My Beyond Water Waterproof Bag Failed

I love to explore waterfalls and remote beaches. And one of my concerns has always been how to protect my electronic gears from dust and the probability of them getting wet. I saw this Beyond Water bag during The Philippine Swim Bike Run Sale Expo sponsored by BPI at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City last June 29, 2013 and was in awe with the features of their bags. Jojo Bulong, the Sales and Marketing Manager of Fortress Marketing that manages the distribution of the Beyond Water (BW) line of waterproof bags here in the Philippines claimed that their products are 100% waterproof and made of durable materials.

Beyond Water Dry Bag
Beyond Water Computer Bag

I quickly checked the Internet for information on the BW waterproof bag I was eyeing. The Beyond Water Website indicated that the bag is constructed to be one hundred percent (100%) waterproof with its exclusive fold seal system that not even a drop of water will be able to get in. It also has weatherproof zippers and has an eight (8) liter capacity. It was more than enough to secure my camera and other equipment. The fabric is also made of 500D PVC tarpaulin and by the appearance of the bag, I was somewhat assured that water will never get in. Beyond Water also claims that I can enjoy water-based sports with total safety. The site even had a video of how to properly fold the roll top closure.

I was able to use the bag several times during my travels to far islands including Calaguas in Camarines Norte. It takes about 2 hours by boat to reach the island from the mainland. I felt absolutely confident that my gears will be protected from water in case anything happens. I was not really able to test the bag since it rarely got into the water. Well, not until my recently concluded trip to Palawan.

Beyond Water Dry Bag Handling Instruction
Beyond Water Dry Bag Handling Instruction

Last May 21, 2014 I went to Palawan for a 10-day exploration that included a 5-day stay in El Nido. I was excited since it will be my first time to go to El Nido and that I will be able to test the durability of the waterproof bag during the island hopping adventure. Carefully following the instructions, I secured my camera and other electronic gears in the BW waterproof bag for the tour. The first day went well and the weather was really nice.

Going to Hidden Beach with Beyond Water Dry Bag
Going to Hidden Beach with Beyond Water Dry Bag

On the second day, there was a short rain shower during noon and I carefully secured my gears from the rain. In one of the island hopping activities, we had to alight the boat before it reached the Hidden Beach since it was already low tide and boats were not able nor allowed to get in. The tour guide asked me if I wanted to have my camera secured in her dry bag and I replied that my bag was waterproof. Again, I carefully secured my gears in the BW bag and rolled the top closure thrice as instructed so I can be assured that water will not come in. I had the bag on my shoulder and it floated beside me while I approach the beach.

Swimming in Hidden Beach with Beyond Water Dry Bag
Swimming in Hidden Beach with Beyond Water Dry Bag

It was cloudy that time and I was not encouraged to take photos. So I decided not to use my camera anymore and just enjoy the beach. It didn't bother me at all that I was not my usual photographer self. Just relaxing in the water was blissful enough for me. We stayed in the area for approximately thirty (30) minutes before going back to the boat.

Contents of Beyond Water Dry Bag
Contents of Beyond Water Dry Bag

I hand held the bag before going aboard and I felt a sudden fear when I noticed that the bag was heavier than usual. I opened the waterproof bag and saw that there was water inside. I felt bad. Who wouldn't? I have invested so much to pursue my hobby as a blogger/photographer and seeing my camera and other gadgets damaged was very disheartening. Every item I took out of the bag was dripping with water. It was fortunate that I immediately removed the battery from the camera before it corroded that could further damage the camera.

It was a really a sad experience, to have trusted a product only to be let down by the very promise it claims. The manufacturer guaranteed one hundred percent (100%) waterproof and that I can enjoy water activities with total safety. The gears inside the bag was a big investment and a great loss since I will be missing out on opportunities. I intended to approach the distributor when I get back to Manila so I decided to request for an official police blotter report of the incident.

I visited the office of Fortress Marketing in Quezon City the week I arrived in Manila. I reported the episode to Mr. Jojo Bulong with hope that he will be able to shed some light on how the bag failed. Their office claimed that I misused the bag and that my personal handling caused water to get in and as of this post, have not issued me a copy of their report and how they tested the bag for water leakage.

I have been wanting to write about this unfortunate experience when I was still on vacation but held it off because I realized that I needed to get the side of the distributor first. However, they apparently treated the matter lightly. And so I share with you my experience with a heavy heart with hope that we may all learn from all of these.

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The Sorry Case of the Beyond Water Waterproof Bag







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45 comments:

  1. in terms for waterproof...it means its splash or weather proof
    and not submersible proof

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    1. I did not even submerge the bag, it was floating the whole time. The company also assured that buyers are assured that they can use the bag for any water based sports in total safety. That not a single ddrop of water will be able to get in.

