ZPacks Cuben Fiber 18×36 Dry Sack Pack Liner

I am happy with my (1.2 oz) ZPacks cuben fiber pack cover and have no plans to abandon it, but past experiences have proven that a pack cover will not keep the inside of a pack dry on its own. And now that I have started carrying more down items I figured it would be wise for me to pick up a waterproof pack liner. But after thinking about it, I decided I didn’t just want a pack liner that I would be swapping out every so often. Instead, I wanted to look for a fully waterproof dry sack that would function as a pack liner. So, I began looking for one that would fit inside my ULA Circuit as best as possible.

Thanks to one of Wallace Hunter’s AT videos I came upon the Outdoor Research UL Dry Pack Liners which sounded great and looked like it would fit great in the ULA Circuit, although I didn’t like the sound of the added weight. I then came across Lawson Kline’s cuben fiber dry sack and this one was exactly what I was looking for! Very light-weight and clear so I could see through it. However, I waited just a little too long, and now he is busy working on his tarp line-up so he is not currently making any more of his dry sacks. So, I kept looking…

I looked at the Mountain Laurel Designs large size dry sack bag, but it was just a tad smaller than I wanted. I was stuck on the size 18×36 and this one measured 17×35. (Yeah, I was being nit-picky here.) But at the moment, this one was leading the pack since Lawson’s were out-of-the-question for the time being. And the price was pretty nice on this one too, $37.

Now, of course I also checked at ZPacks, but there was nothing listed on the site that was even a dry sack, let alone big enough for what I wanted. So, I figured what the heck and emailed Joe. He quickly returned my email and told me it would be no problem to make a dry sack to my specs. He even included some estimated overall weights using various weights of cuben fiber. So, I picked the weight I wanted, added it to the custom button and submitted it. About a week later it was in my mail box…

So, in case you missed it in the video, here are the specs on this dry sack:

~Measured Size Laying Flat: 18×36 inches
~Measured Weight: 1.7 oz before seam sealing, 1.8 oz after seam sealing
~Capacity: approximately 2400 cubic inches or 39 liters (based on fit inside ULA Circuit)
~Material: 1.26 oz/sqyd Black Cuben Fiber
~Envelope Shaped

If you can’t tell from the video, I am very happy with this dry sack pack liner. It fits inside my ULA Circuit perfectly, it is very light-weight and being that it is made from cuben, it should be very durable (much more so than a trash compactor bag or some of the cheap pack liners). And of course, Joe has done a superb job, both on constructing as well as designing this dry sack. The hook-and-loop fastener that runs across the top not only makes it easy to close the top of the pack, but it also keeps the top stiff making it easier to roll closed. And of course, the highly waterproof cuben fiber should do a great job at keeping my gear dry!

So, thanks for taking the time to read this post as well as watch the video. If you have any questions just drop them at the bottom of the page and I will get back to you!

~Stick~

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
This entry was posted in Dry Bags/Stuff Sacks/ Pack Liners, Gear, Gear Stores and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to ZPacks Cuben Fiber 18×36 Dry Sack Pack Liner

  1. Trent "Big Fish" says:

    Stick,
    I like the blog and enjoy seeing your progression to ultra-light. I just started myself. I wanted to know how the duribility is on the stuff sack. I have a brand new catalyst that I am going to test in Sipsey in a few weeks and want to not have to carry a pack cover. My buddy who is a PCT/AT thru hiker says it’s a good idea but there is no way it could make it without getting holes on a thru hike. What do you think. He is going to finish his triple crown this March and wanted to know how tough the bag is. Thanks again for your help.
    Trent.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Trent,

      It has held up fine, although, unlike your friend, I have not used it on a day to day bases for months at a time. So, I can’t attest personally from that perspective. However, I think it could hold up well enough for a long distance hike under the right circumstances. While I do not mean “babying” it, I would suggest to be smart and simply be conscientious of it. As well, I wouldn’t suggest going with a 0.51 weight… at the very least go with the 1 oz/sqyd weight, or the 1.5… However, when going with the heavier weights, then you begin to lose out on the weight savings of cuben. IMHO, if you aren’t sure if this is right for you, I would suggest looking at some of the lightweight pack liners, such as the ones from LiteTrail (if they can still be found) or MLD. The ones I now use from LiteTrail weigh only 1 oz and are the same size, granted they can’t be closed like the ZPacks liner. They are also a bit less expensive too…

      As for the pack cover… that all depends. I personally use a pack cover and a pack liner… Here are some of my thoughts on that topic that may be of some interest to you:

      https://sticksblog.com/2015/04/04/pack-cover-pack-liner-both-neither-something-else/

      Hope this helps!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  2. Steve Kaiser says:

    Very good review the pack liner. Could you tell me what you’re sealing the seam with, I didn’t catch that.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Steve,

      I used SilNet, however, I believe that these come taped now, so no seam sealing necessary. Even if they don’t though, you can pick up the tape and it is much easier, and IMO, is easier to be more sure that you got it all…

      ~Stick~

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  3. Eric says:

    Is this still working out well for you? I have the Exo and was thinking of buying several dry sacks from joe and then I came across this. I figure it will keep everything dry and will be cheaper then buying several dry sacks… I just wonder if it is a hassle? Thanks, Eric

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Eric,

      A big YES! I love this pack liner. The only thing I would change about it is I would go for 0.74 cuben next time rather than the 1.26 cuben. It feel like it would cut out a fair amount of weight, and being that it is lining my pack, I feel like there is little chance for any real abrasion to occur, so I feel like the 0.74 will be fine. (Although, this lighter weight cuben may not be for everyone.)

