Nothing puts a damper on a backpacking trip quite like crawling into a soggy sleeping bag at the end of a long day. With the Sea To Summit eVent Compression as your stuff sack, you can hike assured your sleeping bag will be warm and dry when you make camp for little to no added weight. This lightweight dry bag is designed with all the classic features of a stuff sack plus the bonus of being waterproof. It also sports a clever venting feature that allows air to escape for easing stuffing but prevents water from seeping back in.
Sea to Summit eVent Compression Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Lightweight, easy to use
Cons: Not for use as a stand-alone bag
Manufacturer: Sea to Summit
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Sea To Summit eVent Compression is 20-inches tall with a 9-inch diameter and a total volume of 20-liters. Its made of 70D nylon with an eVent fabric bottom that allows air out but prevents water for getting in. It has all the familiar features of a sleeping bag stuff sack including compression straps and a pull handle on the bottom.
This model did remarkably well in this metric, really impressing us with its waterproofness. From casual use to out more intense testing, everything stayed dry inside this product throughout testing. When we held it underwater, tons of bubbles escaped through the eVent, but no moisture crept inside the bag. Our testing towel remained completely dry after submersion and after being dragged through the water.
While some other models we tested are burlier and more waterproof, they are also much heavier and would be serious overkill for a sleeping bag stuff sack. Despite having relatively thin fabric, the eVent never soaked through or let its contents get wet at all. If you're backpacking all day through a downpour in the Pacific Northwest, this is the kind of security you're going to want.
Ease of Use
Using the eVent Compression for the specialty purpose of a sleeping bag stuff sack couldn't be easier. To remain watertight, most dry bags are also airtight or at least resistant to air moving through the fabric. This would make stuffing a sleeping bag inside and compressing it down a near-impossible challenge. This model has the ingenious addition of an eVent on the bottom which allows air to exit, making stuffing and compressing not only possible but a quick and easy task. While many other lightweight models may seem like an alluring choice for backpackers, most of them lack this ability to expel air which makes them a terrible choice for a stuff sack.
The lip of the bag is more typical and closes using the classic roll-top. It is simple enough to roll it closed, pull the compression lid in place, and strap it down. This is an improvement over some other compression models we tested that have no lid, which then puts a lot of pressure on the roll-top. The eVent keeps pressure off your seal while you compress, which we think is a much better design. However, if you plan to use it as more than a sleeping bag stuff sack, this model fails to provide internal compartments for small items. It also has no carrying straps and is easier to transport inside another bag.
The eVent Compression has all of the typical features of a sleeping bag stuff sack. It has a typical flat bottomed cylindrical shape, the compression lid plus straps, and a pull handle on the bottom. The eVent at the bottom of this model is what makes it truly wonderful. This feature allows air to escape while it is being stuffed and compressed but prevents water from returning into the inner compartment.
It does not feature any D-rings or lash points and is meant to be stored inside an outer bag. You could use it on its own - it's that waterproof - but for other reasons, it's best protected by another, beefier bag.
To live up to the prerequisite weight standards for lightweight backpacking gear, the eVent Compression is forced to sacrifice some durability. Lightweight material is just never going to be as resistant to cuts and tears. The thin material of this model is not very durable when outside of a backpack, but it is strong enough to withstand abrasions from being shuffled around inside a pack.
The eVent Compression stayed intact throughout all of our testing which was all done without the added protection of an external pack. The same cannot be said for the other ultralight models we tested.
Another important component of a good compression sack is the compression straps themselves. While other, similar models we tested have thin straps, weakly attached by thin stitching (and many other reports of failings), the eVent straps are solid, and we have absolutely no problems with them.
Sea to Summit makes the same model in five different sizes, 6-liters, 10-liters, 14-liters, 20-liters, and 30-liters. We tested the 20-liter model, which was the perfect size for a 100% down, 3-season men's large sleeping bag. Other sizes may be a better fit for different sleeping bags, and the smallest models would be ideal for protecting down jackets.
The eVent Compression is reasonably priced for a mid-sized dry bag. It may be almost double the cost of a standard lightweight stuff sack, but when you're backpacking across Asia during monsoon season, we're pretty sure it will have paid for itself the first night when you have a warm and dry sleeping bag to crawl into.
The Sea To Summit eVent Compression is an ideal sleeping bag stuff sack and should be a part of any avid backpackers kit. We have zero hesitations in awarding it with a Top Pick for Sleeping Bag Stuff Sack. It has all the major design features of a stuff sack, it's lightweight, and it's exceptionally waterproof. Everyone loves a dry bed, and with this product's protection, you'll never face a damp night's sleep in the backcountry again.
— Maggie Brandenburg & Leslie Yedor