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Reviews > Navigation and Map Gear > Accessories > Sea to Summit TPU Map Case > Test Report by David Wyman

Sea to Summit TPU Map Case
Test Series by David Wyman

Picture from website
(image from website)




Test Phases:

Initial Report - January 3, 2012

Field Report - March 24, 2012

Long Term Report - June 28, 2012



Tester Information

NAME David Wyman
EMAIL wyman(AT)wymanhq(DOT)com
AGE 33
LOCATION Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
GENDER Male
HEIGHT 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT 175 lb (79.40 kg)


While I've been camping for years, I've only been backpacking for a short time. I'm trying to find the right equipment, alternating between tent and hammock. My dog usually comes along on the longer hikes, and my wife and toddler join me on the shorter ones. I tend to carry more gear than I need resulting in a heavier pack, but I'm working on that. When I hike with my dog and/or my wife and son, we take it a bit slower, stopping frequently to enjoy the forest. I rarely hike fast unless I'm trying to make up time.



Initial Report - January 3, 2012

Product Information

Manufacturer Sea to Summit
Website http://www.seatosummit.com/
Product TPU Map Case
Year of manufacture 2011
MSRP N/A
   
Features
(from website)
* Lightweight, high performance design
* Totally welded construction - no stitches
* Individually tested - water and dust proof
* Super strong Ziploc® closure
* Anchor points on corners for versatile attachment
* Detachable neck strap
* Flexible and crease resistant - can be folded to fit in a pocket
* UV resistant for superior long lasting clarity
* Abrasion resistant, high strength, PVC free, TPU material
 
Size Tested: Medium
Weight:  
   Listed: 2.7 oz (78 g)
   Measured: 2.5 oz (71 g)
Dimensions:  
   Listed: 11.1" x 13.07" (28.2 cm x 33.2 cm)
   Measured: 11.5" x 13.75" (29 cm x 35 cm)
 
Additional Sizes: Small, Large
 


Initial Impressions

After opening up the package, this map case initially looked huge! I'm used to keeping my map folded up inside a Ziploc® freezer bag, usually folded in fourths so that it's around 5 inches (13 cm) square. This lets me easily keep it inside a pocket on my cargo pants. The TPU Map Case had a hefty Ziploc® closure along the top and while this looked very rugged, it didn't look like it would hold up to serious folding.

Trying It Out

Sliding in one of my standard maps was easy but the Ziploc® closure was a bit difficult to seal at first. The two sides of the Ziploc® seal didn't initially want to line up and connect. I eventually loosened them up enough to grab and then it sealed up completely. It was definitely water resistant - found out the hard way when my son spilled his glass of milk on the table while I was looking for my tape measure!

On the bottom side, there are two Velcro tabs which let the case be folded in half and held that way. That seems to work well but we'll have to see how it holds up being folded a second time along the closure - hopefully the seal will hold up to being folded in half.




Field Report - March 24, 2012 Trips Taken

February 18 - 21: 4 days, 3 nights in Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania
Temps ranged from 40 F (5 C) during the day to 20 F (-7 C) at night.
  • Day 1 - Henry Mills to a shelter - around 6 miles (10 km).
  • Day 2 - shelter to Triple Forks area - around 5.5 miles (9 km).
  • Day 3 - Triple Forks to just before Heart's Content parking lot - around 7 miles (11.25 km).
  • Day 4 - day hikes around Heart's Content and then driving home.


Thoughts and Impressions

The map case turned out to be a very useful item on my trip. First test was the obvious - how well did it work with my topo map? Very well. Folding the map correctly let me get my entire hike onto the front and back and both sides were easily viewed in the case. The map case is flexible enough to roll up and fit in the side pouch I use for my water bottle.

If that were all I could use this for, it would be enough to keep it on my gear list. But I found a few other excellent uses as well which makes this item a fantastic addition.

Hammock pillow - not sure what made me think of this, but I took the maps out and put them inside my pack. Then I closed the Ziploc® closure almost all the way and blew into the case until it was about half inflated. I finished sealing the enclosure and then stuffed the inflated case inside my extra shirt. It worked very well as a pillow inside my hammock. It deflated a little overnight but not too much and by that point I was fast asleep.

Floormat - one of the few annoying things about using a hammock is having to sit half in and half out of the hammock to keep your feet off the ground while putting shoes on or taking them off. The map case is just big enough to work as a floormat and give me something to stand on while I'm taking care of my shoes.

Placemat - it also works well at giving me a place to rest a utensil while I'm eating or a partially opened food package while I'm cooking.




Long Term Report - June 28, 2012 Trips Taken

May: Two overnight trips in the Laurel Highlands/Ohiopyle area of Pennsylvania. Each trip covered about 6 to 8 miles (9.5 to 13 km) with temps ranging from the mid 40s F to upper 60s F (7 to 20 C)

June: Eight days of hiking in Colorado, including one two-night trip and a single one-night trip, all around Estes Park, Colorado. Did around 40 miles (64 km) overall in temps from 50 F to 85 F (10 to 30 C)

Thoughts and Impressions

The map case continues to a very valuable item. Carrying several maps, one topo plus a few trail maps I printed out, was a breeze. It was also very nice to have them protected - I was able to let my kids hold the maps and "help" figure out where we were and not worry about them ripping or otherwise destroying them.

It also continued to function in some of the unexpected ways, although continued use in that manner is causing the plastic to start showing some wear. Using it as a hammock pillow was a good use at first, but as this has gotten a lot of use, it tends to get a bit dirty and I've stopped using it in that manner. It does still work well as a floormat for my hammock and as a placemat for when I'm eating.

Broken threads
Showing some wear


As I said, it's showing signs of wear, but no more than I'd expect considering the types of uses for which I've used it. I'll likely need to replace it in the next year or so, but it's been so valuable that I don't think I'll mind that at all.




Summary

Likes:
  • Holds maps in an easily viewable and storable manner
  • Multi-functional - this is absolutely awesome!
Dislikes:
  • None so far


Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Sea to Summit for this opportunity.



Read more reviews of Sea to Summit gear
Read more gear reviews by David Wyman

Reviews > Navigation and Map Gear > Accessories > Sea to Summit TPU Map Case > Test Report by David Wyman



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