Review: the OverBoard waterproof carbon messenger bag

It’s funny: after six years on the island, it only occurred to me a few months ago that I needed a waterproof laptop bag. Sure, I already had a dry tube bag for my wallet, phone, and other small stuff, but I lugged my precious laptop around in a regular nylon messenger bag. When it rained or the waves got rough, I either put a towel over the bag or stored it inside our huge dry bags meant for luggage. I finally got my precious waterproof laptop bag last September and promptly loved it. Meet the OverBoard Waterproof Carbon Messenger Bag!

 01 overboard messenger bag exterior

This lightweight bag is made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and is sealed at all the edges. The bag stays waterproof (and dust-, sand-, and dirt-proof) using OverBoard’s Fold Seal System: just roll down the top of the bag three times then clip it to the side (essentially the same mechanism that all waterproof bags use). It features a padded interior (not too thick, but good enough) and a (welcome) padded shoulder strap. It also has a rubber handle if you want to carry the bag like a briefcase. There’s a zippered pocket inside for small items.

OverBoard’s waterproof rating system puts the Waterproof Carbon Messenger Bag at Rating 3. OverBoard’s waterproof rating system:

overboard waterproof rating system

So yes, this bag can fall into the water and it’ll float long enough for you to rescue it.

I tested this baby by bringing it with me to El Nido for the International Coastal Cleanup and subjecting it to a typhoon. Luckily for me and my precious laptop, the OverBoard Waterproof Carbon Messenger Bag passed with flying colors. It also looked pretty good too. No, I didn’t toss this bag into the ocean but I was tempted to, just to try it out.

However, there are some downsides to this bag. First is that it’s pretty skinny, so only your laptop, laptop charger, a folder for documents, and some small items will fit inside. There’s also no interior divider or organizer aside from the one zippered pocket so it’s a bit difficult to find stuff. I was all set to complain about the lack of an exterior zippered pocket under the flap because it would have been so useful for storing commuting money and my MRT card, but the OverBoard guys replied my email and said that the new model does have an exterior zippered pocket. Amazon must have sold me the older model @_@ Sadness but what can you do, tight?

 Overall score: 4 out of 5 stars.

Would have gotten 5 stars if it were roomier and had more interior pockets for holding a mobile phone and pens.

The OverBoard Waterproof Carbon Messenger Bag is available from Amazon and Overboard Philippines.

Dimensions:

  • Height: 13 inches
  • Width: 16 inches
  • Depth: 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 0.75 inches

If this bag isn’t for you, you can try the black version (same specifications plus a stabilizer strap that goes around your waist):

 

Or the Adventure messenger bag (with interior organizer and lots of pockets but is only Waterproof Rating 1, really meant for city use with occasional rain):

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