The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Earth Pak Original Review

An inexpensive model that offers modest protection against splashes and includes an independent phone case.
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Price:  $23 List | $18.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, bonus phone case, durable
Cons:  Leaky
Manufacturer:   Earth Pak
By Maggie Brandenburg & Leslie Yedor  ⋅  Sep 18, 2019
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43
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 11
  • Waterproofness - 70% 4
  • Ease of Use - 10% 5
  • Features - 10% 6
  • Durability - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The Earth Pak Waterproof protects from splashes and partial submersions for casual days at the beach or out on the water. This 20-liter model is just the right size for your towel and change of clothes and is inexpensive and durable enough to be used as a stand-alone bag. While it may be the right bag for your kids or to keep wet swimsuits contained in the back of the car, it's not entirely watertight and doesn't offer enough protection to keep electronics safe from full submersions. This model does come with a handy waterproof phone case independent of the main bag. It's perfect for an added layer of protection for your smartphone and lets you safely use your phone to document your day out on the water.

Updated Graphics

Earth Pak has acquired a snazzier logo since our testing period, shown on the bag in the image above, but nothing technical has changed about the product.

September 2019


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Earth Pak Original
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award  
Price $18.99 at Amazon$175.96 at Amazon$31.25 at Amazon
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$26.95 at Backcountry
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Pros Inexpensive, bonus phone case, durableDurable, easy to use, comfortable to haul aroundLightweight, easy to useNearly watertight, durable, lightweight, white interior helps you find thingsWaterproof for short submersions, lightweight, easy to close appropriately
Cons LeakyExpensive, largeNot for use as a stand-alone bagWill leak under duress, no easy carry straps, seams taped not weldedVery tall and skinny shape, compression is awkward, fabric eventually soaks
Bottom Line An inexpensive model that offers modest protection against splashes and includes an independent phone case.This product keeps out water, no matter how rough and wet things might get.This model is your classic lightweight stuff sack with the added bonus of waterproof material.An inexpensive model that provides great water resistance at a reasonably low price.Mostly waterproof, though a bit awkward to use.
Rating Categories Earth Pak Original Watershed Colorado Duffel eVent Compression Sea to Summit Big River Outdoor Research Airpurge
Waterproofness (70%)
10
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9
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Ease Of Use (10%)
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7
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4
Features (10%)
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6
Durability (10%)
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5
Specs Earth Pak Original Watershed Colorado... eVent Compression Sea to Summit Big... Outdoor Research...
Weight (pounds) 1.0 lb 0.3 lb 3.2 lb 0.5 lb 0.3 lb
Size We Tested (liters) 20 L 75 L 20 L 35 L 20 L
Closure Type Roll-top ZipDry Roll-top Roll-top Roll-top
Included D-Rings? Yes Yes No Yes No
Style Roll-top w/ shoulder strap Duffel Roll-top w/ lid and compression straps Roll-top Roll-top w/ compression straps
Material 500D PVC Polyurethane-coated nylon 70D nylon 420 Denier heavy duty nylon 70D with TPU-coated nylon

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Earth Pak Waterproof is made out of 500D PVC and has a 20-liter volume. Its cylindrical shape and flat bottom make it simple to pack with the essentials. It's hardy enough for your kids to drag across the beach and offers moderate protection from water.

Performance Comparison


The Earth Pak waterproof is an inexpensive model best suited for casual use.
The Earth Pak waterproof is an inexpensive model best suited for casual use.

Waterproofness


This model performs unimpressively when exposed to any serious amount of water. While it served to keep our stuff sufficiently dry when subjected to splashes on the front of a paddleboard, our towel was moderately wet after it was submerged and lots of air bubbles escaped. Dragging it behind the board resulted in an internal compartment full of water and a very wet towel.

While the majority of our towel remained dry after testing  large spots were soaked through.
While the majority of our towel remained dry after testing, large spots were soaked through.

Ease of Use


The Earth Pak's general shape is that of a standard cylindrical bag. However, the flat bottom allows it to stand upright on its own, which greatly facilitates packing and finding contents inside it during activity. The removable over the shoulder carrying strap is useful for transporting it from the car to the water, but unfortunately, ours broke on the first day of testing.

The flat bottom allows this model to stand unsuported.
The flat bottom allows this model to stand unsuported.

Features


While we love the idea of a simple, removable crossbody carry strap to help move the Earth Pak from point A to point B, we are disappointed that the plastic attachment broke during the first day of use. On a much brighter note, the included separate waterproof phone case works great, and we enjoyed using it even independently of the primary bag. The phone case is big enough for an iPhone 8 and both the touch screen and the camera work through the case.

The Earth Pak features a standard roll-top closure system. It has three plastic D-rings held on by webbing with two at the roll-top, one on the bottom side of the back.

This model features a crossbody strap that unfortunately broke on the first day of testing.
This model features a crossbody strap that unfortunately broke on the first day of testing.

Durability


The main compartment of this model is made of very sturdy material. It's thick and resistant to scratches and abrasions. The plastic D-rings and clips, on the other hand, are made of thin plastic. The plastic attachment of the crossbody strap broke clean off during the first day of testing with no exceptional force.

The main compartment is durable enough to withstand being dragged over rocks.
The main compartment is durable enough to withstand being dragged over rocks.

Other Sizes and Colors
Earth Pak makes the same model in both 10-liter and 20-liter sizes. Both sizes are available in dark blue, light blue, orange, yellow, forest green, red, white, and black.

Value


The Earth Pak's low price is hard to beat on that criterion alone, especially with the bonus smartphone case. While this may be the perfect level of investment to keep your towel and clothes dry, don't gamble more expensive hydrophobic equipment with this model.

This inexpensive product is great for the casual paddle board session where you don't plan to get in the water.
This inexpensive product is great for the casual paddle board session where you don't plan to get in the water.

Conclusion


This inexpensive model includes a handy phone case and is best suited for recreational users, kids, and casual days with minimal water exposure.


Maggie Brandenburg & Leslie Yedor