Allows air to escape in one direction while preventing liquid water from entering in the opposite direction
Dry bags are an indispensable necessity for keeping critical gear and food dry in the backcountry. However, being waterproof inherently prevents the escape of air, usually leading to wild acrobatics as one tries to compact and close the bag while simultaneously purging excess air. Failure to do so leads to bloated bags that occupy unnecessary volume and destabilize loads.
CTF3 is Granite Gear’s designation for Cuben fiber (CF), a high-tech laminate originally designed for sailcloth and now the darling of the ultralight world. Although there are other companies that make CF dry bags, the Uberlight is unique in that the bottom panel is comprised of eVent, a semi-permeable fabric similar to Gore-Tex. This allows air to escape in one direction while preventing liquid water from entering in the opposite direction. Thus one simply fills the Uberlight with gear and begins to wind the roll-top. Air is automatically expelled through the bottom, leaving behind a neatly compacted bag. It doesn’t get simpler than this.
A significant bonus is the weight savings achieved. The 10L Uberlight weighs a paltry 17g, compared to approximately 35g for sil-nylon and 350g for PVC. CF is renowned for its tensile strength so there is no compromise compared to thicker materials. I’ve been using two 10L bags for several years across the Canadian Shield and Appalachian mountains and have yet to suffer a spontaneous tear in the fabric or seam failure.
One caveat is that Cuben fiber is not abrasion resistant, so one should avoid dragging the bags across rocks or sharp vegetation. Small holes can easily be mended with Gear Aid type A. Since the seams are taped and not sewn, be cautious about extremely high-loft items such as down sleeping bags. Some online reviews have complained about seam failures from such items.
The Uberlight is available in 7, 10, 13, and 18 liter versions in 3 colors and is backed by Granite Gear’s lifetime warranty. MSRP ranges from $42-53, but they can frequently be found on sale for less. Either way, excellent gear is always worth the cost.01/25/16