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Hydroseal Compression Sacks


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David- I have tried these and really couldn't get a good seal. Roll down drybags pretty much depend on having at least one fairly stiff edge to roll against and hold the seal closed, and these bags don't have that. In addition, the nylon is not very waterproof/abrasion resistant, so water leaks through the material itself. I have tried them twice with hopes the first bag was just a fluke, but they both were quite sieve like.

Alex L

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".. versatile and water resistant Hydroseal Compression Stuff Sacks®. ..."

The material resists water. The bag is not waterproof!

"...Unlike other compression systems that rely on a triad strap design and a drawcord closure, these compression sacks feature a four-strap system with a hinged zipper opening that optimizes space management while minimizing water penetration..."

Great for backpacking.

Four straps are better than three.

The closer MINIMIZES water penetration.

For kayaking, the traditional watertight, vinyl bags make more sense.


Living to learn.

Romany White, Blue trim

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Thanks, Alex & Richard:

I appreciate the cautions. Too bad, because it seemed like a great idea. Perhaps the very notion of a compressible sack and a dry one are contradictory.

But I'm wondering if maybe OR has reengineerind them. Below is what it says at REI. which I presume is written by OR. It is especially extravagant about the waterproofness, and that seesm incompatible with Alex's experience.

But as I read it again, I see that there's nothing to imply that these things function as true dry bags for boating use. They are probably more to keep a hiker's sleeping bag dry in the face of rain when lashed to the outside of a pack. In that case, if the zipper leaks, a piece of light plastic right inside might be all that's needed to protect against rain. But obviously that won't work in a hatch with a couple inches of water. (Please, no comments about my leaky hatches ;-))

So, what's the solution? Plain old leaky -- and cheaper -- compression sacks inside a bona-fide dry bag?


>This unique stuff sack's hinged lid closes with a beefy zipper,

>eliminating those tangled straps and floppy end cap.


> * Solidly attached lid can be kneeled on or used as a handle to

>stabilize the sack while stuffing gear

> * Hydroseal-200® coated nylon with factory-sealed seams is

>waterproof to 200 psi, amazingly durable and remains flexible to -40°


> * Hypalon inner and outer storm flaps provide bomber anchor

>points, protects zipper and keeps gear material from getting caught

>in zipper teeth

> * Compression straps have sculpted anchor points for complete and

>even compression; quick-release buckles on three sides allow easy


> * Since ends are essentially square, the compressed, rectangular

>load packs more efficiently inside a backpack

* Since ends are essentially square, the compressed, rectangular load packs more efficiently inside a backpack


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Black canyon compression sacks from sealline work well for me. They have been dry and tough and are expensive. They offer a small opening purge air and a two strap compression system which also makes the seal much more secure.

Some company always has pseudo fifties style ads in sea kayaker offering a dry bag with automatic purge valves. Never used one of theirs.

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Thanks, Peter:

Yes, I see that those Black Canyon compression bags are ordinarily a bit expensive. But I found a place (sportsbasement.com, in yahoo stores) that offers them for $23 for the smaller one ($32 for the larger), which about the same as the hydroseals. I ordered two.

If you're searching, be careful. There's a non-compression version by the same name, Black Canyon. CampMor seems to have only the non-compression models, though for more money than that bargain at sportsbasement.



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I use one of these - modified - for my sleeping bag. I sealed the seams and tested to make sure there were no water leaks in the bottom and side seams. I'm surprised about the comments that the fabric itself leaks. My test involved turning the bag inside out and FILLING it with water. The water only leaked at the seams, spots I have to fix with more Aquaseal.

I pack it zipper up in my back hatch. The zipper will leak but I figure I will have other things to worry about - than a wet sleeping bag - if my kayak is spending so much time upside down in the water that any water in the hatch has time to slip through the outer cover and leak through the zipper.

I really like being about to compress my sleeping bag.

Oh yeah. My hatches don't leak.

