Select Page
summer worsley

PADI Scuba Instructor
Hunter Bierce is a PADI Scuba Instructor and multidisciplinary outdoor professional.

PRODUCT REVIEW

Sea to Summit Sling Lightweight Dry Bag

Lightweight dry bags are built for strapping to your SUP, scrambles to cliffside beaches, and trekking through tropical rainforests. The most consistent issue with this style of bag is portability during day trips: finding a way to carry them that doesn’t involve a complicated harness system or another backpack to store them.

Sea to Summit’s Sling Lightweight Dry Bag is a new version of their popular “Lightweight Dry Sack” with an integrated and reinforced messenger bag carry strap. We had the chance to take a closer look at this intuitive solution to the great drybag carry debacle, and found it a pragmatic answer to a portable, splash-proof sling pack.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Reasons to buy

  • Hands free dry bag transport
  • Adequately waterproof for paddle sports
  • Removable strap makes the bag a bit more versatile
  • Available in a couple sizes, and a couple of colors

Reasons NOT to buy

  • Less water resistant than bags with greater hydrostatic head
  • Limited amount of sizes and colors to choose from

Overview

If you’re at all familiar with Sea to Summit’s diverse catalog of waterproof wears, the Sling Lightweight Dry Bag shouldn’t look too alien. It’s very traditional as far as lightweight dry bags are concerned, built staunchly enough to justify use on the river while retaining the flexibility and mobility of something intended for day trips.

As far as a sling drybag goes, the benefits of a lightweight material that don’t make you sweat–especially trekking in summer humidity–is nice. That makes this bag more comfortable than other vinyl or PVC bags.

Comfort due to the lightweight material is also, on the other hand, where the S2S sling compromises on waterproofing and resistance to punctures.

But where the Sling Lightweight differs from the competition is in the reinforced shoulder strap.

Sea to Summit’s approach feels scrupulous compared to alternatives with other similar carry systems, built around the idea of portability rather than throwing a cheap span of webbing on as a post-manufacturing feature.

As the Sling Lightweight shows, a little bit of stitching goes a long way towards turning a serviceable but not exceptional drybag into quite the versatile piece of equipment.

See the complete list of the best Dry Bags here!

Sea to Summit Sling Lightweight Dry Bag Overview

Sea to Summit Sling Lightweight Dry Bag: Key Specifications

  • 70D Nylon
  • Fully Taped Seams
  • Adjustable webbing strap with plastic D-ring attachment
  • Roll Top seal system
  • Field repair buckle
  • Available in 10L and 20L sizes

Where to Buy:

Waterproofing

Water resistance takes a notable hit when you start to look at lightweight dry bags. The S2S Sling is no slouch, but with only a 70D fabric rating and taped seams it certainly doesn’t hold up to high-grade expedition bags. But true to form, it will keep your phone, towel, and snacks dry- provided you avoid any protracted dunks.

As always the case with these sorts of bags, it behooves you to roll the top a full three times before risking any exposure to moisture. Keep in mind that roll top dry bags can seldom claim to be entirely waterproof, and even the most overbuilt, 400D bag out there will leak through the top if you tie it to a rock on the bottom of a lake, or drag it behind a jet ski.

For splashes, sloshes, rain and dripping forest canopies- the Sling Lightweight should be more than bag enough.

Sea to Summit Sling Lightweight Dry Bag Backview

Transport and Usability

When you’re designing and marketing a bag based on a carry system, ease of transport is of paramount importance. We’ve had the chance to try out other S2S bags with more built-out harnesses (e.g. the Hydraulic Dry Pack), but it’s hard to equate the two because their intended uses are so wildly different. The Sling Lightweight certainly doesn’t port gear for multi-day river trips down steep canyon trails as well as the backpack inspired Hydraulic, but there is something to be said for the noncommittal flexibility of a shoulder strap.

Scrambling down sandy seaside bluffs with a towel, portable speaker, and a couple of sandwiches, stashing your essentials over your shoulder while you SUP to a more remote part of the beach, or having a little bit of hands-free water insurance while you shuttle your family down a boardwalk are situations where the Sling Lightweight shines. To that end, the shoulder strap is also removable so you can lash it down on the front of your favored watercraft like any other dry bag.

As previously addressed in the overview, S2S isn’t reinventing the wheel with this dry bag. Rather, they’re capitalizing on a proven concept and adding a way to lug their existing Lightweight Dry Bag more efficiently. At heart, it’s still an easy-loading roll top.

sling dry bag sea to summit

Durability

Lightweight dry bags, by merit of design, are more prone to cuts and tears than their thicker-nylon counterparts. This bag is no exception. When handling the Sling Lightweight, be sure to stay clear of brambles, sharp rocks should be avoided at all costs, and you never want to stretch it’s capacity with sharp-cornered objects.

Mindfulness pays off long-term with denier fabric, and has the added benefit of ensuring water stays out of the bag when you need it to.

Reinforcing the bottom mount point of the strap adds some compensatory durability benefits. Buckles on roll top drybags are prone to failure because they’re often used as handles. The titular sling offers an alternative for long-term transport, saves strain and reduces the likelihood you’ll shatter a clip when carrying a fully loaded bag.

This model also includes Sea to Summit’s buckle field-repair kit, allowing for single-screw fixes when you’re out and about.

Sea to Summit Sling Lightweight Dry Bag Sideview

Features

The sling is more pragmatic than it is plush- meaning there’s no padding or additional considerations for long-term comfort. I can personally write this off as a minor issue, with a max capacity of 20L it’s unlikely that the bag will ever be heavy enough to cause serious discomfort.

