Thursday, August 21, 2008

Aloksak & Opsak

These bags by Watchful Eye Designs are absolutely awesome. You may first look at them and think "ziplock" bags. They're far from it.

Both Aloksaks and Opsaks provide you with a resealable, airtight, watertight, puncture resistant, dustproof protection for anything you can fit in them. They come in several sizes, from small wallet and cell phone sizes to one large enough to hold a rifle. They are a decent thickness so that they don't tear and will last quite a while.

The bags have been tested and passed submergence , thrash, and pull tests conducted by the U.S. Navy Experimental Diving Unit and are certified waterproof to 60 meters by Scuba Schools International. I decided to do my own little test to compare them to Ziplock brand bags by putting a old cell phone in a Ziplock bag and one in an Aloksak bag and putting them through a full wash, rinse and spin cycle with a load of wash. When I took both bags out the Ziplock bag seemed to still be sealed closed but was full of water. The Aloksak was still sealed and had no water in the bag and the bag didn't look too worn either.

I have been using these bags a lot lately as it's been rainy here. I have put the wallet sized one to good use and it's not failed. I have used the other sizes while hiking in a local gully that has running water through it as well. One time while camping we decided to go for a swim in the lake and I was expecting a phone call, so I put my cell phone in a Aloksak and put it in my cargo pocket. I wasn't let down when I got out of the water and checked the phone and no water had gotten to it. One of the pictures here is my mothers phone. She was a little nervous when I put her phone in one of these bags and threw it in the pool. I then went in after it and was able to get a phone call through while a couple feet under the water.

Another thing I tried was to inflate the bag to use as a makeshift pillow for camping. This didn't work as the pressure of my head on the bag forced the seal open. I also used these to vacuum seal clothing for easier packing for camping. I do this by putting the clothing in the bag and then sitting on the bag to get all the air out and sealing the bag while sitting on it. With traditional ziplock bags that works out well at first, but after a short amount of time air gets in and the bag expands. Not with Aloksaks.

The Opsaks have the same great properties as the Aloksaks with the added benefit of being odor proof. So you can store food while camping without the fear of animals coming into your camp because of the smell of the food. They're also resistant to high heat and boiling water can be added to these bags to use for cooking. (The aloksak is heat resistant to 130°, Opsak is resistant to 170°) It's not recommended, though, to put the bag itself into boiling water.

If you use ziplock bags or any other form of waterproofing you need to try these bags out. They're extremely durable and work great. I get a ton of use out of these and I will be using these for years to come. I really have nothing negative to say about these bags and not even any improvements that can be made...they're awesome as is! Also...Watchful Eye Designs can customize these bags as well with custom sizes and shapes, colors, printing, added grommets.

Update (December '08): I have been using one particular bag on a very regular basis for several months now, probably 5 or 6 months. The bag itself has held up, but the closure came apart. One side of the closure separated from the bag. The durability of these bags still impresses me when you look at the alternative. For the abuse this bag has taken I wasn't too disappointed in the closure coming apart.

1 comment:

mixalot26 said...

I have found aLokSak products to be extremely poorly made and unreliable. The seams at the top tore apart just by trying to open the bag the first time. The top seams are only crazy glued or taped on. Really poor product, I wouldn’t recommend to anyone who needs to keep their items dry.