The summers in India were particularly menacing this year. The whole country has been waiting eagerly for the monsoons to arrive and now that the rains are finally here, there is a collective sigh of relief. Monsoon is the best time for both thrill and rejuvenation. From the spice coast of Kerala to the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, it’s an annual miracle that changes the colour of the land – from dry and parched yellow to hues of different colours, particularly refreshing tones of green. And to live this experience, you got to #getout and start exploring the fields and flowers, mountains and seashores.
While venturing out in the rains, it is important to protect yourself and your gear from the ills of water and moisture. And we at OTG know well that this should not ‘dampen’ your spirits to #getout!
You would recall we had put up a blog last year where we presented a line up of gear that would equip you for the monsoons. A year has gone by ever since and we’ve come a full circle! www.outdoortravelgear.com has further expanded our product line up to equip you for the Indian monsoon. And so we think it will be a good idea to present to you a fresh list of gear – the 2016 range of products for Indian Monsoons available with http://www.outdoortravelgear.com.
WATERPROOF GEAR FROM AQUAPAC
Aquapac is one of the world’s leading brands making waterproof cases. Started in 1983 as the first company to make waterproof VHF cases, the brand has matured and grown to develop a range of waterproof phone cases, camera cases and waterproof bags.
WATERPROOF LUGGAGE SYSTEMS FROM AQUAPAC
First up, we have the Trailproof range of drybags. These bags are tough and attractive which you can carry for your monsoon trips or outings. These bags are IPX6 rated waterproof and come in high-visible fluo-yellow colour with makes identification easy. These bags are made from 500D vinyl and are available in sizes 7L, 25L, 70L. They are a perfect companion for outdoor activities like rafting, trekking, travel, sailing and expeditions.
Aquapac also provides duffel bags under the Trailproof series and these come with an added Velcro strip at the integrated carry handles. These bags are IPX6 rated waterproof and are available in sizes 40L, 70L and 90L.
The Stormproof Padded Drybag is a 15L foam padded drybag meant for protecting your laptop and other valuables from minor knocks and bumps while you negotiate through the wet wilderness.
AQUAPAC Upano Waterproof Duffel bags are waterproof travel bags which are useful for carrying voluminous luggage in wet places. These duffle bags are light, tough and classy looking. The Upano range is equipped with air-release valve which helps squeeze out air as you roll these close. The Upano Waterproof Duffel bags are available in sizes 40L, 70L and 90L.
The Toccoa Daysack is a 28L, IPX6 rated, waterproof bag that is tough enough to take all that the trail can throw at you. The bag is equipped with mesh outer side pockets for storing easy access items, breathable mesh straps and padding, daisy chain webbing to secure carabiners and a grab handle.
The Noatak Wet and Dry bag is extraordinarily adaptable to suit a wide range of lifestyles – walking, biking, paddling or sailing. These bags come with an inner partition which helps you store wet and dry luggage together in the bag without mixing the two.
WATERPROOF CASES FOR ELECTRONIC AND OTHER UTILITY ITEMS
Aquapac’s waterproof cases for mobile phones are unarguably their most popular products. First up are the Whanganui cases which are equipped to protect your mobile phones as well as large electronic items. Simply slip in your phones into the cases and use them out in rains without compromising on their touch sensitivity or the call audio output of their speakers. The Whanganui cases are rated IPX8 for waterproofing which means these are submersible up to 30 mins in up to 15ft/5m under water.
The Stormproof cases are a versatile range of IPX6 rated water proof cases that are equipped to store your SLR cameras, mobile phones, ipods and other small electronic instruments. The storm proof pouches protect your utility items like cash, cards mini notepads etc., while on the go.
AQUAPAC Stormproof Messenger Bag helps one to carry your laptop safely around in monsoons or any water indulging activity. The bag has a water-resistant zipper at the outer shell, a rainproof roll-seal and Velcro closure, a Storm-flap with side-release buckle and small sections to stuff in varioius tiny items. This bag is easy to carry on motorcycle or bicycle.
Next up are the Camera Cases from Aquapac. Slip in your cameras in one of these and you can take them out to the pool, beach, even on a watersports activity for these are certified IPX8 for waterproofing. These cases come with 5 pcs of 2g dessicant sachets that absorb condensation in humid conditions.
Ever wondered how would it be to carry your camcorder while snorkeling? The Aquapac Camcorder Case allows you to film in places you wouldn’t dream of taking your camcorder otherwise.
Aquapac Armband cases make it very easy for you to keep your phone, GPS device or your handheld music player waterproof while on the go. The armbands are fully adjustable for all arm sizes.