Liz N.

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>I use one of these - modified - for my sleeping bag. I

>sealed the seams and tested to make sure there were no water

>leaks in the bottom and side seams. I'm surprised about the

>comments that the fabric itself leaks....

That seems consistent with their marketing. Perhaps it was the zipper leaking on Alex, or maybe she had an earlier version.

>I really like being about to compress my sleeping bag.

Seems essential for camping. Also, to carry even a lightweight sleeping bag for rewarming on cold-water trips, the way Scott recommends, compressing it would be nice.

>Oh yeah. My hatches don't leak.

Don't tempt fate... or certain mischevious paddlers in the club! Seriously, I've always figured that one should plan to survive and even thrive with a flooded hatch. Having leaky hatches forces you to be prepared for that. See, it's ~good~... makes you smart and tough. ;-)))


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A have a Seattle Sports compression dry bag with a purge valve that works great, but it cost $44. Actually that's not true I got it on sale for 50% off so it only cost me $22, but I got the last one so yours will cost you $44 ;-) Check the end of year sales now is the time for bargains!

Any dry bag with a purge valve can suck water in if you create negative pressure by squeezing out too much air. Always store the bag with the valve towards the deck so that if water collects in the hull it won't get sucked in through the valve.

If you're only using a summer weight bag would you consider one of the duffel style wide mouth dry bags? It's easier to fit the sleeping bag into the dry bag with this type of opening.

Those W-Tex (name? sp?) orange bags that REI sells look interesting, it's a dry bag with a twist on/off purge valve. You might want to check them out.

Sometimes I think that compressing your gear is over rated, I seem to be able to fit more into my backpack by not using compression sacks. Maybe it's because uncompressed clothing can fill up all of the corners, whereas compressed stuff won't change shape.

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The dry bag I use (which you saw at the Cold Water workshop) is a lightweight ripstop nylon bag with taped seams, a roll top and two straps that side-release clip at the bottom of the bag. There is no purge valve: you compress it after one or two turns of the roll top and it releases the air, then cinch down the straps. Like most roll tops, it needs to be nearly full for best performance, but the sleeping bag does this. It leaks slightly around the roll top if it is submerged, about one in four NSPN trips (including rescue practice).

This lightweight bag would not stand up to extended use and could easily snag or rip. It works great for wet weather camping in general due to light weight, slippery surface and ease of use.

The bags I use are by Granite Gear, size Medium. See http://www.granitegear.com/products/packin...ack/index.shtml for the product. The site acknowledges it is not for kayaking.

OR has a hydroseal version of this bag, but it has velcro on the side of the bags to attach the straps, which I find useless unless the bag is totally full: there's no velcro to attach to since it's rolled up.

SeattleSports makes a dry bag that fits your criteria:


For a convenient source at REI:


Finally, compression bags can be too much of a good thing: if they become rock solid (i.e. they are compressing to the max) they can pack inefficiently. Bigger bags won't bend to lever into a small hatch and when they do, they don't conform well to the space.


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"So, what's the solution? Plain old leaky -- and cheaper -- compression sacks inside a bona-fide dry bag?"

That's what I do, but only for my sleeping bag. For clothing, I use the tapered float/dry bags from Voyageur. They allow you to use the fine ends of the boat pretty efficiently and without the potential hassle of having items get stuck there (been there, done that).

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david- as far as compression dry bags- Seattle sports makes an AWESOME series of these bags, with purge valve and all.They are vinyl-like material, heavy duty, and they really truly work. I took one on a 10 week trip in the Pacific north West with a down bag in it, and had NO leaks. I have a small and Andrew has the medium size, and they are plenty big for most 30 degree or warmer bags. I found the medium to be a little big for my needs, so switched to the small, and I use a 30 degree Mountain Hardware synthetic bag. I think Scott C had a link to these bags, so I would check it out. i swear by these things, though they are not cheap.


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