Initial Report January 21st 2008
Field Report Due March 2008
Long Term Report Due May 2008
Long Term Report
Name: Andrew Preece
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 188 lb (85 kg)
Bibbulmun Track: Sea level to 585 m (1,920 ft). Within this region I
backpack along old forestry roads, sandy tracks, and purpose built
walking tracks. The south-west of Western Australia allows for hiking
and backpacking from coastal plains to forested ranges. I hike in
varying conditions from forestry tracks, to sandy tracks to single
purpose walking trails, from rock hopping, to beach walking to
completely off-track through open and dense bush country.
I have done a lot of hiking over the years but only now carry a tent and
all the gear for over night stays of one to two nights. I normally carry
approximately 35 lb (16 kg) which includes food and water. My trips are
usually between one to three days duration mainly over weekends. I hike
all seasons with winter temperatures ranging from 39 F (4 C) to 64 F (18
C) including periods of heavy rain at times to summer conditions with
the temperature ranging from 68 F (20 C) to 95 F (35 C) and very dry.
During the expected test period I will be going on twelve overnight
trips and trips ranging from one to two days of backpacking. I will be
camping out between eight nights and 20 days between January 2008 and
April 2008. Each over night hike of two nights duration would
involve approximately 21 mi (35 km) and the day trips would be 7 to 9 mi
(12 to 15
It is now well into our summer but we are still experiencing some
unseasonably cool nights and mornings with a low of 50 F (10 C) and
a high of 88 F (31 C) in another few months it will be winter and the
cold will set in. Daytime temperatures will range during the testing
period, from a minimum of 57 F (14 C) to 79 F (26 C) during April, to 46 F
(8 C) to 64 F (18 C) in July 2008. The average rainfall for this time
of year is, 1 3/4 in (44 mm) in April to 6 in (175 mm) in July.
January 21st 2008
The DryComp Summit Sack (Summit sack) is a summit sack and compression sack all in one.
Designed as a waterproof storage sack for sleeping bags and clothing. It
converts to an ultra light, 31 qt (30L) summit sack.
Combine this with the following features as quoted on the Outdoor
Research web site.
* Hydroseal coated Antron nylon is waterproof and durable
* Waterproof taped seams
* Roll-top waterproof closure
* Durable buckle secures roll top
* Ergonomic design fits flat against back
* Four compression straps convert to shoulder straps and hip belt
* Foam-padded straps wrap over shoulder
* Dual daisy chains with ice axe loops
* Two side mesh pockets with one-hand pull elastic draw cords
looks to be another great product from Outdoor Research.
I will attempt with my testing to find out just
how good this sack is.
|The Summit sack that I am testing comes in one size only.
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Year of Manufacture: 2007
MSRP: US $59.00
||Outdoor Research Measurements.
||24 in x 11 in x 9 in (61 cm x 28 cm x 23 cm)
||21.5 in x 16 in (55 cm x 40 cm)
||1885 cu in (30 L)
||12.2 oz (346 g)
|| 13.30 oz (377 g)
|The Pack arrived well packaged and looked as I expected from my research
at the Outdoor Research web site.
My measurements were taken with the sack lying flat on the floor. I
measured from the top seam to the bottom seam, where the straps attach
to the sack. Above the top seam is 9 in (28 cm) of roll top, which will
roll down to the top seam.
There are four compression straps on this sack, one at each corner. The
two back straps double as shoulder straps while the two front straps
double as waist straps. When laid out the waist strap measures about 60
in (152 cm) in length and fits easily around my 40 in (102 cm) waist.
Each of these straps can be pulled down tight to compress the sack. The
two rear straps lock well with the buckles at the ends of the straps.
There are two side mesh pockets with adjustable draw cord closures.
Each draw cord has a plastic lock on it to prevent the cord from
becoming loose. To tighten I pressed the plastic button down, pulled the
cord tight and released the lock. On the front of the sack on each side
is a daisy chain to which I could attach items if I choose. At the end
of each chain is an ice axe loop.
The back of the sack showing the shoulder straps.
|The summit sack is very easy to use and just a matter of
pushing clothes down through the opening and then rolling the lid down
and clipping the buckles closed. I rolled the lid down three times
before closing the buckles and then found the instructions said the very
The instructions come on a swing tag that explains just how to use the
sack plus details about the construction of the sack and it's features.
To use the sack is very easy, I just filled it with what ever items of
clothing I liked then I laid the sack down and kneeled on it to compress
the contents. I rolled the top over three times and locked it shut,
then I tightened the straps all around. This was not exactly
following the directions but worked very well for me.
