It’s raining (again) here in Chicago and quite frankly I’m bored. So I decided to have some fun and put the new Triple Aught Design Meridian through a little water torture test. OK, “water torture” is probably too strong a description and I’m not using a scientific method so “test” is highly inaccurate. But, if you’re willing to overlook these minor details and you’re interested in the Meridian, then read on.
Yes, the Meridian is an expensive piece of gear but what sets it apart are the different materials used in the bag’s construction. As I mentioned in my “First Impressions” post, TAD used VX-21 Ripstop (also known as Terrain X-Pac Sailcloth) for the outer material, which is waterproof up to 200+ psi. Combine that with YKK’s Uretek water-resistant zippers and you have materials that do a pretty good job at repelling inclement weather. How good? I decided to find out by placing the bag outside in a steady (light to moderate) rain to see how it would fare.
After about five minutes, the water started beading up nicely on the VX-21.
Having had earlier experience with X-Pac, I knew five minutes of exposure wouldn’t be enough so I left the Meridian out for another 15 minutes as the rain picked up in intensity. I thought to myself, now we were getting somewhere!
There were actually pockets of water collecting on the top of the bag and the zippers.
I shook the bag off and brought it inside to inspect the interior. As I expected, everything was bone dry inside.
An Arc’teryx Atom LT mid-layer that I had shoved into one of the pockets was also dry.
I decided to put the bag outside for another 30 minutes as the rain really started to pick up now. Just to be diabolical, I parked one of the zipper pulls on the top of the bag. As good as the YKK Uretek’s are, they do leave a little gap where they come together.
After 30 minutes, the VX-21 started to get saturated and was no longer beading water.
Water has also started to run down into the outer slip pockets and pooling in the bottom.
Again, I brought the bag inside. This time, I noticed that water had seeped through the VX-21 but only just started to penetrate the VX-03 inner lining.
In the few areas where the bag was unlined, you can see the water penetration through the outer shell. A tiny bit of moisture was evident. Nothing significant made it through the parked zipper pulls.
Certainly not enough to even dampen the mid-layer I had stuffed loose in there. Any gear or clothes in one of TAD’s Viewport Cubes or padded Protector Cubes would have had another layer of protection. I had a mesh Airflow Cube in the same pocket as the Atom and it was fine too.
If you live in a rainy climate or expect to travel into a region with unpredictable weather, the Triple Aught Design Meridian would certainly give you some peace of mind that the contents of your travel bag would be well protected from the elements. And if you get stuck checking the bag, even a little tarmac time in the rain and a damp cargo hold will not result in wet gear once you reach your destination.
The Merdian Transport Case retails for $425 and can be ordered direct from Triple Aught Design. A full review of the Meridian and it’s accessories is coming soon. Stay tuned!