About deck bags (or boxes)

Want to keep smaller, frequently used items within easy reach while paddling? A deck bag seems to be a good idea, but $50 to $80 for a deck bag seems a little pricy. What about a Pelican case instead? For about the same price and storage area, which would you rather have? I am leaning towards the box as I think it would be easier to open (2 latches vs waterproof zipper). It seems that the box would offer better protection, but more difficulty in mounting. Your thoughts?

two words: day hatch

RE; Deck Bag
What bag were you looking at that had a waterproof zipper? My North Water deck bag is only “splash proof” not at all waterproof. The biggest problem I have with deck bags is the interfere with my paddling and I’m a high angle paddler. If I’m not paying close attention, I hit my hands on the bag. On a recent trip, I put the bag behind the cockpit just to get it out of the way. I have used a small pelican case for my camera and found it not to convenient. I kept it under the bungies ahead of the cockpit and besides hiting it, it was awkward to manipulate the bungies to open the case. I don’t like either option.

I know you like that day hatch
but if i opened the day hatch on my chatham 16 in 2’ waves I’d have 1/2" of water flowing OVER the hatch opening with every wave. I asked a friend to come over and get something as I wasn’t comfortable bracing and reaching at the same time,he said “I,I don’t think so,there’s water over your back deck”,and he was right. It kind of depends on the boat.

Prijon (Wildwasser) Console
I use a Prijon Console with a roll closure (not the Pilot). It is tapered to fit the curved deck. I’ve used it a little more than a year and I like it.


small frequently used items
should be waterproof and in your pockets,I’m thinking of suntan lotion, sunglasses, powerbar, whistle, etc. If they aren’t waterproof then definately in a dry box but not on the deck. Configure under deck bungies and put the small dry box under there. If you have a composite kayak you can affix bungie tie downs on the floor in front of your seat for the dry box. I like small dryboxes because they are quicker to open and close.

Ok I’ll try to way something worthwhile
a Deck bag wil conform well to the deck and not interfere with your strokes (or maybe a little).

Put a box on your front deck and its hard to paddle well and or to reach the box because you’ve put it faforward so it’s out ot the way of you strokes.

Big box in th rear hard to open ant interferes with the roll. On the other hand if your on a pond in a big rec boat the that might do quite well.

as to the price: good materials good labor and a really waterporrf closure ain’t all that cheap.

Lee glad your enjoyoing the poleaseaures of a low volume boat.

I argee that you should go waterproof, get a pfd with big pockets and consider a clean deck and an under deck bag or knee tube or… if you need it.

On a big day you’ll find a flare, a flashlight, a power bar or two, a vhf, a spare hood, at least a pint of water, and a couple other tricks in my PFD.

The day hatch thing was really just a little dig back at those who pooh pooh them. I like 'em but when the back deck is awash or just that low; they’re not so good. (Unless the water is flat and you’ve worked that one-handed over-the-shoulder sculling brace so you can lean left and reach to the right to grab your hatch)

Small but mighty.
The NorthWater Peaked Deck Bag is a great compromise. http://www.northwater.com/html/deckbag_systems.html

It’s splashproof, and does not catch the wind or my hands. The top bungies are great for stashing stuff in a hurry, and for tieing off lanyarded gear. It’s so unobtrusive that I leave it attached even when cartopping.

deck bags
Northwater Deck bag with Otter box is the best combo in my arsenal. Putting boxes under the bungies doesn’t work very well since they are well…boxy and don’t conform to the deck shape and want to squirt out. But all deck bags leak so I put only items that can take getting wet in them and my camera in the Otter box IN the bag. I just got the new over-vest from Northwater with HUGE pockets and can now carry most all of the deck bag gear on the vest. Have done only a limited number of wet exits to see what it’s like flopping around with big pockets of equipment but so far so good. Getting stuff out of my day hatch in rough water was so hard I agree they are for flat water or contortionist only. After a few more sessions with the Northwater Cargo vest I’ll update everyone.

Deck bag
Take a look at the deckbag on this cite.

They make good stuff, i use pants and a shirt they made.


This is why I’m a big proponent of…
Lincoln’s emergency hatch…located immediately in front of the cockpit,you can reach it in rough seas. Like many here I’ve tried to reach around to the day hatch only to almost breech or feel very uncomfortable in the attempt.

Also, everyones goal in sea kayaking should be to keep the deck as clean as possible.

We’ve all paddled the exceptions with propane tanks bungied to the rear deck, coolers bulging out of a gemini’s mid-hatch, but the best paddling in any condition is with a clean deck.

What I dont understand is why more manufacturers dont offer this feature—at any price???

Lincoln’s Hatch
What is Lincoln’s emergency hatch? Sounds like it’s a hatch under the deck in front of the cockpit. Sounds interesting.

Pelican Cases
Pelican makes boxes that fit alongside of the seat in my Catalina. Two of them are cheaper than a good deck bag and easier to get in to.