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durability of O.P. Saks?
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Sean Perry
(shaleh) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
durability of O.P. Saks? on 07/12/2007 13:42:46 MDT Print View

How many re-use cycles can these things take? How solid is the seal after a few uses? Is there anything else similar?

I realize Ziplock freezer bags are pretty sturdy but they are not odor proof.

Laurence Daniels
(GNR) - F

Locale: Boston
OP Saks on 07/12/2007 13:57:20 MDT Print View

I think it depends on many different factors including frequency of use, items stored, etc., but I have some that are in great shape after about 9 months of use, including one for firestarting items that I use occasionally, to another one that is my first aid kit, that is holding up well to regular use(see Aleve).

I like them.

I have one from about 4 years ago that is not in good shape at all. Holds my mountain biking first aid, with the help of some rubber bands.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: durability of O.P. Saks? on 07/12/2007 16:47:44 MDT Print View

Not sure exactly how many cycles OP's are good for, but it's a lot more than a Ziplock freezer bag.

I often use a Ziplock freezer bag as a trash bag, and after a week they're shot, which is fine since I then throw them away. The usually failures are seams and holes that allow it to leak and give off odors (more than when new).

I have had my first aid kit and fire starter kit in OP Saks for a couple years now, and they aren't showing any sign of wear. But then I rarely access the contents.

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: durability of O.P. Saks? on 07/12/2007 17:11:29 MDT Print View

My experience is that the OP Saks are much better than ziplocks but still not that durable.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: durability of O.P. Saks? on 07/12/2007 17:23:20 MDT Print View

Maybe I am just harder on the O.P. saks than others... but I found that I only got a couple of weeks of use before I had damaged the bag enough that it was no longer air tight. My problem wasn't the seal wearing out, but rather having tip size holes in the body of the bag.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
op sak durability on 07/12/2007 17:30:45 MDT Print View

Durable compared to what? OP Saks are probably among the most durable of LW plastic bags. They are not as durable as a woven fiber sack---even the lightest spinnaker or sil-nylon would be more durable and various drysacks on the market have much more durable seals---the latter being much heavier than a OP Sak. It would be nice if there was some competition, but there doesn't seem to be any that are marketed towards the outdoor market. Particularly if you value odor-proof attributes in a storage bag. The newest generation OP Saks are quite durable ---although I miss the gussets of the older ones. I replace the most used ones about once a year on average.

Mark, you are rough on your gear! :-)>

Edited by kdesign on 07/12/2007 17:33:08 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: op sak durability on 07/12/2007 19:01:52 MDT Print View

OP saks are not as durable as oven liner bags. I lost faith in them after a couple of uses...probably operator error..hehe

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
durability of O.P. Saks on 07/12/2007 21:20:13 MDT Print View

If you want durability - buy ALOKSAK

If you want the odor barrier, buy OPSAKS

If you need both durability AND an odor barrier (for bear country)? Buy one of each. Put the OPSAK inside the ALOKSAK.

An intermediate is the BPL Foodzip bags. "FoodZips are not more durable than Aloksaks, but they are more durable than OP Saks." See the Gear Shop / Packing section at

These Aloksaks and OPSaks are expensive when compared to freezer bags and oven liner bags. Be sure you need the extra functionality before you spend the extra bucks.

joseph daluz
(jfdiberian) - F

Locale: Columbia River Gorge
I would never buy another one of these on 07/15/2007 18:09:06 MDT Print View

Ditto to what everyone else said. In my opinion they're not worth the money.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: durability of O.P. Saks? on 07/15/2007 18:53:57 MDT Print View

My experience is that the Aloksaks are durable and the OP Saks are not. I've been able to extend the durability of the OP saks by placing them inside lightweight stuff sacks.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
how to extend OP Sak life on 07/15/2007 20:08:43 MDT Print View

>>Op Saks inside stuffsacks...

Which is how I use my OP Sak odor barrier bags, specifically inside of an Ursack (where required) and inside a spin-nylon sack otherwise. The main thing to watch out for (and why I get extended life on mine) is not to put foil packed foods (FD food, etc.), the sharp corners of which will wreck havoc on any plastic bag (they don't do LW nylon bags a great deal of good, either)inside or contacting the bag. Beware of anything with sharp, stiffened corners. Reasonable care in packing and unpacking the Sak is just SOP. If you want to rough-house, look elsewhere. Same with a lot of SUL gear.

