Whether you’re in a kayak, a yacht, or sailing out in the vast sea, no one likes it when their stuff gets wet. And while ziplock bags are all good and well, it gets frustrating when everything can’t fit in one place, especially if you plan on keeping your gear dry when backpacking or enjoying a bit of watersport. Thankfully, we now have dry bags for that. And as the name suggests, their sole purpose of existence is to protect our belongings from the cruel elements and damage from water.
These are not your usual travel bags. They are made from the best waterproof materials and closure systems out there. They are light, and each comes thoroughly tested and ready to do the job. A dry bag will let you confidently venture out into the outdoors, knowing your equipment and gear will remain water-free no matter how Mother Nature decides to punish you. It will grant any water sports enthusiast the confidence and comfort they need.
Whether you need a small and sleek dry bag to fit inside your kayak or you need a much larger backpack for your camping trip, there’s a perfect dry bag out there for everyone. To help you with your search, we’ve put together a list of the best dry bags out there.
Top 10 Dry Bags Of 2020 Reviewed
1. Earth Pak Waterproof Dry BagBest Dry Bag For Snorkeling
The Earth Pak Dry Bag comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 10L to 55L. The 10L and 20L dry bags feature a 24 to 42-inch single shoulder strap while the rest of the sizes come with backpack-style shoulder straps. The dry bag also features an IPX8 certified waterproof phone case that has enough space to fit phones that have 6.5 inches of diagonal screen size.
The bag is made of 500D PVC material. Aside from keeping your stuff as dry as a bone inside, the bag also floats so you never have to worry about losing it should it fall off a boat or something similar. However, the pouch included with the bag is a bit flimsy; the straps keep breaking. The straps on the bag itself are a bit on the short side which can feel tight. Also, the bag is just one big compartment so getting stuff from the bottom of the bag can be difficult.
- Various sizes
- Different strap styles
- Excellent at keeping stuff dry
- Straps may be too short
- No organization inside the bag
- The straps of the pouch keep breaking
2. Kwik Tek Dry Pak Waterproof Duffel BagBest Dry Bag For Beach
Unlike the rest of our picks, the Kwik Tek Dry Pak Waterproof Duffel Bag is not a body bag, pouch, backpack, or even a sack. This dry bag is a duffel bag. It is made of nylon/polyester with an extra heavy-duty vinyl polyester laminate, electronically welded seams, and molded bottoms. The molded bottom not only gives structure to the bag, but it also improves durability, particularly abrasion resistance.
The bag features a removable, adjustable shoulder strap that is padded for comfort. And there’s a water-resistant zippered pocket with storm flap on both sides of the bag. Because of the bag’s design, it’s quite easy to access everything in the bag. Its opening is huge unlike those seen in most other dry bags. However, the buckles are a bit flimsy. The bag is heavy and bulky.
- Large opening; easy access to stuff
- Completely waterproof
- Molded bottom
- Heavy and bulky
- Buckles are flimsy
3. Unigear Floating Waterproof Dry BagBest Dry Bag For Surfing
The Unigear Floating Waterproof Dry Bag is made of 600D polyurethane-coated nylon with a welded seam construction. The dry bag comes in 6 sizes, ranging from 2L to 40L. The shoulder strap is not only adjustable, but it is also reusable. And the roll-down top provides a waterproof seal as well as burst resistance. As an added protection, the dry bag also comes with a universal waterproof case that features a large crystal clear, touch-friendly window so you can operate your phone while it remains protected.
However, you do need to use 4 and a half turns in order to seal the bag. Otherwise, some water will get in. Also, there are no instructions included on how to seal the bag so you might want to check the reviews for help. In addition, the protective case that comes with the dry bag is too small for large phones.
- Durable material
- Universal waterproof case
- Variety of sizes
- No instructions included
- Requires more turns than the manufacturer’s recommendation
- The phone case is too small for large phones
4. Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
The Marchway Waterproof Dry Bag is made of thick 500D tarpaulin which has high abrasion, tear, and puncture resistance. It uses a roll down top seal system and features welded seams using advanced thermal welding craft for 100% waterproof construction. The bag comes in 4 sizes.
The smallest bag comes with a shoulder strap while the 20L and the 30L come with detachable backpack-style straps. The 40L bag comes with non-detachable double straps. However, the plastic clips/buckles are a bit flimsy. And the bag itself is heavy.
- Heavy-duty material
- Different sizes
- 100% waterproof
- Plastic buckles break easily
- Heavy bag
5. Blue Sky Basics Waterproof PouchBest Dry Bag For Swimming
The Blue Sky Basics Waterproof Pouch is the perfect solution if you want to keep your essentials dry when you’re at the beach. This small pouch features triple seal protection and is IPX8 certified making it waterproof up to 32 feet/10 meters. The carrying straps are fully adjustable, enabling you to use the bag as a waist pack, cross-body bag, and a shoulder bag.
