My husband and I have shared an ancient Mountain Hardwear expedition duffel for years (similar to this one) to keep our snowboarding, surfing, and camping gear together in the car. With the arrival of our two children, we needed another one to haul their tiny camping chairs, tiny sleeping bags, and three thousand stuffed animals.
Enter OnSight’s Tarmac duffel. It comes in sizes ranging from a 50-liter to a 140-liter size. The 100-liter version can fit everything that my 4-person family needs for shelter, like a stand-up tent, vestibule, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags.
It’s light—under 3 pounds for the 50-liter version—and has reinforced seams, a yawning D-shaped opening, comfortable padded grab handles, and fitted, padded backpack straps. I’m 5’2” and I can cinch the backpack straps tight enough for me to wear it comfortably while hiking.
Most importantly, the bag is also environmentally-friendly. It’s made from Cotec EPO, which is a tarpaulin material that’s polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-free. When it’s inhaled as a gas—mostly during the manufacturing process—PVC can have dangerous side effects that include liver, lung, and kidney damage.
“PVC is not something we’re not comfortable having in our product or in our supply chain,” said Ourum. “When [Cotec EPO] is combusted, it’s entirely inert and non-toxic. Even if you were to put flame to it, it wouldn’t create any toxic materials.”
Because it’s water-resistant and the zippers are covered, I’ve been using it as a paddle-packing dry bag. I’ve loaded it up in canoes and on paddleboards, and all our gear—including our full-sized pillows—has stayed dry. It can also withstand pretty extreme temperature environments; the tarpaulin is designed to stay flexible even around -40 degrees Celsius, so I’m looking forward to loading it up with snowboarding gear once the weather turns.
It’s pretty durable, too. I’ve only taken ours out on two camping trips so far, but so far it’s withstood pretty harsh treatment. “That’s the most sustainable thing you can do, is to build a bag that will really last,” said Ourom.