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A dry bag is an essential piece of equipment for boaters, kayakers, fishermen, and other water sports enthusiasts. These handy packs can keep your gear dry, even if your bag goes overboard. Since they’re completely waterproof, many outdoors enthusiasts use dry bags to keep their important belongings safe and secure. If you’re traveling with sensitive navigation electronics, expensive equipment, cash, or important documents, make sure you store them in a dry bag for safekeeping!
If you’re looking for the best products on the market, we’ve put together a top list of our favorites, followed by a short buying guide that should tell you all you need to know about buying one of these cool bags. So without further ado, here are our top picks.
The Acrodo Waterproof Backpack is a unique and inexpensive dry bag that will keep your goods safe and sound on your next aquatic journey. It’s styled like a traditional backpack and comes with a number of unique features.
Made from a tough, rip-resistant and waterproof transparent PVC, this Acrodo dry bag will keep your gear dry. Plus, it floats on water too. For a dry bag, keeping things dry shouldn’t be a feature though—it should be standard. So what makes this such a cool product?
Unlike most dry bags, this Acrodo unit features backpack-style padded comfort straps. This makes it easy to wear, allowing you distribute the weight of your bag across your shoulders. Compared with single-strap slings, it’s far more comfortable, and that makes it a more versatile pack in the long run.
Talking of versatility, the Acrodo pack’s best features are the side buckles. These buckles can be used to buckle other backpacks together, allowing you to carry more weight on your shoulders, keeping your hands free. Also, if you need to float your gear alongside your boat (particularly if you’re using a fishing kayak) then this is a great way to carry more without wasting precious onboard space.
It’s one bag but with a million possibilities. And it’s not expensive either!
Material: Durable PVC
Straps: Backpack shoulder straps
Colors: Black, Blue, Purple, Pink, Green, and more
The SealLine Baja dry bag is the cheapest option on our list, but don’t confuse cheap in price with cheap in quality. It might have a small price tag, but it’s a sturdy bag that will keep your gear safe and dry when you’re out on your next adventure. It lacks a few comforts and special features, but it performs its primary function admirably.
Following traditional dry bag design, with a tubular shape and a water-tight fold-down seal, the SealLine Baja is lightweight and practical. Made from 1000D scrim-reinforced vinyl, the Baja is tough enough to withstand abrasion and completely waterproof.
It’s a great bag, however, if you’re looking for something 100% waterproof that can safely float on water, then we would recommend you get something a little more expensive. Still, if you want a bag that will keep your stuff dry if it falls overboard, or to keep the rain and spray off of your gadgets when you’re cruising along, then this is a great choice.
For the price, it’s worth having a few of these tucked away onboard for emergency situations. You can keep a couple in the trunk of your car too! Plus, many motorcyclists swear by these bags as practical, waterproof luggage options. Cheap, versatile, and good enough to do most jobs: that’s the SealLine Baja.
Material: 1000D Scrim-reinforced Vinyl
Straps: Not included
Sizes: 5L, 10L, 20L, 30L, 40L, 55L
Colors: Black, Red, Yellow, Olive
At the other end of the budget-spectrum, we have the YETI Panga duffle bag. This is a premium product with a premium price tag. However, don’t be put off by the price. If you’re looking for the best dry bag out there and money is no object, you’ll want to be packing your gear in one of these.
It’s not your average dry bag, but it’s not designed for your average user. This is for serious outdoors-ing. Because of that, it’s made with expensive, Thickskin, water- and abrasion-resistant high-density Nylon with a TPU coating.
Unlike other dry bags, the YETI Panga shuns the conventional roll-down seal in favor of tough waterproof fastenings. A Hydrolok zipper keeps the moisture out, while a U-dock terminal reinforces the zip with an airtight seal.
Thanks to the use of Dryhaul straps, the Panga can be carried by hand or worn your back, complete with lightly padded straps with a sleek and refined look. What’s more, the straps are attached to the bag with tough Metallock hardware, tough metal clasps that can endure a bit of punishment.
