Mar 22, 2012 at 5:54 am #1287641
Why? It seems like they should all (or most) be waterproof. Yes you can use a trash compactor bag but then the outside of the pack gets wet and heavier in rain plus then it is wet if you use it for padding (in my case for my dog to sleep on). Well then yes you can put the pack inside the trash compactor bag but still, you have a wet pack.
Seems like there would be a huge selection of waterproof packs then none of this is an issue. I guess then the only issue is if your pack leaks.
Any good waterproof but light packs anyone knows about?Mar 22, 2012 at 6:01 am #1857570
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Most are hot, sweaty, heavy, and lack features. I want an Outdoor Research Drycomp Ridge Sack. 16.4oz/465g and 34 liters. This one should be reviewed here.
Or wear a poncho….Mar 22, 2012 at 6:03 am #1857571
Wonder how the 3600 cu in one of these would work. Looks like an ultralight pack.Mar 22, 2012 at 6:04 am #1857572
As soon as you abrade the first hole it is done being waterproof. I am always amazed that people think this is a good idea. A rain cover weighs more than the water absorbed by the pack when wet.Mar 22, 2012 at 6:32 am #1857586
I agree – why aren't packs waterproof? – makes no sense – having a pack cover or trash compactor bag is a kludge
I make my own out of silnylon. After I coated it with mineral spirits/silicone it has been waterproof for almost 2 years – maybe 80 nights. Today I'd probably use the thru-hiker Shield silnylon which is waterproof.
Maybe one problem is pack makers over-build so use Cordura, which has huge fibers, which means it's hard to make a waterproof layer on it.Mar 22, 2012 at 6:43 am #1857591
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
There aren't more packs marketed as waterproof because designing one to have seams that can fit in a seam taper is difficult. There aren't more packs made with more weatherproof fabrics because most people don't hike in the rain (winkwink).
I agree with you Ty. Even without sealed seams and even with a few other leaks from use having a pack made of waterproof materials is nice. One of the reason I and other are so fond of VX-21 when making our own.Mar 22, 2012 at 7:35 am #1857617
deletedMar 22, 2012 at 7:52 am #1857627
My understanding is that the stresses placed on packs makes it difficult to keep seams waterproof. My cuben pack is plenty waterproof, I believe, except for the seams. I don't think I ever see any water in it after a rain, but I will still wrap my down in a bag.Mar 22, 2012 at 8:21 am #1857648
Jerry – I am thinking more and more I am going to have to make more of my gear out of pure necesity and lack of options versus wanting to save money.
– I want a synthetic insulated jacket that does not weight a ton, has a relaxed fit, and does not cost $200 bucks.
– I want a Duomid but don't want to order something and wait several months for it.
– Now I want a simple, light waterproof backpack and they apparently don't exist.
I guess Jerry's MYOG posts to the rescue :)Mar 22, 2012 at 8:34 am #1857651
> My cuben pack is plenty waterproof, I believe, except for the seams.
I think that's also the case for my pack, which is made of Dyneema. I'd call it rainproof rather than waterproof, though. Waterproof implies dunkability, which is an extra level of water protection that's overkill even for most die-hards like us :)
Most of the silnylon packs out there are probably pretty close to rainproof, except at the seams, which is easier to deal with. Seam sealer might actually do the trick for a lot of them.
I've had my gear out for hours of rainy hiking, and although some of the stuff in the top pocket of the lid got a little wet, that was it.Mar 22, 2012 at 8:44 am #1857659
My HMG Windrider is sitting outside in the rain as I type. It seems to be doing a pretty dang good job at being waterproof(nothing is getting wet on the inside!). I also just bought some cuben tape to finish sealing up the seams.
*Rainproof is probably a better description, I have no clue about the dunkability of my pack.Mar 22, 2012 at 8:47 am #1857660
Initially, I took my silnylon (2nds cheap stuff) pack out in the rain
Where there was a synthetic insulated garment inside, pressing against top of pack, rain sort of pooled up on the outside, and wicked through the fabric and got the synthetic insulated garment a little wet.
