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Reviews > Food Preparation Gear > Smelly Proof Storage Bags > Test Report by Robb Pratt

September 02, 2019



NAME: Robb Pratt
EMAIL: unicornv007 AT
AGE: 48
LOCATION: Canton, Michigan, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 165 lb (74.80 kg)

I backpacked sporadically growing up and rediscovered it back in 2011. Since then, I've taken several weekend trips a year. I also car camp with my family roughly a dozen nights a year when we use tents unless I can convince them I might snore and it would be better for all for me to use my hammock rig. I prefer a light pack (weight without food or water under 20 pounds / 9 kg). My backpacking stomping ground is northern Michigan that has small hills and I typically camp late spring, summer and early fall months.



Manufacturer: Smellyproof
Year of Manufacture: 2019
Manufacturer's Website: Http://
* Extra-Large (Heavy Duty): US $16.99 for 5 pack
* Extra-Large: US $14.99 for 5 pack
* Large (Heavy Duty): US $12.99 for 5 pack
* Large (Stand-Up): US $18.99 for 10 pack
* Medium: US $8.99 for 10 pack
* Small: US $7.99 for 10 pack
* Extra-Small: US $6.99 for 10 pack
Weight as Delivered:
* Extra-Large (Heavy Duty): 1.3 oz (35.8 g)
* Extra-Large: 0.8 oz (22.8 g)
* Large (Heavy Duty): 0.7 oz (18.5 g)
* Large (Stand-Up): 0.5 oz (13.0 g)
* Medium: 0.3 oz (7.4 g)
* Small: 0.2 oz (4.8 g)
* Extra-Small: 0.1 oz (3.1 g)
Dimensions (as reported):
* Extra-Large (Heavy Duty): 16 x 12 inches (406 x 304 mm)
* Extra-Large: 16 x 12 inches (406 x 304 mm)
* Large (Heavy Duty): 10 x 8.5 inches (254 x 216 mm)
* Large (Stand-Up): 10 x 8.5 inches (254 x 216 mm)
* Medium: 7.5 x 6.5 inches (190 x 165 mm)
* Small: 6 x 4 inches (152 x 102 mm)
* Extra-Small: 4 x 3 inches (101.6 x 76 mm)
Other details: Smellyproof manufactures bags of various sizes all with the intention of blocking vapors and oxygen from entering and exiting - effectively making them odor resistant. Each one is made from a non-toxic, medical grade poly material and has a double-track zipper to maintain closure. Due to the material design, they are naturally puncture resistant to sticks and twigs and noted to hold up much better from degrading than a standard Ziploc bag. Some of the bags also include tear notches at the top for heat / vacuum sealing. This allows them to have all the air removed from the bag before sealing. The bags can then be opened for use and sealed later with the double-track zipper closure. Lastly, the bags can be cleaned and reused.
Packages All Laid Out


When I received the initial package, I was a little concerned that the bottom of the shipping sack was partially open, but everything was still safely in place and the actual Smellyproof packages were still sealed and undamaged.
Delivery Package

Looking at the packages, each one clearly labels its size and the maximum amount of volume it can hold. The labeling also included information about the bags being tear/puncture resistant. This is especially important to me as in the past, I have used simple Ziploc bags and had them blowout and leak their contents. I also noted that the labeling mentioned BPA-Free / FDA Approved which is important to me for food storage. I do not always store food directly in the bags, but when I do, I want to make sure it is safe. BPA (Bisphenol A) is actually a chemical that has been used to make plastics and resins for decades and there has been research showing it can seep into food and possibly result in health issues. In this case, Smellyproof does not use any BPA in their plastics. They have also gained the fabled FDA Approval status, which means the USA's Food and Drug Administration has reviewed the product and found that no harmful additives from the plastic leach into food stored inside the package.

The packaging also notes that they are made of reusable nylon re-enforced, extra strength poly and to seal in odors for months. Furthermore, they use a dual-track zipper closure. Two of the packages I received are labeled HEAVY DUTY and have a small picture of a bear in the upper right corner. For these bags, I watched a video on their website showing how bears walked past several sacks stashed in their enclosure. The bears did not detect the hidden Smellyproof sacks that had food in them.
Bear-Tested Label

Lastly, I liked seeing the "Made in America" badge too. It sounds cheesy and I do not want to get into politics but I value companies that make products locally.


Initially, I opened an extra-large package and pulled out one of the five bags found inside. The plastic has a very smooth feel and I did not notice any defects (such as bubbles, tears, rips or even marks) on the material. I checked the size with a ruler and they lined up with Smellproof's measurements.

