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Old 01-21-11, 03:05 PM   #1
irpheus
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Suggestion for a waterproof, breathable, durable, lightweight, eco-friendly bag?

Hi Bikers,

I'm looking for a waterproof, breathable, durable, lightweight, eco-friendly dry-bag to put on top of my rear rack while touring. I'm interested in the Ortlieb dry-bags, e.g. the Dry Bag PS 10, however, it doesn't appear to be breathable. Any of you know of a breathable & preferably also more eco-friendly alternative?

Sizes 10 - 20 liters.

Greetings,

Jesper

P.S.: I live in Denmark and products available in Europe are much easier to get at
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Old 01-21-11, 03:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by irpheus View Post
Hi Bikers,

I'm looking for a waterproof, breathable, durable, lightweight, eco-friendly dry-bag to put on top of my rear rack while touring. I'm interested in the Ortlieb dry-bags, e.g. the Dry Bag PS 10, however, it doesn't appear to be breathable. Any of you know of a breathable & preferably also more eco-friendly alternative?

Sizes 10 - 20 liters.

Greetings,

Jesper

P.S.: I live in Denmark and products available in Europe are much easier to get at
Ouch! That description sounds mutually exclusive to me. Kind of like we used to say in sales: You can have it cheap, fast, and good. You pick two.
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Old 01-21-11, 03:16 PM   #3
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Great to get a chance to use smileys

Yes, those are many criteria, but I reckon that if I don't include all of them nobody will know that this is actually what I'm looking for - if possible

Hi from Denmark,

Jesper
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Old 01-21-11, 03:54 PM   #4
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I doubt if anyone makes a waterproof storage bag of breathable material because it wouldn't work very well and would be far more expensive than regular waterproof bags. Goretex and other breathable fabrics work reasonably well when the moisture is being generated by a warm body inside so the moisture is in the form of vapor and can escape through the pores in the fabric. And even then the rate is pretty slow - I still tend to sweat quite a bit inside a Goretex shell while biking. But if you take some wet clothes and wrap them up in Goretex they'll stay wet for a very long time. You'd be better off separating things - put everything that's dry into a fully waterproof bag (and I'd trust a proper drybag much more than any waterproof/breathable material) and put things that are damp in a separate bag that'll let them dry out (mesh or other very breathable material).

If you need the things in the waterproof bag to be *really dry* then throw a bag of desiccant in there - or at least open it up sometime when the conditions are drier. Note that cold air holds much less moisture than warm air, so if you close up the bag when it's cold you'll have very little trapped moisture and no condensation inside later.
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Old 01-21-11, 04:12 PM   #5
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I would recommend a waterproof dry bag to keep stuff dry,
and a mesh bag to put your wet stuff in ,
to keep it separate from your dry stuff.

but really a clothesline in camp does a better job,
surface area maximally exposed.
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Old 01-21-11, 04:24 PM   #6
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carradice super C makes one out of cotton duck. their panniers are great- waterproof and breathable.
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Old 01-21-11, 04:49 PM   #7
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www.carradice.co.uk

There is a variety of bags designed essentially for Brooks saddles with their strap loops, but can be easily adapted for the use I imagine irpheus wants. Or there is the Super C rack bag

I have a Nelson Longflap that I just got for Christmas, and a smaller Barley. Machka has had a Nelson Longflap for as long as I can remember, and recently got a smaller green Pendle.

Not as cheap as the Ortlieb drybag, but for mine, bicycle specific, durable, waterproof, breathable, and relatively environmentally friendly.
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Old 01-21-11, 05:01 PM   #8
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I have a Nelson Longflap that I just got for Christmas, and a smaller Barley. Machka has had a Nelson Longflap for as long as I can remember, and recently got a smaller green Pendle.

Not as cheap as the Ortlieb drybag, but for mine, bicycle specific, durable, waterproof, breathable, and relatively environmentally friendly.
I have a Carradice Camper bag (slightly larger version of the Nelson). It has worked fine for my commuting needs, but it is not fully waterproof like the Ortlieb drybag nor is it breathable enough to let anything wet inside dry out in a reasonable time.
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Old 01-21-11, 05:13 PM   #9
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Sea to Summit makes an eVent drybag which is impeccably waterproof and quite lightweight. eVent is highly breathable, but without body heat to move the water-vapor out, I'm not sure that anything you put in a bag is really going to "breathe." This bag rode on my rack from Florida to Maine this past summer. I can't speak to its environmental credentials, as that would require some digging into the company's manufacturing policies.

http://www.rei.com/product/730882

I think the Ortlieb bag is made from PVC, which is problematic.
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Old 01-21-11, 05:35 PM   #10
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I have a Carradice Camper bag (slightly larger version of the Nelson). It has worked fine for my commuting needs, but it is not fully waterproof like the Ortlieb drybag nor is it breathable enough to let anything wet inside dry out in a reasonable time.
I think this is the impossible dream. A wet piece of cloth shoved in any bag simply will not dry out in the equivalent of a day's ride... all it will do is moulder and smell a lot. I just had this experience with a towel after a canoe trip.

Perhaps a better desscription of the requirement would be to say "damp".

