Improvements on Our Cruising Necessities

Every cruiser has them.  The certain necessities they can not get by without while boating.  Items ranging from logically needing to function, or simply making our everyday lives easier.  Of course there is a wide range of articles that one find themselves requiring for their life on the water, but we were lucky enough to make some major improvements on a few items we use All.The.Time.

Here are a few categories of items that we find indispensable to have aboard or while traveling, and the new products we have which are vast improvements on how they used to work for us.

Backpacks

Friendly Swede 60L water-resistant combined duffel and backpack

As any cruiser knows, things on a boat get wet.  Easily.  Add in any trips to and from shore in a dinghy, and your chances of getting splashed go up exponentially. That is why we’ve spent the past few years carrying a dry bag/backpack with us, to get certain items to and from shore while keeping them dry.

Just as we were on the hunt for another bag to do the same thing for us as our old one is deteriorating, we were contacted by The Friendly Swede to try their new 60L duffel/backpack.  And wow, this thing is heavy duty. As soon as we saw it, we knew it would get the job done. It has so many features that will work out great for us in acting as a backpack that will keep all of it’s contents safe and dry.  The entire bag is made of industrial grade 500D PVC tarp and has waterproof zippers, covered by an extra flap to make it extremely hard for water to get in.  Just remember though, this bag is water-resistant, not water proof.

The Friendly Swede duffel has both both backpack and hand strap carrying capabilities, meaning we can either wear it on our back for long hikes, or use the shorter handles to carry it as a duffel when it suits us better.  The 60 liters of space gives us the option to tote tons of groceries and other items once we’re cruising again, and even has mesh zippered compartments in the top and sides to store items you need quick access to.

My only wish for this product is that it had a little more back support for when wearing as a backpack, but overall we’ve been very happy with it so far, and I see it getting us through a lot of wet conditions!

Friendly Swede duffel

Friendly Swede dufel zippers

Friendly Swede duffel and backpack

Friendly Swede 25L Ultralight Packable Backpack

Just as important as the ‘keep everything dry’ bag, we also need a good ‘go anywhere with us bag’.  So when we saw the Friendly Swede offered a packable backpack, we jumped right on it.  This little guy can hold up to 25 liters of goods, but folds down to 6″ in size and only 8.5 oz.  This means when it’s not in use we can stick it basically anywhere in the boat, but when we do want make a day trip to shore or carry some essential items with us on a hike, it is more than up to the task of toting around everything we need.

Made of a rip-stop nylon, it’s tough against wear and tear, which is especially great for us because it will probably be a secondary grocery hauling bag, now with the added bonus of easily clipping on to our primary bag.  On walks around town or hikes up hillsides, it will make a great bag to carry a few bottles of water, snacks, and my camera (safely tucked inside their 5L dry bag, of course).  Plus, its bright blue color makes me smile.  🙂

Friendly Swede Ultralight Backpack 1

Friendly Swede Ultralight Backpack 2

Clothespins

FIXCLIP Storm-proof & Lockable Clip

Even if you are the kind of cruiser that will schelp all their clothing and towels to a laundry mat every few weeks (and we’re those people too), chances are that at some point, you still have items hanging on your lifelines to dry.  Towels from your day at the beach, your foul weather gear after the storm has passed and the sun comes out again, or those sink loads of underwear we all do because you can never seem to store enough clean pairs.

Whatever the reason, whatever you are hanging, there is a new clip in town that will knock your socks off.  Unless they’re secured to your lifelines, because these knew clips will keep them there in any kind of condition. Introducing, the FIXCLIP.  Winner of the Plastic Innovation Award of 2015, this clip is lockable, storm-proof, and can withstand winds up to 70 knots.  Versatile between your lifelines or pulpit, it securely locks onto surfaces from 0.5-32 mm, and won’t release its grasp until you unlock it.  If that were not enough of a selling point right there, the clips are made of plastic and are UV resistant, so you won’t have to worry about them rusting or becoming damaged from the sun.

