At the risk of eroding my unbiased journalistic opinion, I have a confession to make. I am an unabashed loyalist to the Sea to Summit brand. Whether trusting their waterproof Carve pack to safeguard my camera gear amidst rainstorms in Iceland, or tucked into one of their premium sleeping bags in the cold of a Rocky Mountain morning, their gear has served me well, often far exceeding my most lofty expectations.
It sounds almost contrived, but given the mountains of gear I have used and evaluated over the last many years, the simple Sea to Summit stuff sack in its various forms has probably proven the most valued. As the cliche says, “It’s the little things that matter most,” and that certainly applies to Sea to Summit’s extensive catalog of backcountry accessories. Below are just a few of my favorites, some of them long-time friends, a few are new additions to my kit.
Lightweight Dry Sack
Available in seven sizes ranging from 1-liter to 35-liters, the Lightweight Dry Sack is my standard go-to for general storage. The 70 denier waterproof nylon construction is fully seam-taped and a Hypalon rubber strip at the edge of the roll-top opening helps create an even fold to shut out water. The heavy-duty nylon buckles snap tight and hold secure in transit. As a chronic organizer, I can’t live without these utilitarian sacks.
Ultra-Sil and Ultra-Sil View Dry Sacks
When traveling by bicycle or other means where every ounce counts, I tend to reach for the lightest bags in the STS lineup, the Nano series made of 15 denier ripstop. For everything else, I often use the slightly thicker Ultra-Sil sacks. The 30 denier silicone-coated nylon of the Ultra-Sil series bags keeps them supremely light, without sacrificing waterproofness or a reasonable level of durability. Ideal for organizing lighter accessories and apparel, these are bags that find a place on every trip I take.
Tek Towel Wash Kit
Going to bed dusty and grimy from a hard day on the trail is not my cup of tea. I don’t require much to get clean, just a little water, a drop of soap and a small towel. The Tek Towel Wash Kit is just the ticket for a quick scrub down and the high absorbency towels dry quickly. For rain-soaked days, I particularly like having a larger towel on hand to wipe off excess moisture before I slip into dry duds and a warm sleeping bag.
Premium Silk Travel Liner
Despite my predisposition to cleanliness, there are times when I just can’t get clean before slipping into my sleeping bag. For those occasions I almost always use a silk bag liner inside my sleeping bag to help keep it from getting overly soiled from dirt and body oil. It also helps disperse moisture when sleeping in warmer temperatures and keeps my bag from feeling clammy. STS makes the best liners, and their Silk Travel Liner is my favorite of them all. It also makes for a comfortable barrier against questionable linens when staying in those second and third world hotels.
Ultra-Sil Kitchen Sink
I’ve been a frequent user of the STS folding Kitchen Sink for several years. Having a large volume water container for morning or evening clean up is extremely handing, especially since that container doesn’t add any additional bulk or complicate limited storage issues. The Ultra-Sil version of the Kitchen Sink is another item that joins my every adventure. At only 55 grams it holds and impressive 2.6 gallons of water. Whether used as a wash basin, or for decanting silty water prior to filtering, it has more utility than I expected. When folded flat it fits in a back pocket and takes up virtualy no space at all.
Travelling Light Padded Soft Cells
It seems no trip is complete without those items that require an added layer of organization and protection. For me that often includes camera accessories, GPS units or other moderately delicate items. For those applications, I rely on STS Padded Soft Cells. These EVA foam reinforced cases are coated in 30 denier nylon and come in two sizes. A zipper secures a large flap cut with a wide radius allowing easy access to the cube’s interior. Nylon straps at the base and side of the Padded Soft Cell allow it to be anchored within other bags for added security.
Jet Stream Pump Sack
This might be one of my favorite accessories––ever. I spend all day breathing, but who has time to breath into a sleeping pad? This clever sack is a perfect size for most of Sea to Summit’s incredibly comfortable pads. It takes only a brief and effortless minute or two to inflate my STS pads with the Jet Stream. Best of all, it weighs nearly nothing at all.
Travelling Light Garmet Mesh Bag
I never seem to leave the house without at least one of these zippered bags. Whether filled with my nicer shirts and pants for evenings out on the town, or keeping my dirty cloths sequestered from the rest, these are travel essentials for me. Almost perfectly shaped to slip into a motorcycle pannier, they’re great packing solutions for all types of travel.
These are not the only accessories from Sea to Summit I rely on, but a handful of my most prized pieces. The more STS products I use, the more I apt I am to include on subsequent outings. Knowing this is a shameless plug for one of my favorite manufacturers, I’d recommend you take a spin through their extensive inventory of backcountry and travel inspired products. I’m sure that like me, you’ll become a fan as well.