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The Case Against Nylon Oven Bags for Pack Organization
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Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
The Case Against Nylon Oven Bags for Pack Organization on 11/07/2013 14:44:15 MST Print View

I've fallen into the habit of packing just about everything in my pack, into nylon oven bags of various sizes, instead of traditional stuff sacks. The nylon bags are light, tough, and water resistant (or proof, if you tie them off well). I can see though them and not have to guess at their contents.

I generally twist and then make a loop of the open end, then use a heavy-duty twistee (NiteIze Gear Tie) to cinch the loop closed. So far this has been waterproof.

I've noticed that the vast majority of folks do not use oven bags as stuff sacks, and I'm certain there's a good reason--what is it? What am I missing? I'm asking for the case AGAINST nylon bags as stuff sacks.

Edited by Bolster on 11/07/2013 14:48:05 MST.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: The Case Against Nylon Oven Bags for Pack Organization on 11/07/2013 14:46:03 MST Print View

anyone I know uses dry bags.

Edited by stephenm on 11/07/2013 14:47:01 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: The Case Against Nylon Oven Bags for Pack Organization on 11/07/2013 15:02:55 MST Print View

"anyone I know uses dry bags."

Not surprising.

But on this side of the ditch we don't have to do the backstroke to keep our sleeping mat pointed uphill.


Bas Hommes

Locale: Europe
Noise. on 11/07/2013 15:12:20 MST Print View

One possible case against them: noise. I don't like them because of the noise. On hikes my ears become more sensitive.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
The Case Against Nylon Oven Bags for Pack Organization on 11/07/2013 15:26:14 MST Print View

I've used them quite a bit, not for pack organization so much as to keep my sleeping bag and clothing dry. I sometimes take 2 so I can wrap my sleeping bag in the bottom of my pack and keep a separate one high in my pack for clothes I want to keep dry but may want to access. I did once blow one out at the bottom seam. I think I just put too much pressure on it and the air blew it out. Overall, though, I think they work well.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Environmentalist on 11/07/2013 15:38:02 MST Print View

Same reason I don't use campbell's soup cups for a cup and a won-ton soup container for a bowl and a trash bag for a poncho and poly-pro for a groundsheet. I like well-made, durable stuff, so I choose an UL stuff sack instead. Add a few ounces, sure, but I don't have to replace things every trip and burn through more resources.

That being said, I never regret carrying an oven bag for emergencies and 90% of the time, I have it with me when I go into the woods with friends for a night and it's used for trash the next day. So I would keep on doing what you're doing.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"The Case Against Nylon Oven Bags for Pack Organization" on 11/07/2013 15:38:25 MST Print View

I line my pack with a contractor bag. Nearly everything goes in there loose, because it fits better. I've found, for example, that simply stuffing my sleeping bag in there and packing stuff on top of it actually packs better than putting my sleeping bag in a stuff sack because it can just conform to whatever space in in there. The only stuff that goes in sacks is my med kit, toilet kit, emergency kit (all in ziploc bags) and my cook kit (small stuff sack). Everything else is loose.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: The Case Against Nylon Oven Bags for Pack Organization on 11/07/2013 15:41:22 MST Print View

I do not use oven bags at all. That's an unnecessary weight to bear.

First of all, I don't know what you guys use for a backpack. Currently, my most typical backpack is a Golite Breeze. Whenever I purchase a new backpack, I spray a little waterproofing spray over it, either inside or outside. The result is something that is virtually waterproof. So, I never worry about stuff inside getting wet while I am on the trail. Now, I do use some stuff sacks inside the pack, mostly for things that don't tolerate any moisture, like my down sleeping bag. However, a cuben fiber stuff sack there weighs less than anything else, and it seems to complete the water protection job even after I arrive in camp and I am unloading everything during a rain storm. I will always have a completely waterproof rain parka shell in there, and it can always be used to protect fragile items from wetness if I don't already have it on. Some of my gear came with its own built-in stuff sack that is not waterproof. If I get extreme, I might use some flimsy produce bags to back that up, but only if I expect some wet and deep stream crossings.

The most water-susceptible thing that I carry is my camera, and it is in its own weatherproof case with a produce bag inside, just for a wet stream crossing.

On one 5-day trip a year ago, I got rained on each day. I figure the maximum rainwater that got in was about one drop.

So, no, I don't need no steekin' oven bag.


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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Environmentalist on 11/07/2013 15:44:05 MST Print View

"Add a few ounces, sure"

Those words don't go over very well here at BPL.


Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Baking bag criticisms on 11/07/2013 16:00:03 MST Print View

These bags deserve a little love.

I think they are more durable than the trash bags or compactor bags people typically use as liners. Its hard to see how these have a bigger environmental impact than anything else used to keep water off your stuff. They can be used over and over.

I also don't think they are extra weight. These bags are really quite light. If you live outside the desert and carry down, I really think you need some kind of liner to keep you bag and other clothes in.

I have never noticed sound from my baking bags while hiking, even a little.

