Gear Review: 20Sub3 Rugged Maps Lite

No more plastic bags or map cases, these waterproof, and tear-resistant topos will last a lifetime.


Stop futzing with plastic bags or map cases. These waterproof topos mean you'll never have to worry about a soggy map again. The trick? 20Sub3 bakes the ink into a superlight, tear-resistant ripstop fabric. I soaked one in a glass of water for 48 hours, then put it through a 20-minute cold cycle in my washing machine.

No bleeding, no tearing. And at .6 ounce per quad, they weigh 50 percent less than USGS paper maps. You can custom-order quads from 11 states, and 20Sub3 says coverage is expanding. Bummer: Our tester maps weren't printed at a true 1:24K scale, so I couldn't use the grids on my compass to estimate UTM coordinates.

Best For

Navigators who don't stop hiking in the wettest conditions; anyone who wants a map that doesn't need TLC

Tester Data

Kris Wagner

Duration Feb. to June

Locales/conditions CO; rain, snow, slush

"You can scrunch the fabric into a ball or smush it in your pocket. That means no fold marks, which will help these maps last a lifetime."