SEA TO SUMMIT ULTRA-SIL KITCHEN SINK
BY NANCY GRIFFITH
June 10, 2019
Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
126 lb (57.20 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with a co-ed scout group which made a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since college in Pennsylvania. I have hiked 1/4 of the Appalachian Trail and 2/3 of the Pacific Crest Trail. My typical trip is in the Sierra Nevada from a few days to a few weeks long. My base weight is lightweight at 15 lb (6.8 kg) while still using a tent, stove and quilt. Longer mileage summer trips are now stoveless.
Manufacturer: Sea to Summit
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.seatosummitusa.com
MSRP: $32.95 US
Listed Weight: 1.7 oz (49 g)
Measured Weight: 1.5 oz (42.5 g) plus 0.2 oz (6 g) for pouch
Capacity: 2.6 gal (10 L)
Pack size: 4.75 in x 0.75 in (12 x 2 cm)
The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Kitchen Sink is a lightweight portable camp sink. The main body of the sink is Ultra-Sil fabric which is a 30D siliconized nylon fabric. All of the seams are fully taped and sealed. The carry handles are made of a durable material called Hypalon. Hypalon is a DuPont trademark for chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE) synthetic rubber (CSM) noted for its resistance to chemicals, temperature extremes, and ultraviolet light. There is a stainless-steel cable stiffener ring sewn inside the upper rim to provide stability. A very small stuff sack which has a hanging strap is also included.
The only instruction to be noted is that bleach (even in mild concentrations) will damage the polyurethane coating and nylon fabric and should not be used.
I purchased my Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Kitchen Sink back in 2013 and fell in love with it. Our friends had the original (not ultra-sil) version which they liked to flaunt on our trips together. So, we decided to get our own and chose the lighter weight version in preparation for our hike of the John Muir Trail. We have used it on every summer backpacking trip ever since. In 2018 when we were planning for a 6-week backpacking trip, we thought about buying a new sink since the old one was slowly leaking. The old one really is fine but with such a big trip, we wanted to make sure that we wouldn't be without our sink. However, in the end, we went with our old sink and it performed just fine. It leaks VERY slowly probably due to wear or damage to the fabric and not a seam leak, but it is impossible to tell exactly where the water is coming through.
I used the sink on one 41-day, one 21-day, three 8-day and multiple shorter backpacking trips for a total of well over a hundred days. We carry it on every trip for collecting and carrying water, but it is the longer trips that see more use due to washing laundry.
Pacific Crest Trail from Etna Summit, California to Cascade Locks, Oregon: 40 nights; 550 mi (886 km); 170 to 7,676 ft (52 to 2,340 m) elevation with most between 5,000 and 6,000 ft (1,524 to 1,829 m); 39 to 95 F (4 to 35 C)
John Muir Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 21 days; 225 mi (362 km); 4,035 ft to 14,496 ft (1,230 to 4,418 m); 35 to 80 F (2 to 27 C)
The three main uses for the sink for us are collecting water, carrying water from water sources to camp and washing clothes and bodies. We fill our gravity filter for drinking but then like to have more water in camp for washing up and doing laundry. Since we do at times use the water for filtering as drinking water, we usually don't ever add soap to the sink or wash directly in the sink. So, in order to do laundry, I use a gallon zip-top plastic bag into which I put my soap and dirty clothing. The sink is used just to pour water. The same thing goes for bathing. We wash up using the sink water which makes it easy to clean up away from any water sources. But we usually don't get soap into the sink. There are times that we've washed using the sink as a wash basin or laundry tub, and it works great like that too.
The sink stands up on its own when full of water which is really convenient. I don't have to find a place to hang it. Rather, I just find a flat space with minimal sharp objects and the sink sits ready to use. After use we usually turn the sink inside-out and hang it from a bush or tree for drying. It dries quickly and is ready to stuff in the outside pocket of a backpack.
The 10 L (2.6 gallon) size seems just perfect for our usage. I have never wished that it could hold more water since that would be heavy to carry very far from camp or to pour neatly.
The sink comes with a small storage pouch but I haven't used it. There is nothing wrong with the pouch. In fact, it could conveniently hang from a backpack but I just find it easier to stuff into a pack pocket.
The durability has been good considering how lightweight the fabric is and how much use it has gotten. The sink lasted for five backpacking seasons and more. The conditions in which we have used it are harsh since the sink is usually sitting on granite or forest duff. There have been many opportunities for something sharp to puncture the fabric but nothing has. In the end, the fabric on the sink has probably just worn through a little bit to allow the smallest leak.
The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Kitchen Sink is a very convenient way to collect and carry water and to clean up bodies and clothing on the trail.
THINGS I LIKE
Easy to pack
Stands up on its own
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
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