After many years the sea finally won and my old dive bag fell apart. The Aqualung Deep See Traveler 850 is a giant upgrade and my back thanks me.
Every 10 years or so, if I picked well, a dive bag dies on me. It is the natural order of things for a bag stuffed full of heavy, wet from the sea, gear that keeps you alive. In the '90s I'd been using a large Pelican case but it is too unwieldy and I grew tired of cutting or hurting myself on the heavy duty clasps. My last bag was a giant, durable duffle that killed my back until, after many years, the strap finally tore loose and I needed to go shopping.
Typically, I will just buy the most durable looking bag I can find. This time I specifically wanted to make things easier on my back. The worst/hardest part of scuba diving, to me, is the schlepping of gear, a roller duffle that'd be easy to get on and off of boats would be a boon. The Aqualung Traveler 850 is perfect for me. Padded to protect the gear, made of high quality nylon with a rigid back and great wheels, the Aqualung lets move move a lot of heavy stuff around quick.
Finally, I found a bag with fin pockets that make sense. The Traveler 850 uses the fins to add additional wall strength to the sides of the bag. I was easily able to fit my stainless steel backplate/wing, 7mm wet suit, dry suit (not the undergarment,) boots, booties, masks, snorkel, 2 sets of regulators, save-a-dive kit, fins, lights in the bag easily. It all felt snuggly tucked in and nothing was damaged as the gear was moved vehicle to vehicle. I rolled the bag over gravel, decking and sand. Sand was not great.
The zippers are of good quality and everything feels super rugged. At $180, it isn't cheap but I expect years of service. I paid slightly more than this as I bought it directly from my favorite LDS, Bamboo Reef. This was the bags first voyage and I'll report back in a few weeks, to see how it holds up after a few more trips.