HMG CFO Tries Packrafting and Discusses Waterproofness of HMG Packs
“Are HMG Packs 100% waterproof? We are often asked if HMG packs are 100% waterproof and after packrafting for the first time a month ago and flipping my boat too many times, I’d like to comment on the waterproof characteristics of HMG Packs.
While Cuben fiber is 100% waterproof, we never say HMG Packs are 100% waterproof – although they are very highly waterproof. Approximately 90% of seams are sealed, but there are two seams with technically different structures that cannot be sealed. One is where the bottom of the pack meets the body of the pack and the other is where the shoulder straps are sewn into the top of the back panel. After a hard rain or soaking a pack while packrafting, a user might experience a few tablespoons of water inside the pack. I find that some users are not accustomed to seeing this because traditional packs will absorb water and not be noticeable inside the pack. Since Cuben fiber does not absorb water, any small amount that does get inside the pack will noticeably remain at the bottom until the pack is emptied or the water drains.
Some users experience no water at all in their packs and many users, including ourselves (HMG staff), will leave their packs outside of their tents overnight, even if it is raining. And personally, I don’t mind at all if their are a few tablespoons of water at the bottom of my pack because the pack is not absorbing water and it is not getting heavier from absorption. The pack material does not stay wet and therefore transfer moisture to my other gear over an extended period of time, and even after being submerged from the various times I flipped my boat, the pack dries very quickly. And the reason I don’t mind at all if there are small amounts of water in my pack is that my essentials that cannot get wet are packed in Cuben fiber drawstring stuff sacks, which totally prevents a few tablespoons of water that might get inside my pack from wetting my clothes or sleeping bag.
From my own direct experience and the experience of many HMG customers, the solution for keeping crucial gear (sleeping bag, clothes and food) 100% dry in a Cuben fiber backpack is to use Cuben fiber Stuff Sacks. Cuben Stuff Sacks are virtually weightless, and coupled with an HMG Pack, will provide that watertight system everyone seeks. Cuben Stuff Sacks provide the gear compartmentalization I need, are more efficient than lining a traditional pack with a garbage bag, and they kept all my gear dry while my overturned boat repeatedly floated downstream ahead of me!”
HMG CFO, Dan St. Pierre, tries packrafting for the first time. “Directly after the August Summer Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, Mike (HMG CEO) and I headed up to Wyoming to paddle the Grey’s River with a couple of HMG Ambassadors. Despite some Class 3 swimming, it was a great trip and a lot of fun and I highly recommend giving this burgeoning sport a try!”