We haven’t had the chance to put ours to the full test yet, but based on the conditions they’ve withstood shown in a video made by the company, I’ll be setting damp items out to dry no matter the weather.  Without the fear of losing clips, or worse, our clothing, overboard to strong or unexpected gusts, I see a lot more bucket laundry in our future…and I’m completely ok with that!

FIXCLIP 1

FIXCLIP 2

Turkish Towels

From what I’ve been reading on a few of my friend’s pages, Turkish towels have become all the rage lately.  It seems as if everyone I know has said goodbye to their regular terry towels in exchange for these smaller and more stylish versions.  After a little research into them, I’m beginning to see why.

Hammamas

Hammamas tout themselves as ‘The clever cotton towel’, that can double as a sarong, beach dress, beach blanket, picnic topper, you name it.  We also have it on good authority from friends that these towels make great cushion toppers on your boat to prevent sweat from leaking through in hot Caribbean climates.

We love them because of their super absorbent qualities, and the small amount of space they take up when folded down. During our vacation in Siesta Key, I was stunned to find how little room these towels used in my bag.  The last time I had tried to prepare us for a trip to the beach with my North37 bag, I was lucky to get a single beach towel and a bottle of sunscreen in there. On this trip however, I had four Hammamas towels in there with plenty of room to spare. Even with sunscreen, two one liter bottles of water, my camera, and our tablet…I was only at 2/3rds full.

These are going to turn into great beach towels for us, with their absorbent qualities, and quick drying time. The bright colors they’re offered in just scream seaside, and will make great a swimsuit cover when the wind picks up enough to give me a chill.  Something that seems to happen a lot. Another great feature is, the more you wash them, the softer they become.  And nothing beats nuzzling up in a super soft towel after a day of playing at the beach.

VV, Hammamas, North37

Hammamas 1

Hammamas beach

Doga Towels

I have just found the very last towel I ever want to own.  Mostly used for shower and bath purposes, but just as at home at the gym or on the beach, Doga towels have literally been engineered to be the best towel in the world.  On its way to perfection, this towel went through eight iterations before arriving at the current version sold by the company today.  After consulting with textile engineers to make sure they were using the best materials possible, they also studied the history of towels and different weaving patterns to learn what worked best, and areas that could use improvement.

What they came up with is a towel that is fast drying, extremely absorbent, and super soft and cozy.  I’m not joking, these are is the softest towels I have ever laid my hands on.  Forget ever trying to make myself feel like I’m lying on a bed of clouds, I want to lie in a bed of Doga towels.  Any time there is the slightest chill in the air, I can guarantee you will find me wrapped up in one of these.

I haven’t even gotten to two of the best features for cruisers though.  They are incredibly thin, which means they fold down to 1/3rd the size of regular towels; and they are antimicrobial, meaning they won’t grow mold or mildew, or give you that gross towel smell.  Those are HUGE benefits for us, as storage space on a boat is always at a premium, and we can get away without washing them for much longer.  The list doesn’t end there though.  Here are other elements you can expect from this luxury towel.

Doga Towel Features:

  • Natural + Organic made of Aegean cotton and bamboo
  • Machine washable
  • Antimicrobial! Naturally won’t host infection causing bacteria, mold or mildew
  • WON’T EVER GET THAT GROSS TOWEL SMELL
  • Repels sand!
  • Engineered weave allows air to pass through, allowing towel to dry three times faster than traditional towels
  • Super Soft
  • Nice and big measuring in at 31” x 69” BUT folds down to ⅓ the size, perfecting for saving space and travel!!

Doga brand antimicrobial turkish towels

Doga at beach

 

Now that you’ve seen our list, what do you think?  Do these items fit into your necessities as well?  What other items do you have on board that you can’t live without?

*Although the products mentioned above had been given to us in exchange for reviews, all opinions are our own; we only work with companies whose product we believe in.

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