Also in this photo is one of the two side pockets.
Side view of the sack showing one front strap and one shoulder strap, when
|The external roll-top waterproof closure is an easy to use system that should be
In this photo I show the lid rolled down and two of the four compression straps pulled down quite tight.
The main body is made from Hydroseal coated Antron nylon and it too should be waterproof and durable.
I hope that with time and compression the padded shoulder straps do not
become worn out and not supportive.
The sack looks very well made as I expected, and I am looking
forward to using it and testing and reporting on my findings.
Rear view of the sack showing the shoulder straps, when compressed.
will be testing how well my items fit and how compressed I can get them.
I will then stuff the sack into my pack and once in camp I will set the
sack up as a pack and hike off track to test for durability and comfort.
The sack has waterproof taped seams, so I will be testing how well the
seams seal, how well the tape stays attached to the seam. Will rolling
and unrolling cause the tape to separate from the seam?
The external daisy chain looks like it would be suitable for attaching
the sack to my pack, or attaching other items to the sack. How robust
are they? will they hold up to having a few items hanging from them?
||4. The external
roll-top waterproof closure, how well does this fabric seal? Does it
need to be rolled down a long way to create the seal? Will the Antron
nylon used in manufacture cope well with months of rolling up and down?
The web site states that a durable buckle secures the roll top. Are they
strong? Will they take lots of clipping together? I also wonder if our
strong sun here in summer would affect the plastic in the buckles.
The sacks have four compression straps on the sides, are they easy to
use? Could I quickly pack up my gear inside with cold wet fingers?
|7. I will be
setting this sack up outside full of clothes, then thoroughly soaking
the whole thing to see just how waterproof the sack is.
Back to top
March 10th 2008
|I have now been using this sack for
a few months and as a part of my test process I wanted to start out
testing how water proof the sack is.
As it is now summer with no chance of rain I hung the pack outside on a
small fence I have and turned on the sprinklers. I have my sprinklers
set to turn off after twenty minutes, so after that time I went out and brought
the thoroughly wet sack inside.
I unrolled the roll top lid and other than a little water just inside
the first roll or so the remainder of the inside of the sack was dry, as
was all of my clothing that I had placed inside. I had packed into the sack
the same items I would take on an over night trip which is. Thermal top
and bottom, long pants, T shirt, fleece top, socks, woollen hat and
So after the first test I am very happy with how dry the sack keeps my
|Side view of the sack with a 42.27 fl oz (1.25 L)
bottle in the pocket.
|I found that the sack does a good
job of compressing my gear, keeping in mind that my clothing would
probably not compress a lot anyway. But I have found that if I do not
compress it too much it will fit into the bottom of my pack better then
if I really pull down hard on the straps.
I feel this sack is too bulky for me to keep using as a dry sack after
the test period because it takes up too much room in my pack.
If I had a larger pack this may not be a problem as the weight of it is
fairly light for what it is at 12.2 oz. (346 g). My pack is 3967 cu in
The side pockets are very large and fit everything that I need to place
in them. I find that if I remove a drink bottle while walking I cannot
replace it unless I remove the sack.
|Side view of the pocket, note the black elastic cord
and the small keeper that keeps the plastic cord lock in place.
|I have used the daisy chains on the
outside of the sack to clip my camera and compass to, I even clipped my
hiking poles to the outside and I have had no trouble whatsoever ever with
the daisy chain setup.
The clips and buckles on the sack work very well and have given me no
trouble at all, and I don't think that they will.
All of the stitching is very good and the whole sack looks and feels
|The daisy chain and loops.
is sealed with tape. The tape seems to hold very well and so far all of
the rolling and folding of the roll top lid has not affected the tape at
This photo shows the seam just inside the lid but the seams are the same
all the way around.
|This photo shows the tape used in sealing all of the
|The roll top of the
sack. The instructions tell me to roll the top down three times and then
buckle but I find I can roll it down five times. The photo here of the
lid shows it rolled five times. This does not take anything away from
the volume of the sack and can only make it harder for water to creep
inside the sack.
I am very surprised at the size of the sack, the Outdoor Research web
site states that it is 1885 cu. in (30.9 L) in size but it looks a lot
larger than that and seems to swallow all of my clothing easily.
||The roll top of the sack.
of the sack has two straps which undo at the buckles and then are taken
around to the front of your body and convert to a hip belt. The strap is
more than long enough to fit around my 35 in (90 cm) waist. I find the
belt does not really hold the sack tight to my body as does my main back
pack but just stops the sack from moving around side to side while
I have found that while walking with this sack in warm weather that my
back gets covered in sweat where the sack rests on my back. So much so
that my shirt becomes soaked and the outside of the sack is also soaked.
