I have an obsession, one that involves spending far too much time and money purchasing stuff to put other stuff in. Compression sacks, stuff sacks, camera bags, backpacks, duffel bags, harnesses, pouches, suit cases, hard cases, soft cases, tank bags, tail bags: I could open up a bag boutique for the adventurous motorcyclist out of my closet. It is because of this odd fascination with packing that I was quite surprised when I came across the Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry sacks.
Given my predilections, I have used compression sacks by a number of leading brands and was confident in my belief that they are all essentially the same. The eVent compression sacks now stand above the others in my opinion because of the wonderful fashion in which they combine the functional features of a dry bag with and a compression sack in a lightweight, durable package that is simple, easy-to-use and a significant step beyond the overused approach of wrapping everything in trash bags and hoping for the best.
A roll-top closure keeps water out but provides easy access to the sack contents while four compression straps keep everything nice and compact. The light fabric color helps to locate items and still manages to look respectable stained and dirty. I used size small sacks for both my 2-person tent (poles not in the bag) and the sleeping bag with room to spare. A medium size sack swallowed up a friend’s 3-person tent without a hitch.
Packing a conventional stuff sack can be a bit like wrestling an angry blowfish (or force feeding a boa constrictor), but the eVent material in the base of the Sea to Summit sacks lets the bags ‘exhale’ without letting in a drop of water. The eVent drysacks save time and frustration while tearing down camp or preparing for a trip: tents, sleeping bags, and clothing can be packed with ease: just fill the sack, roll the top, cover, cinch down the compression straps and ride away.
I managed to persuade one of my riding buddies to try an eVent sack despite being particularly old school. Phil uses steel spikes as tent pegs, considers trash bags to be the pinnacle of waterproofing technology, and his sleek KTM 990 Adventure is often overburdened with all manner of objects and capable of highsiding itself while on the side stand. When Phil wasn’t looking I stole his tent, threw it inside a medium-sized sack, and replaced it across the pillion seat of his bike. Phil gained a good four inches of seat space, the tent no longer extended out beyond the sides of the seat, and the whole package was waterproof to boot. Old School Phil was a happy guy.
The bags passed several waterproofing tests beyond the call of motorcycle duty, included dunking them repeatedly underwater in a stream in Idaho, strapping one to the seat in heavy fog for several hours, and even showering with one to simulate the heaviest of downpours. In each of these cases the contents of the sacks remained dry. As a final test I held one of the sacks submerged in a tub of water for ten minutes and when opened there was discernable moisture along the interior of the bag. The eVent sacks are not designed to be submerged, but I am convinced that the sacks will withstand normal rain and weather and even river crossings.
The only feature that I felt was missing on the eVent dry sacks was a daisy chain or a few gear loops to facilitate securing the sacks to a motorcycle. The 100D nylon fabric is sufficiently resilient for the sacks to get tossed around the campsite, but I wouldn’t leave the sacks exposed to branches and rocks during serious off-roading. The eVent sacks are perfectly suited to house tents and sleeping bags within a tail bag or hard case where they are not going to be exposed to constant water or sharp objects.
The eVent dry sacks are available in a range of sizes and are a great tool to have when preparing and packing for a trip. It takes a bit of experimentation to see where and how they are best used in conjunction with the rest of the motorcycle packing equipment but they keep things neat, keep things small, and keep things dry, qualities any motorcycle adventurer should desire.
You can bag the eVent dry sacks for $21.90-41.90 US MSRP.
16 days on the road, 5051 miles and a 1994 Honda VFR 750 – OWD contributor Jake Moritz crossed the continent putting the latest camping gear to a motorcycle specific test. Though given Jake is a geography major, we might point out that his route isn’t direct; north from San Francisco to Bend, Oregon, across central Idaho to Yellowstone NP, all backroads From Caliornia to South Dakota, jetting across to Wisconsin into Canada, arcing around the North Shore of Lake Superior, across Ontario and Quebec, then down into New Hampshire before arriving at Middlebury College in Vermont.