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Backpacker Magazine – Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: GrubPack and Outsak UL

Ultralight and critter-proof chainmail food storage bags

by: Dan Larson

Outsak UL (Courtesy Photo)
Outsak UL (Courtesy Photo)
GrubPack (Courtesy Photo)
GrubPack (Courtesy Photo)

Ultralight, stainless steel mesh sacks from GrubPack and Outsak make a great gift for anyone who’s lost food to mice, ravens and other smallish trail marauders. The mesh is tight enough to protect against rodents’ tiny teeth, and a Velcro closure at the top is strong enough to foil the claws of crafty raccoons.

Hang the bag from a tree using a fabric loop (Outsak) or brass grommet (GrubPack). If there are no trees where you’re camping, simply stake it to the ground or pile rocks around it. In my four months of testing, from Oregon’s Rogue River Wilderness to Washington’s Mt. Rainier National Park and many points in between, no critter slipped through this tight food security system.

What amazes me is how light these bags are. Both Outsak and GrubPack offer bags that weigh less than 4 oz. and hold enough food for about two or three nights for one person. Larger sacks are available for longer trips. Iowa-based GrubPack offers free shipping and options for carry handles and sewn-in pockets. Outsak, based out of Arizona, includes a free Opsak Odor-Proof Bag and carries a wider selection of sizes (including a UL Micro size under 3 oz.) and several colors.

GrubPack UL
Cost: $30 (includes shipping)
Weight: 3.4 oz.
Capcity: 492 cubic in.

Outsak UL
Cost: $36
Weight: 3.7 oz
Capacity: 630 cubic in.

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Reader Rating: -


Star Star Star Star Star
Mar 07, 2013

Outsak comes in 5 sizes and 7 colors. Best prices and free shipping.

Tyler Glenn
Dec 12, 2011

I've been wondering about these wire food bags. I've been rather skeptical of their claims. I appreciate the review. I found it helpful and always trust you guys. I visited their company's websites. As you mentioned, the products seem quite similar. I ordered the GrubPack based on price and size.

Jeff Walker (Owner: GrubPack)
Dec 11, 2011

The folks at GrubPack thank Backpacker for providing this informative review. Stainless steel mesh bags have proven to be an effective deterrent to rodents and are revolutionizing light-weight backpacking. We are proud of our American-made GrubPack. Our goal has always been to turn out a first-rate piece of gear at a price that is affordable to all hikers, and our free shipping is available every day of the year!

Dave B (Outsak Owner)
Dec 08, 2011

FREE SHIPPING On Outsak and Outsak UL. Our website is listed above.

Many thanks to Backpacker for this exposure. This
Is great. Food protection is often thought of in hindsight. Backpacker does a great job educating it's readers. Happy Holidays from Outsak.

Nathan Garrison
Dec 07, 2011

Just finished the AP trail about a month or so ago, incredible experience - I definitely recommend it to anyone interested at all - and the grubpack saved my butt(read: food, supplies) several times. Even in the worst of the rat areas.. Great gear

Nathan Garrison
Dec 07, 2011

I just got done on the AT a month or so ago - amazing experience - but I absolutely recommend that you have a grubpack! saved me countless times in the worst of the rats.. And they got bad.. Haha

Heather S.
Dec 07, 2011

I recently hiked the AT with a few friends as a post-college adventure. I had done a lot of research beforehand and realized that getting some type of rodent proof bag was a must. I purchased the GrubPack mainly because of the overall price difference (I didn’t exactly MAKE money in college!). The price was better than any other bag and free shipping was icing on the cake. The AT was incredible, but the rodents were not. I was extremely happy with the GrubPack’s performance and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a food protection bag. It only took a few days before my friends made a call during one of our trips into town to order their own GrubPack. Awesome product!!

Dec 07, 2011

You shouldn't stake either of these bags to the ground. It gives the animal leverage and a mechanical advantage.

This video will show you how to hang it.

Dec 07, 2011

You shouldn't stake either of these bags to the ground. It gives the animal leverage and a mechanical advantage.

This video will show you how to hang it.


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