No big deal, just a little damp, but I don't like that
Then I sealed entire surface of pack with mineral spirits/silicone
Now, and for 2 years, it doesn't leak
But, Shield from thru-hiker should work as is – that would be better
Worse is where the pack presses against my back. I have two layers – 200d polyurethane and silnylon which works, but not totally happy with that solutionMar 22, 2012 at 9:28 am #1857684
@daviddrakeLocale: North Idaho
Looking at the commercial packs I have, the number and placement of seams often works against waterproofness. Something to think about for MYOG.Mar 22, 2012 at 10:55 am #1857729
I love the waterproof features of the Arcteryx packs, and they carry very well.
I have the older Acrux as a excursion, lightweight (40L only weighs 2.8 lbs) pack, Naos 55 as my Packrafting and wet conditions pack, and just pulled the trigger using REI dividend and 20% off on the 65L Arrakis for snow camping, and Alaska trips.
They are very well made (made in Canada), and the Acrux and Naos are completely submergible and in fact could be used as a floatation device if needed. The Arrakis has waterproof zips, and roll top closure so is still very rain and quick dunk proof.
Never, ever worry about things getting wet, even if you take a dunk in the creek crossings which I hate to say has happened to me :)
Zimmerbuilt's Dry Bag carrying packs are intriguing to me as well, and look like the would work, certainly for things like pack raftingMar 22, 2012 at 11:05 am #1857736
1. as mentioned, the first hole and the waterproofness is gone … now this can be offset by using bomber fabrics like dead bird does in the arrakis (which i used to own) … but thats not UL
2. ever had to break open a pack in the heavy rain or wet snow winters? … theres a decent chance that moisture will get inside regardless either directly or from the wet/snowy items yr putting in the pack, you can try shaking it out but theres still moisture … this means that in poor conditions you should be packing yr bag/clothes in a separate dry bag anyways …. ive know some people who put everything in a single watertight bag/compartment , snow gets inside the pack, body heat against the back melts said snow, they end up with damp gear …
3. so that moisture that gets in also gets out (unless you are one of those positive people who believes yr UL skills are so good that moisture can never get into yr pack, not me !!!) … you should have drain holes or something similar anyways
not to say that they wont work … but if you have one of those sensitive to moisture 900+ fp down quilt/bags and puffies … do you really want to bet the house on a single waterproof compartment where youll be stuffing in wet/snowed on gear in adverse humid conditions ..Mar 22, 2012 at 11:18 am #1857740
Regardless of potential drawbacks in some circumstances, I think waterproof/rainproof packs could be very useful other times, like using one as a daypack or for long distance trail running. Something where you're not too worried about some dampness introduced in your pack, but where the general water protection will keep you from even thinking about drizzling or quick rain storms.
I've always wanted to try out one of the Exped Cloudbursts, they have then sized in 15L (9.8oz) and 25 (10.6oz):Mar 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm #1857760
I've had to open my pack when it's raining
1 – I don't put anything wet in my pack. The most I ever wear is a rain jacket and a base layer. If it stops raining I'll let the jacket dry off on me while I'm hiking before taking it off and putting in pack. I never have a wet or snowy garment that I have to put in pack.
2 – if I'm packing up, I'll put everything in my pack under my tarp, then close up pack, then take down tarp and put in waterproof bag (zip lock plastic), wipe the bag off a bit, then quickly put that in pack.
3 – On my pack, I have a roll top with velcro closure. If I want to put something in or out, I'll shake it off as best possible before opening, then carefully make sure the opening is above everything else so water doesn't drip in. Make sure water doesn't drip from my jacket into pack. Do it quickly when it's raining. Try to wait for the rain to let up or find a protected place.
4 – Sometimes I'll put something that's wet strapped on the outside of the pack
5 – My vest and sleeping bag are synthetic so they can get a bit damp without making much difference. Once I left the top of my water bottle untightened and some water got on things. If it's raining a lot it's impossible for a little water to not get on things.