The use of high-quality materials makes this bag what it is, and it also allows the Panga to be completely submersible without letting any water enter the pack at all. It’s tough, comfortable, practical, and as waterproof as you can get. Is it worth the money? Certainly.
Next up, we have the Sea To Summit Big River dry bag. This is one of the best dry bags out there and it should feature on every list ever written about the top dry bags available. It has long been the industry standard for dry bags, and there’s a good reason for it: it’s tough, durable, and reasonably priced.
Constructed from a tough TPU-laminated 420D Nylon fabric with sturdy double-stitched seams that prevent water from leaking in, the Sea To Summit Big River Dry Bag will keep your gear dry and protected. It can handle heavy downpours and serious spray with ease. In fact, one test even saw it submerged and pulled behind a kayak for over 30 minutes, and it managed to keep the water out. That’s no mean feat, considering it doesn’t claim to be fully submersible.
This simple Seat To Summit dry sack doesn’t come with a strap, but it does feature a pair of D-rings that can be used with any strap, and separate attachment lash loops for securing other goods.
Why isn’t it one of our top picks? Though it’s an excellent bag, it lacks a few unique extra features that help elevate some of the other choices. It’s still one of the best dry bags on sale though.
Material: 420D Nylon
Straps: Not included
Sizes: From 3L to 65L
Colors: Black, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange
The Adventure Lion Premium Dry Bag is premium in quality, but not in price. In fact, it’s a very affordable dry bag that packs a number of exciting features. If you’re looking for a steadfast dry sack that’s tough, durable, waterproof, and long-lasting, this is one to consider.
Adventure Lion’s bags are made from a lightweight PVC material, but don’t be fooled into thinking that lightweight doesn’t mean durable—because this is a seriously heavy-duty bag. It has a compact design which means it can pack small if necessary, but it unravels into quite a spacious bag that can pack almost anything.
For added comfort and easy transportation, each bag ships with a reinforced grab handle and a removable XL shoulder strap. Simply sling it over your shoulder, and you’re ready to go.
It’s available in a number of sizes and colors. No matter what size or style you choose, you’ll be pleased to learn that all of the company’s dry sacks come with a hassle-free lifetime warranty. That should give you a good indication of the level of confidence that Adventure Lion has in its products.
Straps: Shoulder sling strap
Sizes: 20L or 40L
Colors: Black, Blue
Earth Pak is one of the most trusted names in the outdoors industry, and the brand’s dry bags regularly top luggage top lists. The Earth Pak Original dry bag is affordable, sturdy, waterproof, strong, and immensely practical.
Manufactured from a tough 500D PVC material, these bags can successfully keep moisture at bay, whilst taking a few hard knocks and scrapes in the process. It’s an ideal bag for kayaking, boating, rafting, SUP, and other water activities. Even if you drop it overboard, you can rest assured knowing that this bag will keep your gear dry—plus, it floats on top of water too, which is ideal of water sports fans!
The 10L and 20L bags come equipped with a single shoulder sling strap, while the larger offerings feature addition backpack-style straps with a very useful sternum strap feature.
Each bag ships with an IPX8-rated 6.5-inch waterproof phone case. The case includes a snap and lock fastening, with clear access windows. The addition of a phone case is a nice added extra that will keep your most-important device safe and moisture-free when you’re out on the water.
Available in sizes ranging from 10L to 55L, and with a selection of 8 different color themes to choose from, there’s an Earth Pak dry bag out there for every kind of traveler.
Material: 500D PVC
Straps: Shoulder strap (Waist strap with 55L bag)
Sizes: 10L, 20L, 30L, 40L, and 55L
Colors: Black, Yellow, Red, Blue, Orange, Green, White
Piscifun’s dry bags are robust, versatile, comfortable to wear, and seriously waterproof. If that wasn’t enough, the prices are also very reasonable too. In fact, the smallest sized Piscifun dry bag was very nearly our top budget choice.
