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Pack liner vs. Pack cover
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Ed Barkowski
Pack liner vs. Pack cover on 07/24/2008 21:27:57 MDT Print View

What is preferred (or more worth its weight) on a trail such as the AT, a pack LINER or COVER? Or BOTH?

Please give specifics when possible.

Note: My pack is the GG Nimbus Meridian.

Thanks all!

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Pack liner vs. Pack cover on 07/25/2008 04:54:15 MDT Print View


I hike in Florida or New England and sometimes the Blue Ridge in NC, all potentially wet environments. I have tried all combinations and have settled on wearing a poncho that will cover my pack. Also, all items inside the pack that need to stay dry are in waterproof stuff sacks.

I found that pack covers are a gereral pain, they don't completely cover the pack, they come off easily, they are not very durable in a forested environment.

I tried pack liners and found that they frustrate me when digging for my gear. It's amazing how they seem to fold over and hide the very item that I am looking for.

In summer, I don't use the poncho and the pack just gets wet, but my summer pack is small and the absorbed water isn't all that heavy. Come to think of it, my whole clothed body is carrying absorbed water but that's what keeps me cool in summer.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Pack liner vs. Pack cover on 07/25/2008 05:05:14 MDT Print View

I've been using a Gossamer Gear liner and a Geanite Gear Cloud cover with my Nimbus Meridian for the last year in NE GA, Western NC, and Eastern TN. You probably don't need both but I don't want my down bag getting drenched when I have it with me and the liner is only around 1 ounce.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Pack liner vs. Pack cover on 07/25/2008 07:26:41 MDT Print View


Your technique works fine in the Colorado Rockies also.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Nylon Dry Sacks on 07/25/2008 09:02:10 MDT Print View

I can pretty much plan on a drenching when I head out on a trip. The system that works best for me is to use a couple of dry sacks. If you're working on a 5-pound list, it's probably not the thing. But at 2-3 ounces each, I have absolutely guaranteed dry sleeping bag and clothing. I also like the dry sacks for easy access and packability.

Bottom line, using one non-silnylon dry sack for my sleeping bag and one non-silnylon dry sack for my clothing, I have no need for raincover or pack liner. My important stuff will be dry no matter what. And the pack fabrics should only retain about 3% moisture (theoretically).

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Pack liner vs. Pack cover on 07/25/2008 10:55:37 MDT Print View

Please allow me to amend my previous post. My items that need to be dry (sleeping bag & clothes) are in waterproof DRY BAGS, not stuff sacks, as Brad is doing.

Edited by mad777 on 07/25/2008 10:56:20 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Pack liner vs. Pack cover on 07/25/2008 11:05:03 MDT Print View

Sorry for the confusion on terminology. The sacks I use are, in fact, roll top closure and completely waterproof. I typically use the phrase "dry sack" instead of "dry bag" simply because so many people associate "dry bag" with the big ol' heavy, rubberized river bags. I use "sack" in hopes of relaying the use of lightweight nylon in the construction. We are talking about the same thing--go team!

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Pack liner vs. Pack cover on 07/25/2008 11:22:14 MDT Print View

Michael, which dry bags do you use?

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Pack liner v Pack cover on 07/25/2008 15:32:58 MDT Print View

Here in wet Scotland, you need to use something. I've tried pack covers, but find them more trouble than they are worth.
I always use a pack liner, and any down gear goes inside a seperate sil-nylon stuff sack inside the liner. I used to use a plastic rubble sack as a liner, but now i use a more durable and lighter (52g) Integral Designs sil-nylon pack liner.

Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Pack liner vs. Pack cover on 07/26/2008 10:15:12 MDT Print View

In the Sierra Nevada, usually a poncho that covers the pack is enough, at least in the summer. I've just moved over to using the Gatewood Cape from Six Moon Designs. Since I use a tarptent for shelter, it's also insurance in case I need to cover my down bag from rain splashes (and can be set up as an extra shelter or vestibule if needed). For me it's a piece of mind vs weight thing.

When rain is more likely, I often combine this with either a trash compactor bag as a liner; my food bag or bear canister sits on top of it to hold it closed. Inside that, I have my down and clothes in silnylon stuff sacks.

I've also used a WXTex Pneumo-something (their lightest version, reviewed well on BPL, not the heavier ones a la Arctic1000) 15L for my sleeping bag, jacket (both down), and spare's heavy compared to a stuff sack at 5 ounces, but the purge valve lets it compress very well without straps, and again, piece of mind weighs nothing. (I did have to patch the Pneumo bag after a very gentle rub against a stucco wall in Thailand - they're pretty fragile - but two small pieces of duct tape and silicone sealant did the trick. Inside a pack, no worries.)

Edited by atomick on 07/26/2008 10:16:05 MDT.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Pack liner vs. Pack cover on 07/26/2008 13:28:49 MDT Print View


My Dry Bags are P.O.E. Pneumo-Lite for my down sleeping bags. I have 15L and 25L so, depending on the season the wife's and my bag go into separate 15L bags or both into a single 25L bag. The air-valve compression feature and dry security are worth the extra few ounces for the down bags.

As for extra clothing, I actually found "Outdoor Products" brand silnylon dry bags at Walmart. They come in sets of 3 at 2, 4 and 8L sizes for $10! And 3.5 oz total weight! I'm sure they won't last as long as the POE's but for synthetic/wool clothing, they are good enough for me. I will recoat them with silicone someday.

Reginald Donaldson
(worth) - MLife

Locale: Wind River Range
Trash compactor bags on 07/27/2008 09:30:54 MDT Print View

The paddling community lines their packs with plastic bags, typically trash compactor bags. They will usually last a season. Some of the paddling guru's claim that pin holes are due to abrasion create by the gear. Thus, they advocate double bagging. For those items that need extra protection, Sea to Summit makes some of the lighest dry bags I have found. Aloksaks are also good. The downside is that the pack becomes heavy once water logged.

René Enguehard
(ahugenerd) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland
Nothing on 07/29/2008 12:38:16 MDT Print View

I use nothing really. My pack is *somewhat* water-resistant being a coated fabric with a rubberized inner membrane (ArcTeryx Bora 80). Of course, it's heavy as all hell, but the resistance to the elements is a bonus.

If its looking like it will rain, however, I pack my down sleeping bag in a dry sack, which then does double-duty as a food bag. Could also be used as a water-hauler. Possibly a shower. Seriously, roll-top dry sacks are wonderful things.

As a side note my girlfriend has a smaller pack by Lowe Alpine with has an integrated pack cover that stows into the bottom of the pack. Really nice and light and covers the entire pack. Can't really complain...

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Nothing on 07/30/2008 12:51:56 MDT Print View

You use your dry sack to store your sleeping bag and as a food bag? I would be very concerned about passing food smells to my sleeping bag, especially in bear country.