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SealLine Boundary Pack Review

This model is easy to carry though is a bit of a let-down when it comes to some feature usability
SealLine Boundary Pack
Photo: Backcountry Gear
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Price:  $105 List | $104.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Durable, waterproof material, easy to carry, welded seams, good packable shape
Cons:  Harness is very involved to remove, uncomfortable for long distances, too short to easily get three rolls in
Manufacturer:   SealLine
By Leslie Yedor and Maggie Brandenburg  ⋅  Sep 18, 2019
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 12
  • Waterproofness - 50% 6
  • Ease of Use - 30% 7
  • Features - 10% 7
  • Durability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

With the SealLine Boundary on your back, you are ready for adventure. It's a significant upgrade from the classic roll-top cylindrical bag; it consists of super thick material, a well-padded removable backpacking harness, and a robust lip with proprietary DrySeal design, making it a formidable opponent. We think it is an excellent choice for canyoneers. The main drawback to this product is its not 100% air and watertight and allowed a tiny amount of bubbles to escape during our most rigorous testing. Its backpack feature makes it incredibly convenient when portaging your raft, but it's not comfortable enough to serve as a proper backpacking pack.

Updated Logo

The logo has been moved around on the current version of this bag, but it still has the same features and functionality as the model we tested below.

June 2020

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Pros Durable, waterproof material, easy to carry, welded seams, good packable shapeDurable, easy to use, comfortable to haul aroundNearly watertight, durable, lightweight, white interior helps you find thingsLightweight, easy to use, good compression designVery durable, easy to remove backpack straps, oversized capacity, simple metal clips
Cons Harness is very involved to remove, uncomfortable for long distances, too short to easily get three rolls inExpensive, largeWill leak under duress, no easy carry straps, seams taped not weldedNot for use as a stand-alone bagLeaks if packed improperly, metal hooks take longer to use, tough to keep organized
Bottom Line This pack is highly portable but we find its features a bit cumbersome to useThis product keeps out water, no matter how rough and wet things might getQuality protection from splashes and brief submersions for a low priceThis waterproof stuff sack has all the features you need to keep your sleeping bag warm and securely stowedAn easy to use design that's well designed and durable, but overkill for many trips
Rating Categories SealLine Boundary Pack Watershed Colorado Duffel Sea to Summit Big River eVent Compression NRS Bill's Bag
Waterproofness (50%)
6
10
8
9
8
Ease Of Use (30%)
7
9
8
6
6
Features (10%)
7
8
8
7
8
Durability (10%)
8
8
7
6
8
Specs SealLine Boundary... Watershed Colorado... Sea to Summit Big... eVent Compression NRS Bill's Bag
Weight (ounces) 41.6oz 4.8oz 8.0 oz 51.2oz 65.6oz
Size We Tested (liters) 35L 75L 35 L 20L 110L
Closure Type Roll-top ZipDry Roll-top Roll-top Roll-top
Included D-Rings? No Yes Yes No No
Style Roll-top backpack Duffel Roll-top Roll-top w/ lid and compression straps Roll-top w/ shoulder straps
Material 1000D vinyl-coated polyester Ppolyurethane-coated nylon 420D heavy duty nylon 70D nylon 21oz TobaTex

Our Analysis and Test Results

We tested the 35-liter Boundary, a roll-top bag with removable backpack straps. It has a 100D 18.5oz vinyl-coated polyester body with a 100D 30oz vinyl-coated polyester bottom and welded seams. It features a removable backpack harness with padded straps and a webbing waist belt.

Performance Comparison


Work hard, play hard, and go farther with the SealLine Boundary.
Work hard, play hard, and go farther with the SealLine Boundary.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Waterproofness


The Boundary let us down when it comes to waterproofness. Though it has an impressive construction, the top section above the shoulder straps is simply too short to allow you to easily get a three roll minimum when closing. When we were finally able to huff and puff and get in those rolls to squeeze the sides of the buckle together, we, unfortunately, discovered this dry bag is not as protective as we'd hoped. Though it protects well against splashes and rain, the top is too stiff to form a good seal against being submerged or even sprayed from the wrong direction with a garden hose. Tons of bubbles escaped when we pushed this sack underwater, and our testing towel got rather damp. When we filled it with water and walked/ran/jumped around, water readily splashed out without much trying. Like some other bags we tested, we found that filling this backpack full helps to hold the rolled top closed, but still isn't a perfect seal.

