The Red Original Accessories Review of the Waterproof Pouch for @StandupPaddleUK – Find your Discount Code inside!
Oh, you had me a waterproof..
It has been a big week for us over on StandupPaddleUK. We’ve received a fair amount of kit to test, trial and review. We’ve always loved what the crew at Red Original are doing, it’s high quality products, made the right way, by a brand that really cares about the community.
I’ve got a few reviews to write for their products but let’s get on with the Waterproof Pouch..
So as I said at start of the review, ‘you had me at waterproof’.. Yeah, this thing is legitimately waterproof. There are photos on their website of a guy swimming in the sea holding the pouch, that is insane! I’ve used dry bags before but this thing is the next level.
StandUpPaddleUK as a collective have been using this item for some time. Dale is a huge fan of the pouch and really does swear by it too.
Sizing: the pouch its self is 23cm long x 12cm deep x 5cm wide. You’re easily able to get your phone, keys and a GoPro in there.. We’ve even had a drone in there. It’s also the perfect place for something like an inhaler, the most important piece of equipment when I go out on my paddleboard after my PFD! So knowing that my medication is protected is also a great thing.
On the board: The really great thing about the pouch is you are able to connect it to you and your board in several ways. The double Velcro strap system can be secured to grab handles, your deck bungee straps, the RO deck bag and the RO AirBelt. Personal preference for me and Dale is attaching it to your central grab handle as everything is then easily accessible beneath your feet.
As ever, we are testing in line with the use on a paddleboard however you could use it on a kayak, on your bike, open water swimming.. It really is a very versatile piece of kit. I’ve now used this pouch on two paddles and during one of them was a horrendous downpour of rain, the pouch protected my keys and phone. I like the integration with my board, I don’t use a Red Paddle board, so it is really great to see a product working on different brands products. We talk to brands a great deal about integration with other manufacturers/competitors so it’s really good to see that you don’t have to own a specific board to use their accessories..
Quick Water Test: So the basic of the basic, let’s submerge this pouch and see what happens..
Absolute madness. No water droplets, runs or signs of moisture inside of the Pouch. That’s a pass on the water test.. Kind of the most important part of the review really!
I’ve never really been a ‘rating’ reviewer. I prefer more to explain how the products work, how they integrate with different things and essentially if they are practical in their use. I really do believe that the waterproof pouch is a 10 out of 10 product. I suggest you check out the product itself on their website (click here for the link). As usual a video review on our IGTV will follow.
RRP is £64.95. Oh also of note; Red Original have been kind enough to provide StandupPaddleUK with a discount code – use code ‘standuppaddleuk15‘ at checkout to get a discount!
Thanks to Ross over at Red Originals for the continued support and their immense products! Learn more about Red Originals over on our IGTV Series.
Red Lights, Windmills and Everything inbetween; Amsterdam
With a country so close to the UK you’d think more people would have been to Holland.. but the general discussion is that many people haven’t got there yet.. Let’s see if I can spend a few minutes convincing you..
I picked up flights into Schipol Airport for £70 return, and an Air BnB for £80.. So a real cheap city break can be had here..
I landed into Schipol just after lunch time, and headed straight into the City. Walk out of the arrivals area and straight into the Train Station.. Yes it is that simple and well sign posted. The Sprinter Train runs quite frequently and costs €4.30 for a Single. It runs through two stops and rolls into Centraal Station. Centraal Station has connections to most of the other major cities including Rotterdam, if you’re looking to explore further afield after AMS.
Rijksmuseam and the I Amsterdam Sign (Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands)
This is the tourist trap.. the only way you’ll be getting touristless selfies or shots.. Get here at 5am!
The Rijksmuseam has a vast Art collection, but I was here to admire the architecture and grab some shots. The lake infront of the IAmsterdam sign provided a nice reflection too!
