When you’re shaving ounces, or grams from your pack weight it’s easy to overlook stuff sacks. DCF stuff sacks are a good way to reduce weight, and if you use multiple stuff sacks for food, clothing, tent stakes, or other odds and ends you might be surprised how much switching to lightweight sacks can amount to in savings. Of course it should be one of the last things on your list of places to optimize, but sooner or later you’ll probably get there. The offerings from ZPacks have proven their selves among our gear. Here’s a quick look…
Overview and Specs
Specs? There’s just not a lot of meat on this bone. This is “small things” after all…
- Materials: DCF, mostly 0.5 oz, some 1.4 oz (tent stake bag, food bag)
- Colorways: Olive drab, blue, white depending on stock
- Weight: Varies by size
- MSRP: $5 to $25 each depending on size
Cool, more Cuben! (make that “more DCF!”). It’s easy to spot the campsite of an ultralight backpacker when you see a DCF bear bag hanging from a branch.
In the Field
Sandra D and I have both been using the same set of large and wallet size stuff sacks since about 2011. They’ve held up well, no problems with rips or the cinch cords wearing thru. The lightweight material is semi transparent so it’s possible to identify what’s in a given sack without actually getting into it (sometimes). The only piece that’s taken much damage is my wallet size sack, which is literally holding together by threads… but the dang thing won’t come apart! I guess it might be time to invest $5 in a new one, it’s served me well on every backpacking outing I’ve been on for the past 5 years, as well as a ton of runs.
They’re stuff sacks. It’s not rocket science, but here are one or two things to consider. They’re not waterproof, more like water resistance, but of course the stitching on such thin material that undergoes a lot of jostling around tends to pull and stretch, and over time it will let some water thru. Of course the cinch closure will too. For waterproof there are DCF Dry Bags. If you’re super hard on your gear, these might not be a good investment, but if you’re marginally decent to your stuff they’ll probably last long enough to be considered a good purchase. Be tne envy of your ultralight gear-nerd friends with a set of DCF stuff sacks! Hike It. Like It.