Probably the most magnificent sight I have ever seen underwater is five huge manta rays at a cleaning station on a spectacular reef in the Maldives. The Manta ray is the largest species of the rays in the ocean, with the largest recorded at more than 7.6 meters across and weighing around 2400 kilos. The name "manta" means mantle, cloak or blanket in Portuguese and Spanish, they got this name as the mantle was a blanket shaped trap once used to catch rays. But no matter how much I love talking about Manta rays, that is not what this post is about. We are taking about the Fourth Element Manta Travel Bag. The Manta bag weighs in at less than 1kg, so is a great lightweight option for the luggage limit aware diver. This is a really simple bag, packed with loads of features. The bag has waterproof welded seams which means no water will get in through the seams if you get caught outside in a tropical shower (or not so tropical in the UK). But it works the other way to, it will hold the water in, so that transporting wet drysuits or wetsuits from a dive will keep you car nice and dry. Its rucksack style carry straps are made from a lightweight, durable plastic, which are designed to be removable for when the bag is used as hold luggage on a plane. Nice idea! Fourth Element are very aware of the environment and the impact that we have on it, so they have chosen an environmentally friendlier TPU fabric that is waterproof and makes this bag a must for the adventurous dive traveller. Below is review of the bag from a good friend of mine who has owned the Fourth Element Manta bag since it was launched a few years ago. “I was in the market for a new travel bag, after Manchester airport destroyed my last one and I noticed the Manta travel bag from Fourth Element; it not only looked cool (and as we all know that’s “the most important thing about scuba diving”) it weighs less than 1kg and has a capacity of 115 litres, easily enough for all my technical dive equipment. As anyone who has travelled in the last few years will know, baggage allowance on airlines is coming down and the price of additional baggage is going up. This poses a problem for us traveling scuba divers especially if you’re like me and want to take as much of your own equipment as possible. My old dive travel case must have weighed at least 2.5kg itself and with all the dive equipment I wanted to take, I was regularly exceeding my baggage allowance. Yes, it was me holding up the check-in line at Manchester airport swapping my dive gear into my buddy’s bag. When I took purchase of my new Manta Travel bag, it was so light-weight in comparison, I had my doubts whether it would be strong enough to withstand the baggage handlers’ wrath. I was preparing myself for my various belongings to appear in drips and drabs through the conveyer belt flaps… assorted hoses, regs, mask, zip lube, the dodgy Simpsons underpants the missus bought me… but my doubts disappeared when my bag emerged intact with its shameful contents safely enclosed. After several trips overseas, as well as coming with me to dive sites all over the country, the Manta bag is still going strong with no signs of faltering. And that’s saying something, because those of you who know me, know I don’t especially look after my own equipment.” Peter Oakden (aka Pokey) Check out our full range of Light Weight Travel Bags.
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WRITTEN BY DIVERS FOR DIVER