You know the perennial problem with dive trips abroad – whether to take an extra couple of shirts or a spare mask I take the spare mask. I’m almost famous for turning up for two weeks on a liveaboard with nothing more than my swimming trunks, a pair of shorts and a T-shirt.
It’s not that I’m a slob, but current airline baggage policy means that I have to decide between diving gear and camera gear, with personal clothes coming a poor third.
The designers of the new Scubapro Caravan bag obviously assume that we all travel with the rich folks (and air crew) in the front part of the plane. It’s so capacious and easy to pack that I found I could easily get it up to 30kg.
It reminded me of those heady days when we could all travel across the Atlantic with two bags of up to 33kg each. Those days are long gone, of course.

The Design
It’s such a sensible bag. It measures 77 x 41 x 35cm with a U-shaped top zip to give total access to the space inside it. It would be ideal for a bubble-wrap salesman transporting his samples. Alas, when I filled it with all my diving gear including a neoprene drysuit, I could hardly lift it.
Luckily, I didn’t have to. It has an extending handle that is used in conjunction with wide-spaced wheels that don’t let it twist and fall over while being trailed behind you, plus protection from damage should you find yourself towing it over the sort of rough surfaces we often encounter in faraway dive locations.
Not only that but this is all integrated with strong bottom runners that take care of things when sliding the bag down stairs, for example.
The Caravan has the normal carrying handles, and these are also augmented by compression straps, fastened with over-sized pinch clips, which stop the bag from bulging with the weight of its contents.
There’s a handle at each end so that you can help your taxi-driver load it into his vehicle (if it’s a Mini, forget it) or for two people to pass it safely from shore to the deck of a boat.
The Caravan also has three slim side-pockets with zips protected by a flap of material. The best thing about it is that it will stand on one end without falling over. I was looking at it standing like this when it occurred to me that its best function would be as a moveable wardrobe.
All in all, this is a very strong, workmanlike bag. I still have the previous Caravan bag that has done endless dive trips and is as immaculate as it was when I first got it, but this new one is much bigger.
I foresee lots of British divers making their way down to jetties around the country with all their gear stowed in one of these, but it will be less useful for air travel.
What a pity Scubapro didn’t send me a business class upgrade to go with it.

Mares Cruise Backpack Pro, £150
Stahlsac Caicos Cargo, £199
TUSA RB8 Roller, £132
Oceanic Roller 4, £100

PRICE £149
WEIGHT 5.5kg
CAPACITY 18 litres
DIVER GUIDE width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100% width=100%