Zip-lock bags?

Are zip-lock baggies a reasonable alternative to expensive Aquapaks, Otter boxes, etc.? I carry my cell phone, digital camera, and safety flares that way, but was wondering what the rest of you thought.

Obviously, the savings in price are tempting.

Try aloksak waterproof bags
Check out these bags. I have used them successfully on both kayak trips and extended high altitude backpacking trips.

ALOKSAK bags have been certified waterproof in excess of 60 meters (approx. 200 feet) for over two weeks by the SSI (formerly NASDA), and passed the submergence/thrash/pull test conducted by the US Navy Experimental Diving Unit. These leak proof products offer unparalleled water-tightness in a recloseable cost-effective bag. The 6 mil. film of the bag is on par with PVC of the same thickness in terms of durability, but has a lower cold-crack tolerance (minus 60 F.) than that of PVC / Vinyl (0 degrees F.) ALOKSAK is protected by four patents covering the materials, the closure, and the manufacture of the finished product. And it fills a market niche that has been long overdue.

ALOKSAK Experiment

– Last Updated: Mar-04-06 5:56 PM EST –

I tried various brands of re-sealable poly bags and two different Aloksaks to see if the seals would stay closed under pressure. I put air in the bags to half inflate each one and then carefully sealed them. I then progressively placed pressure on each bag by adding my body weight (190 lbs). My test results were as follows:

Glad Food Storage Gallon Zipper Bags - I could sit on it without the seal opening or the bag breaking. This bag also had the highest strength rating in Consumer Reports tests of storage bags

Hefty One Zip Jumbo 2.5 Gallon Slider Bags - The seal failed with moderate pressure

Aloksak's OP Sack (OP3-12x15) - The seal failed with very light pressure

Aloksak's OP Sack (OP3-9x7) - The seal failed with very light pressure

Please try the above test with any of the bags you have on hand and then let us know the results.


Is this the best test?
Kanawa magazine did a review of the aloksaks and found them to be very good. I wonder if the burst-test method you used reliably simulates field conditions. In any case, it is suprising, and something to consider before putting our faith in a new product.

I found my pelican micro-case worked reliably for the past two summers, and my bigger pelican case has been going for about 8 years now. Curiously, the two pelican flashlights I’ve had have both broken more than once. They stand behind thier product, but I was suprised at how poor the lights were compared to the cases.

I don’t know if this is the best test
I took a 1 1/2 month sea kayak expedition along the SC Alaska coast last year. For the first three weeks it rained every day but two. I used Aloksacs to store many small items. Frequently after tightly packing my Feathercraft I found the Aloksac bags had opened up and then let moisture in.

I am open to any other test that would allow us to determine what is marketing smoke and what is fact. What do you suggest?

You got it!
I was thinking of a better test (and I’m stumped, really, except maybe a washing machine)

Anyway, your field experience seems like the best way to evaluate. Sounds like they failed! That is disappointing, as I had high hopes for them, though better to find out now!

I have had seal-line map cases leak once in a while as well (might have been my fault, though)

looks like we are stuck with the bulky boxes for the really sensitive stuff.

just reread your post no to bags!
I did not realize you were looking at bags, for such purposes, sorry.

By all means use much more protection here. The use I put these to does NOT include any jostling or pressure on them. I use them as the second back up protection inside other stout products that can me pushed and pulled. Sorry for my misleading post.

Ziplock bags…
are good for things that can get wet.

My Illinoisian paddler bohemia, funny you should ask. Just today i put my cell phone and car keys in an Otter box (waterproof) and wondered, Hmm, if this bad boy dumps out of the yak, will it float? So, with care but risking a $250 cell phone, I dunked it. It floated. I tried it repeatedly, even to submerge it, and it floats and is waterproof. Cost: $18. Durability: lifetime.

Anyone notice though that they are making humongous Ziplock bags – like locker room size-- for storing clothes. Watch the ads on TV. Wonder if those’d work for dry clothes on kayaking trips.

Someone who shall remain…
…nameless fell in the water today, got wet up to his chest. Cell phone in a Safeway self-sealing sandwich bag was wet on the outside, dry on the inside. Bag was in inside jacket pocket. Jacket was soaked.

Ziplocks will fail
A friend of mine was using ziplocks to store food, matches, maps, and other items inside of ziplock bags stored inside of an Action Packer. All of his ziplocks let water in when he dumped. He had to spend hours drying his stuff out. I wouldn’t trust ziplocks to keep anything dry.

Aloksacs & Ziplocks

– Last Updated: Mar-05-06 2:10 PM EST –

I find that the seal on the Aloksac bags I've put to hard use gives out. Or the plastic around it rips so that you can't get into it easily, either way they fail fast.
Ziplock bags are always useful for the stuff that you want to put into your vest pocket at the last minute that you'd like to be dry but it's not fatal if it gets damp, or the yucky stuff that you want to haul off the island after camping, etc. But to protect anything of value, like cameras or electronic car starters, etc? Nope.

I always use ziplocks
I put my cell, keys and wallet in a ziplock and have NEVER had a problem with leakage, even after hours of rolling practice. I use GLAD freezer bags and they’ve never failed.

Of course I put the ziplocks in a roll-top dry bag…and I put the dry bag in one of the watertight hatches.

Is that overkill?

No overkill, just…
caution and GOOD sense.

zip-lock bags
I use them but not for anything that MUST stay dry. Otter cases work for me, camera/electronics.

My favorite waterproof gear bags are WXtek Pnemuo dry bags.


Water Sport
It’s a water sport. Leave all that stuff at home. Tie your keys to your belt loop with a nylon cord and hide your wallet somewhere in your vehicle. After your first three paddle strokes throw your cell phone as far as you can down wind. Give it all up and make believe you’re a mariner!

Pelican case- $12 ;$500 camera.
Floats like a cork.I’ve lost too many sandwiches in a cooler to leaky bags to trust electronics in one.

Otter box, Pelican case, I agree w/ sing

That was…

– Last Updated: Mar-05-06 10:18 PM EST –

The best answer of all hirpm. ;^)