The pouch itself is touch-friendly which means you don’t need to take out your phone if you want to text or talk. As an added bonus, the dry bag comes with a free 100% lifetime guarantee. However, the triple seal does make it a bit difficult to quickly seal the bag especially if you have lots of stuff in it. The strap is not long enough to fit on some waists. Some users also report chafing from the strap.
- IPX8 certified
- Triple seal protection
- 100% lifetime guarantee
- Difficult to seal
- The strap may be too short for some
- Strap can chafe
6. Såk Gear DrySåk Waterproof Dry BagBest Dry Bag For Kayaking
The Såk Gear DrySåk Waterproof Dry Bag is made of 500D PVC and features welded seams and a roll-down top. Unlike most other dry bags, this comes with a splash-proof outer zip pocket for small essentials, making it easy to access whenever you need them. The reflective trim around the zipper ensures you are easily able to spot it. The dry bag comes with an adjustable shoulder strap.
The bag comes in two sizes – 10L and 20L. All bags come with a satisfaction guarantee as well as a lifetime warranty. Even better, these bags come in a variety of designs. However, the front pocket is a bit small for some phones and is not waterproof. Also, it is not as watertight as other models; it requires a lot of turns to seal the bag which leaves less space for stuff inside.
- Reflective trim
- Various designs
- Satisfaction guarantee and lifetime warranty
- The front pocket is too small
- The front pocket is not waterproof
- Not as watertight as other models
7. Adventure Lion Premium Waterproof Dry BagsBest Dry Bag For Motorcycle
The Adventure Lion Premium Waterproof Dry Bag comes with a waterproof guarantee. It features a solid roll-top closure and a hassle-free lifetime warranty. There are several sizes available. The 5L and 10L come with XL adjustable straps while the 20L also features a handle. The 40L includes a second strap so you can use it as a backpack.
The bags are pretty airtight which means your stuff will stay safe and dry even under the wettest conditions. However, the strap feels a bit rough and could use some padding. And the colors are not as great as they seem in the pictures.
- Very airtight
- Hassle-free lifetime warranty
- Several sizes available
- Straps need padding
- Colors are not as bright as advertised
8. Ultra Dry Premium Waterproof Bag
The Ultra Dry Adventurer Dry Bag is made of 500D waterproof polymer that’s 7.5mm thick. The seams are welded using Thermo welding technology. This 100% water-resistant bag comes with a phone dry bag that has an ultra-clear window to allow you to take photos and videos while underwater. Plus, the bag comes with an extra-long shoulder strap (48 inches) and a metal calliper for your keys or attaching the bag to your canoe or kayak.
However, there have been reports that the phone dry bag leaks and easily falls apart. Also, some users report a bit of a chemical smell when first unpacked. The smell does go away after a couple of days.
- 100% water resistant
- Extra-long shoulder bag
- Durable construction
- Phone dry bag is poorly made
9. Leader Accessories Heavy Duty Vinyl Waterproof Dry Bag
This heavy-duty dry bag from Leader Accessories is made of vinyl polyester trilaminate and features high frequency welded seams to make it 100% waterproof during quick submersions. It features an adjustable shoulder strap and comes in 7 different sizes and 6 colors.
However, this won’t remain airtight if you fully submerge this into the water. And it’s not as durable as some of our other picks. Also, the bigger sizes don’t come with backpack-style straps like other models.
- Good for quick submersions
- Adjustable shoulder strap
- Variety of sizes and colors
- Not for full submersion
- Not as durable as other models
- No backpack-style straps available
10. Kwik Tek Dry Pak Waterproof Duffel BagBest Dry Bag For Backpacking
Unlike the rest of our picks, the Kwik Tek Dry Pak Waterproof Duffel Bag is not a body bag, pouch, backpack, or even a sack. This dry bag is a duffel bag. With its 12 *12*15 inch dimensions, the bag has the capacity of a whopping 70-liter capacity. With that, you can fit a whole week’s worth of contents in this bag.
The Kwik Tek is made of nylon/polyester with an extra heavy-duty vinyl polyester laminate, electronically welded seams, and molded bottoms. The molded bottom not only gives structure to the bag, but it also improves durability, particularly abrasion resistance.
The bag features a removable, adjustable shoulder strap that is padded for comfort. And there’s a water-resistant zippered pocket with storm flap on both sides of the bag. Because of the bag’s design, it’s quite easy to access everything in the bag. Its opening is huge, unlike those seen in most other dry bags. However, the buckles are a bit flimsy. The bag is heavy and bulky.
- Large opening; provides easy access to stuff
- Completely waterproof
- Molded bottom
- Heavy and bulky
- Buckles are flimsy
Choosing The Best Dry Bags – The Ultimate Buying Guide
Keeping your stuff dry is a common worry among people who love the great outdoors, whether you’re out there hiking the trails or engaging in some watersports.
For small stuff like phones and cash, a ziplock might be enough. But for clothes, towels, and sleeping bags, that just won’t do. To keep all your belongings dry until you get back home, you’re going to need a dry bag.
