By January 21, 2010

Outdoor Products Ultimate Dry Sack Review

I recently built two “bug-out” bags (BoB), and did some of my shopping at Wal-Mart. I had plenty of supplies here at the house, but I needed a few odds and ends. I happened to see a three-pack of dry sacks by Outdoor Products. They might come in handy, especially for things I really really didn’t want to get wet.

At $9.99 I was skeptical that the bags could keep anything dry in crappy conditions, but I figured at least it would make a good Gibberish entry. I put the trio of bags in my cart and started thinking about how to test the dry sacks.

The bags come in three sizes. The dimensions are thus, according to the back of the packaging: 7.75″ W x 13″ H, 9.5″ W x 15.5″ H, and 6.75″ diameter x 10.75″ W x 22″ H … why the hell is the large bag the only one with three dimensions listed? WTF?

The bags are different colors, and I find this to be a smart idea. If the bags are folded / packed deep within my primary BoB I could easily determine what sized bag I was looking at by the color. If the bags were all blue, it would be hard to discern which one was the smallest without unpacking them all. Drag.

Another nice feature of the Outdoor Products dry sacks is the stiff material used at the mouth of the bag. This makes it easy to roll the mouth of the bag several times during closing. Lastly, there is a plastic clip that keeps the mouth from unrolling. It’s a lot easier than the 40L vinyl dry bag I use on my motorcycle.

Speaking of my motorcycling dry bag, that thing is built like a brick shithouse. It’s vinyl, with heavy-duty waterproof tape around the seams. The mouth of the bag is a very thick, treated canvas. After rolling the mouth of my vinyl bag three or four times I am completely confident no water is getting inside. It survived a particularly rainy trip down to Georgia and back, which you can read about here.

The Outdoor Products dry sacks are made out of nylon. It’s thin, and looks a lot like a rip-stop material you might find on a windbreaker. There appears to be some sort of tape along the seams, but at $3.33 per sack on average I wasn’t sure how sealed the seams would be. I didn’t expect the material to provide a waterproof barrier against water.

I thought of an appropriate test for the sacks; what was something that you’d want to be 100% dry after a post-disaster situation? Matches? Sure, but you should have a few backup ways to make fire, like a SparkLite or Ronson Jet Lite lighter. What about bandages? That’s a fine idea, but I already have my basic first aid stuff in a crush-proof, water-tight Pelican case. Hrm …

Oh, that’s right. Toilet paper.

I put a roll of TP inside the medium-sized bag and then put the bag underwater for ten minutes. Due to the buoyancy of the bag I had to weigh it down for the test.

I was surprised to open the sack and find the toilet paper perfectly dry. There were a few drops of water inside the bag, but the more I think about it the more I think that I did that when I opened the mouth of the bag.

I’m sold on the dry sacks from Outdoor Products, and I think that for $10 it’s a solid addition to any go-bag or camping gear depot. You can find them at Wal-Mart for $9.99 or buy them from Amazon if you can’t bear to be seen inside a big box store.

Strongly recommended.

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Posted in: preparedness, review

1 Comment on "Outdoor Products Ultimate Dry Sack Review"

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  1. Erin Clare says:

    I heart your blog. You always test things out and post really thorough reviews. It makes me feel lazy on my end… lazy but informed.

    So there’s a possibility of going rafting this spring in Arkansas and if that’s the case I will definitely be picking some of these up.

    Thanks for another good post!