You can walk the Canals of Amsterdam for hours. Bridge upon Bridge, genuinely beautiful. Stop, take in the views across the canals. There are so many cafes and restaurants to sit and enjoy them from.
The scenes are a different level at night. The still canals give off the perfect reflections, and the Red Lights of the District really set off the views..
The Johan Cruyff ArenA (ArenA Boulevard 1, 1101 AX Amsterdam)
The Johan Cruyff ArenA is epic. The scale appears huge. While it may only be a 53,346 seater.. it looks much much bigger! Home to Ajax, and quite far out of the city. You’ll need to grab the M54 metro out to Strandvilet, it’s a 2 minute walk from the station. Another Stadium off of my quest to visit all the too tier stadiums in the world!
The Red Light District (Amsterdam Central)
No intro, discussion or explanation required. This place should be experienced on whatever level you choose.. Whatever your taste…
Lisse / Keukenhof (Stationsweg 166A, 2161 AM Lisse)
Stretching 30km between Haarlem and Leiden are the tulip fields of North Amsterdam. This is a must see, it’s a short train ride to Haarlem, for there you can hire a Cycle (Which is between €8-12 for a day!) I used a small shop in Haarlem called ‘Bike Rent Haarlem’. Now I ride a decent standard road bike in the UK, don’t expect that on a hire! It was a bum numbing 35 mile cycle but the views of the fields are worth it..
I took a few detours here and there in search of tulip fields. Hillegom and Heemstede are beautiful, peaceful towns. Some of the houses are LIFE GOALS! I’d arrived a week after the cuttings of most fields which was a shame, but I managed to capture a few which were left!
Beautiful. I’ll 100% return during the blooming of the tulips next year.
Zaanse Schans (Kalverringdijk 5, 1509 BT Zaandam)
Zaanse Schans is a throwback to the 18th century. The iconic windmills were moved here to recreate that feel. It’s a day out from the mayhem of Amsterdam, and a very unique part of Holland, which many who visit Amsterdam will over look. This is another place which is a short trip on the train from Amsterdam Centraal. Be sure to head out to the Bakery Museum.. the fresh Cookies are excellent!
Amsterdam is beautiful in the day, and a complete flip side in the night, but still beautiful depending on where you go.. Much like Prague, it has a reputation for the sex but unless you go looking for that, it really isn’t as bad as you’d think.
Iceland is a country I’ve wanted to visit for years now but I had always been nervous about the scale and amount of driving required.
Let’s get two things out the way immediately;
1- Iceland is expensive. Get over it.
2- The weather is changeable like you wouldn’t believe. Always check the forecast…
Before leaving I’d planned this trip extensively. I had 4 days so I really could only cram in the West and parts of the South. Now you can travel the ring road etc etc however you’d like, you could even hire a camper.. a good choice if there’s a few of you to split costs. I opted for an Air BnB just outside Reykjavik in Kópavogur, perfectly located to travel in all directions, and a bad ass 4×4 as I’d planned routes through the national park on F roads.
I arrived in Iceland and had pre booked a hire car with Geysir Car Rentals. Highly recommend them and the service was excellent. You get a little key fob which gives you a discount at OB fueling stations.. a nice touch.
Day One – The Golden Circle
þingvellir National Park
The huge lake of þingvellir was solid frozen which was quite a sight.. pretty much all the water I’d seen all morning was frozen.. including the sea. There was excellent walking routes here. I followed a couple of trails but was conscious of the time needed to complete the Golden Circle in one day. You have to pay to park here.. if you veer off to the right before this sign you can park for free… off-road parking though!
Take a look around the walking routes before heading away. They can be found here
Geysir Geo Thermal Park of Haukadalut
The Geysir is pretty cool. You can’t miss it, A) because it’s packed solid with people and cars, B) the stench of sulphur is pretty heavy. Regardless of the fumes the Geysir experience is well worth your time. The eruptions from the main Geysir are pretty large, upto 70m high. This is a no drone zone over the eruptions.. I saw 2 drones fall foul to the Geysir bursts!