      (Also, the 1.26 is not available anymore and I believe that his dry sacks & pack liners are now made with 1 oz cuben by default. Of course though, just ask him and he will use which ever weight you would prefer.)

      I have used this with my ULA Circuit as well as my ZPacks Blast 30 backpacks. (I am currently using the disposable MLD Pack Liners with my Zero pack, but will eventually get Joe to make me a 0.74 cuben pack liner for it too…)

      I love that Joe uses the velcro closure at the top of his dry sacks. TBH, when I first got it, I thought to myself…”WTH! This is just extra weight!” But since using it, I like them better than other roll top dry sacks. The velcro helps more than I expected. I like them…

      Hope this helps… 🙂

      ~Stick~

      Like

  4. John Roan says:

    Hey Chad,
    I must warn you, I think you’re about as demented as me these days! I had Joe make me an oversized stuff sack about a year ago for this very purpose. His comment back was very much the same, no problem. Mine is 11 x 4 1/2 x 26 and weighs .65oz total after seam sealing. I have since made one for a friend and they are very easy if you have some basic sewing skills.

    Welcome to the dark side! 🙂
    John

    Like

    • Stick says:

      John,

      I have thought about just picking up some cuben to make some DIY items, but I have always been to afraid I will spend the money and then mess it up and have to buy it anyway…However, it seems that cuben would be a little easier to work with than slippery sil…

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • John Roan says:

      Cuben is much easier to work with than silnylon, but too expensive for mistakes. I learned to sew the first few backpacks with 1.3oz silnylon and made plenty of blunders (a seam ripper is your best friend!). After you get used to it, it’s not too difficult.

      Like

    • Stick says:

      John,

      Have you tried taping cuben rather than sewing it?

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • John Roan says:

      I tried the cuben tape from quest outfitters but it didn’t work well. I think cuben got a bad reputation for being sewed when using the extremely lightweight material. The heavier stuff like the 1.43oz I use on backpacks has a very thick wall and lends itself to sewing very well. I haven’t messed around with gluing seams because I’ve heard it’s very messy and slow. I just seam seal and it works great!

      Like

    • Stick says:

      John,

      Thanks for the heads up about the cuben tape. I was debating getting some when I place another order form them one day. Also, I can definitely see how the lighter weight cuben would not hold up well with sewing. Although, I have found the stuff sacks Joe has made (which I believe is 0.51 oz/sqyd) to hold up rather well, at least so far.

      On a different note, I found that the corners of the dry sack were harder to seal than the rest. After it dried some of it began peeling at the corner so I had to redo them.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  5. Jake Willits says:

    Stick, I’m not sure if you’d be interested, but this is a link to a drybag hauling pack setup on BPL. I thought it was the coolest thing I ever saw. http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=44216

    Like

    • John Abela says:

      Wow only 15 ounces for that thing!! The “Windrider” from HMG is 25 ounces (1.6 pounds) [708 grams] and is waterproof as well. I cannot seem to find how many cubic inches the czimmer pack is… anybody know?

      These days I mostly use my ZPacks Zero (Cuben Fiber X-Small, Sternum Strap, Cuben Fiber Shoulder Pouch) at 3 ounces or my ZPacks Blast 26 at 6.3 ounces, than I put everything into CF bags. I have a CF DryBag from MLD that I put my sleeping bag and jacket into, encase I take a fall in a river or something.

      John
      http://www.RedwoodOutdoors.Com

      Like

    • Stick says:

      John,

      I wouldn’t mind having a nice cuben backpack someday, but I don’t figure it will be anytime soon. I am looking at the SMD Swift though to use for my summer pack. My Circuit will be a little too big for my summer stuff, plus the Swift is about a pound lighter. I don’t know though, I will just have to see. I gotta save up some more blow money, or sell something else so I can buy more gear…

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Jake,

      Hey thanks for the link. That reminds me of the ULA Epic, except lighter…

      ~Stick~

      Like

  6. I waas just thinking about getting a good dry bag to keep my stuff dry. This looks like it might just be the ticket. Thanks for the info. Great post.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Joe offers some great products, and at a great price. Just keep in mind that he sews his cuben so if you want it to be fully waterproof, ya gotta seam seal it!

      Like

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