I then pulled out one of the heavy-duty extra-large bags and compared it. This one was definitely thicker and had a tougher feel to it than the non-heavy duty. The heavy duty also has the words HEAVY DUTY imprinted on the bag to help identify it easily.
Heavy Duty Label

I also received a package of large stand-up bags. These have a section of material in the bottom that allow them to well... stand up on their own when I set them down on a surface. They reminded me of some of the meal pouches some of the major brands of pre-made meals make. In this case, I envisioned how I could make my own dehydrated meal and vacuum seal it in. Later, I could rip off the top at the notch section, add hot water and have myself a meal.
Stand-Up Bag

I went through the various sizes of extra-large, large, medium, small and extra-small. All of them have what appears to me to very robust zipper closures and I found that they too had the same quality of manufacturing.


I blew into one of the heavy-duty, extra-large bag and filled it up with some air then used the zipper closure to seal it up. The bag held air with no signs of leaking. I gently leaned my upper body on the bag (treating it like a pillow) and it held without blowing out the zipper seal or even any air leaks.

Opening the package up was simple and required me to just pull on the plastic on either side of the zipper closure.

As for odor resistant, I haven't had a good opportunity yet to check them but I did toss some fruit in one of the bags and tried to smell the fruit through the bag. My nose just is not sensitive enough. I am tempted to put my daughter's goalie gloves in one of the extra-large bags but I don't want to wreck a bag that quickly without getting a good chance of testing food storage first. Our entire household though would know very quickly if the zipper closure and plastic material were not effective enough at blocking odors. Those gloves are lethal if left in a hot car during the day.
Dual-Track Zipper Closure


Smellyproof bags are well-manufactured odor and puncture resistant bags. Their various sizes allow me to select the right bag for the right job while also giving me some piece of mind for food storage. I am looking forward to testing these out over the next few months on several camping trips.

Thank you to both and Smellyproof for allowing me to test these bags. My next report should be completed in a couple of months. Please check back then for further information.



Over the last several months, I have used the Smellyproof bags on four separate treks - two backpacking and two basecamping trips. For all of these trips, I have tested the Smellyproof bags in a variety of different settings, including high mini-bear (chipmunk), trash-pandas (raccoons) and an area known to have a few actual bears in them.


* Trip #1: Brighton Recreational Area - Brighton, Michigan USA - May 17-19, 2019. Temperature ranged from 48 to 70 F (9 to 21 C). There was 0.1 inches (0.25 cm) of rainfall on the first evening. While there was no backpacking, I did close to 20 miles (32 km) mountain biking during the daytime which left camp empty during the majority of the day.

* Trip #2: Waterloo-Pinckney Recreational Area - Pinkney, Michigan USA - June 7-9, 2019. Temperature ranged from 57 to 80 F (14 to 27 C). There was no rainfall. Terrain was mostly dirt with gentle rolling hills. My backpack was 25.6 lbs. (11.6 kg) and I hiked 15 miles (24 km) in 3 days.

* Trip #3: Cole Canoe Base - Alger, Michigan USA - June 22-23, 2019. Temperatures ranged from 52 to 75F (11 to 24 C). The ground is mostly dirt and camp is very flat with few hills. There is significant tree and brush coverage. I did base camping here only for the night.

* Trip #3: Manistee Trail Loop - Mesick, Michigan USA - July 17-19 2019. Temperature ranged from 70 to 95 F (21 to 35 C). There was 0.35 inches (0.9 cm) of rainfall during a brief thunderstorm one night. Terrain was dirt and sand with minor elevation changes. My backpack was 28 lbs. (12.7 kg) and I hiked 25 miles (40 km) in 3 days.


For all of these trips, I decided instead of using just one or two Smellyproof bags, to fully embrace them and use ten to 12 of them. I broke my bag usage down in the following way:
* Extra-Small Size (2):
..........Spice Kit: held different mini-shot versions of spices by using cut sections of straws with one end heat-sealed and the other folded over. This kit did not have just salt and pepper but stronger spices like oregano, chili powder, rosemary and thyme.
..........Cooking Mixes: actual pre-made mixes such as chili and gravy packets that I used when cooking dinner.
* Small Size (4):
..........Toiletries: travel sized toothbrush and toothpaste as well as evening medicine
..........Lotions: bug spray, hand sanitizer, sunscreen and soap which I did not want to have make a mess throughout my pack if they accidentally spilled.
..........Drink Enhancers: powdered mixes that I added to drink bottles throughout trips
..........First Aid Kit: just the basics, including moleskin, Band-Aids, alcohol swabs, etc.
* Medium (0): None used
* Large (2): Used for storing a cracker, cheese, salami lunch. A second one used to hold breakfast foods.
* Large-Stand-Up (2): Dinners were stored with intention of rehydrating food in them or cooking food and putting it in the bag to eat and later store trash.
* Extra-Large (1): snacks for duration of trip.
* Extra-Large Heavy Duty (0): None used
Bag Usage


After even just the first trip, I have already adopted to using several of the bags as best practice for myself.

The extra-small and small sizes I found ideal to hold items that have noted smells but I wanted to keep contained such as my spice kit and first aid kit. The size also was perfect to limit the amount of space I used and not over-pack. During the daytime, I could easily place my hands on the lotions and drink enhancers without making a mess while the toiletries was ideal to just toss in my hammock as I was setting up at night. When it was time for bed, I did not have to fumble around looking for the individual pieces.