Again, the latest generation of OP Saks (frm last year on?) seem much better than the original. Those were hard to keep going for more than 2 or 3 trips. They remain the only show in town if you want a real odor barrier that is LW.

And if you are using a bear canister, why use anything other than the cheapest possible bags? Invade your recycled (hopefully) plastic bag stash.

The Aloksaks (a very different animal) are really durable----one I use to house my 1st Aid Kit is several seasons old and still going strong.

Edited by kdesign on 07/15/2007 20:10:19 MDT.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re:durability of O.P. Saks? on 07/17/2007 19:13:28 MDT Print View

Either OP saks are extremely delicate or I'm the gorrilla in the Samsonite commercials!

Stephen Parmenter
(parmens) - F - MLife

Locale: OH
OP saks durability on 07/17/2007 19:35:27 MDT Print View

I also do not find the OP saks to be that durable. But then, it is probably the sharp corners, etc of the food packaging inside them.Mine do not last me more than a couple of weekend trips before they start to get what looks to be the little pin holes (as it were) starting along the sides of the bag. But since they are the only truly lightweight odor proof alternative, I use them. What I have found to work to extend the life of the bag; is that when I retire a bag because it looks to have started little holes (and odor proof is the name of the game here), I use it as as liner for my food inside a new one. That way, the extra layer protects for longer before I notice the little pinprick holes. The weakest part of both the OP sak and the Aloksack, is the ziplock top. It seams to come unsealded from the Aloksack long before anything else goes wrong with it.

Edwin Lamberth
(ALFisher) - F
Re: OP saks durability on 07/18/2007 07:25:39 MDT Print View

Does anyone have any experience on cutting off the sharp corners on foil-packaged foods and how that affects the durability of the OP sak?

I also suppose you could dump out the foil packaged foods in something else without sharp corners and reconstitute it in pot?

Whaddya think?

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: Re: OP saks durability on 07/18/2007 10:39:03 MDT Print View


You can chop off the corners to mitigate this somewhat but just repackage the foil packed food into a ziploc freezer bag. Much less abrasive, lighter, and less bulk. You can reconstitue right in the freezer bag, using a cozy (fleece hat or other clothing item or make your own).

Graham Williams
(crackers) - F
Re: durability of O.P. Saks? on 07/18/2007 11:03:30 MDT Print View

If you talk to watchful eye, they're incredibly clear that the seal lasts between 100 and 200 uses. That's it.

The O.P. sack is not puncture resistant in the slightest, it's an odor barrier. I find that they fall apart relatively quickly.

I generally use aloksaks only when I really need them. I think they are great within the confines of a disposable plastic bag that just isn't environmentally responsible...

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Environmental responsibility and bag materials on 07/18/2007 11:47:02 MDT Print View

Graham, I'd like to bring up the issue that there are environmental trade-offs with most of the materials we use in backpacking and mtneering, in general, and storage bags in particular. Either we have issues of lots of energy going into the manufacturing of material ( it would appear that less energy goes into creating the ubiquitous plastic grocery bag than into a paper sack) or the usage of un/renewable resources, and finally if the product is recyclable or biodegradable. Weigh this with expected product life. Also, functional aspects.

Whatever we choose will involve trade-offs in one or more of these areas. Not to mention health based issues that might also be associated with the manufacture of the product. I'm fairly well versed in many of these trade-offs when it comes to baggies vs. paper bags, vs. nylon sacks and I still see no clear cut "green" choices. I'm involved in green design in residential home and office design and it's just as confusing there.

I just make the most informed and responsible selections I can, where possible and keep my eyes and ears open for further developments.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Recylabilty on 07/18/2007 11:51:47 MDT Print View

One thing to consider is many areas is that freezer bags are recyclable (if rinsed out!). So are many storage bags for food/gear storage.

Even if one tosses it at the end, there is more thoughts on it: you not leaving food scraps behind, neither are you leaving soap messes. You are carrying less garbage overall. You use less water as well.

Especially so if you buy food in bulk and divy it out over a number of meals.

Graham Williams
(crackers) - F
Re: Environmental responsibility and bag materials on 07/18/2007 12:31:19 MDT Print View

hey kevin,

i use them...i just try to be conservative and only use them when i really think it's necessary.

You're right, we've got a selection of choices that aren't that great. So you've got to make do. I believe we've all got the responsibility to remind each other that our product choices have an impact.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Enviro-responsibility on 07/18/2007 12:40:53 MDT Print View

Absolutely, G.