Gear Review - The Tatonka Barrel Bag
When travelling you need a bag that is durable, rugged and very hard-wearing. The Tatonka Barrel Bag is virtually indestructible. The waterproof fabric of the bag is constructed from Double-Coated PVC Canvas, ensuring that it is one of the most robust travel bags on the market.
Although not designed specifically for day walks, the Barrel Bag would be a useful addition to your gear providing a perfect companion for weekend and longer trips.
Fitted with two carrying systems - either handgrips or rucksack straps - its comfort on your back depends on how well you have packed the bag. Usefully the rucksack straps can be stowed away when not in use, very useful if checking the bag onto a plane.
The Barrel Bag is available in 5 sizes ranging from 25 Litres to an enormous 130 Litres with recommended prices starting at £34.95.
for use as a travel bag
for use as a day walking pack
The sample tested was a 35 Litre bag. First impressions were in line with the manufacturer's 'blurb' and it certainly looked robust. Rather heavier than traditional rucksacks it was evident that strength was one of the key design features.
Used first as a weekend "kit" bag, the Barrel Bag proved its worth as it suffered the rigours of airline check-ins and came out unscathed. The bag was also used for a couple of day hikes. Its waterproofing was tested thoroughly on one occasion and the contents stayed perfectly dry. Comfort on your back was not perfect although it was acceptable for a multi purpose bag such as this.
Reasonably priced, rugged and multi purpose are qualities that make these a worthwhile purchase although do remember they are not intended primarily as rucksacks for day walks and comfort levels in this environment are poor.
Review date - 29th July 2003 - Reviewed by LJ