One complaint against pack covers is that they hold water in the bottom of the cover. I've noticed this to be true with an old hiking partner who uses a generic one size fits all cover. My pack cover is made specifically for my pack and I have no issues of any kind with it.
I suggest y'all check out the website. www.thepacka.com
Thanks everyone!! Great comments and ideas. Now I have to choose what to do. I am leaning towards using both a pack cover and waterproof dry bags inside my pack. If I find I don't need the pack cover after a few weeks or months, I can always send it home. But if I can get a cover for around 2 oz, that sounds perfect to me. I will check out pack covers in cuben fiber and at other sites mentioned in the thread. Anyone have any issues with cuben fiber durability?
The cuben pack covers from Zpacks have a drain hole...
How's the Packa when you're hiking over boulders and seriously overgrown trail? Does it snag or get hung up?
I have a Six Moon Designs poncho tarp and the one time I took it out I had visuals of tearing a hole in my shelter while I was hiking - which would not be a good thing.
For 30 years, I've used a combination:
"Must stay dry" gear inside a plastic bag, inside the pack.
Pack cover on outside of pack - keeps the pack itself dryer, and is an extra layer of protection.
I've never had my gear get wet, even during all-day, torrential rain and/or sleet and snow.
No reason to mess with success.
I carried the zpacks cuben pack cover on the CDT last year and it's still doing fine, just one little patch (and it's easy to patch with duct tape). Ditto cuben rain skirt (except not even a patch on that). And I didn't bother with any sort of mini stuff sack for either one, just stuffed them in the external mesh of my pack."I will check out pack covers in cuben fiber and at other sites mentioned in the thread. Anyone have any issues with cuben fiber durability?"
PCT: 2008 NOBO, AT: 2010 NOBO, CDT: 2011 SOBO
I've gone a simple, light, and effective way, just a trash compactor bag inside the pack for the "must stay dry" stuff. Every thing else gets wet. Every couple of days I check the plastic bag for leaks and patch it with duct tape if needed. I've never had a failure in many seasons, many miles. It's even been good for brief submersion a few times, though I wouldn't make a habit of that.
Some hikers don't like their packs to get wet and it's worth it for them to carry a pack cover too. Nothing wrong with that if you don't mind the extra piece of gear.
"Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning
P.S. If you're looking to shave weight you could compare the weight of your dry bags to the weight of a single bag liner.
Is it difficult to dry and clean a trash bag? Are there cuben fiber trash bags?
I use a dry bag for my sleeping bag and put it at the bottom of the pack. I put everything else in my pack without bags, and use a pack cover. The pack cover keeps things fairly dry except for anything at the very bottom of the pack.
BottleStoves.com alcohol stoves $7 or $8
Just a thought but has anyone had trouble/ figured out a way to use a pack cover while having a rolled up sleeping strapped to the bag?
Its the only reason I use trash bags inside rather than getting a cover... I don't see any possible way unless you strap it to the outside after the cover is on and just deal with you sleeping pad getting soaked
The problem with lightweight dry bags is that they are expensive, and develop leaks quite readily. I'd rather trust plastic bags for my must stay dry gear and replace them fairly frequently.
I've used pack covers, but for me they don't seem to work, the pack still gets wet. Best bet is a cuben fiber poncho or packa rain jacket.