The SealLine brand is an offspring of the well-respected Seattle-based Cascade Designs, Inc., founded in 1972 by two former Boeing engineers, who were avid backpackers. The company manufactures most of its products in their U.S. and European facilities, and is also the parent of notable brands Playtpus, MSR and Thermarest. They have an excellent record of customer service, and fair warranties.
If you are curious to read other reviews we've done of SealLine products, check out this for a sample: The Wide-mouth Duffel. We have also tested a bunch of MSR tents over the years, like the one we are currently running, the MSR Mutha Habba NX 3-person backpacking tent. Cascade Designs makes good gear and we are happy to try out their stuff.
I’ve been using SealLine products since the mid-eighties, and by and large, they have been very good to me. The SealLine View series bags are no exception.
This season, the SealLine View Dry Bags have taken a beating all over British Colunmbia. East to west: Kootenay Lake, Desolation Sound and Haida Gwaii. To read the full review (and please do) click the little arrow on the right side of the orange bar below.
They also feature PurgeAir TM valves – thick foam-like waterproof discs that allegedly help the bag compress further once it’s been sealed. More on this later.
Though not reviewed here, we also got our mitts on the SealLine Discovery Deck bag. It doesn't fit within the "view" subcategory we are focussed on here but we love it anyway. And it's pink so you are unlikely to leave it on the beach and let the tide take it away. Unfortunately, the bag already sustained a minor injury (note to self: never force sharp objects--like a pencil--into any bag. Even if you do have purple duct tape).
These bags have really good slideability when stuffed together in a hatch – the frustrating stickiness of older vinyl drybags fusing together while in the heat is a distant memory – the thinner, and still super durable, 12 oz. polyurethane film construction just slides on by. A downside might be the lack of grippiness if the bag floats away and you’re trying to catch it—but I haven’t experienced that. Knock on wood.
The welded seams have held out without incident for multiple kayaking trips and 3 or 4 accidental submersions, and show no sign of wear. The 10L bag also makes a great pillow when stuffed with dirty laundry – and locks in the “scents”!
These bags compress really well when burped before full closure. Although the PurgeAir TM valve might provide some kind of competitive advantage for snazzy design, they seem redundant if you’ve compressed the bags diligently before closure, and they’d probably be the first place to invite leakage after the inevitable sand and grit work their way inwards. I pumped away at the valve on the 30L bag about 75 times after closure, and noticed little difference in compression.
The double-panelled rolltop closure offers slight innovations from previous already excellent models, with more pliable bands, and new buckles – which are durable and well-placed, but unfortunately only snap closed one way – frustrating until you get the hang of it, and potentially inconvenient if you’re having to close on the fly under high winds and heavy seas.
All-in-all these are great bags. I’ll add them assertively to my quiver of aging dry bags, with the confidence that they’ll last well into the next quarter century and beyond.
Discovery View Dry Bag (30L)
Weight: 0.34kg / 12oz (30L)
Sizes: 5, 10, 20 and 30 Litres
Colours: see through
Bulkhead View Dry Bag (10L)
Weight: 0.16kg / 5.6oz (10L)
Sizes: 5, 10, 20 and 30 Litres
Colours: orange, green, purple
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