Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lightweight Stuff Sacks

True lightweight backpackers will generally tell you that a stuff sack is nothing more than unnecessary ounces. After all, a simple trash bag liner in your pack will do fine to keep everything safe and dry. Although this is true for the most part, few things are more annoying to me than emptying out my entire pack to find something that shifted to the bottom. It’s also aggravating to be unable to keep certain gear together. Sure cooking gear can be kept in a pot or cup, sure clothing items can be stuffed inside itself to be kept together, but overall it’s often nice to have compartmentalized gear to help keep it organized and readily available. Because lightweight backpacks generally don’t have extra pockets because that adds weight, compartmentalization can be achieved through lightweight stuff sacks.

If you decide to use stuff sacks, you have a couple of options to keep things light. First, consider cuben/spectralite fiber as it is both very lightweight and waterproof. Two fairly well known cottage industry manufacturers offer very nice cuben fiber stuff sacks at different sizes. These include Mountain Laurel Designs (http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=24&products_id=63&osCsid=ccde4637859ab4529d035b6ba04f828d) and Z-Packs (http://www.zpacks.com/accessories/stuff_sacks.shtml). Are they cheap? Well, not really, but they are lightweight and durable.

Sea-to-Summit offers a variety of lightweight stuff sacks and also dry bags. Two I find useful when not using cuben are the Sn240 (http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/38) and mesh sacks (http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/36) which are good for bear bag systems when used in conjunction with something like an OPSAK (http://www.loksak.com/products/opsak). If you really want a lightweight and waterproof drybag, check out the new DriSeal Drybags by Mountain Laurel Designs (http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=128&osCsid=fcfac61da0b58635a61bd753c81cef18).

1 comment:

Hendrik M said...

Currently I use S2S stuff sacks, but those MLD sacks look sweet.