Different systems will work, this is just one way to do itMar 22, 2012 at 2:32 pm #1857816
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
Why I don't want a waterproof pack: they are unnecessarily heavy and expensive. A trash bag liner (more specifically contractor or compactor bag) works — and it's a lot lighter and a lot cheaper.Mar 22, 2012 at 2:55 pm #1857838
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Economics, just simple economics.
It is MUCH cheaper to sew a simple seam and bind it than to sew a hemmed seam and waterproof it. Cheap cheap cheap…
Crux packs from UK have bonded seams, and are waterproof. My packs have hemmed and taped seams.
CheersMar 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm #1857841
@brooklynkayakLocale: Atlantic North East
I use individual drybags. One for my sleeping bag/quilt, one for clothes and one for electronics, toiletries, and any other little things that need to be dry.
Everything else can get wet.
A pack that is waterproof would grow mildew from condensation after a few days on a wet trail.
Using individual dry bags for items that need it allows everything else to breath in your pack reducing pack funk.
I find the contents inside a pack liner can get funky as well, unless you are very careful and only use it when needed.
I can totally unload my pack in the rain, set up my shelter and then open the drybags under my tarp.
I also don't have to worry about my gear if my pack should fall in water during a crossing.Mar 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm #1857900
@redpointLocale: British Columbia
I use the Arc'teryx Ac2 packs. They're a bit on the heavy side, but I'm generally doing things like climbing and mountaineering where durability is also very important. When you have to start adding liners and covers and wetted-out fabric, you're upping the weight on a traditional pack anyway. You can literally do anything with these packs and the contents will remain dry. I currently have a Naos 55 and would also like to get an Arakkis 40. It's pretty awesome to just seal-up your pack and leave it and its contents outside the tent or bivy sac in the pouring rain or a snowstorm. Plus, these packs are pretty sexy.Mar 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm #1857983
They are not that light, but either way they sure are nice, bullet proof and secure.Mar 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm #1858057
@rahstinLocale: The Great Land
Check out the Granite Gear Vapor Flatbed. It is made to haul barrels for canoeing, but it works awesome with a drybag. 34 oz w/o drybag and easily trimmable to 28 or so. Mine is 38 oz with an OR durable dry sack and 2 aftermarket water bottle holders. The shoulder straps are a bit wider than normal vapor packs making it extra comfy. No pockets, mesh or any extra bits and pieces, but it can handle 45 lbs no problem. When hiking with odd shaped items the whole harness adjusts to handle anything (ie. fishing gear, bear canister, guitar, packraft) On extended ski trips, I strap my day ski pack in the harness and put all my clothes, gear, etc. in the drybag. That way I dont have to shred during the day with a huge pack. On day hikes or hut trips I use a smaller dry bag to save weight. On week long trips with no resupply, the over the top strap(think rope carrier) can easily hold down all the extra food. The end all is the price. It is really inexpensive considering how many different packs it replaces.Mar 23, 2012 at 7:02 am #1858129
rahstin – That is pretty interesting idea. Do you have any pictures of your setup in action?Mar 23, 2012 at 7:24 am #1858132
The frame/harness may not be waterproof, it's probably not ultralight based on BPL definitions, but my ULA Epic is pretty darn waterproof. Granted the main compartment is a dry bag. But depending on the trip, being able to change from a smaller to a larger dry bag adds a lot of versatility. Similar idea to the Granite Gear Flatbed.
And Ty, the Cabelas Boundary Waters Bag you referenced work well but are heavy. (The large pack weighs 4.5 pounds.) We started with the larger ones for our boundary water trips. Used them several years. And despite Ken's warning, we have never punctured or scuffed a hole in one despite throwing them around on granite portages. The harness is a bit lacking in comfort though when heavily loaded…not that that would be an issue for a true BPLer (which I apparently am not :)
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