The Geysir will soak you if you’re down wind. I was drenched after an eruption.. and smelt like sulphur for a few hours..
Photo hot spot, full of camera tripods and selfie stick wizards.. yes I am one of those idiots too. Hillarious to see people being battered GoPros unsuspectingly while trying to capture the eruption..
In a word. Epic.
The 32m drop looks huge, especially when the fall is partially frozen over. It was surprisingly quiet during my visit, I really guess it all depends on when the Golden Circle tour buses arrive..
This place was one of my favourites. The scenic lake occupies a volcanic crater. It is around 3000 years old! And even better, the lake was frozen and you could walk over it..
I walked around the lake looking for the best vantage point for the sunset. There was a massive ground of tripod raiders on the West flank.. I found a better spot..
The sunset from Keriđ was exceptional. I got really lucky with my timing..
After Keriđ I ended up heading back to my Air BnB in Kópavogur. If you’re doing a self drive I’d advise heading to Selfoss. There’s a few supermarket shops (and takeaways here if totally necessary!). By the time I got back to Kópavogur I was beat. I’d travelled non stop since 5am, I had a quick chat with my host and hit the hay. I had plans for a 5am start in the West..
Day Two; West Region
I headed out at 5am. A 180km route was in the sat nav. Be aware when heading North/West, Route 1 has a tunnel under the Hvalfjördur. It cost me 1000ISK each way, so about £7. Worth the cost as the drive around is an additional hour.
The drive from Reykjavik to the West was awesome. I genuinely saw no cars for miles upon miles…
You can really see the changes in weather from region to region..
The roads after Route 54 are pretty baron, untouched and icy AF. I saw three cars on the roof tops.. All non 4×4/AWD. Again I’d advise a 4×4 if you’re headed out on a self drive. After 160km I hit Kolgrafarfjödur.. I had to stop and get some shots. It was silent, so peaceful and totally epic.
The Mavic Air was the perfect drone for Iceland
At this point, this was the highlight of my Iceland trip. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. I’ve been to the mountains in various countries and always get that feeling of amazement, but here it was different.. I was speechless. I sat and watched over the lake and mountains eating breakfast, the perfect spot.
Approx 20km from Kolgrafarfjödur is the immense mountain of Kirkjufell. Again a real photographer hot stop however today, 6 people were here..
Some will know Kirkjufell from Game of Thrones, it features in Seasons 6 and 7.. known as Arrowhead Mountain.
A really impressive mountain, with a stunning backdrop. Take some time to take in the mountain, there are plenty of spots to camp of picnic here. If you need supplies there is a large shop in Grundarfjödur..
This I found by accident while travelling the Snæfellskökull peninsula coastline. Head up the track about 400m, hop out the car and walk another 200m and you’ll see the waterfall..
I was really taken back by this find. It wasn’t on my Maps during my planning so I was shocked to find it. It was difficult to see how close you could get to the fall as everything was snowy or frozen. I sent the drone out to see what the situation was, and capture some bangers of course. Well worth a stop off.
I continued round the coastline of Snæfellskökull. There were a couple of stop offs, there are quite a few beaches but I was unable to get down the roads due to the weather. Very gravelly roads full of ice.. I didn’t fancy a massive repair bill. Eventually I found the Malariff Lighthouse and coast line..
This is Londrangar.
Londrangar is a pair of natural towers which overlook the ocean, formed by volcanic material. The walk from Malariff will take you around 20 minutes.. maybe quicker if it isn’t icy! Excellent views out to the ocean, a real peaceful spot.
After spending some time here and at Arnarstapi (a good place to get supplies for the drive home) I headed back to Reykjavik. The coastal drive along the south peninsula of Snæfellskökull is exceptional. Non stop mountains to the left and ocean to the right for miles and miles, very cool.
