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Ursalite Bear Bag System

Ursalite Bear Bag System

The Ursalite bear bag system is only available at the BackPackingLight.com store. It weighs just under 3 oz and I tried it out on an Autumn hike last fall in the Pharoh Lakes section of the Adirondacks.

The Ursalite system (shown above) is unrelated the kevlar Ursack I reviewed a few weeks ago. It includes a 600 cu. inch bear bag made from Silnylon and noseeum mesh to cut weight (0.54 oz), an O.P. odor proof / waterproof food plastic sack liner (0.95 oz.), 40 feet of 2.2 mm Aircore Spectra line (1.44 oz.) , and a mini carabiner (0.1) oz. and a small Silnylon sack holding the rock that you throw over a tree branch. The total system weighs under 3 oz.

The system is fairly delicate as I discovered when I tried to hang it the first time. I put a rock into the rock bag, wound up, and chucked it over a tree branch. On impact, my throwing rock sliced the rock sack in multiple places, essentially shredding it. Otherwise, the system performed perfectly with some gentle handling from there on out. You do need to be very careful with the sack and lift it only from beneath except when hanging it from the drawstring. The mini-carabiner is wonderful and you can purchase more of them separately. The Spectra line is perfectly strong and functional but knots quite easily and is difficult for me to keep knot-free. I need reading glasses for such detail work which I generally don't bring along on hiking trips to save weight.

When I got home from my Adirondack trip, I made a few modification to the Ursalite system to make it a little bit more robust. I substituted a very small mesh bag for the original rock sack which is a lot more rugged but doesn't weigh much. I also replaced the Spectra cord with 50ft of Kelty Triptease, which is heavier, thicker, and highly reflective at night when you are trying to find your bear bag after dark to put away the toothpaste you forgot to hang after dinner. I used these substitutes on a subsequent trip on the Long Trail in Vermont and they worked as exactly as planned. The total weight of the Ursalite system with my substitute components is now 3.9 oz., a weight penalty of less than 1 oz., that makes the entire system much more robust.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.

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