OR - West Marine Dry Pak - S Pearson
- Here is a review of a piece of water craft equipment. It can be found
West Marine Waterproof Dry Pak for Electronics
September 30, 2008
Name: Sophie Pearson
Height: 5' 8" (1.71 m)
Weight: 179 lb (81 kg)
Sleeping bag length: Long
Email address: sophiep3 at gmail dot com
Location: Tampa, Florida USA
I first started backpacking as a teenager in England. I did a
month-long trip in the Arctic but most of my backpacking experience
has been weekend to 10-day trips, in a range of terrains and climates.
I am a volcanologist so also do day hikes carrying loaded packs over
intense terrain. Nowadays I am nearly always in sub-tropical or
tropical climates. I am heading more and more towards ultralight
packing, and unless I am sharing I use a bivy rather than a tent. I
try to pack under 20 lb (9 kg) for long weekend trips but have carried
over 50 lb (23 kg).
Manufacturer: West Marine
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Listed dimensions: 5"W x 12"L, 9" Max. Circumference
Measured dimensions: 4.9 in (12.5 cm) wide by 11.5 in (29.2 cm) long
Measured weight: 2.4 oz (67 g)
Front of dry pak when closed Back when closed with cord attached
This is a small dry bag, which fits my camera, purse and keys.
According to the website it is made of tough polyurethane and seals
hermetically. The front is clear and the back is blue, made of thick
but pliable plastic. There is a small, thin envelope on the front that
fits a piece of paper for a name. The top of the bag has solid plastic
on both sides which fit together. One side has a loop on the top to
attach the included cord and/or carabiner. The other side and the blue
plastic side of the body both have the west marine logo imprint. To
keep the sides together there are two clasps on the plastic at the top
of the front that fit through holes on the back and rotate 90°.
I bought this bag on a whim and it got its first test 30 minutes later
when I took it kayaking to see the MacDill Airfest in Tampa, Fl.
Temperatures were around 80 F (27 C) and it was constant, bright
sunshine. Although it did not get immersed, it got splashed many
times. Since then it has been on 13 other kayaking trips around
Florida totalling well over 100 miles, with temperatures between 70 F
(21 C) and 100 F (38 C). Weather has ranged from (usually) glorious
sunshine to huge rain storms. I have also taken it on car-camping
trips around Florida. The first one of these we also took kayaks and
kayaked out to see a shuttle launch at Cape Canaveral. I capsized
three times getting into the kayaking in big waves, so that the dry
pak has definitely been put through its paces!
Dry pak opening
I had been looking at waterproof cases for my camera but wasn't
willing to spend the money. I needed something immediately so bought
this dry pak but kept the receipt meaning to take it back. However,
after using it for the first day, I decided to keep it and have liked
it more with each use. The size of the bag is perfect to fit cell
phone, keys and camera, the things that I want to keep waterproof and
safe when near the water. The bag has got wet numerous times and been
dunked during capsizes more than once. Nothing inside has ever got
wet. The first two occasions I took it out, in really hot weather,
there was a little condensation in the bag, but it didn't affect
anything in there and it has stayed perfectly dry inside ever since.
The bag is well constructed and designed. The clasps take two hands to
open and are fairly stiff, so there is no way that it will fall open.
I would have liked to be able to open it with one hand, but I am used
to it now and it makes it less likely to open and ruin things. When it
is open it is easy to get things into and out of, especially because
the solid plastic tops hold it in shape. I really like the fact that I
can sit in my kayak with it between my knees but open so that my
camera is protected from splash but easily accessible, and then I can
quickly close it when I'm no longer taking pictures. The included cord
means that it is easy to carry the bag around too. Because there is
air inside when it is closed and the plastic is thick the contents
feel a little bit padded. The air inside also means that the bag
floats really well. On the website they say that you can use a phone
or GPS through the plastic but I haven't needed to try that. I did
like the idea of both sides being clear plastic so that I could take
pictures while it was still in the bag, but that isn't offered and
when I tried to take a picture through the clear plastic it was too
thick to get a good shot anyway. Where the plastic is thick, I haven't
even come close to puncturing it yet, even though I keep my keys
inside and have put weight on it before. Although this bag has had a
lot of rough usage it really isn't showing any signs of age.
This is a good quality, fairly small dry pak that is perfect for
medium-sized electronics or (in my case) camera, phone and keys.
Really useful size
Keeps things dry
Keeps its shape when open so easy to get things into and out of
Needs two hands to open
Blue plastic side means that it can't be used with the camera inside
Solid plastic top makes bag harder to pack
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