A review of the Land Shark Instant Survival Bag
Earlier in the fall, I received a piece gear that I did not quite know how to fit into my backcountry use: a Land Shark Instant Survival Bag.
Originally meant for air and sea travel emergencies, the company is now branching out into other uses for this product.
As a backpacker, I have my sleeping bag, shelter, food and other gear.
When I go camping with the someone, I have even more warm gear and clothing.
But as early fall turned into late fall and the first chill set in, a thought occurred to me when I would use it: in winter!
I’m an avid backcountry skier and sometimes go solo. I also do hut trips where I carry minimal gear.And the drive to the trailheads are sometimes on windy mountain roads.
Ah ha! A use for it: winter emergencies!
But let’s look at the product first.
The Land Shark comes in what almost looks like a backcountry medical kit.
Bonus: Made in the USA!
The Land Shark is shrink wrapped, but the wrapping is easy to take off. I suspect the shrink-wrap helps with long-term storage.
Then I looked at the product itself.
A plastic, tarp-like material, but lighter and seemingly stronger. The product literature states that the fabric has thermal properties as well. It comes in safety orange, and has a whistle built into the paracord that cinches easily. The Land Shark reminded me of a beefier version of a space blanket crossed with a bivy sack.
The Land Shark can also turn inside-out to form a camouflage bivy.
For my intended use, I’d prefer the blaze orange.
However, if you are product testing near the local open space and need to take a selfie,the camo design comes in handy! 🙂
I look like a more clean-cut homeless person!
All kidding aside, I was in a light shirt with no hat. It was 40F out and I was fairly toasty. With normal winter clothes, I’d be rather comfortable for a while.
The top of the sack also has grommets. Makes it easier to rig up an emergency shelter, The product specs state the shelter can be cut in half to make a tarp, too (I did not try that!)
The bag is very easy to get in and out of as well. Important in an emergency for sure.
Though not listed in the specs, I was curious what it weighed. My digital scale showed it to be ~19oz. Not bad. I could pack it for longer day trips in the winter backcountry.
So how will I use the Land Shark?
- I will mainly keep it in my vehicle for emergency use. Esp in winter, it is a nice “just in case” item to have.
- I plan on throwing it in my pack for winter hut trips and possibly longer winter day outtings in the backcountry. The weight penalty is not that high (esp compared to some backcountry bivy sacks) and makes a nice emergency item.
- I AM curious to use it for a winter backpacking trips with my tarp. The product specs stated ” less than expected condensation” with a sleeping bag in a snow cave. It is not a true bivy sack (nor is it meant to be), but with large opening, it may breathe well enough. We’ll see. This is not really the intended use of the product, but I really want to see how it works in this environment.
Overall, the Land Shark is well made and seems to work well.
My one (minor) complaint: I realize this product is for emergency use only, but I wish it was easier to put back in the black bag. 🙂
So while I don’t see it as part of my backcountry kit, I do see it as a good emergency item on the way to backcountry adventures. Hope I don’t have to use it for its intended purpose, but nice to know it will be there.
Disclosure: This item was provided to me by Corporate Air Parts, Inc for my review.
Additionally, you can get a 15% off discount by using the discount code PMAGS15. From now until the end of the Holiday season, you also receive a free t-shirt with every order.