Lomo Mesh Bag
Appeared in DIVER December 2019
I learned to dive in a BSAC club, oop north in darkest Yorkshire. The club was based in Pontefract, where they made liquorice allsorts and the ball game of choice was Rugby League. We dived a lot at the Farne Islands, always from the club boats, a pair of workhorse RIBs.
These were loaded up in Beadnell car park, bottles fastened to a bottle-rack, the rest of our kit in a bag slung forward of the console, and when the boats were launched the divers would sit on the tubes in their suits and bounce out to wherever we were diving that day.
Some posh folk had store-bought bags for their gear, but most of us had a word with a club-member who worked down’t pit, and who could acquire National Coal Board laundry wash-bags that would hold all the kit you’d need for a day’s diving and, crucially, were very cheap, costing maybe a pint at the pub Monday night.
On hardboats these days I see folk taking kit aboard in crates or sawn-off Sofnolime tubs, but my gear is still stowed in one of my original mesh laundry bags. They’re pretty much indestructible.
Of course, you need summat bigger for foreign trips on which you also need to pack your wetsuit at the end of the day, and then my old laundry bag just isn’t big enough. So I deploy my secret weapon – a second bag!
Enter the Lomo mesh dive-bag, which promises to be big enough for all my dive-gear and claims to possess all the advantages of my old bags, only on a bigger scale, though it does cost a few bob more.
The Lomo bag comes neatly folded in its own plastic bag. It unfolds, then unfolds some more, until finally you’re looking at a bag large enough to keep the most kit-crazed diver perfectly happy.
My largest fins are a pair of lightweight Beuchat jobbies, and they almost vanished into the capacious interior of the Lomo bag.
I exaggerate only slightly – this bag has enough space for anything and everything you’d want to take on a dive-trip that isn’t your rebreather, cylinders or weightbelt.
It swallowed a BC, regulator set, second reg set for stage cylinder, mask, gloves, hood and fins and still had room for DSMB, reels, sandwiches, Thermos, a book to read between dives and a wetsuit. Remarkable.
The top of the bag is a broad nylon panel with a double-ended plastic zip to fasten it closed. A quick wash in fresh water should keep the zip salt-free and easy-running and, being mesh, you can of course dunk the filled bag in the rinse tank at the end of the day and your kit will air-dry without you needing to open the bag. Note that if you did take a book, it’s best to remove it before dunking. And any sandwiches.
Two broad straps run around the bag and form a pair of handles for you to carry it comfortably, and they’re big enough for you to sling on a shoulder if you prefer.
And that’s it, really. It’s a bag, made of mesh, in which you can carry your dive-gear to and from the boat and store it between dives. It does exactly what you would expect it to do, and it doesn’t cost a fortune.
I suspect that it won’t last as long as my colliery laundry bag, because that zipper will eventually break, but the mesh and straps seem as tough as old boots, so I’d expect it to last more than a few seasons
When the zipper does go, well, just use the bag without zipping it up, and when it gets really tatty, buy another.
It’s my sort of kit. Unpretentious.