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Reviews > Navigation and Map Gear > Accessories > Sea to Summit TPU Map Case > Test Report by Derek Hansen

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Photo courtesy seatosummit.com

Sea to Summit — TPU Guide Map Case

Test Series by Derek Hansen

TESTER INFORMATION

Me
NameDerek Hansen
Age36
GenderMale
Height5' 10" (1.78 m)
Weight165 lb (75 kg)
Email Address City
City, State, CountryFlagstaff, Arizona, USA

BACKPACKING BACKGROUND

I am a lightweight backpacker with a typical weekend pack weight of 15 lb (7 kg) and a multi-day weight of 20 lb (9 kg), which includes food and water. Because I pack less than 20 lb (9 kg), I prefer lightweight trail-running shoes. I prefer backpacking with a hammock as part of my sleep system.


PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer Sea to Summit
Year of Manufacture 2011, made in China
Manufacturer’s Website seatosummit.com
MSRP N/A
Listed Features
  • 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
Manufacturer Recommendations

N/A

Measurements
Specifications What They Say What I Say
Weight (Medium) 2.7 oz (78 g) 2.5 oz (71 g)
Dimensions (Medium) 11.1 x 13.07 in (282 x 332 mm) 11.375 x 13.75 in (289 x 349.25 mm)
Colors Black, clear plastic
Sizes Small, Medium, Large
Warranty Lifetime guarantee on all products against manufacturing and material defects. This warranty does not cover wear and tear.


INITIAL REPORT

2 Jan 2012

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Sea to Summit Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) map case is a large, flexible plastic waterproof case, designed for protecting a map, and other flat or less bulky items.

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The top and bottom of the case is reinforced with a stronger nylon type material. The opening uses a Ziploc fastener. On each corner on the reinforced areas there is a single hole punched for an accessory clip (e.g., carabiner) or strap to be attached (a total of four holes). A detachable neck strap was also included.

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On the bottom edge, there are two tabs of hook-and-loop fastener, and corresponding tabs are on the top edge. When the case is folded in half, the top and bottom edges hold together.

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INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

I am testing the medium-sized map case. I took a regular USGS topographic and trimmed off the excess border and folded it down to fit. To get the maximum visible area, I had to fold the map down to a 11 x 10.5 in (28 x 27 cm) size to fit inside.

I think this case is great so far. I love the size because I can get a sizable section of the map and several miles of trail in the viewing area without too much trouble. The fact that this case can fold down and stay folded with the hook-and-loop fasteners is a plus because it means I can fit the case more easily while packing and hiking and still get a large view.

The Ziploc top seals easily and feels very durable. I don't have much use for the lanyard because I don't like hanging things from my neck and the extra cord just gets in the way. It isn't difficult to attach the cord, but I removed it after I tried it on.

INITIAL SUMMARY

PRO—Easy to open and close. Large, clear plastic with no printing to obscure contents.

CON—None so far.

FIELD REPORT

20 Mar 2012

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

During this field report period, I've taken the pouch on two overnight backpacking trips and three day hikes.

Jan 27-28: Fossil Springs Wilderness, near Strawberry, Arizona. With a poor winter season (e.g., very little snow), my scout troop decided to tackle Fossil Springs, where numerous underground springs gush thousands of gallons of water at a balmy 70+°F (21+°C) year-round. We backpacked 8.5 mi (14 km) and swam in the river pools. Overnight it was in the 30s°F (-1°C) and during the day it was in the upper 50s°F (10°C). The elevation change was 3,000 ft (914 m) (i.e., 1,500 ft/457 m down and back up).

Feb 24-25: O'Leary Peak, near Flagstaff, Arizona. Here we dropped off the scouts for a hike-in to base camp and then spent the next day hiking and exploring the ancient Sinagua ruins around the area. It was unexpectedly cold, with the overnight temperature a brisk 18°F (-8°C). The winds cooled off the 50°F (10°C) daytime temperatures.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The map case has quickly grown to be a favorite of mine on my trips. This is something I wish I had on my recent 50-mile trip with my Boy Scout troop. The case has worked wonderfully and I am very pleased.

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Stopping to check the map.

I typically print custom maps that I piece together from various sources. A letter-sized paper fits nicely. For larger maps, including 7.5 minute USGS Topo maps, I cut off the white space, and then fold down to fit in the case. I try to fold the map so that I can see the portion of the trail through the plastic so I don't have to fiddle with the case or map while I'm hiking for the day.

During my backpacking trip with the scouts to Fossil Springs, I would have the scouts pull out the map case to check our location during short breaks along the trail. It was so convenient to have the map folded -- it fits great in side pockets in my backpack.

The case has held up well to being folded and crinkled. For the most part, the case stays in the fold-over position when fastened to its own hook-and-loop tabs.

The only trouble I've had has been user error when I try to open the map case and I get stuck either pulling apart the hook-and-loop instead of popping open the zip-top enclosure.

Water and snow have not penetrated the case during drops in the snow while packing or unpacking my gear. Hopefully using this case doesn't make me careless in the future!

The case has maintained a very pristine look with no discoloration, warping, or cracking.

FIELD USE SUMMARY

I'm very pleased with this map case. I've already grown attached to it and am looking forward to getting more use out of it during the long-term phase of this report.

Please check back at that time for my final report.


LONG TERM REPORT

22 May 2012

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I have been able to go on four more day hikes and three additional backpacking trips during this test phase.

Apr 6-7: Fisher Point, near Flagstaff, Arizona. My son and I went on a backpacking trip to Fisher Point and had a blast! The overnight temperature was a cool 40°F (4°C) with the high during the day in the high 60s°F (15s°C).

May 5-6: Flagstaff, Arizona. No moisture, just a hot, dry day in Flagstaff. The high temperature was 72°F (22°C) and the overnight low was 45°F (7°C)

May 16-20: Appalachian Trail, near Damascus, Virginia. I had an opportunity to attend Trail Days in Damascus where I backpacked and hammock camped along the Appalachian Trail. On May 17, I endured a storm that dumped 3 in (7.6 cm) of rain in a few hours. The high temperature was around 80°F (27°C), and the low temperature was about 48°F (5°C).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

This case is another item I am looking forward to using in the future. It has such a wide, clear space to see maps and papers.

During my trip to Damascus, the map case got a little sticky when it was folded over itself. It didn't have any problem unraveling, however. When I backpacked up the Appalachian Trail at night, I used the case to also hold my wallet and some odds-and-ends during the night.

The zipper is easy to seal and I haven't had any problem with the hook and loop fasteners either. Because I have such confidence in the case, I use it in an external pocket of my backpack, completely exposed to the elements. I haven't had any problems with moisture or dirt getting inside.

FINAL SUMMARY

This is a great map case: it's versatile and I used it for holding random, bulky items like my wallet.

PRO—Waterproof, durable, and versatile.

CON—None.


I would like to thank Sea to Summit and BackpackGearTest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test this product.



Read more reviews of Sea to Summit gear
Read more gear reviews by Derek Hansen

Reviews > Navigation and Map Gear > Accessories > Sea to Summit TPU Map Case > Test Report by Derek Hansen



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