With buckles properly adjusted, the Sling Lightweight Dry Bag fits snugly against your back similar to a sporty messenger bag and stays out of the way when you’re on the move. Compared to other models with similar carry systems the sling lightweight seems a bit more robust at the attachment points, particularly the reinforced stitching around the bottom. I feel it allows you to focus more on what you’re doing and not worry about potential strap snapping.

Beyond the carry system, the Sling Lightweight comes equipped with most of the S2S dry bag fleet features. This includes their field repair buckle, which allows you to make a quick closure swap with a screwdriver should you happen to crack or shatter the bag’s snaps. Similar to many S2S bags, it also has a high-contrast white interior to cut down on effort while searching for your gear.

As a final note, we’d love to see some tie-down points on the side of the bag similar to S2S’s more built out models. Even if they’re subtle, they would go a long way toward making the Sling Lightweight a true double duty bag that you could more dependably fix to your kayak or SUP.

Value

Keeping with the rest of Sea to Summit’s dry bag run, the Sling Lightweight is affordable without being “cheap.” Investing in S2S dry bags overall seems to strike a balance between quality and cost-effectiveness. Comparable models with lower prices have neither the features, nor the pedigree of Sea to Summit, while more overbuilt alternatives might be a little too much bag depending on your intended use.

Starting at approximately $25 dollars for the 10L version and carrying up to $30 for the 20L, value definitely tracks with volume. The closest point of comparison we have price-wise is S2S’s Lightweight Dry Bag, which the Sling Lightweight is modeled after. There’s about a $3 jump between the different models at comparable sizes, and for a dependable carry system that’s well worth the modest uptick, provided it’s something you’ll actually need to use.

Personally I’d love to see Sea to Summit run a little bit further with this concept and include larger sizes with more durable and comfortable straps, and put a little bit more into expanding the available colors. Though I doubt anyone will want to shoulder a 50L+ bag for extended amounts of time, I find myself wishing I had more space for extra layers particularly if the weather is cold.

Sea to Summit Sling Lightweight Dry Bag Strap

Summary

Sea to Summit’s reputation within the dry bag industry precedes them, and the Sling Lightweight feels like a way for them to round out their catalogue and repurpose some unused models of their flagship Lightweight bags. But this in no way implies that it isn’t worth taking a closer look at.

I think Sea to Summit has realized that there’s a growing number of people interested in dependable dry bags outside of the hardcore river community, and these are exactly the folk that the Sling Lightweight is targeted toward. It’s not a finely-tooled piece of expedition equipment, nor is it a heavy duty rucksack for toting around essentials.

For day trips where you want a little extra insurance, casual human-powered water activities, or accessing beaches with adventurous trails, the Sling Lightweight Dry Bag is an excellent way to transport gear hands-free.

See the complete list of the best Dry Bags here!

What We Like

  • Hands free dry bag transport
  • Adequately waterproof for paddle sports
  • Removable strap makes the bag a bit more versatile
  • Available in a couple sizes, and a couple of colors

What We Don’t Like

  • Less water resistant than bags with greater hydrostatic head
  • Limited amount of sizes and colors to choose from

Where to Buy:

Where to Buy:

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Sea to Summit Sling Lightweight Dry Bag

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    How to close a dry bag?

    The vast majority of dry bags will be the roll-top variety, and once you get the hang of using them, the process is relatively consistent regardless of the brand of bag you use. Here’s a quick and easy overview of the process.

    How to close a dry bag:

    • Draw the mouth of the bag straight up, and hold by either edge of the opening
    • Push all of the air out of the remaining space in the bag, and draw the excess material straight up
    • Roll the mouth of the pack at least three times to create a waterproof seal, and buckle at the top

    Most dry bags only need to be rolled three times to create a waterproof seal, but make sure to check the specifications of your specific model to make sure you have a dependable way of keeping your most essential items dry.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    Are Sea to Summit dry bags good?

    Sea to Summit has a reputation for their wide range of adventure-oriented dry bags. From small sacks that add an extra degree of protection to your electronics to burly adventure duffles, they have you covered. To see our favorites from Sea to Summit and how they stack up against other big names in the industry, head over to our best dry bags page.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    Are Sea to Summit dry bags waterproof?

    Sea to Summit bags are waterproof, but the degree of resistance depends on the style and make of the specific bag you’re interested in. Some bags, such as their Hydraulic Dry Pack are built only to resist splashes and brief submersion, while others are bomb-proof shelters for your phones, keys, and other essentials.

    For more on our favorite Sea to Summit dry bags, and to see how they stack up against the competition at large, head over to our best of page for an in-depth look at our favorites across the industry.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What is the best dry bag?

    The best dry bag is the one that fits your needs and intentions the most closely. Not all dry bags are built the same, and the best one for the bottom of your kayak on your upcoming whitewater trip isn’t going to look much like the overbuilt expedition bag you’ll want for extended travel. That being said, here are a few of our favorites from different styles across the industry.

    Best Dry Bags:

    • Osprey Ultralight 12 Dry Sack
    • Yeti Panga
    • Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag
    • Sea to Summit Event Compression Dry Sack
    • Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What size dry bag do I need?

    Your dry bag needs will vary radically depending on what you intend on using them for. Those in search of something to store their phone, wallet, and keys would be best served by anything around the 5L range. For overnight trips, you’ll want to start looking in the 25-30L range; trips for more than one person, something around 50-60L, becomes more appropriate.

    If you’re curious about dry bags and how to narrow down the vast sea of options out there to the right model for you, take a look at our best of page to see side by side comparisons of our favorites across the board.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *