Sea-to-Summit's 35 liter Big River Dry Bag is a voluminous…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $45
Sea-to-Summit's 35 liter Big River Dry Bag is a voluminous stuff sack that is good for situations where keeping gear dry is top priority. While this reviewer is pleased with the product, he is left wondering why a bag marketed as “waterproof” cannot be submerged?
- Large capacity
- Oval design keeps bag from rolling
- Lash loops
- Reasonably priced
- Not submersible
Note: While I did purchase this product new, I bought it with the CampSaver Gift Card I won from Trailspace in June 2014. Thank you, Trailspace! Now to the review...
The 35L Big River Dry Bag was used for 8 days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in September 2014. Temperatures ranged from mid-70s to mid-30s. Rain was a part of the trip for three full days.
The Big River line comes in a multitude of sizes ranging from 3L up to 65L. I spent a lot of time going back-and-fourth trying to decide what size I should purchase. In the end, I decided the 35L was more than I needed for just a sleeping bag, but better too much than too little. I ended up being completely satisfied with the choice.
The 35L measures 13”x8”x28” and weighs in at 7.7oz (218 g). That is lighter than the 20L dry bag I own from another company.
Quality & Construction:
This is a well-made bag. The 420 denier nylon is tough and durable. During portages the six guys in our group grabbed whatever was handy and tossed it onto the rocky shore for others to start carrying. While we weren't abusive with gear, we weren't exactly babying this bag either. Seams are double stitched and sealed to be waterproof.
The Hypalon lashing loops are “resistant to chemicals, temperature extremes, and ultraviolet light” (Quote taken from Wikipedia.). They are surprisingly tough, and while I haven't gone out of my way to try and break one, I imagine it would take quite a bit of effort to do so.
Well, yeah, sort of. Rain was a constant companion for nearly half our trip. At no time were the contents of my bag damp, even as I hung it in the rain with my extra clothes.
But I remain confused over Sea-to-Summit's instance that this bag is only waterproof if it's not submerged. It seems to me that once the top is rolled down, the bag should be sealed. (For an absolute waterproof bag, see my review on the Swaygo Push Pack.)
Strapped to my Vargo Ti Arc external frame pack, the 35L dry bag doubles my carrying capacity and serves to replace my need for a rain cover (See my Ti Arc review regarding its problem with rain covers.).
With the Big River in place, I essentially have a 69L bag, with the sleeping bag compartment being completely waterproof.
Sea-to-Summit has a winning product here: Large volume, light weight, affordable price. I can definitely recommend the Big River Dry Bag to anyone in the market.