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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Lightest stuff sacks? on 07/15/2013 14:59:28 MDT Print View

I've got a big bike trip coming up and I have two Ortlieb panniers. I gutted the organizational insert because it weighed a lot.

If I wanted to pack two or three simple drawstring stuff sacks to keep my cooking gear, first aid, and tent repair stuff organized instead of having it slosh around in the Ortlieb, what are my lightest options?

Is Cuben Fiber the lightest, and if so, is there a cheaper alternative that comes close? Is there a very durable mesh stuff sack that gets the weight down there?

These are purely organizational, they don't need to be water resistant at all. However, since they're gonna have things like a metal pot in them, they shouldn't be too flimsy.

Edited by mdilthey on 07/15/2013 15:00:19 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Lightest stuff sacks? on 07/15/2013 15:22:39 MDT Print View

"Is Cuben Fiber the lightest, and if so, is there a cheaper alternative that comes close? Is there a very durable mesh stuff sack that gets the weight down there?"

I have Cuben Fiber stuff sacks. They are very lightweight, but very pricey. I made a bunch out of M50 nylon (thru-hiker) and they turned out well. Almost as lightweight but a lot cheaper, especially if you can sew. I made a bunch out of mosquito net, and they turned out OK since they are fairly transparent for finding things inside. I made a bunch out of some lightweight mesh, and they are OK, but not terribly strong. The mesh was free to me, so I had no excuse not to use it.

You might even try some flimsy plastic shopping bags. The price is right. Plus, you might find them in different colors for color-coding.

--B.G.--

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Lightest stuff sacks? on 07/15/2013 15:28:35 MDT Print View

A stuff sack uses so little fabric, doesn't make that much difference is you use super light fabric.

If you're talking about a tent, then Cuben can save a lot of weight because it uses so much fabric.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Logic Wins on 07/15/2013 15:50:51 MDT Print View

Good point, Jerry.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Lightest stuff sacks? on 07/15/2013 16:06:07 MDT Print View

If you only need one stuff sack, then it probably doesn't make much difference.

However, we might be talking about six or eight big sacks, and the tiny difference will add up.

--B.G.--

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
How many? on 07/15/2013 16:33:13 MDT Print View

I'm talking about... well, let's see.

Currently I have two mesh bags for my sleeping bag and insulated jacket, just to keep them from going all over.

I'll need one for first aid and repair
One for cooking stuff
One for clothing

And I already have a big one for bear bagging.

So, three in addition to the three i'm using. I might decide to replace all 6.

Sea to Summit has No-see-Um mesh bags, anything lighter than these?


I figure there must be someone who got curious and ran the numbers and found a "best" option. Normally I'd forgo stuff sacks but I know it's gonna make a big difference in how fast I move through camp, and on the bike I won't notice ounces like this (but if I'm buying them anyways, no reason not to get the lightest.)

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: How many? on 07/15/2013 16:44:09 MDT Print View

Some stuff sacks cry for maximum waterproofness, and I'm thinking of the sleeping bag, down jacket, etc. Other stuff sacks cry for maximum durability, and I'm thinking of the ones holding metal gear like stoves and cook pots. Other stuff sacks cry for maximum transparency, and I'm thinking of the so-called ditty bag that holds lots of small items. For a big bear bagging food bag, I would recommend something that is very durable and also dark in color. Now, often a sleeping bag stuff sack is used for bear bagging, so you get two uses out of one item. It is unlikely that you need both at the same time.

Little tiny stuff sacks probably don't make a lot of sense. I'm talking about the size of your hand or smaller. A Ziploc bag is good enough there.

--B.G.--

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
What Bob said on 07/15/2013 16:48:37 MDT Print View

It's hard to be Ziplocks for your ditty bag, FAK, etc. I'm not sure how old mine are but they are still going strong so I suspect that they'd be fine for your bike trip.

Something Bob mentioned in another thread which is worth repeating here is using a head net as one of your stuff sacks.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: What Bob said on 07/15/2013 16:54:04 MDT Print View

I've done the head net stuff sack. Another one is I sewed up a UL daypack out of M50 or M90 that weighs 1.4 oz., and it doubles as a food stuff sack.

--B.G.--

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Lightest stuff sacks? on 07/15/2013 16:59:15 MDT Print View

>> Ziplocks for your ditty bag, FAK, etc <<

That depends on how badly you want to keep things dry. I use Ziplocks for some things but after seeing what "falling in" did to my Ziplock first aid kit (melted pills and wet bandages), I now use mini-dry bags for the important stuff. YMMV

BJ Clark
(bj.clark) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Lightest stuff sacks? on 07/15/2013 17:10:24 MDT Print View

Oven roasting bags. Light, cheap, and tough. Great for clothing and sleeping bags. Too big for repair and FAK.

Edited by bj.clark on 07/15/2013 17:12:30 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Lightest stuff sacks? on 07/15/2013 17:10:57 MDT Print View

I agree with Mike: Don't count on zip locks keeping things dry. They will keep things drier, for a while. But pills need more protection such as small nalgene screw-tops. And for electronics near salt water - I only use roll-down-the-top dry bags or gasketed hard cases. The zip locks reduce a dunking to a few drops of water, but a few drops of salt water will kill most phones and some cameras. GPSs and VHF radios rated as submersible and intended for a marine environment do okay, but the instructions still recommended rinsing in fresh water upon your return.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Lightest stuff sacks? on 07/15/2013 17:15:58 MDT Print View

I am even more concerned about keeping my camera gear dry, and I carry about nine or ten pounds of it. A standard flimsy plastic shopping bag encloses the camera, and then that goes inside an all-weather zippered camera bag. This gets tested periodically in stream crossings, and it works. However, I move pretty fast through the stream.

--B.G.--

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
Super Helpful on 07/15/2013 17:33:40 MDT Print View

Ok, great info here.

-I will use my headnet as a stuff sack for my coat. Perfect. I love this forum.
-I use Aloksaks for things like lighters, charging cables, and first aid supplies. These small items should be relatively waterproof in there. However, I want a small stuff sack for all the Aloksaks to prevent them from scraping on an errant buckle and ripping.

Now, I am carrying an expensive DSLR. However, I am not doing any stream crossings. So, the Ziplok Bag inside a camera case inside a hydration pack will probably do.

HOWEVER!

Relevant to this "Probably" is that I am using Ortlieb back Rollers, which are practically dry sacks. Camera can always go in there.

But, would you trust this system? Or buy one more dry sack?

So, here's the final setup:

Sleeping bag Sack (Mesh)
Food Sack (Keeping these separate because I want to keep food in it all the time for organization).
Headnet for insulated jacket
1 super lightweight silnylon drybag for first aid/repair/cables
1 super lightweight silnylon drybag for Thermarest (forgot to mention this one)
1 ultra-sil drybag (whichever is the heavier Sea to Summit) for pot, water filter, and lid


Thoughts?

Edited by mdilthey on 07/15/2013 17:34:13 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Super Helpful on 07/15/2013 17:43:38 MDT Print View

"Thoughts?"

You're overthinking this.

--B.G.--

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
No, Really on 07/15/2013 17:53:47 MDT Print View

I legitimately need advice from other photographers on whether the protection I've got is enough for a weather-sealed DSLR. :/

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: No, Really on 07/15/2013 17:58:15 MDT Print View

Max, we can't see your stuff, so we have no way to tell what you have going.

Instead, why don't _you_ test your own stuff? Load it up and spray it down with a garden hose. If you see more than about one drop of water, then back off and try something else.

--B.G.--

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Lightest stuff sacks? on 07/15/2013 18:37:13 MDT Print View

Why not use a Nylobarrier pack liner bag as your first step in water protection and throw all your stuff sacks in that. They're cheap, light, transparent, and waterproof.

I wouldn't be concerned with the camera gear. Put it in a Ziplock and then in the Nylobarrier bring some desiccant packs if you're that worried. This is what I bring camping, while I haven't been hit by a lot of rain at one time, It's held up fine. If you stash away the camera too far, you wont take pictures.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.com
No Way, man! on 07/15/2013 18:59:43 MDT Print View

I agree with the Nylobarrier. Bob, I just can't get behind testing the waterproofness of a camera bag by spraying my $2000 camera with a hose.

I'd rather ask on the forums... If you don't have the free time to answer, someone else likely will. I feel like i'm bugging you.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: No Way, man! on 07/15/2013 19:08:17 MDT Print View

Make a dummy camera. Or borrow a friends.