The DrySeal top helps block water, but unfortunately there's not...
The DrySeal top helps block water, but unfortunately there's not quite enough space on the top of this bag to get a really secure roll to protect your gear.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Ease of Use


The Boundary is a large cylinder with an opening at the top. This requires you to stack the contents inside. Fortunately, the flat bottom assists in the process as it allows the product to stand upright unsupported. Though it's taller than it is wide, it's not nearly as tall and narrow as many of the options we tested, which helps a little bit when you're rooting around trying to find something. However, 35 liters of space as just a single large cavern can make it a bit difficult to stay organized and find one that one small item you need, particularly if you don't have an organizational system in place.

A slightly oval shape helps this bag to stand up more easily and not...
A slightly oval shape helps this bag to stand up more easily and not roll away when you set it down.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

The backpack straps make it comfortable to carry, especially with lighter loads. The webbing waist belt on this model is unpadded and, therefore, quite abrasive when hiking with weight on your hips. If you find yourself hopping into a boat with this piece and wanting to take off the backpack harness, be aware that it's a rather involved process of velcro loops and unthreading several straps from buckles to get it off. Even when it finally comes free, there are two straps, and two buckles still left dangling off the bag. You can attach them together to provide some lash points for your sack if you desire. Putting the harness back on again is a similarly involved process.

Features


The Boundary offers two unique features. The first is the DrySeal roll-top closure system. The lip of the bag is reinforced with two independent strips of thick material that assist in creating a tight seal. Previous versions of this bag had taller tops, giving you more material to work with when rolling it closed. That extra space made other versions exceptionally watertight. Unfortunately, the current Boundary just barely has enough material to get three rolls in, and it's a squeeze to do that. The rolls run into the top of the backpack harness area, which pushes against it in a bad way, ruining the integrity of what otherwise would be a good seal. So while we like the DrySeal system, we think it's not at its best.

The main body of the harness is easy enough to remove, though all...
The main body of the harness is easy enough to remove, though all the extra straps are a pain in the butt.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

The second main feature of the Boundary is the removable backpack harness made up of adjustable padded shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and a webbing waist belt. This is another place where previous versions of this bag were much easier to use. The main attachment point of the harness is easy to remove, but the addition of load lifter straps means you have to un-thread the webbing from the top of the bag, as well as from the bottom where the shoulder straps attach. This is rather tedious and time-consuming. Even after you've removed the harness and the webbing waistbelt (separate from the harness), you're left with two dangling straps and the buckles from the load lifter straps still on the dry bag. Not the cleanest or the quickest design we tested, nor is it our favorite.

You have to unthread four buckles just like this one to get the...
You have to unthread four buckles just like this one to get the backpack harness off, and two more to remove the webbing waist belt.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


The Boundary is made of some beefy materials that are very resistant to punctures and abrasions. The 1000D vinyl-coated polyester is thicker on the bottom than the body, further adding to its durability. Welded seams add another degree of impressive construction to this tank-like bag. However, paired with all this intense material, SealLine has added plastic buckles and clips that just don't match with the rest of the bag, and make us worried about how it might hold up under years of intense sunlight and water usage. We're also not the biggest fans of the relatively thin, easy to fray webbing. So while we love the bag itself, we think the details are a bit lacking here.

Leftover straps after the removal of the backpack harness can make a...
Leftover straps after the removal of the backpack harness can make a makeshift backpack for lashing down this durable, but not so watertight dry sack.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


The Boundary is about in the middle of the price range of bags we tested and performed slightly below average. If it's exactly what you've been looking for, it might be worth it for you. We, however, think it's not the most impressive model we tested and believe there are better options out there for this kind of money.

Conclusion


The SealLine Boundary is a highly durable, easy to use backpack model. While it may not be ideal for submersions or attaching to your paddleboard for the day, it is very ready to stand up to rainstorms and being scraped along the walls of a slot canyon.

Carrying the Boundary around is pretty nice, though we wish it was...
Carrying the Boundary around is pretty nice, though we wish it was more watertight.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Leslie Yedor and Maggie Brandenburg