View Full Version : Map Seal - Unscientific test results

06-19-2007, 08:01 PM
Some time ago I posted a thread about map cases and got some advice to simply seal the maps with Map Seal and be done with it. We've been in a drought down here and rain has been scarce, but we finally got a good, extended drenching today. I figured it was a good chance to test my Map Sealed maps.

I took one sheet that had been sealed with a single coat, front and back, and draped it over the railing on my deck. I placed a brick on top of the center of the map to hold it in place in case of wind. I left for work and it proceeded to rain for most of the day.

Tonight I examined the map. The map was completely usable. There were no ink runs, blurring, etc. However, I could tell that the area of the map that was 'under pressure', that is the part that was compressed between the brick and the deck railing clearly looked to be 'soaked through', as it had a distinct watermark stain. The odd thing was, it didn't feel 'wet and mushy', or feel like it was about to come apart or dissolve, which an unprotected map would have done so in an instant. It just had a dark, water stain that showed that water had penetrated to some degree.

The part of the map that was 'free hanging' over the deck railing was in pristine condition. Absolutely good to go.

The sealing was done with the cheap, crappy foam brush that comes with the bottle.

My initial conclusion is that Map Seal will work great for pulling a map out of your pack, working with it in a pouring rain, then folding it up and putting back in your pack. I would use caution about folding a map up, jamming it into your back pocket and then sitting on wet ground for a few hours. You might have issues there.

I'm going to double coat a map, use a better brush and try the same thing again. Until then I''ll treat Map Seal like Gore Tex - works great as long as you avoid direct, hydrostatic pressure.

Hope this helps somebody.

06-19-2007, 08:06 PM
Good info, great testing. Thanks.

Jim N
06-19-2007, 08:24 PM
Good info TR. What type of map were you testing? A USGS quad?

06-19-2007, 08:30 PM
No, it was a cheap, plain paper 50 cent map sheet of a local state park trail system. Maybe USGS quads might have better quality paper? That does raise a good point - paper quality may vary depending upon which map is being treated.

Interestingly enough, I treated a 'water resistant' map of the Sipsey River Wilderness area. It soaked up the Map Seal like a sponge.

07-24-2007, 09:01 PM
Read the bottle. I'm pretty sure it says not to fold the map or shove it in pockets and whatnot. I haven't used it, but we have it in the store. I might have to give it a solid run through one weekend and see what a little wear-n-tear does to the Map Seal.

Will report back.

Pocket Lint
07-24-2007, 09:24 PM
Why not just laminate your map?

07-24-2007, 09:33 PM
I have before, but it doesn't fold very well.

The Vigilante
07-25-2007, 10:14 AM
Instead of sealing the maps just use the National Geographic adventure paper. It does not, take on water period. To rip it, you have to take it away from a big ol bear. The adventure paper from N.G. is amazing stuff and I highly rec. it.

Sorry for the spelling


The Vigilante
07-25-2007, 10:16 AM
thats if you are printing your own maps or buying them from a place like the sportsmans warehouse. the map sealer sounds like a good product if you have a map that is not water proof.

corrie avout da cpelin


07-26-2007, 04:08 PM
I've used map seal for years, two coats each side. I fold the maps and stuff them in my pack or whatever. I've never had a complaint about the stuff and I've used a few bottles of it in the last 20 years.

07-26-2007, 08:24 PM
Your maps are obviously defective if you have to seal them - I'd be furious! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif

The Vigilante
07-27-2007, 05:29 AM

07-27-2007, 12:13 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: FlatbowMB</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Your maps are obviously defective if you have to seal them - I'd be furious! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/crazy.gif </div></div>

I expect mine to come with the declination correction already done for my compass!


07-27-2007, 03:11 PM
Note: try not to spill the bottle on your kitchen floor. It's pretty good about repelling cleaning attempts, too.