Jack’s Bags – Who buys them, how long do they last, and just how good are they?

Hatch Expeditions in the Grand Canyon
After 20 years I stopped asking Hatch exp if they were still running the original bags that we made for him in 1983. They take good care of them. His Grand Canyon customers do not. They go on an average of 90 river days per year.

Who Else?
We would like to think that we have a majority of the western river outfitters using our bags. Mainly because of the longevity they have shown. Companies like Mokie Mac, Holiday River Exp, Griffith Exp,and OARS in Utah. Western River Exp, Wilderness River Expeditions, Grand Canyon Whitewater, Azra, and Canyon Explorations in the Grand Canyon, Many Middle Fork Companies in Idaho, Custom River tours on the Selway. Arta, and Oars/ Dories in Northern Idaho, and the Snake. The list goes on.
How Long do they last?
We offer repair services to all of the companies we sell to. sometimes we have to trash them because there is no more coating left on the bags. However many of the repairs we do are on bags over 10 years old. Some repairs are to seams or D rings, but the vast majority are simply holes from wear and tear, ammo cans inside or sharp metal objects rubbing holes in them.
,p>How good are they?
Good enough to drop out of a float plane.

It is a real good idea to get there before the Bears do. Video courtesy of Alpine View Lodge Alaska.

I have two good examples of how good the seals work on our bags:

One day in September of 1992 an entire private Grand Canyon trip visited our shop and purchased bags form us
after their river trip
. The reason for this phenomenal behavior was because of a flip in 205 mile rapid. Complacency had hit these folks after Lava falls, and they flipped in 205. The boat was upside down for 45 minutes. There were 5 different kinds of waterproof bags on the raft. Jack’s were the only ones with dry stuff inside.

Guitar bags- Where to place the guitar is critical when a flip is emminent

We have a customer named Steve Stahl. He bought a Guitar Bag for his guitar, and he tied it to the top of his Big Brother cat on his run through Cataract at 30,000 Cfs. This is a nasty level, and he flipped in the big drops. His boat was upside down for more than half an hour as they struggled to get it into an eddy to flip it upright.
His guitar was smashed to bits, but it was dry.
I have my own personal stories about bags floating away, and flips with bags that lost one of the straps, yet remained dry.

Gear Rotting in the sun

Guy Cables had this experience: He hiked out of the Grand half way through, and someone flip the boat after he had left the trip. No one checked his bag to see if the gear was dry or not. Guy will tell you how much it is worth to not have your wet gear rotting in the sun for two weeks!
Jeff Erney Tells us of the Middlefork of the Salmon spring 2003
I just got off the Middle Fork of the Salmon and had a situation where we flipped and lost a boat for about 36 hours. The boat ran about 17 miles before eddying out upside down. The only dry bag that stayed dry was yours! This bag was submerged for a day and a half and performed as advertised. I thought that your bag was a little pricey at first, but quality is certainly worth a few more dollars. What a pleasant surprise to open your bag after seeing my buddy pour a couple gallons of water out of one of your competitors bags. His clothes and sleeping bag acting like a sponge, mine dry and ready to use. Thanks for offering such a quality product.
N.O.L.S. Tests Our Dry Bags In A Big Way
By Roberta Of Peak Sports, Corvallis, OR

On a NOLS river course, the students are usually pretty adept at rowing an oar rig and captaining paddle rafts by day 11 on the river. We had just put in on the Gates of Ladore on the Green River and a student was rowing the gear raft as we approached Winnie’s Rock. The instructor stepped in too late and the perfect wrap occurred with the inside of the boat facing upstream. About two inches of the raft was above the water line. All of the personal gear was in 15 jack medium outfitter bags, completely submerged for 8 hours! When the boat was finally free of that rock the only gear lost or wet happened when the ammo can lids were ripped off from the force of the water. Everything is the jacks bags were toasty dry.
So you could spend less to get a dry bag, but when the chips are down, You really want something that works. If you have been in the sport awhile you know who has the best bags. why not start our with the right on in the first place. A dry sleeping bag could be a life saver!