The Watershed Colorado Duffel is 14" inches tall, 32.5" wide, and 13.5" deep with a 28" opening. Its wider than tall dimensions and huge mouth make packing this bag an easy task. It is made out of polyurethane-coated nylon and closes with a ZipDry seal which strongly resembles a ziplock bag. Both durable and watertight, this model is ideal for the avid water person.
The ultimate water-person's model, the Colorado Duffel is up for whatever watery adventures you throw at it.
This model is exceptionally waterproof and took home the typically elusive perfect 10 for its ability to keep water completely out throughout all of our testing. Its capable of spending a prolonged time held underwater without letting any moisture in or any air out.
The ZipDry seal plus the roll top design provide an impenetrable barrier when closed properly. Rolling the lip and fastening it down with the provided buckles guarantees that nothing can tug at the seal while the product is in use.
This model was impermeable to water with prolonged submersion.
The only other product to perform as well in this metric was the YETI Panga. Unlike the Panga however, the Colorado Duffel is less bulky and more flexible. With other models, like the Osprey Ultralight Drysack, you see a reduction in waterproofness with an increase in malleability, but that is certainly not the case for this bag. This model is easy to stuff into or onto your craft and provides unmatched protection against the water.
The inside of the bag, and out testing towel, stayed 100% water-free.
Ease of Use
This metric is all about packing, unpacking, and transporting your gear. Once again, the Colorado Duffel outshined the competition and was the highest scoring model in this category. The huge opening at the top of the bag combined with the duffel shape makes it really easy to pack. It's also wider than it is tall which is preferable to a deep narrow bag for both packing and retrieving the contents without a lot of fishing.
Carrying this product is akin to any other regular duffel bag. The carrying straps secure with a comfortable neoprene grip that spares waterlogged fingers from the abrasiveness of the nylon webbing. It's simple enough to move this duffel from point a to point b and huck it up into your boat. If you are looking for something to carry over longer distances, the SealLine Black Canyon Boundary has a removable backpack harness that makes it much more comfortable to lug around. For a smaller model that fits inside another larger bag, the Sea to Summit Big River has thin, pliable material and smaller profile.
This model is built like your classic duffel but with a neoprene grip for comfortable carrying with wet hands.
One of our favorite things about this product is the ziplock style closure. It's simple to seal and unless you have the right technique, difficult to open. Press the seal together with your fingers, roll the top down a few times and buckle it into place. Between the burly seal and the buckles, you can rest assured it's not going to pop open at random. To break the seal simply grab the pull tabs on each side and curve the lip into an S shape. Pull the tabs in opposite directions and, viola, it comes right open.
Assuming your knot tying skills are up to snuff, attaching this model to your craft of choice is just as simple. Six total Duraflex D-Rings provide sturdy lash points; one small one on each end and two large ones on each side.
The ziplock style closure is easy to securely seal and opens with a twist and pull.
One of the few downsides to this product is the lack of a built-in organization system for small items. One big cavern with no internal pockets or compartments makes it easy to lose things like sunscreen and car keys inside the bag. The YETI Panga has two internal zip pockets for stashing just those kinds of things or, if you're just looking to protect the little things in the first place, the Osprey Ultralight tucks neatly inside a larger pack and provides an added water-resistant barrier.
If you plan to carry fragile equipment, a Watershed Colorado Liner can be purchased separately. This nylon, foam, and fleece insert fits snugly inside the Duffel and provides added protection for your gear.
This model took home yet another top score in this metric. The polyurethane-coated nylon, thick single ply webbing, and hefty plastic D-Rings are a well-built combination that results in a rugged dry bag well suited for even the most formidable adventures. Throughout all of our testing, this model never showed the slightest sign of wear and sustained no scratches let alone tears.
The Colorado Duffel may provide excellent durability, but it was outshined by one other product, the YETI Panga. The Panga is a beast, and while we would happily trust the Colorado on any river adventures, the Panga is up to both river trips and the rough handling imposed on checked airline baggage.
A reinforced seal and thick material allow this model to hold up to the bumps and grinds of a river run.
The two backpack models we tested, the Sea to Summit Hydraulic Pack and the SealLine Black Canyon Boundary, tied with this model for equally impressive durability. The added feature of a removable backpacking harness makes them more well-suited for canyoneering trips than the Colorado.
Whether protecting your gear from the elements in the back of your pickup truck, storing your damp wetsuit on the drive home from a surf session, or keeping your food dry on an extended rafting trip, the Colorado can pretty much do it all. Its size and shape make it ideal for larger loads and longer trips.
From the back of your truck to the front of your paddle board, this model is up for just about anything.
Watershed makes five other models with almost identical construction to the Colorado Duffel but in various sizes ranging from 19.5 liters to 111 liters. Whether you are tight on space or need to forgo packing light, you can find the perfect size to fit your needs.
This model is one of the most expensive bags we tested clocking in at $185.00, but, for the seasoned water-person, it's worth the investment. Its exceptional durability promises to keep your gear dry for many adventures to come and its outstanding waterproofness protects your most valuable electronics from even the smallest droplets of water.
The quality of this model matches its price so you can have confidence in that its a worthy investment.
The Colorado Watershed Duffel is the avid water person's bag of choice. Convenience, comfort, versatility, and durability rarely come in such a neat little package. This product not only boasts all of these qualities but also delivers on its promise to provide an impenetrable barrier whether you need to keep water in or out.