Posts Tagged Sea-to-Summit
When you’re traveling, things rarely break when you’re conveniently near a shop where you can repair or replace the necessary gear. They break when you’re far from help, and you have to give up or jury-rig a solution.
If any of your trusty gear (like backpacks and dry bags) uses plastic buckles, considering making a minor investment in a couple Sea to Summit Field Repair Buckles. When one of your buckles breaks while you’re on the road, just pull out a field repair buckle and replace the broken one with the aid of a screwdriver. Yes, that means you need to have a multi-tool or screwdriver handy, but sometimes that’s much easier to find than the right buckle.
As an added benefit—there is no need to have replacement buckles sewn on when back from the field. The Field Repair Buckles are a permanent solution. The two-pin side release buckles measure 3/4 in. (20 mm.), and are a replacement for nonadjustable buckles, like the ones often found on dry bag closures and V-pull style waist belts.
I’ve tucked a couple into my small repair kit when I travel, and while I haven’t had the misfortune of having any of my buckles break to date, I have experimented with replacing one with a Field Repair Buckle. It was a pretty quick and easy process—much better than having to search around in an unfamiliar city for a solution.
Sea to Summit Field Repair Buckles list for $4.95 each at Paragon Sports.
Here’s something I can say I’ve been using for years, items that perfectly fit the credo of “practical travel gear.” These dry tabs in a waterproof packet from Sea to Summit are lightweight, inexpensive, and useful. You can use them on a weekend getaway or a round-the-world trip and they’re great for getting around the liquids issue with your carry-on.
Of course they’re great for camping too, especially if you need to schlep all your stuff in a backpack over miles of trails before you set up camp.
Sea to Summit is known for putting out a great variety of gear that’s well-made, but well-priced. These pocket soaps retail for just $4.99 and are often on sale for a dollar less. Each has 50 of the tabs inside: little pieces of what feel like thin paper. When they come in contact with water, however, they turn into what they’re labeled: soap, shampoo, shaving cream, laundry detergent, or body wash. Like magic! See a demo of the soap in action below.
As shown in that video, the plastic packs themselves are watertight, so if your pack gets wet or you drop one (closed) in the sink, none of the tabs inside get wet. With 50 of them to work with, they’ll last quite a while, especially the shaving soap.
They’re biodegradable, so no worries in the backcountry, plus they’re phosphate and paraben free. How much would you pay for even trial sized liquids making that same claim?
All have a pleasant “light green tea” fragrance.
Do you like to take your electronic tools along with you on trips, but worry that in rainy or other watery conditions, they could become very expensive paperweights? Same here. Oftentimes, the best waterproof protection is to leave them in the hotel room, or bring them along in a bulky dry case. But the Sea to Summit TPU Guide Waterproof Pouch for iPad lets you bring your iPad along, even on the deck of your kayak, if that’s where you want your electronic buddy to be.
Made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), the pouch weighs only 2.3 ounces and allows you to insert your iPad, and then secure the opening with a roll-top, Velcro closure. On top of that, there’s a second fold-over Velcro closure. The seams are RF-welded for additional strength.
The screen window, as well as a small window in the back for the camera, is made of 0.15 clear TPU, so allows the touch screen and camera to work easily. The pouch measures 9.8 inches by 7.75 inches, so if your tablet computer isn’t an iPad, but fits inside the bag, you’re good to go. The die-cut loops at each corner allow you to secure the pouch to whatever you like.
I’ve used this on my kayak a number of times in recent months. It probably would have been more useful to me to engage the 3G element of my iPad, since the Wi-Fi signal isn’t super strong where I paddle, but has nothing to do with how waterproof the pouch is.
I will admit, however, to not have submerged the pouch with my iPad inside for longer than a few minutes. According to Sea to Summit, the bag meets IPX7 testing standards of being waterproof at 1 meter for 30 minutes. Sorry, divers. Not yet the bag for you.
At this Practical Travel Gear blog, we love items that can squish down for packing but will transform into something larger when you need them. These camping plates and bowls from Sea to Summit are right up our alley and they’ll even pass the double-duty gear test as well: you can turn over a collapsed plate and use it as a cutting board.
The bottom is a hard, heat-resistant nylon that will hold up to a lot of abuse. When the plate or bowl is flattened as in the photo above, it’s like a disc golf piece. (I wouldn’t advise throwing it and letting your dog jump for it though.) Then when you pop it open, the sides are made of flexible silicone that will withstand temperatures of up to 300F degrees. So no problem with hot stews or oatmeal in the wild.
It’s all food-grade and BPA-free of course. With the novel design and colors, these things were a huge hit with my daughter when I pulled them out on a camping trip. So much so that she wanted to show them to her friends and eat lunch out of them when they took a break from playing.
I’m more concerned about practicality and these X-plates and X-bowls (as the company calls them) are very well designed. With a solid base, even the smallest size isn’t very prone to tipping. Because the sides are flexible, you can bend then to pour from one container to another. Since the sides are so slick, clean-up is a cinch. When you get back to your home base, you can even toss them in the dishwasher.
The bowl holds 22 ounces, but only weighs 2.8 ounces (80 grams). Because the plate has a larger base, it weighs 5 ounces. I also put the cup (well, X-mug) in the photo here to show how they all pack together. That one will hold hot coffee or soup fine. If you’re a party animal in the woods, Sea to Summit also makes the X-shot in a shooter size.
You can pick up the Sea to Summit X-Plate camping plate and bowl combo for under 20 bucks at Backcountry, Rock Creek, or Summit Hut. They come in different configurations and colors, so shop around to find the combination you need.
See more Sea to Summit product reviews
Here at Practical Travel Gear we’re suckers for anything that packs up small but carries a big punch. This strong but lightweight duffle bag from Sea to Summit packs down into a little pouch that’s about the size of a two golf balls. As you can see in the photo here, it’s not exactly a space hog.
When you need it though, it pops out to be a 23.6-inch long piece of luggage that can hold up to 40 liters of your stuff (2420 cubic inches). Now granted it’s not going to compete with a suitcase you’d buy to use as real luggage, but you probably wouldn’t expect that out of something that weighs a mere 2.82 ounces (80 grams), right?
The main use for this is the vacation phenomenon whereby you almost always come back with more than you left with. Souvenirs, gifts, booze, and trade show swag have a way of forcing some tough decisions. You either toss something you brought to make room, or you buy and fill up another bag.
With this expanding duffle, you can take that extra bag along just in case. I’ve now used it for two trade shows where I needed to pack light to avoid baggage fees but had a sneaky feeling I’d need to bring some extras back. Both times I’ve gotten away with carrying it on as an extra “personal item” that will fit under my seat.
Technically though, if you packed this to the gills it would be over the regulation size for a carry-on. It is 23.6 + 11.8 + 11 inches, which is a tad over the limit. You probably don’t want to jam this full anyway though since there’s no shoulder strap and you’ll need to carry it like a suitcase. Leave some room so you can smash it into those “your bag must fit in this bin” displays that American Airlines is so fond of making you submit to before even getting to the security line.
See more reviews of Sea to Summit products.