REPOST: Sea to Summit Pack Cover Owner Review
- SEA TO SUMMIT PACK COVER
January 12, 2004
Personal Biographical Information
Name: Andrew Priest
Height: 180 cm (5' 11")
Weight: 96 kg (212 lb)
Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia
I have been hiking in Western Australia for approximately five years.
For the past four years I have been regularly walking and now leading
walks with the Perth Bushwalkers Club. These bushwalks range from all
on-track to all off-track pack-carries. I consider myself as moving
towards being a lightweight tent-carrying bushwalker with my pack base
weight in the 8 to 12 kg (18 to 26 lb) range. In 2003 I completed my
End to End of the Bibbulmun Track. I have also end to ended the Cape
to Cape Track and the Coastal Plains Walk Track.
Manufacturer: Sea to Summit
URL: http://seatosummit.com.au or http://seatosummitusa.com
Year of Manufacture: 2001
Listed Weight: NA
Weight as Delivered: 192 g (7 oz) for the large size. Weighed on my
Arlec digital scales.
The hiking environment of the south-west of Western Australia allows
for hiking and backpacking from coastal plains to forest. Elevation
ranges from 0 to 585 metres (0 to 1,920 feet). Within this region, I
hike in varying conditions from forestry roads, to sandy tracks to
single-purpose walking trails, to rock hopping, to beach walking to
completely off-track walking through open and dense country.
During the summer period, daytime temperatures average 30 C (86 F),
whereas from March through to December the daytime average
temperatures range from 15 C to 26 C (59 F to 79 F). During the autumn
(Fall), winter, and spring periods the normal weather pattern is
fairly wet with frequent heavy rainstorms evident. It does not
normally snow in Western Australia.
According to The Times Atlas of the World (Concise Edition - Revised
1997) our weather is described as being "Mediterranean - rainy
climates with mild winters, coolest month above 0° C (32° F), but
below 18°C (64.4° F); warmest month above 10°C (50° F)." The atlas
depicts the coastal area north of Los Angeles as having the same
Sea to Summit pack covers are described as "contoured waterproof pack
covers [designed] to fit snugly around your pack for extra wet weather
protection" according to the manufacturer. They come in three sizes -
small for daypacks up to 40 L (2 450 cu in); medium for packs in the
50 to 70 L (3 000 to 4 300 cu in) range; and large for packs in the 70
L to 90 L (4 300 to 5 500 cu in) size range.
The primary features of the covers are that they are seam sealed; have
a reinforced base and have a drawcord pack attachment. They are made
As stated by Sea to Summit, the cover is contoured and has a
reinforced base. I must admit, until I read this claim on the website
and then closely inspected my cover, I did not realise that this
feature existed. In fact both "ends" of the cover appear to be
reinforced and therefore either end can be used as a base. The
reinforcing is not that obvious. It seems that Sea to Summit have used
a thicker material on either end of the cover. If not for the
reinforcing having a slightly different texture and colour, I would
not have detected it. The cover is secured to the pack by a 4 mm (0.
16 ") drawcord and cordlock at what I would consider the top of the
cover. At this end the cover there is also a short piece of webbing
and a tri glide (ladder loc buckle). The function of the webbing and
glide continues to elude me.
I have a love - hate relationship with my pack cover, which means that
sometimes I take it and use it and other times I leave it behind.
Since purchasing the cover in 2001 I have settled my use now to those
bushwalks where I expect sustained exposure to rain and therefore the
cover comes into its own in keeping my Macpac Cascade canvas pack (85
L or 5 200 cu in) dry and therefore lighter than it would be, if it
was allowed to soak up rain. The pack cover fits the Cascade snugly.
I have also used it on one river crossing, where it was applied to the
side of the pack that is floated in the water. I intend to continue
using it on river crossings, unless I come up with a better idea.
In my experience, the cover has worked effectively protecting my pack
and its contents from the elements. It has sustained numerous
off-track bushwalks through at times quite aggressive bush. I have
found that the drawcord and cordlock arrangement secures the cover
effectively. It has not pulled off or caught on bush as I am walking.
That said, I still, even when using the cover, pack my sleeping bag
and spare clothes into a dry bag. Just over-cautious I suppose.
On the river crossing the cover was effective at reducing the amount
of water soaked up by the pack and the amount that got into the pack.
It didn't keep it waterproof but I didn't expect it to. What I was
hoping for to avoid the pack getting heavy from soaking up water and
it worked. So I was happy with the performance of the cover.
Will I continue to use the cover? Yes, on those trips where sustained
rainfall is anticipated. On other trips I am inclined to continue
with internal pack protection, e.g., Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry
bags. Why? I guess I am more comfortable with the internal protection
approach, even though I have no experience to date to suggest the Sea
to Summit pack cover is not effective.