Has anyone used "Cuben Fiber Dry Bags"?

Have you used them for kayaking? You can google and there are about 3 small companies make them for backpackers. Looks good and prices are reasonable. I wonder if they are strong enough and waterproof.

New to me
…but probably will work just fine.


Design wise, it’s a regular roll top drybag.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY


cuben fiber

– Last Updated: Dec-06-11 12:54 PM EST –

I have felt the stuff. It felt rough (from the embedded fibers), waxy, and thin. I suspect that, due to the roughness, it can't form as good a seal as vinyl against vinyl. Due to the thinness, I suspect, it would puncture easily. So until proven wrong, I would take these bags to be light-duty bags for non-life-critical items.

I have experimented with several light-duty bags, and they leak a little. Fine for a camera on a day trip, where you can manage the bag so the opening stays high, and where all you can lose is money. Not fine for your sleeping bag on a long, cold whitewater trip.

Cuben fiber has a number of fans at BackpackingLight.com (which is a site well worth the $25 per year subscription). But I haven't seen anything there about trusting the fabric for a compression seal. On the other hand, Mountain Laurel Designs, one of the makers of bags, has a very good reputation at BPL.

Expensive stuff.

For my light-duty day bag, I currently use a laminated-nylon bag from Sea to Summit. It leaks a little. For longer trips, I use a vinyl bag from Seal Line. At Campmor recently, I saw that Seal Line now makes vinyl bags in sizes appropriate for day trips, so I will probably buy one of those at some point.


Weight weenies

– Last Updated: Dec-07-11 12:02 AM EST –

Hikers groan moan and whine about a couple of grams.
Most kayakers I know seldom complain about weight of
their gear, especially when it's protecting equipment.

Cost versus advantage - pretty slim in my opinion.

I can understand its use as sail cloth material on a
racing vessel needing 100's of yards of cloth for power.
- Then a power to weight ratio starts making sense.

Groan and Moan
From long-distance kayaking personal experience, I’ll take the lightest gear you can give me even if it sacrifices durability. Extra weight slows you down and makes it harder to move your boat forward. The ounces saved here and there translate into pounds.

Yes cuben fiber drybags!
I’m an ultralight backpacker and solo kayak tripper and I love my Mountain Laurel Designs cuben fiber drybags. Ultralight? Check. Ultra tough? Check. Way tougher than my non-cuben, non-ultralight drybags. I trust them for my spare clothing and down bag. I’ve tested them in the bathtub. My composite kayak is 30 pounds. I can go out for days with 12 pounds of gear. 13 to 15 in the COLD months. Portage a long way on rocky, rugged shorelines? Yep. My ultralight gear makes it possible. Expensive? Yep. Durable? Crazy tough durable. Good value? Certainly, if you look for longevity and light weight. If you’re using a cart to portage and not kayak camping often, save the money and use regular drybags. My tarp is cuben. My drybags cuben. My back and legs happy when I portage, and on the water I have less mass to move forward. Sold!

very interesting input
Not what I was expecting on toughness and water-tightness.

MLD warns you to beware of punctures. How have you tested the toughness?

When you say you tested your drybag in the bathtub, what do you mean, exactly? Did you hold the whole thing (including the opening) under a foot of water? Did you hold the opening under the spigot with the water going full blast? I have had a Seal Line vinyl bag stay completely dry despite whitewater pouring onto it for twenty minutes. If cuben bags can meet that standard, they are a major advance.


Careful - Dry Bag Submersion

– Last Updated: Dec-09-11 12:56 AM EST –

Almost ever manufacturer of dry bags specifically states
"""NOT for complete submersion"""""


When held under water for greater than about
5 minutes, water pressure will force water
through any minor leaks within the top.
For this reason it’s important to not over stuff
your bag and make allowance a minimum of 3-4
good rolls with out a crease within the material
before snapping it shut.