Outdoor Research Carryout Airpurge Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
We tested the 15 liter Carryout Airpurge (several other sizes, both smaller and larger, are also available), a roll-top compression dry bag. It's made of 70D ripstop nylon with thermoplastic urethane lamination and fully taped seams. It features small daisy chains on both bottom sides, a bottom carry strap, and two compression straps.
The Airpurge does an impressive job keeping contents dry, considering its thin, lightweight material. It sailed through our dunking and spraying tests with flying colors, letting air out without letting water in through the permeable fabric. After being dragged behind a kayak for 30 minutes, the lighter side material did have several wet spots, though the contents stayed completely dry. That's pretty impressive for a bag that's specifically rated not submersible.
The yellow fabric also looked wet when we sprayed it for several minutes with a high-pressure garden hose, though here again, none of our belongings got wet. We discovered two important things during our testing: first, that air takes some time to eke out of the bag, and many times we had to tighten it, wait a little bit, and then tighten it again. Second, the Carryout Airpurge achieves a much better seal when it's nice and full. It easily compressed more stuff than we expected into a smaller package than we expected.
Ease of Use
Over the years, the Airpurge has been redesigned into something completely different than its previous forms. This version is quite easy to use — our favorite iteration yet. The lighter fabric on one side isn't completely opaque, allowing a little bit of light through so you can see the contents when you're searching for a specific item. The entire bag is a flared shape, with its widest point at the opening. This helps you see around your arm as you dig through the contents and also funnels anything that might be lurking at the bottom into a smaller area, making it easier to find.
The Airpurge lacks an over-the-top lid, eliminating that extra step. Instead, the two sides of the roll-top clip to the bottom of the bag and are the compression straps. This system works wonders, combining closing and compression into two straps and strongly holding the roll-top closed as you tighten the sides. Though we were skeptical of just two compression straps, they work impressively to consolidate contents. Two small daisy chain loops on each bottom corner of the bag connect around the bottom, forming a simple webbing handle. Our only complaint about using this compression dry bag is that the small, flexible clips have tons of little crevices that grab wet sand and make it difficult to operate when dirty. Other than that minor complaint, this is our favorite compression dry sack to use.
The single hand loop on the bottom of the Airpurge makes carrying this small bag a bit easier and provides a lash point if you want to attach your sack to your boat or outside of your backpack. The top of the bag also reads "Roll Me Three Times" to help you always remember how to ensure your highest level of water protection.
Two different-sized daisy chain loops are on both sides of the bottom handle (four extra loops in all), giving you more options for attaching this bag to whatever you desire. Unlike previous versions of the Airpurge, the daisy chains are located outside the area of compression, ensuring you can always choose to use them, no matter how far you've tightened those straps.
Like most lightweight gear, this compression dry bag sacrifices a bit of durability to keep it small. The 70D nylon body is ripstop, though, adding a little extra credibility if things get gnarly. Though you could carry this dry bag outside another bag, it's really meant to be a part of a packing system, further protected by living inside your backpack or a car camping tote. But if you need to carry it on its own or clip it to the top of your paddleboard, you could.
The one area we don't love about the Carryout Airpurge is its small plastic clips. They're more flexible and delicate than just about any other model's clips we tested. It's easy to accidentally clip them misaligned, which can allow them to pop open later inside your bag, releasing both the compression and waterproofness. These clips also have lots of narrow crevices and don't bend very far to release their grip. That means that small bits of sand and forest floor debris have plenty of spots to get stuck and make it nearly impossible to operate the clip when something is trapped inside. This happened to us on numerous occasions and was quite frustrating.
The Carryout Airpurge is a pretty reasonably priced model. Considering that it's also a compression sack, it's an excellent value for this type of performance. If you need a regular dry bag just to hold some things while you kayak all day, we don't recommend a compression model, though, so keep in mind your intended activities.
The Outdoor Research Carryout AirPurge is a flared-top compression dry sack that's easy to use and provides solid water protection. Its simple design is incredibly effective and our favorite compression option for wet backpacking and multi-day paddling adventures.
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