Exped have long been the first port of call for reliable drybags, with many alternative offerings not quite good enough. The Airloks from direct sellers Alpkit however go some way to redressing that balance.
The Alpkit Airloks are a lightweight drybag, which means they’re not designed to be as durable as your typical drybag, and more suited to where you want to keep weight and bulk down.
The inevitable comparison with the Exped equivalents see these as being slightly heavier – 8g for the 1 litre bag (20g v 12g), increasing slightly to 12g for the 13 litre bags (42g v 34g). However, considering that the Airloks are around £2 cheaper each and at an acceptably low weight to start with, this will only be of real concern to those who want to keep pack weights down to an absolute minimum. The price difference is over £5 between the largest 35 llitre Airlok and the 40 litre Exped, but with only a 3g premium.
In order to test the capacity, we compared a 2 litre Airlok to the 3 litre Exped drybag we had lying about, which in fairness wasn’t an ultralight one, but let’s assume that they use the same volume measurements across the board. In our far from scientific test, we tried to see if we could fit stuff an ultralight down jacket into the bags. While the Exped was meant to have a full litre additional capacity, it didn’t feel that way as the jacket only just fit snugly into both bags, with the Exped offering slightly more breathing space, but certainly not enough to fit another half a jacket!
They not only come in a range of colours, but you can choose both the size and colour. This can be handy if you want to colour code kit during a trip, and need a number of differently sized bags of the same colour, such as green for food, and red for waste.
Considering that these bags are considerably cheaper than the Exped dry bags, and all the Exped bags have eventually leaked after a year or two, I may switch over to these for the time being. While they’re constructed from lightweight material, they feel tough enough to survive inside the pack, though only time will tell. The only question is why did they lower themselves to using Comic Sans?