The drybag has its particular issues simply because of its need to stop water from getting in. I've used Sea to Summit drybags (of the lighter material, not the heavy-duty canoeing variety) to keep stuff dry in ordinary panniers, and for all my provisions on long randonnees.

I think that if you pack wet or even damp stuff, you need to stop along the way and let it dry in the air or sun. No non-mesh bag is going to be a clothes dryer.

Machka says her Nelson Longflap has been entirely waterproof in all its use... and trust me, it has seen many, many rainy days.
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Old 01-22-11, 05:09 AM   #11
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I looked into drybags for my North Sea trip to Norway where I expected (and got) quite a few days of torrential rain.
The Ortleib style canoe bags were too bulky so I went for the nylon type. You can get these under several different brands but they all look the same to me. The ones I got from a military surplus/outdoor supplier were half the price of the fancy branded camping store ones. They worked very well and one was used as a racktop bag for my sleeping bag. The other was used as a dry clothes storage container inside my Super-C panniers.
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Old 01-22-11, 05:56 AM   #12
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Ortlieb bike dry bag attaches to Ortlieb Back Roller panniers nicely. If you don't have Roller panniers, then this is a moot point. Good thing about PVC drybags is, they can be made durable. Thinner and more flexible materials are prone to developing holes due to abrasion. In my experience thicker PVC bags last a long time, even in kayaking use, where they're frequently slid across the kayak bottom, torn through the narrow hull openings etc.

If it rains constantly for a couple of days, I've found pretty much all my stuff gets damp eventually. Especially if I'm camping. Drying anything in a tent requires a heat source and extra time in camp. I rather sleep occasionally indoors and dry stuff there.

I have a Nelson Longflap too, and though it hasn't been in torrential downpour, it's been completely waterproof so far. And it's easy enough to apply more wax if needed.

The one design I will NOT go back to is the external rain cover idea. Doesn't work too well with panniers. All the designs I've seen leave some kind of hole in the rear panel, so water gets inside the cover bag. The small hole in the bottom never seems to be at the exact lowest point to drain all that water out. As result, pannier is actually packed in a bag that has water in it, guaranteeing the pannier will be dripping wet at the bottom.

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Old 01-24-11, 03:49 AM   #13
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Hi,

I appreciate your answers & experiences which I always find that I can learn from ...

Although I will need more than one dry bag, in this case my main challenge is my sleeping bag (just bought a much wished for sleeping bag) and I would really like to keep it dry/be able to dry it as well as possible.

Reading your comments I think that probably a combination of a mesh net (for days without rain) and a dry bag for the other days could be ways to pack the sleeping bag. Maybe silica but I've read that it takes quite some volume (weight) of silica to actually have an effect...

I do have Carradice Super C panniers but I do not yet have experience with how waterproof my particular pair but indeed interesting to hear that they appear to be waterproof.

Again - thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

Greetings,

Jesper
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Old 01-24-11, 04:40 AM   #14
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Either of my down bags and the synthetic ones go into Sea-to-Summit drybags... the variety made of the lighter, matt material. They have served me well for a decade.


Yes, bags do compile body moisture overnight, and bcome even damper in wet weather. But putting them in a bag that's breathable and expecting them to dry out is an impossible dream without them going mouldy, or at the least smelling that way.

The only way to dry them sufficiently is to unpack them and hang them in sunshine. If that's not available, hanging under cover for an hour or so helps. But if the atmosphere is humid, you're not really going to much good unless you do a quick spin in a laundromat dryer.
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Old 01-24-11, 07:11 AM   #15
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For sleeping bags, I simply use a compression sack and put that into a trash bag for waterproofing. In order to minimize moisture buildup from using a bag, I leave the bag open and spread it out on the tent floor as often as practical.

After the tent is set up the bags are opened and the tent is fully vented. I do the same in the morning, opening the tent and spreading the bag when I rise, and packing the bag just before dismantlement the tent.
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Old 01-24-11, 09:40 AM   #16
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I doubt if anyone makes a waterproof storage bag of breathable material because it wouldn't work very well and would be far more expensive than regular waterproof bags. Goretex and other breathable fabrics work reasonably well when the moisture is being generated by a warm body inside so the moisture is in the form of vapor and can escape through the pores in the fabric. And even then the rate is pretty slow - I still tend to sweat quite a bit inside a Goretex shell while biking. But if you take some wet clothes and wrap them up in Goretex they'll stay wet for a very long time. You'd be better off separating things - put everything that's dry into a fully waterproof bag (and I'd trust a proper drybag much more than any waterproof/breathable material) and put things that are damp in a separate bag that'll let them dry out (mesh or other very breathable material).
Principle of Le Chatelier. Essentially without some kind of driving force...in the case of rain coats it's body heat...everything will remain where it is. A breathable bag would need heat to drive the equilibrium towards moving moisture out of the bag. I suppose you could stuff a cat in the and it's body heat would drive the moisture out but you'd end up with one pissed off kitty

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If you need the things in the waterproof bag to be *really dry* then throw a bag of desiccant in there - or at least open it up sometime when the conditions are drier. Note that cold air holds much less moisture than warm air, so if you close up the bag when it's cold you'll have very little trapped moisture and no condensation inside later.
Dessicants are limited in the amount of moisture they can absorb per unit weight. Unless you are going to carry pounds of the stuff, it wouldn't be worth using.
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