SEA TO SUMMIT
- DRY BAG
TEST SERIES BY JAMIE LAWRENCE
May 30, 2013
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Hobart, Tasmania - Australia
165 lb (74.80
I was introduced to
bushwalking/tramping/hiking as a young child in Boy Scouts and through my
school physical/adventure education. After leaving school, I mainly did short
daywalks until recently when I have started to again re-walk some of Tasmania's key hiking
routes and try walks I have yet to attempt. I mainly walk in the winter months,
central highlands areas. I prefer light gear, extended walks (3-5 days) in a
group of 3 or shorter walks (1-3 days) walking solo. I
would generally carry a base weight pack of around 8 kg-10 kg (17 lb-22 lb).
PRODUCT INFORMATION &
Manufacturer: Sea to Summit
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: manufacturer's
Listed Weight: 4.4 oz (125 g)
Measured Weight: 4.23 oz (120 g)
Stopper Dry Bag 5L
Stopper Dry Bag 8L
Stopper Dry Bag 13L
Stopper Dry Bag 20L
Stopper Dry Bag 35L
Stopper Dry Bag 65L
I am testing the 13 L model which arrived in a bright yellow colour. On their
website, Sea to Summit
also has a picture of a blue colour and lime green colour that are available.
Dry Bag in
This new product from Sea to Summit
is part of it's extensive range of stacks and bags.
This model is fully welded dry bag that is constructed from 210D nylon with a
TDU lamination on the outer surface to shed water and improve durability. Sea
claims it is UV resistant and wont crack in extreme cold. It is a conventional
roll-top design with the added feature of a 'Field Replacement Buckle and
stainless steel pin'.
The Dry Bag arrived nicely packed
in a cardboard package that featured a picture of white water rafting. Whilst I
imagine that water sports are a key target market for this product, I intend to
test this (as I am a keen kayaker and sailor) in addition to the use for
non-water sports such as backpacking and camping where I wish to keep items
protected from water.
Sea to Summit
makes it clear on the packaging that this product that this bag is not designed
to be submerged and that the performance of the bag (presumably at keeping the
contents dry) depends on the correct use of roll-top closure.
Info on Package
My experience in the past with products similar to this is that the available
space inside the bag is limited by the amount of rolling of the top that is
required to get a good tight seal. This is further increased as the thickness
of the fabric increases. In this case I found the Sea to Summit bag to be quite thin but not so thin
to cause me alarm about keys or similar puntcuring a hole if I were to store
these inside. Given the additional warning on the label to protect the bag from
abrasion and sharp objects during use, I suspect this bag is not intended to be
strapped to the outside of a raft or kayak (despite the picture on the label)
as this would damage the sack and compromise the waterproof outer.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
instructions were located on a removable sticker at the top of the bag.
Consistent with other bags, simply roll the top a few times (in this instance
3) and then clip the buckle together to seal and close. This bag has
reinforcing at the top which makes it easy to roll and the clip slides together
easily and feels firm when closed.
I easily removed the sticker as I didn't feel I needed to retain it for future
reference as this is a very easy to use product. I would not have any issues
remembering the 3 folds as I would usually put at least 3 or 4 folds in a
roll-top closure system.
TRYING IT OUT
My first use of the bag was
fairly straight forward. I was heading out for a twilight sailing race and
figured I would use the bag to store my thin jacket, wallet, keys, glasses and
a spare hat. In my view, 13 L is on the smaller side for dry bags so I was a
little worried I would not fit as much in this bag as I would like. In this case all of the above items fitt without any issues.
This bag features an oval shaped base, this made it easy to pack stuff inside
as I could sit the bag on a table and it would remain upright. I also found the
bright yellow colour was actually quite handy when I needed to qucikly change
glasses during the race, I could locate my bag easily as it was nice and
Overall my initial impressions of
the Sea to Summit Dry Bag are good. I own a lot of their products and have
always found them to be excellent in terms of design and usability and
durability, and this product appears to be consistent with my previous
I plan to test this bag over the next few months, which will see me out sailing
twice a week, a few kayak sessions in there and some camping and hiking. The
results of my Field Testing will be posted in the coming months.
My thanks to Sea to Summit
and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this product.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND
During my testing of the Sea to
Summit Dry Bag, I used it for various activates including camping, day hiking,
sailing and kayaking. I estimate I have used the dry bag around 2-3 times a
week every week during the testing period.
My camping trip was during the new years holidays,
based by the beach on the east coast of Tasmania
for 4 days. During this trip there was no rain with temperatures ranging from
around 30 C (86 F) to around 14 C (57 F). Winds were generally lite with bright
sunshine. From our base we undertook daywalks in the near by Douglas Apsley
I also used the dry bag as a liner for my day pack when walking from home to
work (8km/5 mi) or when undertaking day walks around the Mt Wellington Park,
near my home.
During all of these trips I would generally pack a water bottle, a lightweight
outer jacket and some basic snack food for myself and my 2 year old son.
I also used the dry bag extensively during the summer when sailing or kayaking.
This means I used the bag at least once a week to protect my gear from water.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I have found the dry bag to be a
strong, durable and reliable way of protecting my gear from water. Not once
during the testing period did I experience my gear becoming damp or wet. I was
particularly impressed to discover my phone and wallet were perfectly dry
despite me leaving the dry bag sitting in a pool of water under the deck of my
When day walking I would use the dry bag as a liner for my 20 L day pack. As
the dry bag is 13 L it was a good fit inside my pack, however the roll top did
take up a little extra space but this was no issue. I would generally use the
dry bag to put some clothes in or my phone, in case my water bottle leaked
inside my pack. This approach worked well.
Overall this bag has proved both reliable and strong. Despite being thrown
around on the deck of a boat, stuffed inside my day pack and generally not
treated with gentle hands, the dry bag still looks basically like new. There is no obvious signs of wear or tear and all the glued seams
look solid and show no signs of coming apart. The buckle closure still feels
tight and secure and has never failed. I have never had water enter the bag and
it doesn't look likely to happen in the near future.
My final comment regarding the
Sea to Summit
dry bag is simple. Don't get one, get several! I will definitely look to grab
the largest size to complement the 13 L bag I have been testing and use the 2
of them as my main strategy for protecting gear I want dry in wet conditions.
This concluded my testing of the Sea to Summit
Thanks to Sea to Summit
and www.BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this great product.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org
Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2013. All