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Reviews > Stuff Sacks > Dry Bags > North 49 Ultra Lite Dry Sac > Owner Review by Andrea Murland

North 49 Ultra Lite Dry Sac
Owner Review by Andrea Murland
August 16, 2012

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 26
Location: Elkford & Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 125 lb (57 kg)

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.

Product Information

Manufacturer: North 49
Manufacturer's URL: None
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Model: Ultra Lite Dry Sack
MSRP: Not Available
Sizes Available: 8 L (488 cu in), 13 L (793 cu in), 20 L (1220 cu in), 35 L (2136 cu in)
Size Reviewed: 13 L (793 cu in)
Listed Weight: None
Measured Weight: 63 g (2.2 oz)
Measured Dimensions: 20.3 cm (8.0 in) diameter x 50.5 cm (19.9 in) tall

Although the manufacturer doesn’t have a website, North 49 products are available online from several retailers. In Canada, I find North 49 products at retailers carrying basic camping gear and accessories. The information above about other sizes available came from in-store packaging observations as well as online retailers.


The North 49 Ultra Lite Dry Sac is made of a lightweight nylon fabric. The seams are taped for waterproofing. The bag has a round bottom, so when packed the bag forms a cylinder. The top of the bag has a stiffened strip, 2 cm (0.8 in) wide, and a sewn-in label with the North 49 logo and the size of the bag. Each end of the top strip has half of a buckle closure, and one side has a D-ring. The bag closes by rolling the top strip over and clipping the buckle together. The outside of the bag has screen-printed text which says “Ultra lite Dry Sac 13 L” and has the North 49 logo. Most of the screen printing on my bag has worn off.
North 49 Ultra Lite Dry Sac

Field Conditions

I purchased my Dry Sac in 2009 and immediately put it into use as an integral part of my search and rescue pack. I keep all of my essential gear in it that never changes when I grab my pack and go: spare clothes, fire starting materials, first aid kit, and some other odds and ends. In the three years that I’ve owned this bag, it has spent about 85% of its time packed, rolled, and in my pack. When I go backpacking, the Dry Sac becomes my food bag, and has been put in food caches and hung from cables, poles, and branches about fifteen times.


Food bag in the camp kitchen
Camp Kitchen
The primary use of my Ultra Lite Dry Sac has been to keep my essential search and rescue gear dry, and although the bag has gotten wet from rain or snow soaking through my pack several times, the contents have never gotten wet. On one memorable occasion when I was travelling, I had laundry and some other odds and ends packed in the bag while flying home from a rock climbing trip, and the Dry Sac successfully contained a hairspray disaster (aerosol can + pressure change = leak) and prevented a spread of the mess to everything else in my luggage.

As a food bag the Dry Sac is great. The size I have is sufficient for most trips I take, depending on how many people’s food I’m trying to stuff in it and how compact the food is, but in general I can squash everything I need in it. Once closed the bag is easy to hang either directly through the loop created by the roll top, or through the D-ring attached to the buckle.

I find the Dry Sac quick and easy to use. I put all the contents in, squash them down, and then start to roll the top of the bag down before letting air back in. Occasionally it takes me two tries to get all the air out, but with three years of practice I’ve gotten quite proficient.

The durability of my Dry Sac has been great. I thought when it got hairsprayed that it would deteriorate, but there is no visible damage to anything and it hasn’t leaked yet. The buckle closes securely, and there is just the odd loose thread showing. The screen printing on the outside is mostly worn off, but that doesn’t affect the function.


The North 49 Ultra Lite Dry Sac is a lightweight, simple dry sack that has proved very useful in keeping my gear dry and my food hanging up at night. I hope it remains a part of my gear for a long time to come.

Thumbs Up:
Hasn't leaked
Good durability

Thumbs Down:
Getting the air out takes some practice
Screen printing worn off (I’m stretching for that one...)

Read more reviews of North 49 gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Stuff Sacks > Dry Bags > North 49 Ultra Lite Dry Sac > Owner Review by Andrea Murland

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