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FR - O.P. Sak - John R. Waters

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  • Exec
    Here is my (John Waters) O.P. Sak Field Report. There is an HTML file posted in the BGT Test folder at
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2006
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      Here is my (John Waters) O.P. Sak Field Report. There is an HTML file
      posted in the BGT Test folder at
      http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/FR%20-%20O.P.%20Sak%20-%20John%20Waters/
      which includes pictures. Thanks!

      Field Report: O.P. Sak

      November 1, 2006

      Contents:
      Biographical Information
      Product Information
      Field Conditions/Completed Test Results
      Summary to date
      Continuing Test Plan

      Tester's Biographical Information

      Name: John R. Waters
      Age: 57
      Gender: Male
      Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.7 m)
      Weight: 178 lb (81 kg)
      Email Address: exec at bysky dot com
      City, State, Country: White Lake, Michigan USA

      Backpacking Background

      My backpacking began in 1999. I've hiked rainforests in Hawaii, Costa Rica,
      and Puerto Rico, on glaciers in New Zealand and Iceland, 14ers in Colorado
      and Death Valley's deserts. I hike or snowshoe 6-8 miles (10 km-13 km) 2-3
      times weekly in Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, with other day-long hikes on
      various SE Michigan trails. I also hike in Colorado and am relocating there,
      which will increase my hiking time and trail variety tremendously.

      My daypack is 18 lb (8 kg); overnights' weigh over 25 lb (11 kg). I'm aiming
      to reduce my weight load by 40% or more.

      Product Information and Picture (from manufacturer's website)
      http://www.watchfuleyedesigns.com

      Manufacturer: Watchful Eye Designs
      Style: O.P. Sak
      Colors: Clear
      Sizes and MSRP:

      O.P.SAK NEW 9 X 10 3-PACK $7.79
      O.P.SAK NEW 12.5 X 20 3-PACK $10.59
      O.P.SAK NEW 28 X 20 2-PACK $13.29


      Features: New durable O.P.SAK 100% odor barrier bag. No gusset. Store food
      undetected at the camp site. OK to add boiling water to the O.P.SAK to
      prepare food as the film is FDA approved. You can not place the O.P.SAK in
      boiling water. The O.P.SAK uses the same seal as the ALOKSAK and offers all
      of the same air and water proof features. If you need a storage and
      transport bag that is tolerant to extreme heat, the O.P.SAK is the bag for
      you.


      Product Information (from tester)
      Color: Clear
      Size:

      One-package of Three: 12.5 X 20 in (31.75 x 50.8 cm)
      One - 28 x 20 in (12 x 50.8 cm)
      Three - 9 x 10 in (22.86 x 25.4 cm)
      One - 6.75 x 6 in (7.14 x 15.24 cm) (this is NOT an O.P. Sak, but an Alosak)

      Features:
      For an in depth description of the O.P. Sak, please refer to my Initial
      Report.

      Field Conditions/Completed Test Results


      I used these bags over the course of several weeks, both camping, hiking and
      traveling on airlines, in my backpack, my carry-on and in checked luggage.

      Since I had different sizes, I used them for a variety of content material
      and even used a bag in an outdoor test for four days in hot sunlight exposed
      to the elements on the ground next to a grocery store resealable bag for
      comparison (see pictures).

      The outdoor test involved using a regular store-brand "freezer-type"
      resealable bag and the 9 in x 10 in (22.9 cm x 25.4 cm) O.P. Sak. Nothing is
      much more fragrant when warmed in the sun then extra buttery microwaveable
      popcorn packs, so I placed one in each bag. The bags were then placed on the
      ground in a desolate location in southern Colorado where I could monitor
      them during the week. The O.P. Sak showed no signs of moisture entering the
      bag or any signs of bugs. Neither attracted any other animals as well, even
      though there is plenty of wildlife at this location. It was interesting that
      when I opened the O.P. Sak at the end of the test, there was a rush of
      moisture into the bag and the popcorn did get wet. I left the popcorn pack
      inside the O.P. Sak and carried it around as I traveled for about 6 weeks.
      The oil from the popcorn pack did stain the O.P. Sak and I was not able to
      remove the oil from the inside of the Sak. I used dishwashing soap, soaking
      it for a few days, but this O.P. Sak itself is now not useable for any other
      foodstuff since it retained the popcorn butter smell inside and is coated
      with the oily film.