The Aquapac Trailproof Waistpouch is made from rugged 500D vinyl to withstand all the knocks you experience on the trail! You can store your mobile phone, ipod, GPS device, quick access cash, foldable map and a lot more!
Whether you are kayaking or trekking out in the rains or riding through the rain washed roads of India, you need a map handy, especially when you are deep in to the wild with no mobile network at your assistance. It becomes important to protect the map from the rains and moisture. The Aquapac Kaituna Map Case is just the right utilitarian product for you.
Using electronic devices which have wires attached can be a messy affair to manage and protect from the rains especially if work or situation demands you be out in the open while using the equipment. The IPX7 waterproof rated Aquapac Small Wire-Through Case allows a small wire out from the case.
Aquapac provides a host of other utilitarian products that are certified IPX8 for waterproofing that protect your essentials from water and elements.
For a hands-free pouch to carry your essentials, we have the Aquapac Belt Case which is the ideal waterproof travel wallet.
Aquapac started its journey in the year 1983 with cases for VHF devises. These devices are typically used by lifeguards and mountain rescue teams. The Small VHF Pro Case and Small VHF Classic Case are two products that protect lifesaver equipment from water.
The Aquapac Connected Electronics Case allows you to stay plugged in out in the rains when wireless connection is not possible.
Delicate insulin pumps and water often don’t mix well. The Aquapac Microphone and Insulin Pump allows the user to swim, bathe or paddle with peace of mind.
You can now use your ipad and tabs on the go and surf safely while you surf! Get the Aquapac Waterproof Case for iPad with Headphone Jack.
The Aquapac Keymaster Case is a submersible small case to keep your vitals like driving license, cash, car and bike keys, credit cards et al, safe while you take a dip in the sea waters.
Last up in this series, we have the classic Aquapac Case for MP3 players so that you can listen to your tunes even when you are taking that dip in the lake.
APPAREL AND FOOTWEAR
Rain Jackets are the most effective form of direct protection from rains. These are popular given their wide application – from riding to walking to trekking. The Quechua Arpenaz 100 Men’s Rain Jacket is designed for lowland hikers seeking protection from rain and wind. Its fabric is equipped with HH rating of 2000mm Novadry waterproof coating (know more about HH ratings system for waterproofing).
If you are looking at a lightweight, compact yet waterproof rain jacket, which can be used for daily commute and is light on your pockets, the Quechua Rain Cut Jacket makes the ‘cut’ for you!
Quechua Arpenaz 50 Overtrouser Raincut are made of 1500 mm HH Rated fabric to protect you from rain and wind during Motorbike Rides, Long Hikes, Bicycle Rides etc.
Ponchos are backpack friendly, easy to wear and with a single piece construction from head to your knees, help you cover yourself and anything you carry from any torrential downpour. Craghoppers Unisex Poncho is a great product if you want a hassle free rain cover.
Outdoortravelgear.com presents a range of pants which have waterproof and water repellent properties to ward off intermittent and light showers. Triboard CR100 Waxed Pants are oilskin trousers with fully taped seams. The fabric of these pants comes with waterproof coating that repels water preventing it from seeping in.
Trimm Project II Pants have water repellent features and yet are breathable. These are stretchable and resistant to mechanical abrasion making them truly versatile for travel.
In case you are looking at waterproof gloves that also give your palms the much needed warmth from cold moist weather, do check out the Lowe Alpine Storm Warm Gloves. The gloves are equipped with breathable triple point insert providing protection from rain and at the same time they do not let your hands sweat much.
Imagine a monsoon trek with soggy shoes. Adding to the tough rigors of the climb, the wet shoes will surely ‘dampen your spirits’! Hi-Tec provides waterproof, rugged and comfortable shoes with Dri-Tec® waterproof membrane for 100% waterproofing. These shoes are also equipped with moisture wicking Ortholite sock-liner to eliminate sweat and odour.
Quick Dry Apparel
While Quick Dry apparel may not be waterproof, it is very handy if your adventure involves you to be on the run for days at length in wet and humid conditions with very little opportunity to get your apparel dry. These typically dry out in a short span of time even in highly moist conditions.
Knox Guerilla Shorts are made from breathable British made Meryl Lycra, a fabric known for its superior fast drying and wicking properties. These fast drying shorts are available at 30% discount over list price making these an attractive grab!
Apparel with Monsoon-friendly utility features
These products are not necessarily made with the object of protecting the traveller from the monsoons, but these have certain properties which make your travels out in the rains less of a hassle.
