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How to choose a portage bag

When traversing both land and water, a bag that can withstand some splashes or a heavy downpour is key. Portage bags are designed to comfortably carry your gear while hauling a canoe overhead. Here are some key features to look out for when choosing your next portage bag:

Capacity: Pick a bag that’s big enough for all your gear; a larger bag is a bit heavier but if you’re packing for a few nights, it might be worth it.

Durability and waterproofing: When you’re hauling gear out of your canoe you’re not always going to be the most gentle, that’s why portage bags are made of durable materials with reinforced bottoms for rough handling and the tough shorelines. Features like roll-top closures, watertight zippers and taped seams protect your gear from lake water and rain (for electronics, pack them away in a hard case for extra protection)

Organization and accessibility: Look for portage bags with internal compartments and pockets to easily find a new pair of socks or your first aid kit; portage bags are top-loading and sometimes have side access points to easily grab your gear without unpacking everything.

Trying on bags to get the hang of adjustability features and finding a bag that feels most comfortable on your shoulders is key, since you’re hauling some heavy items in the name of outdoor fun. Shop portage bags from brands like MEC, SealLine and Level Six.