Edited by alexdrewreed on 11/07/2013 16:01:42 MST.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
re on 11/07/2013 16:11:32 MST Print View

I prefer a cordlock and drawstring, I would lose a twist tie.

Also cordlock is faster to access items.

just Justin Whitson
Re: The Case Against Nylon Oven Bags for Pack Organization on 11/07/2013 16:23:18 MST Print View

Are these the same as the turkey oven bags? Didn't realize the were made out of nylon.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: The Case Against Nylon Oven Bags for Pack Organization on 11/07/2013 16:42:42 MST Print View

I **do** like an organized pack, but I want to keep the stuff sacks to a minimum. For day hikes, all my spare clothing goes into a Sea to Summit roll top silnylon bag. I use a 1 liter drawstring bag for essentials; that allows me to transfer those items between packs without leaving something behind. My latrine kit is in a small zippered bag that can be transferred easily as well. All my current packs have some sort of top, belt, or outside pockets that I use for camera, phone, snacks, sunscreen and other daily trail items. Snacks usually go in a ziplock that becomes the garbage bag.

For multi-day trips, I use a big GoLite Landlubber drawstring bag for food storage and bear hanging and trash compactor bag for all the stuff that needs to stay dry rather than the silnylon bag I use for day hikes.

Why not roasting bags? It's not a bad idea, but not on my radar. I wonder about keeping them closed and durability. I could see using them as a small liner or for food and they sound like a great idea for someone starting out on a budget or equipping a newbie friend for a first multi-day trip.

What's your favorite way to keep them closed?

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Tried and....... on 11/07/2013 17:36:23 MST Print View

Failed as improved bread bag style feet protectors. Wore holes in a few miles.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: The Case Against Nylon Oven Bags for Pack Organization on 11/07/2013 17:43:57 MST Print View

"I'm asking for the case AGAINST nylon bags as stuff sacks"

I don't think anyone can make a case against them as they're fine. The durability of your system will depend on how you treat your gear. For example, my spoon is just a disposable one I kept after eating lunch somewhere. I've had it for over a year.

My system is one large Zpacks roll top dry bag which I use as my pack liner. My sleeping bag and pad stuffed in the bottom. My food bag is a S2S eVent dry bag which I throw just above my sleeping bag. I have a regular zpacks stuff sack above that as my clothes bag. I have a small cuben sack that I stole from my cook kit that I use as a ditty bag and a ziplock for my FAK.

This is HYOH thing and just comes down to personal preference.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Durability vs Weight on 11/07/2013 18:02:55 MST Print View

Ian's year-old fast food spoon reminds me that on our last backpacking trip, my husband's old sawed-off lexan spoon suddenly broke right above the bowl (no cracks, no warning). Sometimes, for certain critical gear, I would put durability above a small weight savings.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Durability vs Weight on 11/07/2013 18:29:52 MST Print View


When I read your response, all I hear is pure envy in your tone. If you really want one of these spoons so badly, all you have to do is ask. When I kept what I like to call "the greatest spoon ever", I also commandeered the spoons from both my kids and wife after they finished their lunches. You are more than welcome to have one :)

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Not strong enough for Tungsten Dice on 11/07/2013 19:18:04 MST Print View

When I fill a turkey roasting bag with a sleeping bag or clothes, no problem. Lasts for days, re-use between trips, easy to see contents, just twist the top and shove inside pack, lighter, simpler, and much cheaper than most stuff sacks.

But when I fill a turkey roasting bag with tungsten dice - no go. The bag breaks before I can lift it to put it in the pack.


-- Rex

BTW - a turkey bag will hold about 1,000 tungsten dice weighing a total of 129.5 kg (285.5 lb). I think I need a better pack, too.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Re: Re: The Case Against Nylon Oven Bags for Pack Organization on 11/07/2013 19:41:33 MST Print View

What a hoot! Really enjoying the replies. Tungsten dice, pathological spoon envy, this thread has it all.

> Are these the same as the turkey oven bags? Didn't realize the were made out of nylon.

I've found Reynolds oven bags in three sizes, and Turkey is one of them, the largest. I use a Turkey for my quilt. One of the sizes is very "horizontal," for lining a crock pot. I've found that size worthless for my purposes. The third size is the most useful for me, I think it is called simply "Large Size." Good proportion.

I agree with the comments that they're not handy to close, it takes a couple more seconds to complete the job, and a separate twistee is needed, which can get lost...although not easily, given the wild colors the Gear Ties come in. We need Oven Bags with draw cords!!

So, are Cuben bags about as light as oven bags? Does an 18x24 Cuben weigh about 0.5 ounce, as does a nylon oven bag? Also, does anyone make Cuben see-through? I don't own any Cuben bags and am wondering if an upgrade is a worthy investment, or does it merely get me bragging rights?

Edited by Bolster on 11/07/2013 19:58:18 MST.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Re: The Case Against Nylon Oven Bags for Pack Organization on 11/07/2013 19:57:23 MST Print View

Thank you for the info Delmar.