BAG Decathlon Tribord DBG 145

Decathlon threatened to revolutionise dive-equipment retailing when it opened its first store in the UK. One of the worlds largest sports retailers, it has purchasing power to match, so many small dive-shop owners thought that they would be having to compete with some very low prices.
     In fact, Decathlon has made little difference to the traditional specialist shops. It aims its products at the public at large, rather than those already involved in a sport, so one could subscribe to the view that it is doing its best to promote diving for the benefit of the whole trade.
     I looked through the Decathlon catalogue and spotted that the company has its own brand of bags, which are equally effective across a broad band of sports. The less-than-catchily named Tribord DBG145 is a case in point.
     With more than 60 different sports in its product line-up, Im not sure what sports equipment this bag was originally conceived for but, at 85cm, it is certainly long enough to take any Italian snorkellers fins! Inside, it has zipped sections for those fins plus another for items that need to be protected from creasing. Im a diver. I dont carry anything like that.
     Its not entirely necessary to fill the bag. There are three internal straps to stop things tumbling around. There is also a separate bag, Velcrod into place, that is designed for a regulator, plus, Russian doll-like inside it, another little padded container that presumably could be used for your diving computer.

A two-way zipper closes the whole thing and there are wheels to help move it fully laden. On the bottom of the bag there are also toboggan-like skids which I felt should help the material of the bag last that much longer.
     There is no extending handle, but the bag is tall enough not to need one. It has symmetrical handles at the top, which allows a baggage-handler to get a grip with two hands rather than rip off the single rubber-covered handle in the centre.
     In common with many other big bags, it has a capacious rucksack that zips onto the outside. This is very convenient when handling your baggage yourself but think twice about checking it in at an airport still attached. It might not be there at the end of the flight, so check it in separately.
     This rucksack reflects the insights Decathlon designers have had from supplying those who do other sports. It is full of ideas that hill-walkers and the like will appreciate, like outer mesh pockets for your water-bottle and stretchy neoprene sections for a bivouac and your anorak. The rucksack is vented, to avoid those smells associated with wet walking gear.
     I loaded the bag with all my diving gear, plus a few extra items destined to be Diver Tested, and headed off for a plane at Gatwick, a bus at Sharm el Sheikh, and the rigours of life at sea. I wanted to find out how the bag would stand up to that sort of treatment.
     The main bag weighed in, fully loaded, at 30kg and yet arrived immaculate and in one piece. Surprise, surprise! I took the rucksack with my clothes below and unloaded the dive gear.
     The return trip was equally uneventful, and I intend to use this bag a few more times yet to see what it will stand up to. Apart from the taxi-driver back from Gatwick continuing to question me about snowboarding, despite my protests that it was a subject I knew little about, I found no snags. So far, so good!
The Decathlon Tribord DBG145 bag costs £130 and is available only from Decathlon stores.

  • Decathlon, www.decathlon.co.uk

  • Divernet
    + Capacious bag
    + Good price