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  1. #1

    Default Lets talk stuff sacks... material and sizing.

    I need to get some stuff sacks for a quilt, tent, and extra cloths and maybe a small ditty bag for cords and other small items.

    Ive recently been very interested in DCF. S2S UltraSil seems similar in performance and slightly less expensive. The benefit comes with weight, DCF is roughly half, but we are talking grams. For example, a Hilltop Bags rolltop DCF medium (7.5"x10.25) is .35oz for $27. The comparable S2S bag is (5.9"x13") and weights .9oz for $20

    just wondering if DCF is the way to go?

    ALSO

    How do you measure your gear for "stuffablity" how do you know what size bag to get? Do you get a couple and try it out?

  2. #2

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    Ever considered a quart size freezer bag like a Ziplock?Weighs .4 oz,has multiple uses for smalls?You'll want a real stuff sack for tent stuff though.DCF is ok but pricey,heavier materials are more durable but depending on how many bags you use it does all add up

  3. #3

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    I tried ziplocks on a section hike last summer. At end of two weeks a couple of them were beginning to split. Will use stuff sacks on my thru next summer.

  4. #4

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    I generally start with zip locks where possible. My tent I just stuff in the bottom of my pack with no sack; I generally separate it from the rest of my gear by leaving it outside of the small heavy duty garbage bag that waterproofs the rest of the pack.
    For stuff sacks, I don't think you can go wrong with dcf if you don't mind the cost. For size, you could estimate content size then go a little bigger. .35 oz vs .40 oz is for a slightly smaller sack is not worth it to have to sit there jamming stuff into it that barely fits. You also may reduce longevity if you overstuff every time.
    Zpacks bear bag is one option for food.

  5. #5
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    My Tarptent stuff sack bit the dust a couple of years ago, so I went to Walmart and bought their $10 combo package of stuff sacks. They're not sexy like the more expensive sacks out there, but they're light and waterproof. My Tarptent fit into the largest sack in the multi-pack. I keep food, med kit and other items in the Walmart sacks.
    Walmart stuff sacks
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
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  6. #6
    Registered User Tuxhiker's Avatar
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    Another user of Walmart waterproof stuff sacks. Can't beat the price!

  7. #7
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    I use trash bags or trash compactor bags for my main pouch which holds my underquilt, topquilt, hammock, clothes, etc. Zpacks bear bag for food. Zip locks for various smaller items. They are easy and cheap to replace, are clear so I can see what's in them, and works fine for me.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  8. #8

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    (My practice is to combine multiple things into one sack rather than having many separate sacks. My sleeping bag, pillow, and extra clothing are in a trash compactor bag, hygiene supplies are in a Ziploc bag, tent is in a stuff sack.)

    I use DCF bags for my food, FAK, and cooking gear but this fabric doesnít hold up as well as silnylon or silpoly. If subjected to a lot of use/abuse, you will likely have to replace a DCF bag sooner than youíd like. I just trashed my 3-4 yr old FAK bag that was threadbare. Iíve spoken to a few thru hikers who used DCF bags who were unhappy with them.

    Still, I like the weight savings of DCF and Iím easy on my gear so will continue to use it. The most economical way for me is to sew my own bags or buy them from Jimmyjam.

    As far as how to figure out the dimensions needed, most quilt and sleeping bag manufacturers include them in the product descriptions. If not, I believe thereís a formula for figuring it out. FWIW, Iím not a fan of stuffing sleeping bags unless itís my 5* down bag that tends to grow and take over my pack.
    Last edited by Traffic Jam; 06-13-2020 at 13:30.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    Ever considered a quart size freezer bag like a Ziplock?Weighs .4 oz,has multiple uses for smalls?You'll want a real stuff sack for tent stuff though.DCF is ok but pricey,heavier materials are more durable but depending on how many bags you use it does all add up
    ziplocks are great for figuring out the volume you need in a stuff sack.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    My Tarptent stuff sack bit the dust a couple of years ago, so I went to Walmart and bought their $10 combo package of stuff sacks. They're not sexy like the more expensive sacks out there, but they're light and waterproof. My Tarptent fit into the largest sack in the multi-pack. I keep food, med kit and other items in the Walmart sacks.
    Walmart stuff sacks
    the Walmart ones are also great because you don’t feel bad if something bad happens to them.

  11. #11

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    LiteSmith has some nylafume bags that are great for holding quilts etc.Love my Zpacks DCF bear bag.I have a tendency to have too many stuff sacks but they do a great job of organizing gear.I have found it practical to put all the stuff sacks into the largest one so you won't be hunting for them in the morning.

  12. #12
    Registered User HeartFire's Avatar
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    the amount of weight savings in DCF vs other materials in small stuff sacks is negligible.

  13. #13
    Garlic
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    I advise to not overdo it with stuff sacks. I have one for food, one for clothing/pillow. Ziplocks hold my FAK, maps, and other personal items. Tent and sleeping bag are loose in the pack, easier to pack that way. All insulation is protected in a trash compactor bag, everything else gets wet in the rain.

    I saw an extreme example during a rainy day stop on the PCT. A section hiker we met asked for help reducing his pack weight. We tore apart his pack and found nearly fifty stuff sacks, sometime nested three deep. He had about three pounds of stuff sacks, enough to fill a large stuff sack. He was a self-confessed organization freak and learned a lesson when we showed him a different packing method. All those "weigh nearly nothing" items start to add up.
    "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

  14. #14

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    Another consideration in choosing between DCF and other materials is whether the sack is likely to get wet, such as a food bag. Wet gear can significantly increase pack weight.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioHiker View Post
    just wondering if DCF is the way to go?
    I bought a ZPacks stuff sack that was intentionally oversized(think it's the 10.7L)so that it could conform to the shape of the pack, doesn't compress my down as much, isn't under any strain from being overstuffed, etc.
    It started coming apart at the seams within 6 uses, and eventually separated all down the seam.
    I currently use Katabatic's in-house silnylon stuff sacks(with Katabatic quilts), but upsized to ones intended for bulkier models.

    Also have the ZPack original MultiPack, whose inner layer of DCF delaminated and fell apart over time(got 6yrs out of it, but the inside is covered with repair tape).
    I use their 1oz/yd Solo floor and rolltop bags some, and they've been great for >6yrs, but have not been willing to give their thinner stuff another chance. My current MultiPack is the newer gridstop version.

    The short version of all that is that, at least in my limited experience, lighter weight DCF doesn't handle even minimal stress or abrasion very well, so is not worth the added cost or miniscule weight savings.

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