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Reviews > Health & Safety > Accessories > Traveling Light TPU Zip Top Pouch > Test Report by Lori Pontious

Sea to Summit Clear ZipTop Pouch
Test Series by Lori Pontious

INITIAL REPORT - January 2, 2012
FIELD REPORT - March 20, 2012
LONG TERM REPORT - May 28, 2012

Tester Information

NAME: Lori Pontious
EMAIL: lori.pontious (at)
AGE: 45
LOCATION: Fresno County, California, USA
HEIGHT: 5'7" (1.7 m)
WEIGHT: 165 lb (75 kg)

I backpacked, camped and fished all over the lower 48 states with my family as a kid, and then life happened. I restarted these activities about four years ago - I dayhike or backpack 2-6 times a month. I am between light and ultralight. I have a hammock system and own a Tarptent. My base weight depends upon season and where I go.

Product information

Manufacturer: Sea to Summit
Manufacturer URL:
Listed Weight, Pouch: 1 oz (28 g)
Actual Weight, Pouch: 0.9 oz (26 g)
Actual Weight, Bottles: 3.1 oz (88 g)
Listed Size: 8 x 4.5 x 1.5 in (200 x 110 x 45 mm)
Actual Size (measured): 8 x 5 x 1.5 in (200 x 127 x 45 mm) - this may vary depending on how the pouch is loaded; my measurements were done from seam to seam

Product Description

The Clear ZipTop Pouch (aka the pouch) is a zip top pouch designed to hold the set of small bottles - three 1.5 fl oz (40 ml) and three 3 fl oz (89 ml) - while traveling. There is enough space inside for additional small items, perhaps a toothbrush and other toiletries. The pouch is made of clear UV stabilized Thermoplastic Polyurethane, with welded seams all around. There are two grab handles/attachment loops, one on each end of the zipper. The zipper is described as leak resistant. The pouch itself is listed as having 1 quart (950 ml) capacity. Each bottle has an insert that fits into the neck which results in contents needing to be forced through the small hole under pressure.


The pouch having a leak resistant zipper and leak proof bottles indicates that this is intended to keep liquids inside the pouch, away from the contents of your luggage or your backpack. I can find no flaws, upon completing my initial inspection of the pouch.

Initial Report

I removed the pouch and bottles from the packaging and immediately set about sink-testing the bottles. Filling all of them with water, I inverted each and set all the bottles cap down on the edge of the sink. After a while, I returned and noted no leakage. Next, I picked up a bottle and squeezed to simulate being smashed in a tightly-packed backpack. Water ran out through the threads of the cap. I duplicated the test with the insert provided in place, and found that the insert and cap together keep the bottle from leaking under pressure.

I then put some water in the pouch and closed the zipper. Turning the pouch upside down produced no leak. Adding a little pressure to the air in the bag resulted in a row of droplets, and holding the pouch by one corner with the zipper pull at the lowest point with no pressure at all resulted in a stream of water running out around the zipper pull. Perhaps not a predictor of what will happen in actual use, but it did provide me with a sense of how leak resistant it might be.


Field Conditions

Point Reyes National Seashore, California, USA, January 13 - 15. Temperature Range: 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C)

Dewey Point, Yosemite National Park, California, USA, February 4 - 5. Temperature Range: 15 to 55 F (-9 to 13 C)

Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, California, USA January 29. Temperature Range: 45 to 55 F (7 to 13 C)

Henry Coe State Park, California, USA, March 3 - 4. Temperature Range: 38 to 60 F (3 to 16 C)

Field Report

I brought the pouch along for three backpacking trips and one snowshoe day trip. As you can see, I've taken pouch and bottles for some cold trips.

I've used the bottles to pack coffee creamer, olive oil, and almond milk for my cereal. I've also used the pouch to carry other items - packets of sugar, cocoa, tea bags, instant coffee, a spare lighter and my eating utensil.

Despite freezing temperatures the pouch remains pliable. The zipper still works without seizing up. I've taken no particular care with it, mashing the pouch and contents into my food bag and then into my pack. I can see no obvious wear on it at this time.

The bottles have not leaked. Once the insert is in place it is difficult to remove, and doing so to clean the bottle out after each trip has proven quite a challenge; I had to use the tine of a fork to pry each one out of the neck of the bottle, and one of the inserts tore slightly after such treatment. Using the bottles in the field is no trouble at all - point and squirt. There are no measurement lines on the bottles so if I care about precise measuring I need to bring a measuring device separate from the bottles.


Field Conditions

Henry Coe State Park, Morgan Hill, California, USA, March 30 - April 1. Temperature Range: 40 - 60 F (4 - 15 C)

Pinnacles National Monument, Paicines, California, USA, April 27 - 28. Temperature Range: 45 - 75 F (7 - 24 C)

Laurel Lake, Yosemite National Park, California, USA, May 5 - 6. Temperature Range: 45 - 80 F (7 - 27 C)

Kibbie and Eleanor Lakes, Yosemite National Park, California, USA, May 26 - 28. Temperature Range: 30 - 52 F (-1 - 11 C)

Long Term Report

Over the past two months I have used the pouch to carry my beverages (tea bags, hot cocoa packets, lemonade powder, etc), lighter, spork or spoon, and other small items that I did not want to get lost in my pack or bear canister.

I've moved away from using the included bottles, as the inserts have been difficult to remove and I've managed to tear two more of them. They have also proven difficult to clean out if I try to pack something that's a little thick or sticky.

The pouch has been jammed into small places in my bear canister repeatedly. The plastic is still clear and pliable, and the zipper still works smoothly. The pouch makes a convenient organizational tool. It's nice to have something clear - makes it easy to see what I've got left to barter for a packet of instant coffee, should I run short.


Likes: I still like the light weight of the pouch and bottles. I'm impressed by the durability of the pouch. The bottles with inserts haven't leaked and dispense contents easily.

Dislikes: I find the inserts are difficult to remove without tearing the plastic. I wish the bottles were more leak-proof without the inserts in place so I could fill them with contents that won't fit through the small hole. The bottles have been so difficult to clean and maintain without damaging the inserts that I have started to use other containers with the pouch.

My thanks to Sea to Summit and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to review the Clear ZipTop Pouch. This concludes my review.

Read more reviews of Sea to Summit gear
Read more gear reviews by Lori Pontious

Reviews > Health & Safety > Accessories > Traveling Light TPU Zip Top Pouch > Test Report by Lori Pontious

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