Initial Report September 21st 2007
Field Report November 26th 2007
Long Term Report Due January 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 1,920 ft (585 m). 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 September 2007 and
January 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.
September 21st 2007
The Hydroseal DryComp AirX Sack (drycomp sack) is a dry sack and compression
sack all in one. As well as being water proof this sack uses a band of
air permeable fabric that allows the air to pass through the band to
allow compression yet keep the contents dry. Combine this with fully
taped seams to keep water out and a roll top lid this sack seems to have
it all, but fabric it? I will attempt with my testing to find out just
how good this sack is.
|My drycomp sack that I will be testing is a size #2
Manufacturer: Outdoor Research
Year of Manufacture: 2007
MSRP: US$ 38.00
||Outdoor Research Measurements.
||30 x 8 in (76 x 20 cm)
||27 x 8 in (70 x 20 cm)
||1021 cu in (16.7 L)
||1021 cu in (16.7 L)
||8.3 oz (234 gm)
||9.14 oz (259 g)
|The sack that I am testing arrived in a cardboard box packed for shipping and inside was the
It comes with an outer tag/wrapper that contains instructions for use and dimensions and so on.
removed the tag and started to look closer at the sack, I don't always read instructions and found
it was not
really needed in this case. The sack comes packed in its own bag made of the same water proof
with a little tag to hang it by when not in use.
The first thing I found strange about the sack that it is packed inside out in its bag. It took a moment to
this and turn
it right side out before I could use it.
The zippered bag doubles as small item storage bag when the sack is in use, as when you turn the bag right
little bag is now on the inside and is capable of storing keys and other small things.
|I was heading out of town for an overnight camping trip when the sack arrived
so I was able to put it to use straight away.
This photo show the sack packed with an assortment of clothing that I took for evening wear as it would
be cold at night.
It is very
easy to use and just a matter of pushing clothes down through the opening and then rolling the lid down and
closed. I rolled the lid down three times before closing the buckles and then found the instructions
say to roll
|The external roll-top waterproof closure is an easy to use system that should be
In this photo you can see 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 should be waterproof and durable.
|The air permeable/waterproof fabric band purges air during compression and looks
similar to rip stop nylon or Sil-Nylon.
In this photo it looks like the bottom of the sack just sits in the section used for compression, but
it is all sewn in place and very strong.
|Here you can see the webbing that is across the bottom of the sack and is used as a
handle to assist in removing items from within the sack, The feature I like very much and makes things
a lot easier.
Not shown is the length of webbing that runs down the side if the sack that is used as a daisy chain.
|Please bookmark this page and check back in about two months for my field report
where I will really put the sack through its paces.
In particular I will be testing the following areas.
|1. The OR web site claims "protection
and durability" with the sacks
so I will be testing how well my items fit and how compressed I can
get them. I will then attach the sacks to the out side of my pack and
hike off track to test for durability.
||2. The sacks feature an air
permeable/waterproof fabric which means I
should be able to squeeze out the last bit of air and then with the
sack on the out of my pack my gear inside should stay dry.
|3. The sack have 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?
||4. The External roll-top waterproof
closure, how well fabric this 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
|5. The web site states that 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.
||6. The sacks have internal
zippered pockets, what are the zips made
from? Plastic or steel? Will they work even when damp?
Are they placed in such a position that they could be damaged by
rolling the sack right down?
|7. 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?
||8. The external daisy chain looks like it
would be suitable for
attaching the sack to my pack, but are they placed on the sack
so as I can still attach it when the sacks are rolled right down?
|9. The webbing bottom handle may be
handy but will the rolled top
stay shut when upside down and the weight in the sack
now resting on the lid?
Back to top
November 26th 2007
I have been using the compression sack now for about two months and
The first night I had it I just had to see how water proof this sack is,
so I filled it with clothing that I would take with me while camping.
Clothing to change into once in camp that would keep me warm and hopefully be
dry to put on. I also placed a few sheets of facial paper tissue into
the small pocket on the inside. The clothes I packed can be seen
HERE. I then compressed the sack down as tight
as I could and tossed it outside onto the back lawn where I left it in
the rain for two days and one night. On the second night I brought it
inside to check on the condition of my clothes. Some water had
worked its way down into the folds of the closure but only about three
turns of the lid, it had not reached any where near the clothes and to
my surprise every piece of clothing was bone dry. Not even the paper
tissue had become wet or even damp. I was very happy with this part of
||Here the quality of the sewing can be seen and the extra bar tack
stitching to ensure that the buckles do not pull away from the material.
The buckles hold very well and never slip and come undone. I have used
this sack now on about five over night trips and I also used the sack as
a bag to carry a jacket and all the things I would normally take to work
with me for about two weeks. I wanted to see how the sack would hold up
to every day use and to check for any wear. I have carried the sack by
the daisy chain, shown better in the picture above and by the strap
shown better on the left of THIS picture.
There are no signs of wear at all at any of the areas where these straps
are attached to the strap.
The sack is starting to get a nice worn in look about it and the
material is starting to soften up nicely. I will be carrying another
test of how water proof the sack is now that the sack is a little older
and may put it out on the lawn with the sprinklers going.
||The buckle at the top of the sack shows no sign of weakening and
still clips together well as I would expect. The side seams show no sign
of stretching where the sack has been compressed down with clothes in
I now use this sack as a way of storing the clothes I take camping with
me while at home. When I return from a trip my clothes go to be washed,
and then when dry they go back into the sack compressed just a little and
put away with my other gear.
The zip on the inside pocket is a metal zipper but shows no signs of
rust or wear and still runs very smoothly. I use this pocket to store
small items such as keys, identification, credit card and that sort of
I have found that when I roll down the lid and just before tightening
the straps that the buckle and the roll will either sit flat or turn it
self over and settle into place, then I can pull down on the straps to
compress the contents.
||The orange section here is made from an air permeable/waterproof
fabric that looks like a light weight nylon. The air caught by the
rolling down of the lid and by the tightening of the straps is forced
out of this section although this is hard to see in a test but it works
very well just the same. I find I have to roll the top down slowly to
allow the air time to pass through the material before tightening of the
||My use of the sack.
The contents of sack. This is the clothing that I would take on a
normal weekend away over winter. All of this easily fits into the sack
with room to spare.
The contents are: thermal pants and top, long nylon type pants, fleecy
jacket and socks, wool hat, gloves and a T shirt.
When I first started to use the sack I would stuff my clothes into it
and compress everything down as much as I could. This would give me a
solid ball of material to pack into my back pack, which did not really
fit very well. Because it was so solid I had a lot of unusable space
around the sack and it was not until I started to compress the contents
a lot less that I felt happy with the way it packed.
What I do now is to place every thing into the sack and roll the lid
down, then compress the sack enough to reduce the size of the contents
and yet still leave the sack flexible enough so that other items can be
packed into all the available space of my 60 L (3661 cu in) back pack.