Heading up north from San Diego to Monterey for the holidays I decided to take our new inflatable wheeled travel bag and put it through the paces of airline travel, trail hiking and paddling in Big Sur. I met up with a trail guide and good friend Phil Keebler who accompanied me to explore some pristine Norcal coastline.
90 Miles of Beauty
Big Sur is located just north of San Luis Obispo and has gained notoriety from photographers, writers, poets and now paddlers for its endless scenery and natural beauty. The Big Sur coastline extends 90 miles and goes inland another 20. The coast is filled with amazing sea atolls, falling coastline and breathtaking views. It can be quite difficult to launch your paddle board due to limited water access but having the inflatable travel bag made hiking in a breeze on what would be an almost impossible endeavor with a traditional size paddle board.
From the Airport to the Trails in Style
The new travel bag doubles as rolling luggage which is great for airlines and a wearable backpack for hitting the trail. It fits any of the Isle inflatable SUP models (excluding the Megalodon), pump, travel paddle, gauge, repair kit and any other paddle board accessories you want to bring along. I was pleasantly surprised when the airlines didn’t charge me extra to check it as longer hard boards can be an arm and a leg these days and are a huge hassle to lug across the airport. My favorite feature would have to be the heavy-duty wheels which made it effortless for transporting around the airport as well as the hard pack dirt roads in Big Sur.
Down the River & To the Surf
As I mentioned earlier, my friend Phil that I linked up with has hiked and surfed all over Big Sur so he was the perfect person to accompany me for a quick trip. We started our trip with a couple surfboards and the Isle Explorer iSUP. Just the walk down to the river is about a mile so instead of inflating the board we used the backpack straps on the inflatable travel bag making hiking the trails a breeze. I had Phil take the bag so I could get his thoughts on the new addition. He threw it on his back and commented on how the straps were super comfortable as he hiked it all the way down to the river. Once we got down to the water we inflated the board and paddled downstream to a desolate surf spot. The surf was small and choppy but we still had a blast paddling in and out of rocks and exploring the coast. In the end, I had a great trip down the coast and the new features of the travel bag helped tremendously from the airport to the trails and I look forward to taking it more places when a traditional hard board just wouldn’t make sense to bring.