Showers Pass Refuge Waterproof Duffel bag review£140.00

Top-quality hauling in an expensive, weatherproof bag

BikeRadar score4/5

Showers Pass is best known for its waterproof jackets and other high-end outerwear that withstands the wet, often unpredictable weather of the Pacific Northwest. Earlier this year, the Portland, Oregon company turned its attention to waterproof bags and duffels. 

Showers Pass Refuge Waterproof Duffel bag features

Outside:

  • 100% waterproof, fully welded construction with a single-side TPU coating
  • 840-denier 100% Ballistic strength nylon
  • Three separated waterproof compartments keep clean clothes away from dirty
  • Soft grip carry handle and adjustable removable shoulder strap
  • 3M reflective trim for high visibility from all angles
  • A waterproof 36"x24" changing mat folds out from back waterproof pocket
  • Length 23", Width 10.5", Height 11.5"
  • TSA-approved carry-on size
  • 3.4 lbs

Showers Pass Refuge Waterproof Duffel bag hauls 51.3 litres of gear in weatherproof protection
Showers Pass Refuge Waterproof Duffel bag hauls 51.3 litres of gear in weatherproof protection

Inside:

  • 3,130 cubic inches / 51.3 litres
  • Main compartment wide tooth zipper is weatherproof (not recommended for submersion)
  • Inside of top flap features zippered mesh pocket 
  • Ridged divider in center compartment is removable/adjustable
  • Two water bottle nylon pockets 
  • One large mesh pocket with key clip
  • Ridged bottom board is removable 
  • Fleece-lined media pocket 
  • Bag is self-supporting for easy packing

A key clip and a mesh pocket, ideal for wallet or money
A key clip and a mesh pocket, ideal for wallet or money

Serious construction

The no-joke construction of the Refuge is immediately noticeable. The 840-denier 100% Ballistic strength nylon looks, feels and even sounds tough, and the welded seams are flat, straight, and evoke quality. The main zipper has huge teeth and is covered by a flap. The carry straps and handles are all heavy duty and properly stitched to the bag. 

How the Refuge hauls those 51.3 litres of gear is what's most impressive

The quality extends to the inside of the bag as well, with a moveable center divider that actually stays in place and upright. And possibly the best thing, the fact the bag is self-supporting, meaning it doesn't fall in on itself and is easy to load, unload and sort through. What it all boils down to is that the Refuge is a super-high quality bag.

Water bottle storage is built in
Water bottle storage is built in

Bring it all 

The Refuge duffel can haul 51.3 litres of gear, which is a good amount. But how it hauls those 51.3l is what's most impressive. 

First off, there are pockets everywhere. Under the main flap, in the side pockets, in the main compartment, you name it there's a spot to stash your stuff separately. Two pockets really stood out as brilliant, the fleece-lined pocket in the side pocket which backs to the inside of the bag to protect electronics, and the dual water bottle pockets which snugly hold the bottles upright. 

Pockets abound, this one under the main flap is great for papers, tickets, etc.
Pockets abound, this one under the main flap is great for papers, tickets, etc.

The internal divider can be moved thanks to Velcro and is a boon for keeping dirty gear separate from clean gear. However the Refuge is loaded, the removable bottom board and upright construction give the bag structure making it so simple to sort through the stuff inside. 

I can envision how nice it is to have the changing mat, but honestly I'm not the type of rider who would use it simply because it's just one more thing to fold up and tuck away. With that said, the mat does store neatly and completely out of the way when not in use. 

Not for triathletes only, the 36x24in changing mat is great for grass, gravel or hot pavement parking lots
Not for triathletes only, the 36x24in changing mat is great for grass, gravel or hot pavement parking lots

It seemed odd at the time, but in the name of gear testing I left this bag (and my stuff inside it) out in the rain to test Showers Pass' claim of waterproofing. I'm pleased to report dry contents (and to not have to do laundry). 

Cycling gear can be very expensive and while the Refuge duffel bag is far from cheap you can be certain that anything stored inside is bound to be organized, protected and most importantly, dry.

Fully welded construction and waterproof zips show the Refuge means business
Fully welded construction and waterproof zips show the Refuge means business

Russell Eich

Tech Writer, US
Russell fell head over heels in love with bikes in the '90s, and has been involved in the bike industry ever since. Between wrenching in bike shops, guiding professionally, and writing about bikes, Russell has honed an appreciation for what works, gained knowledge of what doesn't, and can barely contain his enthusiasm for what comes next. His two-wheeled passion continues in the Rocky Mountains high above Boulder, Colorado.
  • Age: 39
  • Height: 6'3"/190cm
  • Weight: 175lb/79kg
  • Waist: 34in/86cm
  • Chest: 42in / 107cm
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: High altitudes, forgotten singletracks, bike parks, roads without cars
  • Current Bikes: Custom Meriwether steel hardtail, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29, Kona Jake the Snake, Trek 69er, and a bunch more
  • Dream Bike: Yeti SB5c, Intense Tracer 275C, Black Cat custom road
  • Beer of Choice: Gin + Tonic
  • Location: Rollinsville, CO, USA

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