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Gear review: Aloksaks - "waterproof" baggies

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Right off the bat i know i'm going to draw fire   :ranting: for this review.  Aloksaks are highly rated by the Military, navy, and other agencies who use them for various document storage uses. This review is NOT to disrespect them or the tests they did. It is based PURELY on MY OWN experiences with them. Your milage might vary.   B)


Aloksaks http://www.loksak.com/about-loksak/performance-test-certifications  are heavy duty plastic baggies. They are designed to keep maps, documents, food, first aid stuff etc etc etc dry. They are apparently rated to a depth of 200 feet without leaking. see the site for info on them.


My experience with the bags is as follows:


I use(d)  them for storing maps, food bars and other gear (FAK items, Toilet kit etc) for my hiking kit loadout. Over the space of about a year i used them (not the same bag for a year, but a whole bunch of them) . The waterproof performance was spot on, for about the first 5 hikes or so. After opening and closing them a bunch of times, and having items put into and taken out of them, and having had them in the pack where they had other gear come into contact with them (clothes etc) I can say that they, well, don't quite perform as advertised.  


The bags failed at the following spots:


- the zip seal, and the welded edge seams where the bags got folded over.


- bulky items inside the bags, such as a roll of 3M Transpore medical tape, caused imprints in the plastic material over time, leading to rub thru wear at that point when stored in the pack or jacket pocket.


- the very top portion of the bag, above the zip lok seal point, eventually tore away after several openings and closings.


Other issues:


- Aloksak claims that food can reconstituted in the bags, even with hot water. True, it can. But after several food reconstitutions in the same bag, the plastic became harder and as a result there was breaks in the bag eventually.


Now, not to be all doom and gloom about these bags, i did find some positive things:


- if stored FLAT inside a filed notebook  binder, or inside a Pelican case file system, as long as the bags and flat contents inside are stored flat, the bags work great. (it was inside the pack and in jacket pockets that i had issues with them)


- I did leave a aloksak with a piece of paper inside it on a tree for several months, the paper was dry and the bag was fine, albeit there was grunge on the bag exterior.


- price wise they are ok $13 locally for 6 bags of various sizes



from my experiences with these bags, it is apparent to me that HOW you store them or use them  (flat inside a case or hard shelled binder) is key to how well they work and how long they last. Daily use or occasional use in a pack or jacket pockets causes the bags to eventually fail.  Constant opening and closing, and fold over of the bag (like what happens inside a pack) leads to bag failure. The ONE shining example where these bags work very well is Orienteering or similar, If you put a map into the bag. Looking at the map without ever opening the bag type of thing.


Would i use these again? yes, but only if i stored them flat inside a protective case. If i was using them for transporting critical doucments in a wet environment, i would deem these bags one time use only. (open bag, insert document, close, transport, open bag, remove document, throw bag into gear pile)


If i can find the pictures of the failed bags, i will post them up


I give them a 5/10  

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Thanks for the review. I have heard a good bit mentioned about these on other forums but after what I have seen from regular ziploks I think I prefer something more like the pelican and otter brand boxes.

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i have had the same issues with the one i had and they are expensive over here. I wont be using them again


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