What is A Dry Bag?
A dry bag is a container that is made of nylon or vinyl and specifically designed to keep its contents dry. These bags come in a variety of sizes and styles, ranging from tubes to duffel bags. The level of waterproofness of these bags also varies.
They also come with many other benefits to suit your needs. Most of them usually feature a roll-top opening which is used to seal the bag. Some will also include a zipper or velcro to improve the seal.
What Material Should I Choose?
Dry bags are made of either nylon or vinyl because of their high level of waterproofness as well as durability.
Those that are made of vinyl are typical of high quality, incredibly durable and resistant to different types of abuse (i.e. tear, abrasion, puncture). However, vinyl is less flexible than nylon. It is also heavier. These very qualities are what make it ideal for carrying heavy equipment or gear that can cause abrasions or punctures. The Leader Accessories Heavy Duty Vinyl Waterproof Dry Bag is one of the few options on our list that is made of vinyl.
Models made of nylon feature PVC coating or a silicone coating agent to make the material waterproof. Compared to vinyl, nylon is much more flexible and lighter. However, they are more vulnerable to punctures, abrasions, and tears. Nylon bags often show a number followed by a “D.” The “D” stands for denier which indicates how dense the nylon fibers are. The higher the number, the higher the density which also means a higher level of toughness. The Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag, for example, is made of 500D nylon with PVC coating.
What Size Should I Choose?
These bags also come in a variety of sizes typically ranging from 5 liters to 55 liters. The smallest size, a 5-liter bag, has enough space to store small personal items such as a phone, camera, cash, medicines, lunch, or a first aid kit. 10-liter bags are ideal for storing gear suitable for a day outing such as clothes and towels. 20-liter options can include a few days’ worths of clothes as well as a small sleeping bag. A 30-liter dry bag can fit gear for two people or enough for a week’s vacation for one person.
Bags of this size and bigger often come with double straps, enabling you to carry them as a backpack. The Adventure Lion Premium Waterproof Dry Bags comes in a variety of sizes – 5L, 10L, 20L, and 40L.
What Closure Type Should I Choose?
Dry bags need to be sealable in order to prevent water from getting in. There are two different types of closures used in the bags. The Hypalon roll top is the most commonly used closure because it can effectively seal out water. To use this type of closure, you’ll roll the top a couple of times and then snap the buckle on to keep the bag watertight. This design provides you with a handle of sorts through these bags generally come with a removable strap. Take note that with some options out there, you’ll need to roll the top more than 4 times.
Another closure type used to seal a dry bag is a press and seal type of zipper-like what you’d find with a ziplock bag. Similar to the roll-top closure, this is also quite effective in keeping water out of the container. However, this type of seal needs to stay lubricated in order to work correctly. The Blue Sky Basics Waterproof Pouch uses a zipper style of closure, three of them in fact.
Can You Repair Holes or Tears On A Dry Bag?
Dry bags are built like tanks. They are usually able to hold together for long periods without getting torn.
They also come with extended warranties which cater for replacements. However, if an accident does happen, and you are attached to that particular dry bag, there are some adhesives you can use to seal the smaller holes.
What do You Intend To Use the Bag for?
As we’ve already mentioned, these bags have various levels of waterproofness. Some like the Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack is splash-resistant only but they are suitable for boat trips or hiking in the rain. If you plan on taking it into a more demanding environment, you’ll need something more waterproof as well as durable.
Some options are 100% waterproof like the Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag and can be submerged in water without wetting the contents. Before you make your choice, think about what you intend to place in the bag as well as where you intend to use it.
How do I seal My Dry Bag?
You can seal a dry airbag in two ways; roll-top, whereby you squeeze all the air out first, then fold its seal about 4-5 times before buckling up at the top. If done right, this method will fully guarantee the safety of your bag’s contents.
The second way is the fold-top and zip method, whereby you simply stuff everything inside and zip the bag. This means it is easy, but not as efficient as the roll-top.
What Other Factors do I Need To Consider?
You may want to look at carrying options. Smaller dry bags typically only have one shoulder strap that allows you to carry it on a shoulder or cross-body. Bigger bags typically come with double straps. Another factor you may want to consider is padding, especially if you plan to place fragile items inside the bag such as a camera.
Other features you may want to check out our external attachment points, a D-ring, and quick access pockets.
Are Dry Bags Fully Waterproof?
The answer is yes; although ideally made to prevent splashes and the like, most bags are built using highly welded waterproof material and have quality seams that are able to keep out water fully. However, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend you take it out for deep-sea diving now.
Some seals may fall short of expectations, and we wouldn’t want our precious valuables getting ruined, would we?
All in all, every adventurer has the right to have their own dry bag. These bags will prove useful, not only for when you’re in the water, but they can also double back as a regular rucksack.
It’s an investment you won’t regret. And as with every other product out there, the more you spend on it, the better quality and longtime support you’ll get. So get any dry bag from our chosen few above for yourself today, and enjoy limitless freedom your freedom from baggage.