Exclusive Review


When it comes to all round design, performance and build quality there are very few companies whose luggage compares ranges come close to that of Cotswold Aquarius. With a well established history for making top quality luggage items already well and truly established, they would have to go some to produce a product that would upstage any of there already established products but believe it or not they have. The UKMA office received a call a few weeks back from company MD Jamie Kemp and he asked if we would be interested in reviewing their new for 2012 Carryall/Back Pack that has been named the DECEPTOR DLX. So the team at UKMA obviously jumped at the chance and when it arrived in the office there was a fight over who was going to review it but we decided that we would all have a play and here’s what this top end Carryall/Back pack has to offer the serious session angler.



Vital Statistics

The DECEPTOR DLX is a total re-think of the standard carryall that utilises every inch of the internal and external capacity and created approximately 60Ltrs of storage space from a very compact unit. It has been manufactured utilising the Cotswold Aquarius trade mark hard wearing and waterproof green material that is standard in the build of all Cotswold Aquarius Carryalls and back backs. All seams have webbed overwrap and are stitched using only the finest threads to give optimum strength and life expectancy to all stitching. All of the pockets and compartments feature heavy duty zips with the majority having a two way zip entrance for convenience and ease of accessibility with full padding wear required to eliminate any chance of damage to your precious kit whilst it is in transit.



Because of the DECEPTOR DLX compact size, it is very easy to transport around. This has been made even easier by the inclusion of three well designed and functional carriage options. The first option is the conventional ‘carry handle’ this is centrally situated on the top face and incorporates a flexible moulded grip for comfort. The second option is the fully adjustable shoulder strap that incorporates a 430mm long padded support for ultimate comfort when in transit. The strap is attached to the DECEPTOR via two heavy duty plastic clip lock connectors that make it very easy to remove if not required. NOTE The UKMA team found by adjusting the length of the shoulder strap, both the shoulder strap and carry handle can be used in conjunction with each other to spread the load when moving through tight areas.



Key Feature

On the back panel of the DECEPTOR DLX is a hidden compartment with a heavy duty, wipe clean vinyl cover, that is accessible via a two way zip that runs from the base around and up the two sides. Once opened this reveals the shoulder straps and waist strap that convert this very clever carryall into a back pack. To keep the vinyl panel secure and out of the way when in back pack mode, simply roll it up and using the two retaining straps with clip lock fastenings found on either side secure in place. The very comfortable harness features two fully padded and adjustable shoulder straps and a waist belt, and these combined makes the DECEPTOR DLX incredibly comfortable to transport to your swim, which is a blessing on those long treks we all have to make on big venues or river systems.



Storage Features & Options

The DECEPTOR DLX is the next level in storage management for the serious session or roving angler. It measures in at a compact 400mm high x 540mm wide x 420mm deep when fully loaded (these measurements are approximate). What the Cotswold Aquarius design team have done is listened to the requirements of their consultancy team and developed a carryall system that will cover the needs of those anglers who takes his tackle management seriously. With 10 zipped and padded pouches, each of various sizes for all your tackle storage, a document sleeve with a Velcro fastened cover and two padded pockets for your tackle boxes, nothing you carry with you will be loose or rattling around whilst on the move.

NOTE - With so much to go through we have split the DECEPTOR DLX into four main areas.


1, Front Outer Panel

From the top face you have a large panel that covers the front of the DECEPTOR DLX. This incorporates storage for a large single tray tackle boxes. This pocket measure 70mm high x 360mm wide x 270mm deep and feature a two way zip for ease of access, with full padding on the outer faces to protect your tackle box from any kind of damage. The outer pocket front face also has features a zipped document pocket. On the top outer face you have a slim 70mm high x 280mm wide x 60mm deep zipped pocket that is in place to store the DECEPTOR’s waterproof cover that is supplied as standard. On the inside of the outer panel you have two Velcro fastened pockets that measure 160mm wide x 295 high that are ideal for storing forceps, PVA bags, and other flat or slim-lined tackle accessories. Above these pockets, you’ll find a document sleeve to keep your rod licences and other important documents safe and dry.

TOP TIP - The waterproof cover is attached to the DECEPTOR DLX via a small plastic clip lock making it possible to remove the cover and store other items like torches, weigh bars etc.



2, Side Pockets

You have three different sized side pockets, with two on the left hand side and one on the right. The right hand pocket measures 80mm high x 350mm wide x 130mm deep  and features a ¾ access zip, full padding on all faces, with a waterproof, wipe clean vinyl on the underside to assist in keeping things clean and tidy. This pocket will comfortably store a fully loaded Cotswold Aquarius Handy Bag Pocket Insert with enough room for a small towel as well. On The left you have a 80mm high x 255mm wide x 130mm deep pocket that is the perfect size for one of the Aquarius Handy Bag Pocket Insert and the small pocket that measures 80mm high x 255mm wide x 130mm deep and is ideal for storing all your carp care products in.



3, Mid Level

By releasing the two clip lock retainers at the bottom of the front outer panel this reveals the two mid level pockets. The top mid level pocket measures 75mm high x 300mm wide x 170mm deep and features a padded outer face and a two way ¾ access zip. We found this ideal for storing two of the Cotswold Aquarius Micro Stubby Bags. The lower of the mid level pockets measures 50mm high x 300mm wide x 170mm deep, featuring a padded outer face and a two way 3/4 access zip. We found this pocket ideal for storing all sizes of PVA mesh tubes, PVA bags, all small loose accessory items, and anything else that need to be kept dry including phone chargers and a small radio all fit perfect.



4, Base Level

To enter the base level you have a ¾ two way entry zip that opens from the top face down either side. When the zip is opened, simply lift to reveal a cavernous main storage area measuring 150mm high x 355mm wide x 355 deep. This will store your rig boxes (the Korda option fits perfect), a 14’ Cotswold Aquarius Buzzer Pouch fits perfect, till leaving enough room for several other small bags and accessories. On the opposite face you have another three storage pouches there are two that measure 70mm high x 170mm wide x 115mm deep and these perfectly store the Aquarius Stubby Bags fully loaded. The third pouch measures 70mm high x 365mm wide x 130mm deep. This creates enough room for an Aquarius padded spool tube and couple of tubes of PVA Boilie mesh.



First Impressions

You have to admire the all round built quality that you get when you buy a piece of Cotswold Aquarius Luggage and the DECEPTOR DLX is not an exception to this rule. Every stitch and component works perfectly to produce a carryall/back pack that would grace any session angler’s luggage collection. With features galore and enough room to practically store all your equipment whilst keeping it fully protected when in transit, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. The idea of totally encapsulating the shoulder straps to prevent damage or tangles when in the van or car, as well as keeping them clean and most importantly dry is such a simple idea, its genius!

What would you expect to pay for a piece of British made luggage of this quality?” I hear you say. Well this is where you should be sitting down because The DECEPTOR DLX will justifiably carry the retail price tag of £169.99 when it hits the shops in the very near future but the team at UKMA can categorically confirm it is worth every penny of your hard earned readies.


For more information on the Cotswold Aquarius range, please click the image below.


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