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    2. How much did you invest in that bag? May I know please? Thanks

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    3. How much did you invest in that bag? May I know please? Thanks

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    4. bag was priced at Php 2,500.00

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  2. OMG, this is shocking! Ang sakit sa puso neto...

    meanwhile, even though the bag says it's 100% waterproof, i am still scared. But it would be more convincing and impressive if they have it demonstrated to you in person.

    Ask ko lang, was the bag designed to be floated or to get soaked in the water like what you did in the photo? do they have any video demonstration that you can leave the bag outside while raining for at least 30 minutes?

    my lowepro fastpack 100 is advertised as water resistant, not waterproof. i have used it in boracay during our water activities by the beach. i was scared with the waves of seawater my bag got wet from the droplets but fortunately, my camera was really safe and dry and also the bag dried easily. while my friend's camera bag were totally wet she had to put dry clothes inside for additional protection of the camera.

    i must say it could have been false advertisement...

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    1. The bag was advertised as 100% waterproof and that I can use it for any water-based sports with total safety. They even boasted that they are using the best materials and that their exclusive fold seal system will protect what is inside the bag.

      di lang sa puso masakit mam, pati sa bulsa...

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    2. ..... my time limit din kasi yan na kung ilang oras na pwede nakakababad sa tubig or dagat ..... now i learned from u buddy . bagong bili pa naman ang camera ko canon eos ...... .... charge to experienced na lng buddy ... sori for what happen .

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  3. oh no! :( too bad that the product did not lived up to its supposed use. :( truth that product design and research was not utilized to the max. :(

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    1. the guide offered her waterproof bag to me so i can put my camera, i was even boastful that the Beyond Water Bag was 100% waterproof. when we got backed in the boat, only my bag has water when all other bags were dry inside. we did the same activities. i should have taken her offer.

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  4. that bag wasnt even design for dslr equipment the misused word here is kind of ironic

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    1. The bag has an 8-liter capacity. I asked the Sales Manager, Mr. Jojo Bulong if I can place my camera equipment inside the bag before I bought it. He said that I can put anything as long as it is within the 8-liter capacity.

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  5. At first when looking at the pictures. I thought the bag was larger and you were in fact riding the bag. I thought "yea . I can see the bag being misused" . But. Advertising 100% waterproof should be able to do this anyway! (My thoughts). Then. I noticed on the lower pictures it was in fact smaller than I presumed and it was merely floating atop the water beside you. Which is outrageous that a "100% waterproof bag" can't handle floating? A grocery bag can accomplish this!? (Which I would have explained in a more unpleasant way to the customer service) ... I will spread the word about this product. And it's lack of.... Well ... Anything. Apologies my friend. Hope everything works out.

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    1. Thank you sir! The bag was floating with me or tied to a floater the whole time. I did not able to open the bag the whole time while in the beach because of a short drizzle. I just tried to enjoy the beach. When I got back in the boat, I had the eerie feeling something was wrong.

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  6. I feel for you, Mike! And I admire how you still managed a well written post despite what happened. I hope Beyond Water will take care of this unfortunate event. Keep us updated!

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    1. It really feels bad that my camera equipment was damaged this way. I always secure my gears. My friends would even say that I loved my camera more than myself. It is so disheartening!

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  7. Never trust a manager named Bulong. Baka sa bulungan ng isda nagtatrabaho dati iyon o kaya e puno ng sikreto.

    Kidding aside, you should follow up on it ask for compensation. Or trial by combat.

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    Replies
    1. I have already filed a formal compliant with DTI already. I have also seeked the help of a lawyer. Thanks!

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  8. complain it to a government agency for customers, is it dti? I feel for you dude. That is really awful.

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    1. I have filed a formal compliant with DTI already. I have also seeked the help of a lawyer.

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  9. If it's a bag with stitches and seams, those can be water entry points. I only use a seamless pouch/bag that has a flip top, forgot the brand. Nevertheless, false and not just failure but failed marketing.

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    1. There are no stitched and seams, the distributor was bragging that it is thermo-welded. Definitely false advertising.

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  10. Now that's just sad. If It was advertised that it is actually waterproof, they should've demonstrated it, like how otterbox did at the launching of their preserver series (casing for iphones)- the iphone inside was working, and it was actually submerged underwater. I know because I was there. they even gave it away (case and iphone5s) to one blogger who would jump into the pool just to get it. but they clarified that the submersible thing was only good for 30 mins... if I trusted my camera to such a product like what you had and that happened I may go to sueing them... I hope you win. it was some serious FALSE ADVERTISING for sure. tsk...

