Ursack - A Lightweight Option for Bear Country
Like most people Tom Cohen, an avid hiker, inventor, and businessman, was getting tired of having to lug around a heavy hard sided bear canister while in the backcountry. So, roughly 20 years ago, he came up with the idea for Ursack, a soft sided and lightweight food container to prevent bears and other critters from pillaging your food supply. The idea really took off when a mandate came down from the national parks that all hikers carrying food must have it in a bear-resistant container. Hikers and backpackers needed a lightweight and flexible yet reliable option for their overnight excursion, thus, Ursack answered the call.
Currently, Ursack is the ONLY IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee) certified light weight collapsible alternative to traditional bear cans. This product shook up the otherwise stagnant market consisting of hard sided canister to offer a product that is more form fitting and less clunky. Each bag is made up of UHMWP fabric (a durable Dyneema Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene fabric with superior chemical resistance as well as high strength, low weight, and low elongation) with a high tensile strength reflective cord used for securing it to whatever is more convenient. When paired up with an odor barrier bag they created a much easier system for food storage and safety.
Whats the Difference Between the Major Series and the Allmitey?
Ursack offers a variety of products in many different sized to both suit your needs as well as meet different restrictions of many different parks. The two most popular products that they offer are the Major series of bags and the Allmitey. While they may look almost identical in person or online, these two products are very different in their construction and use.
The Ursack Major series is a lightweight yet extremely durable alternative to canisters and is one of their best-selling products. Made of their incredible tough UHMWP material with a 6 foot long high tensile strength reflective drawstring cord, they make an excellent defense against bears. Coming in three different configurations, the Major, the Major XL, and the Major XXL, they can suit whatever durational need you may have. The one drawback to the major however, is that it is not recommended in the defense of mice and other small critters. Enter, the almighty!
The Ursack Allmitey is made of a laminated UHMWP and Kevlar Fabric. This makes the bag virtually puncture proof whereas the major series is prone to small punctures/weave separations. The Allmight is also water resistant. You may however, want to treat the seams with seam seal to ensure they don’t leak with use. Apart from those specifics, the Allmight boasts all the same great selling points that the Major series offers.
Other Accessory to Compliment the Bags
While the Ursack bags are great at keeping bears and other small critters out, they do nothing as far as locking smells in. We highly recommend paring a dry bag or some sort of smell/water proof bag liner to it to add that extra level of security to your beloved food items. Ursack also offers an Aluminum Liner in two different sized that fits perfectly into their bag. This pairing created a hybrid bear canister fitting snugly inside of the bag. This liner keeps food from being crushed in its bag. Make sure to check your park regulations as this liner may be required for use in their park systems.
Check Your Park’s Guidelines
Ursack is approved in a lot of park system however, there are thill some that do not approve the Ursack as a bear cannister or they require the aluminum liner to be paired with it. Before headed out on your trip make sure you follow this link to see where you can use the Ursack products! That map and list can be found by licking this link