Rating: 8.6 / 10
Value for Money 2.1 / 2.5
Versatility 1.8 / 2.5
Weight 2.4 / 2.5
Durability 2.3 / 2.5
Pack covers are designed to minimise water getting into your pack providing an external covering layer to the exposed sides of your pack. Some packs will come with built in pack covers that will store inside a special small pocket, usually on the bottom of the pack that allow you to deploy the cover reasonably quickly when it starts to rain. Out of the eight packs that I currently own only one of them comes with a built in pack cover as I tend to prioritise other features in my purchasing. What this means is that I will carry a standalone pack cover as the weather conditions dictate. Another option you have is to use a pack liner either in conjunction with a pack cover or as a standalone instead of the pack cover. Given the amount of technology that I carry on longer hikes due to my blogging I will use both.
What pack covers don’t do is cover the area of your pack that comes in contact with your back which is a potential weakness in their design, at least with some types of packs. My current pack of choice is the Osprey Exos 48 (51 litres in the large size) and I use the Sea to Summit 50-70Litre Pack Cover rather than trying to force the smaller 30-50 litre pack cover onto my pack. One of the main reasons that I use this particular pack is that it has a trampoline style back frame that lifts the pack off my back with the only contact points being the shoulders and the hip with good airflow along the centre of the back. This inflow on this style of pack also equates to water flow as well and I have never had water enter though the back of my pack no matter how heavy the rain or the winds driving it. Packs with have a foam style suspension that is in direct contact with your back can end up with moisture soaking in through the pack itself even with a pack cover as the water will run down your back.
These pack covers are pretty simple items and there isn’t much that goes wrong with them. My previous pack cover lasted around 11 years with the only maintenance being a reapplication of the waterproofing with a product like the Nixwax TX. Direct. So if you are the sort of person who does hike in the rain consider a pack cover as an essential piece of equipment.
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Pack Cover 50-70Litre Pack Cover
Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Pack Cover 50-70Litre Pack Cover on the trail. In this image the weather cleared long enough for me to stop for lunch but started back up again shortly after
For hikes where you expect rain or want protection from fine dust
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If you have used the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Pack Cover 50-70Litre Pack Cover 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