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Reviews > Stuff Sacks > Dry Bags > Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack > Owner Review by Jamie DeBenedetto

 

Ultra-Sil Drysacks

by

Sea to Summit



Owner Review by Jamie DeBenedetto
August 12th, 2020


Owner Review Contents


Reviewer's Information

Name Jamie J. DeBenedetto

Age and Gender Female, 47 years old

Height 5' 11" (180 cm)

Weight 175 lb (79 kg)

Email JamieD1005-at-gmail-dot-com

Background/Experience

Growing up I was blessed to have an outdoorsman father who often took me camping, fishing, rafting, and creeking all over the wilds of Arizona. In high school I joined our backpacking club, despite having mostly borrowed and ill-fitting gear, I was immediately hooked. These days I'm mostly a day hiker (8 m / 13 k or less) with occasional multi-night car camping or overnight backpacking trips mixed in.
I prefer hammocks over tents/tarps and I gravitate toward multifunctional or homemade gear that enhances my comfort level with minimal fuss and weight, ideally under 25 lb (11 kg).

Location Phoenix, Arizona - The Grand Canyon State - USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product Information Back to contents

Manufacturer URL Sea to Summit
www.seatosummitusa.com
Year Purchased 2013
Made in China
MSRP $14.95 to $33.95 USD
Listed Weight

2L-0.8 oz (23 g)

4L-0.9 oz (26 g)

Dimensions

2L-5.2 x 11.4 in (13 x 29 cm)

4L-5.9 x 13 in (15 x 33 cm)

Materials
30 Denier Ultra-Sil Cordura Nylon
Style & Color Roll top closure; green, blue, purple, & orange
Care Instructions Avoid sharp or hard-edged objects and abrasive surfaces. Cleaning instructions are not given.

(Above: Taken from the Manufacturer's Website or Packaging)

(Below: Observed by Tester as Received)

Weight (taken with a digital office scale) Confirmed

Product Description Back to contents

I own two sizes of the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Drysacks, the 2L and the 4L. Both close via a roll-top buckle system. The bags are designed to be ultra compact and lightweight and at the time I purchased them they were the lightest in their drysack line. Sea to Summit now offers the Nano line which is slightly lighter. They are also supposed to offer waterproof coverage for gear when used inside another pack. They are not designed to be submerged or used in a marine/boating environment, oddly one of the pictures on the website shows them next to a packraft. Seams are reinforced and sealed and the roll-top closure has a strip of Hypalon (a synthetic rubber) to guard the opening further. The 30 Denier Ultra-Sil Cordura Nylon is slick and slightly see-through. Models newer than 2018 are sold with a 5/8 in (15 mm) replaceable buckle. Mine obviously do not have that.

Collective Use and Field Conditions Back to contents

Every member of my family of four has at least one of these sacks inside their day packs at all times. I carry two. Since 2013 I have logged thousands of trail hours whether through my job where I day hiked four to five times a week or just for recreation on the weekends. The climate I live in is primarily Sonoran Desert, which receives less than 8 inches (20 cm) of rainfall per year. Don't let that fool you. The waterproof qualities of these sacks have been tested on many occasions. I don't use a pack cover so every rain storm, every kayak trip, every wade in our rivers, lakes and streams, and especially every time a soaking wet dog chose to shake out their fur right on top of my pack (which has happened at least 50 times) these bags were fully utilized. Arizona has wild temperature swings between winter which surprisingly can get into the -30's F (-34 C) in some high altitude spots and up to the "melt your will to live" 120's F / 49 C) in the lower deserts in the summer. Temperature range for my use was a bit less extreme: Lowest was 27 F (-3 C) on a snowshoe backpack trip up on the San Francisco Peaks in Flagstaff, Arizona and the hottest was 116 F (46 C) on several occasions either in Phoenix, AZ hiking or in Peoria, AZ while kayaking on Lake Pleasant.

My Experience Back to contents

I originally purchased these bags to house our first-aid kits. I prefer to assemble my own for myself and my family and obviously given the importance of this particular piece of gear, a waterproof container is a must. Since they would be a staple inside our packs I wanted something lightweight but durable. I wasn't entirely confident the Ultra-Sil sacks would work so initially I just purchased one to test it out. Despite the manufacturer's disclaimer not to submerge the sacks, I did just that in my sink as a trial test of the waterproof claims. If I recall, it was a short-lived test, not more than a few dunks to see how it held up. It worked fine so I proceeded with loading some cotton socks into the bag and tossed it out into my sprinklers for a more "rain-like" experiment. This was also limited to no more than 15 minutes but the bag passed that trial as well. I could see where it would eventually wet-out if I had left it out there too long but for that minimal burst it was good to go. Given my encouraging results I felt confident they would suffice for our first-aid kits. We've been using them ever since. I should mention, I do pack any water sensitive items into plastic zipper style bags inside the Drysacks as well. In addition to using them for first-aid I also carry one with most of my 10 Essentials inside.

The sacks have a nice large opening so it's easy to pull things out when needed. The roll-top closure is slightly tedious but obviously necessary. The most difficult part is getting all the air out before sealing it up. The Hypalon seal running around the interior does an excellent job of kind of sticking the two sides of the bag together so that even after one roll, the air inside is decently trapped. Usually, I give it one roll, compress the bag up against my body to squeeze out as much air as possible while slightly opening the closure with my other hand, then I quickly roll it down a second and third time before buckling.

I've been mindful to keep sharp or pointed objects mitigated inside the sacks so as not to puncture them from within. Outside hazards have been minimal as well since the bags rarely leave our daypacks. I have on one outing hung one of the 4L sacks with my food inside as a bear bag, or in my case, an anti-packrat bag. I had forgotten my usual ditty bag and the Ultra-Sil was my only alternative. The food cache was high and dry the next morning, without any critter nibbles I'm happy to say.

Overall, I've been pleased with the Sea to Summit drysacks. They come in a variety of sizes and colors making it easy to personalize around my family's needs. Claims regarding waterproofing appear to be accurate and then some. The material, while very lightweight is still sturdy and has held up to use for over 7 years. The roll-top closure works well and isn't too much of a pain to use. I am glad to see they have upgraded the buckles to field repairable ones. That's a nice touch.

Things I Like... Back to contents

Keeps my stuff together and dry
Compact and lightweight

Variety of sizes and colors
Secure closure
Waterproof enough for my use

Things I Don't...

Nothing comes to mind

Thanks for reading. I hope you found my experiences informative and helpful. - Jamie D. 2020

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Reviews > Stuff Sacks > Dry Bags > Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Sack > Owner Review by Jamie DeBenedetto



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