SEA TO SUMMIT ULTRA-SIL NANO DRYSACK
Photo courtesy of the manufacturer
TEST SERIES BY KATHRYN MONTOVAN
INITIAL REPORT: May 20, 2012
LONG TERM REPORT: October 16, 2012
Groton, New York, USA
5' 5" (1.65 m)
150 lb (68.00 kg)
I have been backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing and winter
camping for over 10 years. My excursions are mostly weekend and
occasionally weeklong backpacking and kayaking trips in the wooded and
often wet, rolling terrain of western New York. I usually tarp camp
with a small to large group and love to cook fun and delicious foods on
my trips. In general, I strive for a compact and light pack but value
well-made and durable gear over ultralight items.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Sea to Summit
|The 8 L and 13 L bags |
next to a 1 L bottle for size
Manufacturer's Website: www.seatosummit.com/
Model: Ultra-Sil Nano
Year Manufactured: 2012
Available sizes: 1 L, 2 L, 4 L, 8 L, 13 L, 20 L, 35 L
Available colors: Blue, Lime, Orange
Material: Ultra-Sil Nano (15 denier Sil/PU nylon fabric)
|7.9x5.9x18.5 in (20x15x47 cm)
|8.9x6.5x20.5 in (22.6x16.5x52 cm)
|0.8 oz/25 g
|1.0 oz/28 g
|0.9 oz/25 g
|1.1 oz/31 g
Ultra-Sil Nano Dry Sack is an ultra-lightweight dry bag for use in wet
conditions where the bag is not submerged. This dry bag is a waterproof
sack which is sealed shut by a roll top closure that is held in place
by a buckle. The seams are double stitched and seam sealed.
|Pressing the air out of the bag|
use the dry sack I place my gear inside, leaving several inches (many
centimeters) of open space at the top. Then I flatten the top of the
bag, fold it over the gear, and press out as much air as I can. Once
the air is removed, I carefully roll the top away from me at least
three times and secure the buckle towards me. If there is too much in
the sack and it is difficult to roll the top three times, I repack the
bag or remove items so that I can close the bag properly.
instructions direct me to be careful to avoid abrasion and contact with
sharp objects that might puncture the bag. The manufacturer also advises
that the drybags should be washed, when necessary, by hand in warm
water. For sensitive electronics, the manufacturer recommends using
using two dry bags to ensure water tightness.
dry sacks are really light weight. The fabric has a very fine weave and
is see-through enough to read the care tag on the inside through the
fabric. The roll top closure is lightweight and thin compared to the
other dry bags I have used but looks well sewn and reasonably durable.
The buckle has a neat design that is open in the middle. I imagine that
it makes the bag lighter weight, but it also looks pretty cool.
|The roll-top closure|
tried filling the bag and noticed that the fabric is slightly stretchy.
It did not affect my ability to fill or close the bag, but I hope that
this stretch does not affect the durability of the fabric, seams, the
seam sealing or roll-top closure.
|Testing the air-tighness.|
I use a dry sack on a each trip I do a simple test to check and make
sure that it hasn't developed any holes. I fill the bag with air, and
roll the top shut. I then squeeze and see if air leaks out. If there is
a hole, I can generally see it when I do this test and can then patch
it before I use the bag again. The dry bags I received were airtight
when I removed them from their packaging.
To determine the level of water protection of these bags I ran a
few controlled bathtub tests. I filled each dry sack with a towel
wrapped in newsprint. I then tested the watertightness in a couple
different ways. I sprayed the bags lightly with water for 15 minutes
(emulating a heavy rain storm). I then dried off the outside of the
bag, opened it, and inspected the contents. The contents were
completely dry and I found no moisture within the bag. I then put the
contents back in and let the dry sack sit in the bathtub in 2
inches (5 cm) of water for 2 hours (as might happen if these were used
for boating). I found that while the contents were still dry, there was
some moisture inside the bag where the top had been rolled. I made it a
point to roll the top only three times for these tests, so if I expect
them to be in extremely wet conditions for extended periods of time I
will probably roll the top more than three times to create a better
seal. Over all I was impressed about the ability of these dry sacks to
keep my gear dry.
|Spraying the bags with water during the bathtub test|
I am looking forward to using these dry bags on my trips this summer.
The sizes look like they will be very useful for backpacking. I will
report on the packability, durability, and ability to keep my stuff dry
in real field conditions.
LONG TERM REPORT
Trip 1: 5-night canoe camping
trip in the boundary waters near Ely, Minnesota. Temperatures ranged from 70 F
(21 C) to 95F (35C) and weather covered most options including high
wind, beautiful sunny days, drizzly rain, and sudden downpours.
Trip 2: 2-night car camping trip to Stillwater Reservoir, near Lowville, New York. Weather was sunny and 75 - 85 F (24 - 29 C).
Trip 3: Solo 2-night
backpacking trip along the Finger Lakes Trail, near Ithaca, New York. It was
sunny and humid for the whole trip and temperatures ranged from 57 - 88
F (14 - 31 C).
from 400 - 1700 ft (120 - 520 m).
Trip 4: 2-night sea kayaking trip to Cranberry Lake in the Adirondack Park, New York. It was very windy, rainy, and temperatures were between 65 - 75 F (18 - 24 C).
In addition to these trips, I used the dry bags on day-long canoe
trips, afternoon kayaking excursions, and day hikes in the rain.
These dry bags
performed very well in general. On my backpacking trip they were light,
easy to pack into my backpack and a good size for my clothing. I was careful to avoid placing the dry bags in contact with
sharp objects or near abrasive surfaces and they remained waterproof
throughout the test. They protected my gear from both rain and standing
water and were easy to use.
chose to get two different colors of dry bags so that I could remember
the contents based on the bag color. The bag opening was large enough
to pack clothing and gear easily into the bag. I noticed that these dry
bags were slightly stretchy during packing. This made me nervous about
their durability, but they held up throughout this test. I found that I
preferred the 8 L size
over the 13 L size because I generally like to pack my gear in smaller,
easier to organize packages, and the 8L bags were easier to pack into
my backpack and kayak.
Water Protection: The
last trip that I tested these dry bags on was a sea kayaking trip in
the biggest waves I have ever kayaked in. At one point I had to rescue
another boat and ended up with a lot of water in my boat and both
hatches. Some of my older dry bags were not watertight and had cups of
water in them when I pulled them out of my hatches. These dry bags did
not leak at all and kept my gear dry and protected even after traveling
for hours in deep standing water. I was careful when packing them into
the hatch to avoid abrasions on the boat hardware within the hatch.
really liked these dry bags and was impressed by their durability,
weight, and usefulness for backpacking. They were light enough to
easily replace stuff sacks for organizing my clothing and soft gear on
backpacking trips, and they have the additional benefit that I don't
have to worry about my gear getting wet. I will continue to use these
drybags for trips where weight matters and I need to waterproof some of
- Keeps my gear dry
- Durable when used carefully
- Strechiness was different but did not seem to affect the functionality of these drybags
you to Sea to Summit and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to
test the Ultra-Sil Nano dry sacks. I really enjoyed testing these dry
bags and look forward to using them on future trips.