The bag is made from a tough 500D PVC material with strong welded seams and a solid, roll-top closure. It’s waterproof and abrasion-resistant like almost all other dry bags, but the Piscifun model has a few features that give it the edge over the competition.
For example, it features a practical mesh pocket on the front to keep items that don’t need waterproof protection. Reinforced grab handles make hand-carrying a breeze. It also ships with an IPX8-rated phone case too, with a clear viewing window and a waterproof, moisture-secure fastening.
Each bag ships with a pair of padded carrying straps that can we worn in a variety of ways. You can either use one strap and sling the bag over your shoulder or use both to turn the dry bag into a practical backpack. Thanks to the solid, secure, plastic clasps and buckles, carrying this bag is no effort at all.
Unlike the other models on this list, the SW Motech 350 Tail Bag hasn’t been designed with boating or aquatic adventures in mind. In fact, it’s a motorcycle bag! It’s made specifically for being thrown on the back of a motorcycle and held down with a few bungee cords for hassle-free touring. Just because it’s designed for two-wheels doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from using it on the water though.
This is a great option for boaters who like the waterproof nature of regular dry bags but need a more practical, traditional luggage shape. Designed like a normal weekend or overnight bag, the SW Motech 350 Tail Bag allows for comfortable carrying, easy quick access to your gear, with a sleek look that won’t look out of place in a fancy hotel.
Made from a tough welded tarpaulin PVC material with high abrasion-resistance, and top-level water-resistance, the 350 Tail Bag is perfect for keeping your gear safe and sound. It has several tie-down points to keep it secure, hand-carry handles, and it comes with a plush shoulder carry strap too.
This is an expensive bag, with expensive features. It won’t be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a stylish dry bag that you can use on two-wheels and the water, this is it.
The IDRYBAG dry bag is a comfortable and ergonomic waterproof storage solution for those looking for a stylish and unconventional dry sack. It’s more expensive than your average dry bag but it comes packed with premium features that justify the cost.
Made from 500D waterproof PVC materials, the IDRYBAG features an innovative dual-layer design that includes an inner and an outer pocket. The inner pocket is for gear that needs the most protection, while the outer pocket is designed for your quick-grab essentials, such as a knife or flashlight.
Rather than a shoulder sling strap, the IDRYBAG boasts a deluxe double-reinforced honeycomb carrying system. This features plush backpack-style shoulder straps, a sternum strap, and waist buckle too. One buckle even included a built-in lifesaving whistle!
Other useful features include reflective trim and piping, easy-carry grab handles, a tight roll-down seal, and a choice of eye-catching and stylish colors. Available in sizes ranging between 20L and 40L, there’s a perfect IDRYBAG out there for every type of adventurer.
Whether you’re kayaking, boating, hiking, camping, mountaineering, or motorcycling, this IPX6 waterproof dry sack will see you through.
Material: 500D Ripstop Nylon
Straps: Shoulder, waist, and sternum strap
Sizes: 20L, 30L, and 40L
Colors: Blue, Black, Grey, Yellow
Another one of the best dry bags on the market is the ZBRO Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack. This dry sack is reasonably priced and features a number of useful additions that help separate it from the crowd. If you like to keep your gear organized, this could be the waterproof bag for you.
The ZBRO Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack is made from a reinforced PVC material, with sturdy carrying handles and durable buckles. The bag features a useful front mesh pocket for equipment that doesn’t need to be kept dry, with a practical bungee cord to keep things compressed and stored safely.
The inside of the bag features a separate internal storage pocket that can be removed if necessary. This is great for organizing your gear, with your most precious items stored safely inside.
Each bag comes with a pair of padded straps that can be used to turn the dry bag into a comfortable backpack, or slung over a shoulder instead. This is a versatile bag that can be worn in a number of ways and used for a wide range of tasks.
Available in 5 different color options and in sizes ranging from 20L to 40L, the ZBRO Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack is a practical dry bag that you can rely on. If you’re in any doubt, ZBRO has given this product a lifetime warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee for unsatisfied customers.