I found the larger sizes great for organizing and holding meals or types of foods. I had a single bag just containing breakfast foods, another just for snacks and even used separate ones for dinners. When it was time for food, I just needed to grab the one bag.

When one of the larger bags was empty, I turned it into a trash bag to contain all of my garbage. This made the pack-out experience much less messy. I tried smelling the various bags that were packed up with garbage but never was able to detect odors. Of course, my own nose is not that sensitive. While I wasn't backpacking on the mountain biking campout, I took a small bag and loaded it with excess food garbage from our camping trip and then rinsed the outside of the bag with clean water. I tossed the bag in the weeds near my hammock site over the weekend to see what happened. On Sunday morning, I finally found something that was interested in the bag.
Bag in the Weeds

Found a Friend

From a cooking standpoint, I used the large stand-up bags several times for cooking. In one case, I cooked food separately in a small pot but as portions were completed, I put them into the stand-up bag until the full meal was ready. Then I ate out of the bag. For the other meal, I poured boiling water in the bag, sealed the bag and put it in an insulated cozy to rehydrate for 20 minutes.
Thanksgiving on the Trail

Actually, I should correct that. I used the same bag for dinners on both of the backpacking trips. After returning home from the first adventure, I stored the messy bag within dog-reach. The dog was a good boy and ignored it. My wife did not and after a week, I relented and went to empty the bag. The first step was to open it up - wow, was the smell powerful and nearly knocked me off my feet. If I remember correctly, one of my kids even asked what suddenly died. I finally dumped all the trash out in the garbage can outside, then came back in (among household complaints) and cleaned the bag using soap and hot water. All the food garbage came off very easily from the plastic and the bag was incredibly easy to clean. I then hung it upside-down to dry. The next day, I reloaded it with a different meal for the next trip.
Bag Turned into Trashbag

Bags Drying over Sink

On the second backpacking trip, I made a much stronger (scent-wise) meal of Chili. The bag worked great for rehydrating the food and had no signs of degradation after pouring boiling water in it. After the meal, I turned it into a garbage bag again for the remainder of the trip. When I arrived at home, I could not smell Chili on the outside but once I opened the bag, the odor was very strong. In spite of using soap, water and later even some vinegar, I have not been able to remove the faint scent of Chili from the inside of the bag. The bag also has a permanent orange tint to it as well.

While several of the bags were drying in the kitchen, I left my bear-bag kit on my desk. The bag was open and at one time, I had kept trail mix in there in normal Ziploc bags. Apparently, the dog thought there still might be food in there and snuck up on my desk, took down my bear bag, went snorting around inside and scattered everything around the room. Thankfully, he ignored everything that came in a Smellyproof bag. I especially found it shocking that he would pay no attention to the spice kit as in the past, he has shown no concern about eating an entire box of donuts, a whole bag of bread and even a pair of eye glasses whose only crime was to be worn while eating barbeque food. I even found my stove and fuel canister in another room.

The only issue I had with the Smellyproof bags was the seam sealing option. I did try to use the family vacuum food sealer on one of the large stand-up bags to hold a dinner. The sealer would not activate unless the bag was inserted deep enough but this put it sealing right across the zip-lock feature which permanently wreck this feature. I considered how I prefer sealing the bags up after use so I tossed that bag, put everything in a new bag and just used the zip-lock feature to contain my food.


I found the bags to be stronger than normal zip-lock bags. I found them also stiffer and more puncture resistant than even the freezer-sized bags I used in the past. The stand-up bag also retained its robustness after having boiled water poured into it and on multiple trips in between cleaning.


Ultimately, I was very pleased with how the Smellyproof storage bags worked for me. The variety of sizes, durability and their odor resistance. I also greatly enjoyed how easily they cleaned up after use. I will definitely be using these in the future instead of standard zip-lock or freezer-grade zip-lock bags - both for base camping and backpacking.


1. Multiple Sizes - I love all the sizes. While I didn't use the Medium or Extra-Large Heavy Duty, I know I'll find uses for them too when I go on trips with more people and have to upsize things like food, lotions and first-aid kits.
2. Durability - these things are tough and strong. I have not had any concerns about failures and they provide enough stiffness to keep things organized.
3. Odor Resistant - I could not smell anything coming from these bags and my dog even left them alone, which is amazing for a mutt who got up on the counter when we were not looking and ate an entire box of donuts.
4. Labeling - I know this is a strange one but I really like the bold, green 'Smellyproof!" on the outside of the bags. When I see one of these bags laying around, I know it's one of mine and likely important.


1. Seam Sealing - I call this out as a negative because it did not work with my sealer. Ultimately, this is minor, as I prefer to use the zip-lock feature.

This concludes my Long Term Report. Thank you to both and Smellyproof for allowing me to test these storage bags. These were great bags and I really enjoyed this test.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

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