From time to time, every gear nerd has thoughts about what their perfect kit would look like. Maybe it is lightest of ultralight systems, one kit for every adventure imaginable, or something that holds up when Mother Nature decides to throw everything she’s got. If you’ve thought at all about the last one, then consider the SealLine Black Canyon Boundary Pack. With options ranging from 35, 70, and 115 liters, this dry bag backpack is a waterproof powerhouse capable of hauling big loads in the worst conditions.
In past reviews we discussed using certain dry bags as stand along options to pack the essentials for small, even unplanned excursions. There’s something quite fun and adventurous about veering off the trail or paddling to shore to find a path into the unknown. Smaller dry bags, 10L to 20L, with the right features are great options for such adventures within the adventure. However, for more serious trekking that requires total waterproof protection over distance and under a load, the SealLine Black Canyon Boundary Pack is the perfect piece of gear to get the job done.
To be clear, this dry bag backpack isn’t meant to replace a traditional backpack, although it does include enough features to make it function like one. The 70L version weighs in at just under 2 lbs (30 ounces) and each version comes in blue, orange, yellow, and green. All the pack’s thermoplastic hardware, the buckles and clips, are quality and can withstand normal impact. As most dry bags, sacks, and backpacks come in a cylindrical shape, the Black Canyon Boundary Pack takes a different approach. It is constructed in an oval shape that makes for a better, more comfortable fit when worn and allows for more efficient packing options.
The Black Canyon Boundary Pack is made from 300D urethane, double-coated nylon that is PVC free. The material is incredibly strong, impact and abrasion resistant, and comes in at an overall lighter weight than the typical dry bag backpack made from PVC. Within the SealLine family of products, the PVC free material is where the Black Canyon Boundary Pack and the regular Boundary Pack differ.
Adding to the bombproof waterproof protection of the Black Canyon backpack are the Radio Frequency (RF) welded seams. The RF welding adheres the layers of polyurethane material on the bag and strap system anchor points at the molecular level creating an uncompromising seam and maintains a clean appearance. To top it off, the Black Canyon Boundary Pack includes a reinforced nylon bottom made from 400D urethane-coated, PVC free material that can take a beating while maintaining its integrity.
A unique feature on this dry bag backpack is the lightweight, removable harness system. Each size includes the same system comprised of ventilated, adjustable shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and a hip belt made from nylon webbing. The size and positioning of the shoulder straps make for a comfortable fit even under a heavy load. When adjusted properly, the sternum strap does what it is supposed to do; keep the shoulder straps in the right place. Unlike regular backpack hip belts, this one will not change the way the pack sits on the back, nor is it meant to carry any of the weight. It does offer some stability keeps the pack from swinging side to side while moving. The entire harness system is closely integrated with the closure system to create a capable, easy to use, easy to fit, dry bag backpack.
All waterproof dry bags are judged by their ability to be just that, waterproof. Material and construction account for about half of the waterproof equation. The other fifty percent hinges on the dry bag’s closure system. Most traditional dry bags use a roll top closure that when secured right, rolled two to three times and buckled, will keep all water and debris out. Throwing tradition aside, the 70L and 155L versions of the Black Canyon Boundary Pack use a side-cinch buckle closure that maintains absolute waterproof protection and impacts the overall design in a positive way. The 30L version uses a roll top closure but still includes the harness system.
After rolling the top properly, the closure buckles secure to side straps that pull the top down creating a super tight seal, reinforce the closure, and depending on what is packed inside, can reduce volume and make for a comfortable fit. Two vertical straps on the front of the backpack are integrated into the harness system and can be tightened to further reinforce the seal, reduce volume, and keep the contents inside from shifting on the go.
Best Recommended Use
Honestly, we can’t pin down one outright best recommended use for the Black Canyon Boundary Pack because it is a great, back to basics, haul anything in any weather kind of dry bag backpack. Whether it is off the trail, on the water, or even in the city, this pack performs exceptionally well. Off the trail, it is one of the best waterproof backpacks for hiking and a great alternative to a regular backpack with a rain cover. Rain covers are great, but during unrelenting, sideways rain they won’t hold up. A great excursion pack, this thing will get your gear where you need it and it will arrive dry. On the water, the Black Canyon pack will serve just as well tied down as a kayak deck back or secured in the hull of a canoe or boat. The harness system adds a ton of versatility and makes it an excellent choice to grab and go when needed. In the city, it is the perfect lightweight waterproof solution for walking or biking when Mother Nature decides to unleash her worst.
Ultimately, if you are going to adventure in wet climates and get excited about heading in to the nastiest conditions, the SealLine Black Canyon Boundary Pack can easily handle the worst of the worst. It is a lightweight, eco-friendly dry bag backpack that is pack-and-forget. SealLine integrates a smartly designed system of systems to create a dry bag backpack big enough to handle heavy loads, yet comfortable and versatile enough to function well under any circumstance. The waterproof protection is completely reliable and quality construction is found in the attention paid to every detail, seam, and buckle. Get outside and have a good run at nature with one of the best dry bag backpacks on the market.