As a world traveler, I am always on the lookout for tools and accessories that will make my life easier, safer or more enjoyable.
Like most travelers, I now travel with a handful of gadgets (smartphones, tablets, external batteries, GPS, etc) and need to keep these devices working regardless of the situations I may encounter. What could I have possibly encountered you ask? Let me tell you my friend, tornadoes, earthquakes, sleet, snow, severe rain, tsunami, etc. Having spent the better part of my career travelling, I seem to have been in one too many "abnormal" situations.
How do you keep your stuff safe?
When travelling, you have a couple of options to keep your belongings safe: on one end is the cheap ziplock plastic bag and on the other side is the Pelican brand small waterproof cases. I believe a serious traveler has to use different tools for different situations and knowing what is the right tool is immensely helpful.
For delicate items I want to provide absolute protection to (like scuba diving watches), I use a Pelican brand hard shell waterproof, airtight container. (like the Pelican 1060 Microcase shown below):
Although these provide fantastic protection in transit, they are more bulky and much more difficult to carry. Plus when you protect a smartphone in one of these, it is unusable.
This is why some people chose to protect their $650 smartphone or tablet with a cheap kitchen style plastic bag...
Does anyone think protecting a $650 smartphone/tablet with a $0.23 kitchen-style plastic bag makes sense?
As stupid as it sounds, thousands of people do it. Some because they don't want to spend more money (stupid) and others because they don't know there are other options. This is where the product I am reviewing today aLokSak comes in.
What is a LokSak?
It is a durable, reusable and flexible bag that is designed to keep moisture, dust and debris out.
Of all the characteristics of these bags, the 2 that really caught my attention were:
- Durable 6 Mil Film has a “Cold-Crack” Tolerance to -40 C
- No BPA or Use of Any Harsh Chemicals
My tests of the LokSak
I tested these bags during my last family trip to Florida. It included
- wet amusement parks (water parks and water games at general amusement parks)
- torture testing against sand and salt ocean water
- generate wear and tear from constant usage and travel
First let me go on records and confirm that
these bags are waterproof, sand proof, humidity proof and dust proof.
Whether on a water-slide, in a pool, covered in sand or in your pocket while swimming, these bags delivered on their promise to keep my valuables safe and dry.
For many of the tests, I used a regular name brand resalable bag as my control test. Everything I did with one, I did with the other (only I didn't trust the name brand so I had tissue paper in it during sand and water tests). Whereas the LokSak protected its contents every time, the name brand resalable bag experience multiple failure during my tests. These failures would have been catastrophic for the content. The 2 major failures the name brand bag experienced were tears and opening of the zipper lock mechanism. The Loksak never experienced either.
As an example, the name brand resalable bag ripped quickly when storing my iPhone 4s+clip on extended battery case because of the hard edges (while carrying it in my short pockets).
The LokSak’s thick proprietary material meant it took the beating and kept protecting the content.
Even with the special green seal indicator with the name brand bag, there were times when regular in water movement provided just enough pressure on the bag and it unzipped part of the bag.
The LokSak's bigger more solid zipper mechanism meant it stayed properly and securely locked regardless of how I abused the bag.
For one test, We cut up paper to dollar bill sizes and dove to 80 feet for 30 minutes. The contents came out completely dry.
What else did I use it for?
In addition to standard electronics like battery packs, smartphones and tablets, I used these bags to store my passports and travel confirmations, foreign currencies(paper and coins), I used one to collect all of my receipts, I used one to store a site map to ensure it stayed dry during the entire day, etc.
When on an excursion, I don't want to leave my passport, credit cards and money in a bag on the beach, in a bus or open to theft in the room (and no you can't trust the in-room safe). LokSak means you can carry it with you safely protected from the elements.
As a very light packing traveler (I travel with only one carry on), I can carry the bigger size with me to store dirty clothes, then at the end of the day fill with water and detergent, seal the bag and then run a manual "agitation cycle". Then you simply take the clothes out to rinse and dry. The bag is dried and ready for use the next day.
You can use a medium sized bag to store your shoes and keep your clothes clean.
You can use a 1L version to store your liquids and ensure your clothes won't be damaged if a container bursts (like many friends and colleagues have experienced when using the cheap bags provided by border control at the airport).
This is fantastic for travelers, campers or simply as a storage bag in your emergency bugout bag.
These bags are affordable, durable, reusable and reliable. Not only do I highly recommend them to you but they are now part of my own travel kit (both business and personal). I have already placed an order for a bunch more of these bags.
There are some situations where my Pelican cases are still absolutely necessary but for everything else, These are my new favorite protection bags.