Apparently slim and compact, indeed the Cressi Piovra XL backpack contains well and easily all the freediving and spearfishing equipment needed. Two spearguns, long fins, even a very thick wetsuits, plus mask, snorkel and all the accessories, can be easily carried in the Cressi Piovra XL, where XL definitely makes sense. Frontally, a very large and useful thermal pocket for cold drinks is present. Not by chance the Cressi Piovra XL has been elected among the finalists of the 2023 Best Choice by Apneapassion in the accessories category. Great job by Cressi.
The design of the Cressi Piovra XL sees a backpack made of two large pockets, a main and bigger one and a lateral one, still of good dimensions. Both can be opened thanks two long zippers, eaach with two zips, going all the way from one side to the other. This solution permits to open completely the pockets and easily insert or extract equipment. The main pocket is complete with breathable anti-moisture mesh at the bottom. The shape of such pocket becomes slightly narrower at the top and has also a curve which reproduces the angle between blades and footpockets.
On the external side of the secondary pocket there is an adjustable elastic with braided laces which allows to insert other objects, such as the towel or a windstopper jacket.
The rear of the Cressi Piovra XL is complete with adjustable shoulder straps, sewed in the upper part of the backpack on a reinforced area with a Nylon texture band. The shoulder straps can also be connected frontally on the chest of the diver for a more stable position.
The two sides are equipped with fixing systems for two spearguns. There are two adjustable elastic lines and one Nylon strap per side to keep the spearguns well in position.
There is a d-ring at the top of the bag, but we would have definitely preferred a handle to lift the backpack vertically. Indeed there is though a very useful side handle, which makes it easy to grip the backpack and lift it complete with all the equipment including the two spearguns.
Materials and zippers
The Cressi Piovra XL is made of water-repellent dry material, even if not watertight. It is made of a Nylon texture externally, while internally there is another layer of softer texture. The frontal areas of the backpack are made of a more glossy and waterproof material.
The zippers present on both the main and the secondary stores are high quality SBS solutions of big dimensions, indicating good resistance over time. The zippers used for the main store include eyelets for padlock.
The Cressi Piovra XL backpack measures 108 cm as maximum height, 79 cm as maximum width at the base and 26 cm as maximum depth (Apneapassion measures). The main pocket is 19 cm deep, while the side pocket is 76 cm high, 25 cm wide and 10 cm deep. These measures indicate clearly that the Cressi Piovra XL backpack can easily store all the equipment previously listed, and that long freediving or spearfishing fins fit well completely inside the backpack.
For example, we stored inside the Cressi Gara Turbo Carbon Camo MD 2.0, finalists in the 2023 Best Choice by Apneapassion in the composite blade fins category, and they really fit well and easily in the backpack. In addition, we put a Cressi Seppia 7 mm wetsuit, winner of the 2023 Best Choice by Apneapassion, socks, gloves, mask, snorkel, and the free space left in the backpack was still a lot.
The front pocket, as we have indicated, is of very good dimensions. Up to 6 1.5 liter bottles can be stored and kept fresh thanks to the “cool” type refrigerator solution. Due to the large dimensions of such pocket, also some fish could be stored, but be careful to put it in a resistant plastic bag to avoid any liquid to be released. In fact, the side pocket has an internal waterproof and thermally insulating material, but the stitching with the bag are not waterproof.
The Cressi Piovra XL is a very well designed backpack which can really store all our equipment. It is not waterproof, so if the wet equipment is stored in it we must avoid putting the bag on surfaces that could get soaked. The front thermally insulated pocket can be very useful in the summer period for cold drinks, fresh food, and why not, fish. The Cressi Piovra XL has a discounted price below 100 €, which makes it a very interesting product.