Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Nano Shopping Bag Review
The durable, lightweight Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Nano Shopping Bag has a large capacity and, best of all, fits in the palm of your hand for endless adventures.
- Lightweight, durable, and water-resistant materials protect your gear
- When compressed, the bag fits into your palm
- Stuff sack attached so you can’t lose it
- Without padding, straps dig into shoulders and hands
- Hard to organize gear in large main compartment
- Plastic smell lingers after multiple uses
The Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Nano Shopping Bag is a packable option when you want ample space in a small container. We’re curious how well the materials hold up, considering the bag’s size and weight—especially with how much gear you can fit inside. Let’s find out!
The shopping bag’s 15D nylon feels durable for its lightweight appearance. Coming in at just one ounce, or roughly 28 grams, it’s extraordinarily light and will hold up to 18 liters worth of gear when open, which is excellent for its weight.
When compressed, a paracord-like material with a hard plastic adjuster secures the bag into a sack that’s roughly the size and shape of a hacky sack. It’s stable, and it’s fun to play with the paracord is. You can run a strap or a carabiner through a little loop on the side, and it feels more durable than the paracord, so you don’t have to worry about breaking it.
A picture of the unfolded bag is on the bottom of the pouch, an excellent inclusion. If packable gear isn’t labeled, it’s hard to tell what’s what. Due to the inclusion of the graphic, you can grab it quickly and head out.
When packed up, the bag fits into the palm of your hand. You can easily slide it in your sling or daypack, and if you have a larger travel backpack for a trip, it hardly takes up enough space to worry about.
To unpack the bag, undo the fastener, loosen the paracord, and pull it out. The stuff sack is attached, so you don’t have to worry about losing it.
You may have noticed before unpacking it, but the material has an odd smell. Although it dissipated with time, it still hasn’t left entirely and smells like plastic. Those with sensitive noses may be more averse to the smell.
The materials feel durable and protect your gear against light rain. There isn’t a closure on the top, so waterproofness isn’t the most important thing about a bag like this. The water resistance is ideal for carrying groceries, though, as thawing items may exude some water, and the bag will keep those contained.
The stitching on the bag appears to be well-made, and we haven’t noticed any glaring loose threads. The material feels similar to a disposable bag, though it’s much sturdier. Texture-wise, it feels similar to a bag you’d get at any American grocery store.
We’ve got the Dark Blue colorway on hand, the only one available at the time of writing. It’s reminiscent of the ocean, which we dig, and has a gray accent color on the top for the handles.
Similar to other packable bags we’ve tested, the material is prone to wrinkle, even if you didn’t stow it in the stuff sack for very long. They will eventually iron themselves out, especially if you put gear inside, but initially, it’s a wrinkled mess.
Although there is no padding or aeration on the strap, we didn’t expect there to be. When using packable gear, comfort typically goes out the window. Don’t get us wrong, carrying this bag is comfy enough; however, if you overload it, you start to feel it in your hand or shoulder. In the cooler months, gloves help, or a coat if you prefer to wear it on your shoulder.
If over-the-arm is your ideal method of transportation, you can fit your arm through the straps. It is a bit tight, especially if you’re wearing a thick coat or have wider arms. When you pack the bag full, your arm can rest semi-awkwardly on it. Considering the small size and weight of the pack, these compromises are worth it.
Inside The Bag
This bag’s interior is straightforward, and we like it that way. The lack of organizational features ensures it’s still lightweight, yet you have to get crafty when loading it with gear. If you’re an all-star at packing a grocery bag at the self-checkout or Aldi, you’re all set.
Heavier items do well on the bottom. If you have small things, it’s best to find a secondary pouch or receptacle, so they aren’t bouncing around unattended. Items you don’t want to get smushed should go on the top. If you’ve overpacked the bag, you can ensure nothing falls out by wrapping a shirt or towel over the top and down the sides of the bag, creating a makeshift cover so things won’t tumble out.
When you’re ready to pack the bag down again, the stuff sack is easy to find because it’s attached. You can fold it up or stuff it in one piece at a time—it’s relatively easy to accomplish either way. The first few attempts may be slightly rocky, but you quickly get the hang of it.
As far as usage while traveling, this bag is perfect for planned and spontaneous adventures alike. You never know when you’ll stumble upon a market in the city, find the ideal souvenir for the neighbor who watches your cat while you’re away, or decide you want to make dinner tonight instead of eating out.
Because of this pack’s size, you can always have it with you and not worry about how much space it’s using.
- Materials are super lightweight but feel durable
- It’s a bit slippery, so getting it back in the stuff sack may be difficult
- The sack has a weird smell—we’re hoping it goes away with time
- No issues with the materials or stitching
- Plastic smell has lingered but is dissipating
- When packed fully, the straps can dig in