Hallgrimskirkja is Reykjavik’s cathedral, inspired by Icelandic traditions. It can be entered and has a 70m plus tower. Tip; a good place to park after 6pm and walk into the city centre.
I can recommend a place to eat. I had a real urge for a burger after a 18 hour day.. I found the Vitabar in downtown Reykjavik (
Yeah I’ll admit it looks pretty low key from the outside but the food was awesome. Prices were very good and I thought cheap (for Iceland) a huge burger and fries with a coke set me back 3000ISK so around £20. Most places this would be 4/4500ISK. Give it a try!
Day Three; The Southern Coast
I’ve always wanted to visit locations on this leg of my tour so I was pretty excited when I set off from Kópavogur..
Seljalandfoss and Gljúfrabúi
When you pull off Route 1 for Seljalandfoss you’ll see the car park full of buses. Drive past this, there is a big lay by about 300m down the road which is free..
Seljalandfoss is stunning. I’ve seen photos of it for such a long time and they do not compare to being there and seeing the waterfall in motion. In winter when the water hits the base of the waterfall it freezes and settles as snow around the base. You will get wet it you get up close..
In months without snow it is possible to go behind the waterfall.. I was disappointed I was unable to but The entrance was frozen over!
Just 24 minutes down the road is another beaut.. Skógafoss waterfall. The only difference between here and Seljalandfoss is there’s a cool staircase and viewing platform which gives off great views over the waterfall.
Tip; I returned here on my way home, Unfortunately my phone and gopro were completely dead, the moonlight shots you can get from the waterfall are class. I stood with a group of photographers who were shooting absolute gold!
Sólheimasandur DC3 Wreckage
The wreckage isn’t sign posted from what I could see.. but It is 11km from Skógafoss on the right. Now be warned, the ‘path to the DC3’ on Google doesn’t really show or tell you how far it is. I walked 30 minutes each way, in horrendous winds which were blowing people over and rain which left me soaked through.. but the end of the long walk is the wreckage. It’s pretty haunting, especially in dark wet conditions. But it’s such a cool spot..
As with most spots.. this is usually busy as hell. The weather kept people away!
Conditions were terrible…
This felt like Mordor or something from Game of Thrones.. the black sand beach is both beautiful and haunting. I’ve never seen a beach like it but it given the conditions of the day it really looked moody AF! Beware on this coast, deadly seeker waves hammer this beach.. massive 20ft waves which pull people in from the coastline due to the tremendous power of the under current.
The coastline has been beaten for many years and is sculpted by the waves and winds, some of the cliff faces looking similar to the iron throne!
Day Four; The Blue Lagoon
Key piece of advice is book your tickets. There are three levels, each more expensive.. click here for details. I opted for the Comfort entry, this is ample for me. You get use of a towel, a free silca face mask, and a free drink while in the lagoon. It cost me £70, steep yes but it’s an all day ticket.
The lagoon is awesome. A totally relaxing experience. Probably the most well known spot in Iceland, yeah it’s busy but it’s pretty big that there’s room to chill out away from others.
After 4 hours in here I left, as I was driving away I spotted some non entry thermal streams..
At this point I only had an hour before I had to be at the airport, I had one last stop.
The Bridge America
A cool geography lesson on my.last stop. This bridge connects the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. Before the breaking of Pangaea this would have been connected.
And that was it. My Icelandic adventure was over. I had the most epic experience and I was definitely return.. I only saw a tiny bit of Northern lights and it was quite disappointing that I didn’t see the green dance.
•Waterproofs are essential
•Pretty much everywhere will accept credit or debit cards
•Book the Blue Lagoon before you travel
•Always carry water on journeys, dehydration is not joke, as I found out.
•Pick up a 12V DC car inverter. This will also you to change things like a laptop or drone.
•Also pick up a phone holder as you’ll need it for GPS.
Thanks to my Air BnB host, Floris and thanks Iceland, you’ve been incredible.