    Nicole
    ChicMix

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    1. There was really some serious FALSE ADVERTISING here. They even bragged that buyers can ENJOY WATER-BASED SPORTS WITH TOTAL SAFETY.

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  11. Sad to know that happened.

    As a waterproof drybag user for caving and waterfalls hopping,

    My point of view and caution is that i see to it that the top opening is rolled 3 to 4 times snugly as much as possble. There are restrictions and levels of waterproofing, level 3 mostly for drybags can do quick submersion, level 5 are mostly with lock and not the roll type one. I used the hypergear waist pouch large for my cameras but i do not submerge it fully. I do believe in 100% waterpoof add but not for long submersion.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I did roll the top enclosure as directed in the video from their website. The bag was not even submerged, it was just floating all the time or tied to a floater. I was not even able to open the bag since the weather was not really cooperating that time. Thanks for your input!

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  12. So sorry to hear of your loss Mike. That is very disheartening. I wished you had taken up your guide's offer. Hope things work out well for you in the end. Good luck! <3

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    1. It really is disheartening. And how I wished I had taken the guide's offer. I hope we all learn from this experience.

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  13. well there must be a legal and technical definition of waterproof in PH. i am not sure if there is a rating system in place. but in UK this is what they have:

    http://www.over-board.co.uk/waterproof-rating-system

    even if your bag could be rated IP66 water will stilll come in if you spent some time floating it around.

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    1. I am not sure if there is any IP rating here, but there was none indicated in the bag. The advertisement indicated TOTAL SAFETY IN WATER-BASED SPORTS. That means activities for a long duration.

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  14. This is why I don't trust product as they are advertised. Let alone a salesman or manager will say it! The 'misused' they mention is because the bag is ideally for laptops and not dslr— but I am no lawyer so good luck with the lawsuit.

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    1. I specifically asked the sales manager and his team if I could put my camera equipment in the bag, and they said i can as long as it fits inside the bag when the roll-top is closed. I even checked their site for specifications. The advertisement indicated TOTAL SAFETY IN WATER-BASED SPORTS. That means activities for a long duration even if I submerged the bag. In this case, the bag was never submerged, it was just floating the whole time.

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  15. meh it's only a canon no loss ;)

    haha i am sorry i just had to say that as a Nikon user.
    truth be told, i am sorry for your loss, many of us have spent a lot of money for our camera gear and i would have been heartsick to see my gear that wet.

    and thank you for illuminating the shady business with false advertising.
    hope you get your gear going soon!

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  16. research first before you buy a waterproof bag and
    test the item first without the items in it before you actually use it.

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    1. thank you, perhaps my research on the bag was not enough. it is a disheartening way of learning through experience.

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  17. I've seen this bag on a mall hardware, I also use dry bag but mostly doubled with a ziplock, other times I have a Pelican case if I'm lugging heavy gears and periodically checking their water tightness, Don't trust marketing hoopla they just want you to buy their products, unless it is certified by an organization and make sure they have an impeccable costumer service, That's just my two cents

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    1. I also saw it on Tru Value 2 weeks ago. I just hope customer service will be impeccable.

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  18. very disheartening. wala na akong tiwala sa kahit anong product claiming they're "waterproof". para sa akin, water resistant lang sila. kaya di ko na talaga ilalagay sa tubig. kung kelangan wag nang lumusong sa tubig, di na talaga. ganyan nga, isisisi pa sayo na "dapat di mo nilublob" when you claim warranty. tsk tsk

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    1. yun nga sinasabi sa akin sir eh, di raw pwede malublob sa tubig, dapat nilagay water resistant lang hindi "waterproof and enjoy water-based sports with total safety"

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  19. Whoa!!! Di raw pwede ilublub sa tubig? Eh dapat ziplock nalang ibenta nila! lokoloko pala yun eh.. kaya ka nga nag dry bag para sa mga sitwasyong katulad nun.... dapat nirecord mo nung sinabi nila yun! at dapat bayaran nila lahat ng danyos! grabe!!! kakapagngalit lang...

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    1. The sale manager even told me when I complained that the bag cannot be placed in water for a long time, etc. But when they were selling the bag, they are claiming it to be 100% waterproof and I can do it anything with it.

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  20. Man that is horrible. I will be telling all my blog readers not to get one of those bags. Was you able to get the camera & lens cleaned/fixed?

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    1. The cost of repair is almost the same as buying a new set of equipment. They also advised that repair would not guarantee that my camera would work the way it was.

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  21. Update of the Beyond Water Waterproof Bag Case

    http://www.mikelaagan.com/2014/08/the-case-of-beyond-water-waterproof-bag_18.html

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