Sea to Summit Dry Sacks - a field-test review
By: Frank Ross
Anyone who has spent any time around water knows that sooner or later you're going to drop something in it, or the water will get splashed up on your gear. My experience has been that when either happens it is usually to the least likely item to survive that gets the soaking. Putting a camera down on a boat seat is like stepping up the roulette wheel in Vegas and betting on red or black. You've got a 50% chance of being a really big loser.
On a recent trip fly-fishing on the Green River I took along two sizes of Sea to Summit's Dry Sacks, but found myself using the largest one most often. While my expectation was that I needed to protect things from the class III rapids I knew we would be shooting through, it turned out that the weather was more of a factor. Since I'm seldom without a camera, keeping bodies and lenses out of the weather is second nature, but it can consume a great deal of time and energy without the proper gear.
Prior to starting my first day drifting down the Green, I put my Nikon D100 in a large 12" x 21" Sea to Summit Sack, folded the roll-top closure over three times and secured it with the snaps. In less time than it took to load the rest of our gear, a drizzling rain returned and I listened briefly to the drops pelting the bag's laminated 70-denier nylon and then got on with the business at hand, fly-fishing for trout. It was a great deal of comfort knowing that I didn't have to keep checking to see if water was seeping in, or worrying about it getting knocked overboard.
The latter was a significant risk factor with the oarsman who was handling our boat. I've never seen oars used in such creative, although not always effective ways. We eventually got where we were going, but the splashing and rock ramming were less than amusing. Had it not been for the Sea to Summit Sack, there might have been a baptizing somewhere around Mother-in-Law rapids.
Over the four days of my trip it snowed, sleeted and rained alternately, every day, all day. I used the bag for keeping such important things dry as my lunch, an extra jacket and of course my camera. When we wading the river, I still used the bags because everywhere along the bank standing water or mud made it difficult to find a convenient place to set something down. These bags come in several bright colors, but the interior is always white to make it easier to see small items, even in low light situations.
The large bag has plenty of room, but Sea to Summit Sacks are available in several sizes, for everything from protecting your wallet to a full change of clothes or dry shoes. All seams on these bags are taped, so you can rest assured that they are completely waterproof.
These bags are so inexpensive, especially compared to replacing the items that might get ruined without them, it just doesn't make sense to be an outdoors' enthusiast and not have several. All sizes of the bag compact down to a very small profile, so you can always find a place to pack one along, just in case. Even on hunting trips, hiking adventures or attending a soccer game it rains, so don't get caught in a downpour without a Sea to Summit Sack, they're always dry inside.