Material: Reinforced PVC
Straps: Padded shoulder straps
Sizes: 20L, 30L, and 40L
Colors: Black, White, Yellow, Grey, Green
The Best Dry Bag: A Buying Guide
Dry bags, by definition, are waterproof bags that are designed to keep their contents dry. They’re made from sturdy materials that keep water out, with a closure system that won’t let moisture come creeping in.
On the surface, it looks like all dry bags are the same, but they’re not. Some are built to only resist a little bit of water, while others are fully submersible. Some are tough and durable, while others aren’t quite so hard-wearing.
To make sure that you get the water protection that you need, here’s a little guide with all of the important features to look out for when searching for the best dry bag for your needs.
The Most Important Features To Look Out For
Make sure you get the best bag for your needs by looking out for these important features!
First things first, you should look for the right size that suits your needs. Generally, luggage is measured in liters. The amount of liters a bag has directly refers to its internal volume. A 10-liter bag can hold 10 liters of gear.
Choosing the right size is important. A bag that’s too small won’t be able to carry everything you need. A bag that’s too large could be cumbersome and hard to stow. Some boaters prefer to use more than one bag if they have a lot to transport, rather than one overweight unit.
Some dry bags can even clip together, and you can form a daisy chain of luggage!
Almost all dry bags use either Nylon or PVC materials as the main element of their construction. These materials are waterproof, water-resistant, and generally quite robust and durable. In fact, plenty of inflatable boats are made out of them so that’s how tough these materials are! However, if you have special requirements for your dry bag, you might want to look a little closer at the materials used.
If you’re likely to be hitting some white water with your dry bag, abrasion-resistant materials will also be an added boon. If you’re likely to be on the beach all day, then UV-resistant materials will help prevent the construction materials from degrading.
Think of where you’ll be using your dry bag most and what sort of elements it will have to contend with before making a purchase.
While the materials used are important, how they’re held together is even more so. It’s all very well having top-shelf textiles, but if they’re not joined together properly water will easily find its way in. Generally, most dry bags will have a combination of sewn and taped seams. These work well, but they’re not the best. If you have a larger budget, fully welded seams offer the best water protection. Naturally, you don’t want to overspend on the best seams if you’re only going to be using your dry bag for light-duty tasks. Keep that in mind when searching.
Of course, the most important feature to look out for is a dry bags actual water protection ability. First and foremost, a dry bag must keep water out. Make sure that it can at least do that before even considering hitting the buy button.
Still, these waterproof bags offer different levels of waterproof-ness. A good bag will have an IPX rating. These different ratings give you a good indication of just how waterproof a waterproof bag is. This can range from being able to withstand the odd splash or two, to full submersible ability. Fully submersible bags are more expensive, but they have to have special fastenings to ensure that no water can leak in.
Traditionally, dry bags have roll down closures that work with clip and buckle mechanisms to provide a watertight seal. These fastenings are great: they’re easy to use, they work well, and they’re cheap for manufacturers to make. However, they’re not always 100% waterproof. They are most of the time, but not always.
Other fastenings can include waterproof zips, tight-clasps, and a combination of all of the above! Depending on what equipment you’re carrying and how fast you need to access it, the choice of fastening that suits your needs best may differ.
Straps, straps, and more straps. The best dry bag is only good if you can carry it easily. Without straps, a dry bag can be carried by the fastening buckles, but that might not be ideal for your situation.
Almost all dry bags can accommodate a shoulder strap that you can sling over your shoulder for easy transportation. Some bags even have backpack-like straps, which make heavier bags much easier to carry. Choose a bag that has the right kind of strap for your needs. Also, keep in mind that not all bags come with a strap as standard.
Finally, keep an eye on what bonus features come with your bag. Some bags have removable internal storage pouches, while others have compression straps and mesh pockets. There are even some outdoor survival-focused dry packs that come equipped with whistles built into the buckles, reflective patches for higher visibility, and more.
Joe Appleton is an outdoor enthusiast who loves everything from bushcraft and hiking to wild camping and boating. If he’s not out in the woods, you’ll find him out on the water.