed and flap-free, so I especially appreciated the little loops on the straps that allow you to tuck in the excess webbing once you have everything properly adjusted.
As for our midsummer lake adventure in the American southwest – it began sprinkling midway through our drive and escalated into a full-scale downpour by the time we’d made the hike from the car to the shore. Despite a valiant effort to remain game despite the oncoming monsoon, in the end, we were chased away by nil visibility and approaching lightning. But every bit of our gear, from electronic key fob and cell phones to towels and sack lunches, stayed bone dry.
I look forward to many (hopefully more successful) adventures with the Expedition. From shore and boat dives to whitewater rafting and amphibious canyoneering trips, this drypack can handle my over-preparedness and the comfort features that will let me carry my gear to the remotest of locations.
- 60-liter capacity
- Two roll-top waterproof dry compartments
- Separate hidden fin pocket
- Heavy-duty PVC
- Technical specs for the item (in bullets), if applicable
- Cushioned back panel
- Available in Blue and Orange colors
$147 USD / £121.44 GBP / €141.05 EUR