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Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Sinks > Sea to Summit The Kitchen Sink > Owner Review by Ray Estrella

Sea to Summit Kitchen Sink
By Raymond Estrella
August 05, 2008


NAME: Raymond Estrella
EMAIL: rayestrellaAThotmailDOTcom
AGE: 47
LOCATION: Orange County, California, USA
HEIGHT: 6' 3" (1.91 m)
WEIGHT: 200 lb (90.70 kg)

I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my wife Jenn or brother-in-law Dave.

The Product

My sink runneth over, not!

Manufacturer: Sea to Summit USA
Web site:
Product: The Kitchen Sink
Year manufactured: 2004
Weight listed: 4.4 oz (125 g)
Actual weight: 4.5 oz (128 g)
Capacity listed: 2.6 gallons (10 liters)
Also available in 1.3 gallons (5 liters) and 5.2 gallons (20 liters)
Height measured: 6 in (152 mm)
Diameter of rim measured: 12 in (305 mm)
Stuffed size: 4 x 4 x 2 in (102 x 102 x 51 mm)

Product Description

Sea to Summit's The Kitchen Sink (hereafter called the sink) is a lightweight portable sink aimed at backpackers and campers.

It has an interesting design (the manufacturer claims it is unique) in that it has a stainless steel stiffening ring that prevents the sink from collapsing when full of water. The steel ring is sewn into the top of a 1.6 in (41 mm) reinforced black rim.

The body of the sink seems to be made of nylon with a urethane coating on the inside as it has that plastic-like feel to it. All of the seams are fully taped to keep it from leaking. As can be seen in the pictures the base is broader than the rim to keep it from tipping over.

The sink has two wide handles made of 1 in (2.5 cm) nylon webbing. They are plenty big enough for my large hands.
It comes with a 0.6 oz (17 g) storage sack that is made of nylon on the back and sides with a mesh front to allow the sink to dry somewhat. It closes with a drawstring and cord-lock. The thing I find funny is that it has a belt loop on the back of the sack. No, I have never worn my sink on my belt.

It did not come with directions how to get the sink back into the little sack. The sink fits into the storage sack by twisting the wire rim 180 degrees to create two circles of wire, one in each hand. Next fold it so the two circles are together. Do it again to end up with four loops of wire on top of each other. Now push it into the sack.

Field Data

The Kitchen Sink has been used in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Sequoia - Kings Canyon National Park, Mt San Jacinto State Park, and the San Gorgonio Wilderness to name a few. It has been used in temps from freezing to over 100 F (38 F) at campsites from sea level to over 10000 ft (3050 m) elevation.


I originally bought the Kitchen Sink in 2004 to use mainly as a water collection container as I have gotten tired of trying to hold my filter's input end out of the dirt, or moss, or pond scum. Or trying to hold it in place in running water while also holding my container and pumping the filter. But I soon used it as a sink also.

It allows me to wash dishes away from the water sources so as to keep food from getting in the water. They say it messes with the pH balance. I think they just don't want the trout to become used to eating left over morsels of Sierra Chicken and becoming a nuisance and swarming our campsites marauding for food. (Oh great now Trout Canisters are required…)

But a great thing that I discovered is that since I start very early each day on my hikes I can get into camp while the sun is still up for a good while. After filtering what I need to drink, I will fill the sink back up and let it sit on a sunny rock. By the time the sun is going down the water has warmed up quite a bit allowing me to take a very nice sponge bath. Here is a picture of it in bath mode.

getting ready for bath time

The only thing that I did not care for was the fact that the sink must be carried from the water source with two hands. Many times getting water involves a climb down to a creek or river in conditions that call for at least one hand to negotiate. I had some tricky trips to camp a few times.

But alas, in my pursuit of lower weight and smaller volume I switched over to a smaller collapsible bucket (see review) that had a single handle and have let the Kitchen Sink languish in the gear room. It sat next to the 2-liter pots and my spoon collection watching as all the little gear went on the trips with me.

Then in July of 2007 I started backpacking with the woman that would become my wife. When Jenn heard about the sink she asked me to bring it on a three-day hike in Grand Teton NP and fell in love with it. Nice easy warm baths every afternoon. It now goes on every trip that we take together and even on most camping trips as she likes the way that the water will warm up while sitting on a dark picnic table. So everybody is happy. The sink gets to go on trips again, Jenn gets her baths and I get a clean woman to snuggle up to in the tent. Yippee! (I now get the cold bath at the river, oh well.)

I just got back from a trip with my kids that the sink was a life-saver. I knew we were going to be next to the lake as all backpacking sites are permited for a set location to camp. What I did not know was that the lake was very muddy and weedy. By wading out to deeper water a few times with my bucket I filled the sink which the kids used to clean up with. They love the way the water does not spill out which they noticed right after I filled it up. They kept poking the sides. (Then they got bored and went to play in the muddy, weedy lake..)

go ahead, poke it

I have noticed (well Jenn did actually) that the sink has a few leaks now. They are not bad, just very slow seeps. I may try sealing the seams with tent sealer to see if it will stop them. Otherwise it has held up well. The wire rim has never become kinked from all the twisting to stuff it. The handles are still very secure and the nylon has not faded from the sun.

We really like the sink and expect to be taking it on many trips to come.

This report was created with the Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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