Friday, June 8, 2012

Whatcha lookin' at! Testing the Seal Line "Watertight" Seal Pak. Pass or fail?

You aren't watertight Seal Line Seal Pak, even when properly closed, but I'm still fond of you.
When I test waterproof gear, like the Seal Line watertight Seal Pak, I like to take it for a swim, for about an hour. It's more fun that way. Bathtub tests get pretty boring.

But I played safe - I didn't trust my new Seal Pak. I packed my cell phone, car keys, and wallet into something else that has already proven to be waterproof and reliable, a Pelican case or my WX-Tex Waterproof Gear Dry Pouch.
Yellow Pelican 1010 Watertight hard case (left), WX Tex Waterproof Gear Dry soft pouch (right), blue Seal Line Watertight Seal Pak rolled closed 4 times and secured (top)
Then I packed it into the Seal Line "watertight" fanny pack - rolling the Seal Pak closure 4 times before securing it tightly with the clips, attached it to my waist and went for a long swim in a lake.

I found that, no matter how tightly I closed the Seal Line Seal Pak, and submerged it, even for a short time, water seeped in. It is not completely watertight or waterproof. I've tested it underwater by swimming in a lake with it attached to my waist 4 times.

In the top photo, and in the underwater shot below, the Seal Line bag is rolled 3 times from the top and clipped. But even rolled and sealed a few more times as tight as you can it still leaks at the seams!
Seal Line Seal Pak underwater in a lake - shot with waterproof Olympus Stylus Tough camera
It's only rolled closed 3 times. When I opened the Seal Pak (on land) to get out the waterproof camera packed inside and take an underwater shot of the bag, I got a little lazy and didn't roll it closed as tightly as I normally do, and it took on several inches of water. But I thought rolling it closed 3 times looked pretty secure for just a few minutes underwater. So be vigilant.

Even though it's not a perfect swim partner, the Seal Line Seal Pak is an awesome little bag to attach to the kayak, bike, or to take on a hike if it rains. As long as you don't count on it to be totally waterproof, especially if it goes underwater and spends time submerged. It is water-resistant. I haven't found it to be watertight.

Inside the Seal Line Seal Pak, my cellphone, keys, and wallet were safe and sound inside either the Pelican case or the WX Tex Waterproof Gear Dry Pouch every time I tested them. Even if the Seal Pak was full of water, the Pelican case and the WX Tex Waterproof Pouch kept everything inside perfectly dry.

If I'm going for a swim in my gear (it's fun, I do it all the time), I like double protection. The Seal Line Seal Pak provides some primary protection, and it floats. Cost is about $30 Canadian. But I have to count on other products to really do the job.

Keeping important stuff safe, dry, and afloat is part of kayaking

Seal Line watertight Seal Pak - Pass or Fail?

Fail. It's not watertight. I've even tested it in the bathtub tightly secured in all kinds of configurations. It fails every time. The seals leak and water will seep in.  

But, what about my waterproof Olympus Stylus Tough camera? 
Orange Olympus camera float
It really is waterproof, as long as all the ports that open for the USB, battery, and memory card are properly closed, it keeps on working. But it does not float. The camera float has saved it many times.

Imagine if it was just kind-of-sort-of watertight? I would have missed this shot.
Canada Goose and 5 babies
I asked for a waterproof fanny pack, but I'm still looking for it. One I can take off and swim with, that really is watertight.

Let us know if you've found one.

Happy paddles!
The BaffinPaddler

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