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Reviews > Stuff Sacks > Dry Bags > Sea to Summit Ultra Sil View Dry Sack > Test Report by Theresa Lawrence

SEA TO SUMMIT ULTRA-SIL VIEW DRY SACK
Test Series By Theresa Lawrence
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - June 04, 2012
LONG TERM REPORT - October 09, 2012

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Theresa Lawrence
EMAIL: theresa_newell AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 34
LOCATION: Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 8" (1.73 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

I have more than 15 years of backpacking experience. Day hikes and 2-3 day backpacking trips take place on most weekends throughout the year while longer trips are only occasional. I backpack predominantly in mountain terrain (Coast Range, Cascades and Canadian Rockies) with the goal of summiting peaks. Activities I use my gear with include mountaineering, ski touring, rock climbing, kayaking, biking, trail running, Search and Rescue and overseas travel. I like my gear to be reasonably light, convenient and simple to use though I would not claim to be a lightweight hiker.


INITIAL REPORT

Product Information and Specifications

IMAGE 1
Photo courtesy of Sea to Summit
Manufacturer: Sea to Summit
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://seatosummit.com
MSRP: Not given
Color and Size Tested: Blue 8 L and Berry 13 L
Other Colors Available: Orange and Green
Other Sizes Available : 1, 2, 4, 20 and 35 L
Listed Weight: 8 L Sack - 1.5 oz (43 g), 13 L Sack - 1.9 oz (53 g)
Measured Weight: 8 L Sack - 1.3 oz (36.9 g), 13 L Sack - 1.65 oz (46.8 g)
Dimensions (diameter base x height): 8 L Sack - 6.7x18 in (17x46 cm),13 L Sack - 8.6x21 in (22x53 cm)
Warranty: Free from defects for the life of the product

Product Description

The Ultra-Sil View Dry Sack is suggested for use is in a backpack, longer lightweight hikes, adventure travels and cycle touring. The fabric used is branded Ultra-Sil 30D CORDURA, which is a high-tenacity siliconised nylon. There is also a TPU feature window RF-welded to the nylon fabric. The RF welding technique claims to form a bond that is as strong as the two materials being joined. The Ultra-Sil fabric claims to have a 2000 mm waterhead. I believe this has something to do with its waterproof strength. There is a Hypalon roll top closure, which apparently "does not wick moisture", I'm assuming that's a good thing. The stitching is reinforced for maximum strength and the bag is fully seam-sealed and polyurethane coated for maximum waterproofness.

Reading The Instructions

Removable instructions were sewn into the inside of each bag, which included a diagram of how to close the dry sack. The key was to fold down the roll top closure at least 3 times before clipping the buckle. Further instructions advised to avoid contact with sharp objects and abrasive surfaces. The manufacture also states sensitive electronic equipment should only be packed with the use of 2 dry bags and it was also clear that these bags should NOT ever be submerged. As for washing the bags, they should only be hand washed in warm water.

Initial Impressions

The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil View Dry Sacks (8 and 13L) arrived in a super light package in the desired colors berry and blue. They were lighter than the listed weight and appeared exactly as I expected when previewing the website. They looked slick, were ultra-lightweight with a window to view contents, silky smooth and easy to open and close. The seams appeared well crafted double-sewn and seam-sealed. I will be looking to see how they hold together and whether or not any delamination occurs or whether the polyurethane coating breaks down over time while using the items for backpacking, kayaking and climbing. I have blown up the bags and closed the bag as per instructions and they appear to be airtight, that is a good sign. I am very curious how waterproof the material is, which will determine what I put in them. Since there is a window, these bags seem ideal for those miscellaneous items that always get lost in my pack and may help to keep me organized when I can't remember which sack I put things in. In addition to some backpacking and hiking trips, I've also got a sea kayaking trip, some white water kayaking and an adventure race with a kayaking segment planned for these bags as well, so stay tuned!

Summary

So far the Ultra-Sil View Dry Sacks appear ideal for keeping things organized and lightweight. They have met my initial expectations off the website. They look great, are lightweight, well crafted and appear to be a useful sack to use backpacking and kayaking.

PROS: lightweight, view window, waterproof
CONS: none yet

My sincere thanks to Sea to Summit, BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test this dry bag series.


LONG-TERM REPORT

Long-Term Test Conditions and Locations

IMAGE 2

Over the past 4 months these dry bags have accompanied me on several multi-night backpacking trips in the South Canadian Rockies (Banff National Park, Glacier National Park, Bugaboo Provincial Park and Height of the Rockies Provincial Park). I have also brought them on a few car camping nights and day hikes, as well as a 4 day sea-kayaking trip in the North Gulf Islands. I have also used these sacks in my Search and Rescue ready-pack to keep my down jacket and extra clothes dry. They have seen everything from mountain thunderstorms, to snow, to fresh water creeks, to salt water ocean spray.


IMAGE 3

Performance In The Field

These dry bags have been absolutely fantastic to use. They are extremely light and appear to be very durable for backpacking. They allowed me to keep miscellaneous gear together in one place in my backpack. And the window was a great bonus that quickly let me find whatever I so desired. These sacks proved over and over again to be waterproof. They've sat in snow, been showered on, sat in creeks and a kayak, with no water penetration. I trust my down sleeping bag and down jacket to these sacks.

IMAGE 4

The 13 L sac fits my down sleeping bag perfectly, but of course the window would be wasted for this use. Better use of the window was using the 13 L as a food sack. This proved especially useful, as I was able to find the food items I wanted quickly. And the roll down and clip closure provided a handle that I could use to hang my food to keep away from wild animals. On one trip a mountain thunderstorm let loose a deluge of rain and inclement weather and in the morning everything in the food cache was dry! I was delighted and very impressed.

The 8 L sac was great for miscellaneous bits of gear such as my headlamp, lighter, toque (beanie), gloves, etc. This size was also perfect for the top compartment of my backpack to keep everything dry as well as keep everything from falling out when I opened it on the trail. Though of course it took longer to get an item out, but on the flip side I got a break on the trail.

While these dry sacks aren't intended for marine use, I did take them sea-kayaking. I found they were useful for keeping items I needed quick access to, like snacks, hats, bandannas, duct tape, etc. In this case I kept them with me in the cockpit, where they sat in about an inch of water all day for several days and brilliantly kept everything dry.

IMAGE 5

Summary

These dry bags have been nothing short of impressive and brilliant in their performance and what they can offer a backpacking experience. They were lightweight, durable, easy to pack and kept gear organized and easy to find. I have no complaints whatsoever and I intend to continue using these sacks for backpacking, dayhiking and my Search and Rescue ready-pack.

LIKES
- Lightweight
- View window allows quick finding of gear
- Keeps miscellaneous gear together
- Waterproof (keeps down jacket, extra clothes and food dry)
- Durable
- Fun colours

DISLIKES
- Nothing!

I give my sincere thanks to Sea To Summit and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test these fabulous dry bags. Thank-you!

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

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