None of this dampness gets to the inside at all, and all of my gear
|The front strap undone to show where it attaches.
photo the hip belt can be seen ready for use. The two straps unclip from
the buckles at the front then wrap around to the rear of the sack and
around my waist. The straps are adjustable and can be tightened around
my waist once clipped together.
Field Report Summary
I have now been using the sack for about three
months. During this time I have been on three overnight trips with it in
the hills around Perth. I have hiked along the Bibbulmun track and
stayed near the huts that are along the track.
I have also hiked along some of the lesser known tracks near Mundaring
and spent a lot of time off track and just exploring. During these trips
I have used it as a compression sack in my main pack and used it as a
day pack for side trips during these times.
I have also used the sack on two occasions where I have used it as a day
pack while walking for a couple of hours around the Canning river here
So far into this test series I
have found that I like just how waterproof the sack is and how it
compresses quite well, but I dislike how hot the sack is on my back when
worn as a pack and that the shoulder straps slip of the padding at the
arm pit area. This I will cover more in my long term report.
|This photo shows the front straps ready as a hip
Back to top
Long term Report
May 17th 2008
I have used the sack
on three day hikes and on six over night trips during this time with
many other trips out walking with my family.
I have now been using this sack for about four months and during this
time I have used it for everything including, walking to the local shop
to get the paper with my wife and daughter.
Walking along the river on a morning walk carrying a few snacks, some
warmer clothing and bottles of water.
Day hiking up in the hills near Perth with dry clothes, wet weather
gear, breakfast, lunch and the gear needed to cook my meals.
Overnight hiking trips along the Bibbulmun track where the sack has been
used as a dry/compression sack in my main pack. On these occasions I
would hike up to the campsite one day, camp over night then hike back
out in the morning.
Here is one of the camp sites I stopped at for
breakfast while out day hiking.
|I have found the sack to be very
good at keeping my gear dry. Besides a couple of times where it has
rained while I was out walking, I conducted a test by leaving the sack
outside under my sprinklers for twenty minutes at a time
and I have had no trouble or worries keeping my
The sack itself looks as new and I am very happy with the quality of the
construction and the materials used.
The buckles all work as they should and all work as new.
The strapping shows no sign of wear at all.
The roll top closure shows no sign of fatigue or becoming sloppy and not
The side pockets show no sign of stretch nor does the bungee used to close
the tops of the pockets. Some of the time I spent off trail was through
scratchy bush with branches to snag the sack, the mesh on the pockets show no sign of tears
or snags because of where I have hiked off trail.
The bottom of the sack is not worn or marked where I have sat the sack
down on the ground or on picnic tables, although I am very careful with
my gear and do take care of all of the gear I use.
The shoulder pads are a little wrinkled now with use but not enough to
cause me any worry. It is just caused by being worn over my shoulder and
to some extent when compressed as I show in a photo
The inside seam tape has not failed or started to come away from the
seam at all and the inside material used in sealing the whole pack is as
Here I am wearing the sack as a day pack. Some of the
gear I carried, cooking gear, food, camera is on the table where I
rested the camera for this photo.
|The only thing that really bugs me
about this pack is the lack of a sternum
strap, I have lost count of how many times I have had to try to reset
the pad position under the strap so as not to cut into my arm pits. At
some points the pad will almost turn it self over after walking for a
I will have to try and buy a
sternum strap to add to the sack to try and stop this from happening.
I have found that on warmer days I will sweat a lot on my back where the
sack rests on my back when used as a day pack. I guess this would have
to be expected though. Because the sack seals all moisture out it is not
breathable at all and trying to blow air through it proves just that.
This is not what I consider to be a big problem and it would not put me
off using the sack again.
Below is a view of the shoulder pad trouble.
|I have found that with my style of
backpacking with a 3900 cu in (65 L) pack and attempting to cut my gear
weight down as much as possible the sack is a little too bulky to fit
well into my pack. If I had a larger pack then this would not be and
issue and at 13.30 oz (377 g) I don't think it is too heavy when I
consider the uses of the sack.
I will be
looking at finding a sternum strap as I want to keep using the sack as a
day pack and I will be trying to cut my gear list down so that I can use
this sack for overnight trips as well.
But unless I can get this strap I would not be happy with the shoulder
pads and would have to use the sack just to walk to the shops and that
sort of thing.
*Large side pockets.
*Daisy chain on front.
Back to top
thanks to Outdoor Research for another
quality product and BackpackGearTest for the opportunity to participate
in this test.