Outdoor Research HydroLite Pack Sacks
The HydroLite Pack Sacks has been discontinued. The Outdoor Research HydroLite Pack Sacks was renamed and is called the Outdoor Research Lightweight Stuff Sacks.
If you're looking for something new, check out the best dry bags for 2020.
The HydroLite Pack Sacks has been renamed. It is now known as the Outdoor Research Lightweight Stuff Sacks.
Historic Range: $5.18-$29.95
The Outdoor Research stuff sack is a compact and lightweight insurance bag against weather in moist or wet conditions. OR does a fine job of considering the finer details of functionality in this well rounded tote. The waterproofing tends to separate from the material especially at the seams.
- Water resistant
- Lightweight (1.3 oz)
- Waterproofing deteriorates
- The cinch string is shrouded
- Seam tape issues
The Hydrolite pack sack is a water resistant bag as opposed to a waterproof bag. It is not meant to withstand full or partial water submersion like a dry bag. The bag does keep things dry if left out in the rain or snow. The cinch at the top does not create a full seal as fold-over dry bags do.
With this said, the bag does do a good job of keeping out the rain, dew, snow, etc. The bag may be a wise choice for those packers who strap gear to the outsides of their external or internal frame packs as well.
What I like about the bag is that you can use it for food and other items around camp and it will repel the morning dew or any sort of precipitation. The bag was a good spot to put our solar charger and other electronics during light rain while on a week-long trip along the Namekagon.
The bag has a waterproof membrane integrated into the material.
The seams are sealed with tape. The seam tape adhesion to the material is so good that it has pulled the waterproofing membrane off of the rip stop nylon in several places. This leaves the bag slightly vulnerable in those spots. It can be repaired with seam sealer but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
The cinch cord is run through a reverse fabric tunnel. This means that the collar is flipped inside out so the cord runs smoothly along the what would have been the exterior fabric. This reduces the friction of the cord against the waterproofing membrane.
The plastic cinch is housed within a flap to keep the cinch locker in place. I don’t care for this feature because it makes it more difficult to release the cord when you want to open the bag. It may do a good job at protecting the plastic cord locker, but that slight advantage doesn’t trump the annoyance of trying to finesse the bag open and closed.
The bag itself is made of a ripstop nylon that has withstood what I’ve thrown at it for some time.
Even though the interior coating is smooth, it does have a tendency to stick a bit more than a non-coated bag depending on the material and if things are packed in pretty tightly. This seems to be heightened in hot weather.
I like the idea of the Hydrolite pack sack. It works well for the first year or so of use, but with prolonged use, the bag succumbs to the same problems as other bags half its price. The inability to endure regular use leaves me wanting more.
I've use the bag for almost two years on various outings. When I first acquired the bag, it was in nearly perfect condition. My trail use has caused several flaws to surface. It has been on a weeklong trip down the Namekagon River and on approximately six weekend trips.
Source: Part of a package