      After five hot sunny days at 95 F (35 C) with changes to cool 45 F (7 C)
      evenings, the regular grocery store resealable bag was infiltrated by ants
      and condensation and the popcorn bag started to show signs of butter inside
      the bag due to the moisture.
      In fact the ants ate their way into the regular grocery store resealable
      bag and the bag started to fill up with water from evening thunderstorms. So
      when I held the bag up, the corner leaked water. The popcorn pack was not at
      all useable. A regular grocery store resealable bag was no match for the
      O.P. Sak in this test.
      The O.P. Sak, although covered with mud and rainwater, was completely dry
      on the inside and the popcorn pack was completely useable.


      I used another O.P Sak to hold ground coffee. Loose ground coffee. This was
      a new Sak the same size as the one I used for the popcorn pack. Again, this
      was taken hiking, overnight, into the desert, on airplanes, into motels,
      checked luggage and carry-on. It never broke its seal and it kept the coffee
      fresh and dry for 6 weeks. However, I think this bag will not be useable for
      other foodstuffs either. I think it would be exceptionally time-consuming to
      clean this out and get rid of the coffee odor and to remove the fine coffee
      dust that is clinging to the side of the bag. So when the O.P Sak is
      designated "reusable", it appears that the items placed in the bag need to
      be in their own containers, or that the contents be the same for each use.

      "Patented Leakproof/Airtight SEAL" is what the label says on the O.P. Sak.;
      "tested and approved by the Navy Experimental Unit" and I can see, after
      testing these, that they will keep dry stuff dry under extreme conditions.
      However, my tests with liquid INSIDE the bag did not go well. Yes, when I
      blew them up like a balloon I could pop them open and, yes, when I filled
      one up with water and pushed down real hard it also popped open and sprayed
      water all over. Actually they will pop open with water in them without a
      whole lot of pressure. I found that out by filling a bag 1/2 full with water
      and placing in my backpack. Fortunately, just in case, I also encased the
      bag inside a garbage bag, so it leaked into the garbage bag and not my pack.
      Had that been human waste or other gooey material my bag would have been
      rather messy. The seals seem very lightweight and not rugged enough to
      handle say a drop to the ground or a fall on my pack that may crush the
      O.P.Sak inside my bag. I also discovered that once the seal is broken and
      leaks liquid, the seal becomes less effective. I would need to dry the
      entire seal to get it to be as effective as when I first used the bag and
      that is quite a task to do quickly.

      Just as an experiment, I obtained a BioHazard bag from the local hospital.
      Other than the fact that it has a red BioHazard label on it, it looks just
      like a grocery store resealable bag and isn't even as heavy as the new
      freezer bags being sold today. I don't know what they do that is different
      with these bags, but I filled the bag with tap water and turned it upside
      down so the zippered top was down and pushed it into the side of the bathtub
      as hard as I could. Really hard and it would not open. I took both hands and
      squeezed and not a leak. I did all but step on it and it would not leak or
      open.

      Now I tried the same thing with the O.P. Sak. Filled it half full with
      water, and rubbed it against the side of the tub in a circular motion to try
      and simulate moving around in a backpack. The seal broke within a minute. It
      was a gentle break, not a pop that squirted water all over, so it would have
      been a "gentle leak" but it did not take long to get water to come out of
      the O.P. Sak.

      Just for kicks, I also filled up a cheap freezer bag half way with water and
      did the same thing and it popped open in 10 seconds spraying water all over
      the place.

      Summary

      These are great bags to use for dry foodstuffs and fragrant material. I
      would have no issues with putting dry food in these and being assured that a
      bear would not smell a thing. Of course, like always, if the smell gets on
      my backpack when I'm getting material out of the O.P. Sak that's a different
      story. If I transfer the smell to the outside of the Sak there is nothing I
      can do to mask the smell. I was very impressed with how well it kept things
      dry. They are very waterproof and do not allow water IN. I would not use
      these for storing liquids of any kind and would only use them for human
      waste if I were to encase it in another container, perhaps a second O.P.
      Sak, because although they don't allow the odor out, they do not contain
      liquids inside the Sak from leaking out as well as I would want a bag to.


      Continuing Test Plan


      Over the next few months I will use these Saks extensively to hold
      foodstuffs and I will even try to store some less than liquid material, such
      as peanut butter. The Sak filled with coffee will continue to be transported
      and reported on. These Saks will be getting quite a workout during an
      extensive travel and hiking schedule. I am interested in seeing how they
      wear now, since I am seeing signs of creases and folds, none of which affect
      the performance yet, but these additional tests will stress them out even
      more.

      I will also report any other issues that arise during the testing period.

      Thank you for the opportunity to test this product!

      John R. Waters
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