Monsoon is also are a harbinger for insects that can gnaw in through your apparel and trouble you while you are out camping especially when you are stationed at a place for a long time. Noslife cargo pants from Craghoppers are comfortable cargo pants that boast highly efficient insect repellency. These pants are also equipped with an integrated drybag where you can stash in your essentials like cash, mobile phone, credit cards etc.
Outdoortravelgear.com also offers the Ultimate Hat from Craghoppers that comes equipped with the Noslife insect repellent technology and a unique full face mesh that makes insects dodging easy.
The Craghoppers Bear Grylls Core Trousers repel sun and rain drops alike and are tough enough to help you face challenges of the outdoors.
The Lowe Alpine Ninja Balaclava is made to protect you from the chill with its 100% windproof fabric. Its fabric is water repellent and the spandex fabric used around the neck and head is fast drying and breathable making it a very useful product in cold and wet conditions.
Another product which is primarily equipped to fight the chill in the air – Cold Killers Hot Socks, also has good water resistance properties keeping your feet dry and away from cold.
TRAVEL GEAR AND ACCESSORIES
Rain Covers for Backpacks
QuipCo Turtleback Rain Cover is a water resistant rain cover that is a perfect shield for your backsack / rucksack from rains. The Turtleback is available in two sizes, one for 35 to 50 ltrs and the other for 55 to 80 ltrs of backpacks. The size can be adjusted using the draw string and the reflective logo print ensures visibility in the dark.
Lowe Alpine also offers Rain Covers in 4 sizes and these are equipped with a buckle lock at the back to keep the cover from separating from the bag.
Some Backpacks are equipped with rainproof covers to ward off water from seeping into the bag. These are a good pick especially if you want the rain covers to be attached to the backsack / rucksack.
Hi Viz Wearables, Straps and Reflectors
It can get particularly dark even during day time in the monsoon and while walking by the roadside, you would want a hapless driver on the road to spot you through the water being splashed on his 4 wheeler. The QuipCoFlash Hi Viz Suspenders can be worn around the torso and is ideal while trekking, cycling, motorcycling or walking. The Suspenders have highly reflective strips that keep you visible even at night.
One can also consider using a pair of the QuipCo Flash Hi Viz Straps with reflective strip, which can be used in a variety of ways – strap these at the end of your motorbike, strap these near your ankles while cycling or even around your arms while jogging.
Self Heating Warmer
The nights during monsoon get surprisingly chilly even near the coastal areas. And if you are camping out, the humidity and chill can be discomforting. In such instances, Warmee is the perfect remedy to a cold and wet night out in the open. It is a self heating warmer which provides 8+ hours of continuous warmth without any external source of heating. All you need to do is tear open a pack of Warmee and shake it for 5-10 seconds and place it in enclosed regions like your pockets or inside of your sleeping bag.
Petzl Head Lamps are great for lighting needs in the outdoors, especially for trekkers looking for a hands free guide light and also for cyclists and motorcyclists while tending to their vehicles in the dark. These head lamps are IPX4 rated water resistant, meaning these can withstand water splashing from any direction. However, in case of a heavy downpour, it is advisable that you stash these in a dry storage facility.
Camping out in the wild can be disastrous if your tent is unable to withstand rains and winds of the Indian monsoon. Check the water resistance of the material being used for the tent before purchase. Coleman Sun Dome 3 Person Tent is 33% more water resistant than comparable Coleman® tents and its WeatherTec™ system coupled with with its patented welded floors and inverted seams helps you stay dry.
Cut a hole in your Aquapac gear or any tent, tarp, rain cover or drybag? The Aquapac Puncture Patches fix it instantly and make your gear function as good as new. The patches are available in packs of 5. Keep a pack of these ready to fix your gear on the go!
Quick Dry Towel
The compact towel from Nabaiji has quick dry capabilities making it a must have in your luggage while travelling out during the monsoon.
Blankets and Mats
Mos-quit-o is a washable mosquito repellent blanket that immunizes you from mosquito bites and related diseases. These have a life of upto 50 washes and if used selectively, they are good enough to last more than one year of monsoons.
Wet floors and insects during monsoons can be a big irritant if you have to crash for the night in the outdoors. QuipCo Snooze Mat is perfect companion to snooze on during your travels and adventures.
If you are looking at cycling jackets and shirts that protect you from the occasional shower and add to your visibility when on the road, the range of water resistant and hi-viz Jackets and Shirts from Proviz are highly recommended.
Cycliste is an Indian brand that has pioneered in the field of luggage solutions for cyclists. Their Pannier Bags, Handlebar Bag and Mini Handlebar Bag are offered with rain cover for added protection from elements.
