Rating: 9.1 / 10
Value for Money 2.2 / 2.5
Versatility 2.2 / 2.5
Weight 2.4 / 2.5
Durability 2.3 / 2.5
The first question many people ask is why bother to use a pack liner? Surely a pack cover will do the job and keep the rain out of my pack? Maybe! I use pack liners and dry sacks in conjunction with a pack cover to provide waterproofing for both my electronics as well as the rest of my equipment. In my main pack I currently use a Sea to Summit 90 litre pack liner but this still leaves my Pack Brain exposed to potential moisture ingress so I also use a Sea to Summit 13 litre Dry Sack to act as a miniature pack liner. In both these instances I prefer to have a bit of extra spacing so that I can get a good roll closure and not have to force equipment into a space that has no flexibility.
Many people will think that this is overkill but given the horror stories that I have come across relating to cameras in particular my system has never failed me and for the sake of a few extra grams and a relatively small financial outlay it’s worth it.
For me a pack liner/dry sack is a non negotiable piece of equipment on all overnight hikes as well as those day hikes where I am expecting rain or know that I have water crossings as I am usually carrying an array of electronics to blog and podcast . If used correctly they will prevent water entering your pack, not only preventing your expensive bits of technology such as cameras, phones and iPads from getting wet but also ensuring you have dry clothing and sleep gear at the end of the day. In addition to providing a waterproof layer, they also provide protection from fine dust and grit which is all too common in arid Australia. You are best to consider these dry sacks as water resistant rather than water proof. These dry sacks aren’t classed as waterproof by they do provide protection from heavy rains as well as an accidental emersion in water if you drop your pack but in this occurs you will want to retrieve your pack as quickly as you can just to be on the safe side.
Having said that drop an unprotected SLR camera or iPad in the water, even for a few seconds, can potentially be very costly accident.
These pack liners come in eight sizes;1 litre, 2 litres, 4 litres, 8 litres, 13 litres, 20 litres, and 35 litres. from her you are up into dry sacks classified as pack liners which are essentially the same thing.
I used this size dry bag in my pack brain on my 2018 Bibbulmun Track hike in conjunction with an external rain cover and even though I had torrential rain for a number of days none of my equipment got wet.
Some ultralight hikers will use heavy duty garbage bags but these have to be replaced regularly as they don’t last that long and you need to keep an eye on the wear because they can fail with little notice.
I can’t stress strongly enough how important dry sacks and pack liners can be. For the minimal weight addition and small price addition (compared to your expensive water sensitive gear) this is one item that is well worth the outlay.
Sea to Summit Dry Sack showing roll top closure that provides the waterproofing
For hikes where rain, dust or river crossings are present.
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If you have used the Sea to Summit 13 Litre Ultra-Sil Dry Sack or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or question below
This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by Australian Hiker