If you are a cyclist looking for hard case luggage which is light weight, sturdy and built for all weather, it would be worthwhile to consider the saddle bags from Zixtro.
MOTORCYCLE TOURING GEAR
Motorcycle Touring in India is a sport that has exploded over the last few years. With newer and better bikes entering the Indian market, motorcycles being made specifically for the adventure tourer and with the roads and infrastructure getting better by the day, the sheer number of motorcyclists pursuing this sport has burgeoned.
Motorbiking Jackets and Pants
With monsoon being a default part of a typical Indian riding calendar, most of the Indian brands provide jackets and pants with rain liners as an integral part of the product.
Take a look at our collection of rain ready motorbiking jackets and Pants:
The Mototech Contour Air Riding Jacket comes with the Mototech Hurricane Rain Jacket as one unit. The Hurricane Rain Jacket is power packed with features like no zip on the front for added waterproofing, hi viz draw cords, reflective branding at the back for higher visibility and the jacket has water taped seams for maximum waterproofing. It is a must have combination for combatting the Indian monsoon.
Jackets from Rynox Gears:
The armoured jackets from Rynox come with an internal detachable rain liner.
Pants from Rynox Gears:
The Advento and Raid are two armoured riding pants from Rynox which have a detachable external waterproof rain liner.
Jackets from Cramster:
K2K and Eclipse are powered with an integrated Reissa®Powerskin Membrane which makes the jackets water resistant. The Breezer line of jackets have a detachable water resistant layer of Reissa®Powerskin which can be removed while riding in non-rainy days.
Pants from Cramster:
The Cramster Velocity 2.0 Enduro Riding Pants are equipped with Original Reissa®Powerskin Membrane making them Rain/Wind/Snow Resistant.
While motorcyclists are particular about the rain liners that come with their riding jackets and pants, seldom do some riders invest in waterproofing their gloves, leaving their hands cold and wet for long periods of time when riding even under a drizzle. Outdoortravelgear.com offers a range of waterproof gloves that would keep your hands warm and dry throughout the ride!
Knox Gloves uses a patented and popular technology Outdry® to make their gloves completely waterproof. This technology is an innovation in waterproofing whereby the Outdry membrane is bonded directly to the shell and completely seals the stiching. Knox Hand Armour is offered at 30% discount under the Gear Deals Section on http://www.outdoortravelgear.com.
Cramster Tundra Gloves are made for riding in cold and rain conditions. These are powered with a HIPORA membrane for strong water resistance.
Cold Killers Undergloves are soft shell gloves that can be worn underneath your regular armoured motorbiking gloves. They are known for providing great water and wind resistance and yet are breathable.
Talk about waterproof cases and an Aquapac product is a default addition to the list. Bike-mounted phone cases from Aquapac are IPX8 rated waterproof meaning these are submersible upto 30 mins in 15ft/5m of water. These cases come with a versatile bike mounting attachment which can be used to attach the mount on your motorcycle’s / cycle’s handlebar. The two variants fit screen sizes upto 5.5” and upto 6”.
Rynox Mounts are equipped with a pouch that protects your mobile from the elements and the PVC coated zip is water resistant.
Motorcycle riders in India have evolved from strapping up their backsacks, haversacks and bulky unwieldy luggage bags to purpose-built luggage that gels well with the contours of their motorcycles. And just like with Motorcycle apparel, brands have done well to equip their gear with rain protection features. Here’s a look at the wide variety of options you have:
Frogman Series of Waterproof bags
The Dirtsack Frogman Waterproof Luggage System is unarguably India’s first 100% waterproof luggage system. These completely welded PVC bags allow you to plan and pack for dry rides even under ‘what-if-heavens-open-up’ scenarios. The makers claim that the bags have been tested through hell!
Rain Covers from Dirtsack
Dirtsack offers external rain cover for saddlebags and tankbags. The saddlebag raincovers are contoured to the shape of Dirtsack Longranger and Easy Rider, however given their universal fit, these can just well be used to cover saddlebags from other brands as well.
Dirtsack also provides a high visibility and seam sealed tankbag rain cover which fits the contours of the Forester and Racepack tankbags and can well fit other tankbags as well.
The makers of luggage systems from Rynox Gears and ViaTerra also have integrated rain covers that help protect your luggage from the elements.
Luggage from Rynox Gears:
Luggage from ViaTerra:
While the Claw is sold with a rain cover, this rain cover is also sold separately.
So there it is. We have made this blog as all encompassing as possible, presenting an exhaustive array of products for the monsoon. So what are you waiting for?! Go #getout and get yourself geared for the monsoon!