Whether you plan to go camping, sailing, kayaking, or enjoy any other outdoor activity, you need a waterproof bag to protect all your stuff while on the go so you can enjoy your adventure thoroughly.
A dry bag will do exactly what it suppose to do. It will keep all your stuff dry and organized. What sets dry bags apart from traditional bags is their roll-top closure system and their stiff material providing maximum protection from water.
There are a plethora of dry bags on the market. So the question is what to choose for your outdoor trip? In this article, you will find a list of the 8 best dry bags for boating and a guide to help you pick the one that corresponds to your needs.
Table of Content
- 1 1. Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
- 2 Best Rated
- 3 Pros
- 4 Cons
- 5 2. Sealine Baja Dry Bag
- 6 Pros
- 7 Cons
- 8 3. Adventure Lion Waterproof Dry Bag
- 9 Pros
- 10 Cons
- 11 4. Sak Gear Premium Waterproof Dry Bag
- 12 Pros
- 13 Cons
- 14 5. Friendly Swede Dry Bags
- 15 Pros
- 16 Cons
- 17 6. Kastking Dry Bag Waterproof Roll-Top Sack
- 19 Pros
- 20 Pros
- 21 7. Sea To Summit Big River Dry Bag
- 22 Pros
- 23 Cons
- 24 8. Kwik Tek Dry Pak
- 25 Top Pick
- 26 Pros
- 27 Cons
- 28 Buying Guide
- 29 What Are Dry Bags?
- 30 Material
- 31 Closure System
- 32 Sizes
- 33 Portability and Transportation
- 34 Attachment
- 35 Color
- 36 How to Seal a Dry Bag?
- 37 How to Fix Your Dry Bag?
- 38 What do Welded Seams mean?
- 39 Splashproof, Waterproof, Submersible, Water Resistant, or Water Repellent?
- 40 How to Maintain a Dry Bag?
- 41 In Conclusion
- 42 Highest Rated Dry Bags
- 43 1. Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
- 44 Kwik Tek Dry Pak
- 45 Kastking Dry Bag
1. Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
The Earth Pak is an excellent dry bag that offers a high level of protection against water. It is made of heavy-duty 500D PVC material, making it extremely durable and exceptional for all sorts of uses.
The Earth comes with an IPX8 waterproof phone case that will keep your phone dry during your float trip. You can even capture nice pictures while in the water without worrying about your phone getting wet.
One of the Amazon customers stated that his phone fell 10 feet deep underwater and it took him about 15 minutes to retrieve it. And guess what? To his big surprise, the phone was completely dry!
So far, I spoke mostly about the phone case, but what about the bag itself? Will it be as efficient if it falls in the water? Without a doubt, YES! If your bag is well secured, not even a drop of water will penetrate inside.
It also features an adjustable shoulder strap that allows you to adjust it to the size you want. Know though that the 10L and 20L have a single shoulder strap. The 30L, 40L, and 55L come with padded backpack straps for a better repartition of the weight when the bag is heavily loaded.
There is a D ring placed on the side of the bag to attach or detach the strap if need to. It is available in different colors, but the brighter, the better because it will be much easier for you to spot it from afar if it goes overboard.
Average Rank: 4.8 out of 5
- Provide high protection against water
- Easy to carry
- Heavy Duty Material
- Comes in many colors
- The 10L and 20L come only with a single shoulder strap.
2. Sealine Baja Dry Bag
What makes the Sealine so unique is that it come in many different sizes, ranging from 5L to 55L. This gives you a lot of options for your adventure. The Baja is a bag that you can rely on to keep your gear dry and safe during your outdoor trip.
It is made with a thick 19 oz scrim-reinforced vinyl material to ensure your bag doesn’t rip in the middle of the trip. The bottom is also made with a scrim-reinforced vinyl, but with a thicker fabric (30 oz), which not only adds more safety but also keeps the bag standing upright while you pack.
The entire bag material is double-stitched at the seams to prevent water from entering the bag while you enjoy your watersport activity. Like the other models; it features a roll-top closure system providing an excellent watertight seal. The Sealine Baja has a D ring on the side which helps to attach it to your boat, kayak, canoe, or whatever you want.
The Sealine has all the features required to protect your belongings while on the go, and there is no doubt you will love it. But to be honest, you would appreciate it even more if it had a strap, unfortunately, it doesn’t. This is the weak point of the Sealine Baja.
The only way you can carry it is via its handle created by the seal of the top roll closure. Of course, it’s not as useful as a strap, but it really helps to grab the bag. However, one thing you can be sure of is that the Sealine Baja is a robust dry bag and built to last.
Average Rank: 4.5 out of 5
- High-quality material
- Tear resistance
- Has a high level of waterproofness
- Extremely spacious
- Comes in many sizes
- It features only one D ring
- Does not has any strap to carry the bag.
3. Adventure Lion Waterproof Dry Bag
The Lion is a bit less popular than the Earth Pak, but in terms of quality, both are equal. The Lion is also made of heavy-duty 500 PVC material and features a roll-down top too.
This bag is long-lasting, waterproof and there is no doubt that it will protect all your stuff along the way. The small sizes 5L and 10L feature an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap, which really helps to carry the bag from one place to another.
Like the Earth Pak, the bigger sizes come with backpack straps. This allows distribute the weight through your body and therefore, carry it comfortably on your shoulders. But what differentiates the Lion from the Earth Pak Bag? Well, both look very much alike.
The Lion’s bigger sizes (20L and 40L) feature an ergonomic handle, placed on the top of the bag. This is really helpful if you want to grab it from a vehicle such as a boat, kayak, truck, or whatever.
No product is perfect, and the Lion’s downside is that only the 40L features backpack straps. Also, the Earth Pak comes with a sternum strap for more stability, plus an iPhone waterproof case whereas the Lion doesn’t.
Average Rank: 4.7 out of 5
- The bigger sizes 20L – 40L feature an ergonomic handle on the top of the bag
- Extremely Durable
- Highly water-resistant
- High-quality material
- The 40L is the only bag that comes with backpack straps
The DrySak is built to last, it is made of sturdy 500 D PVC material and coated with polyurethane to keep all the belonging completely dry. It features a splash-proof outer zipper pocket allowing you to store small items such as ID, keys, a map to name a few. Avoid storing your phone in this pocket if you go rafting or boating, as it’s only water-resistant, not waterproof.
The nice thing about this pocket is that you can access your stuff quickly without searching through your bag which saves you time. Although it is a nice feature, when the bag is fully packed, it becomes difficult to store things inside. Also, the zipper itself is not waterproof, so you should always make sure to wrap important content in a small case before storing them in the pocket, especially if you are out on the water.
The contour of the pocket zipper has a reflective trim so you can spot it easily if somehow it falls overboard or you want to be seen from a distance in the dark. It can be convenient in some cases. The Duraflex plastic D ring is placed on the extremity of the bag to attach the strap that comes with the DrySak.
You can use it as well to clip the bag to your boat or kayak. Like most dry bags, it closes by rolling the top a few times. Overall, it is an excellent dry bag to use for any watersports, and thanks to its stiff material; you can count on it to last for a long time.
Average Rank: 4.7 out of 5
- High-quality material
- Keep everything dry
- The strap isn’t padded
- The zipper is not waterproof
5. Friendly Swede Dry Bags
The Friendly Swede can be purchased in a set of two bags or as a single. For example, (5L – 10L) (10L – 10L) (2L – 2L) (10L – 20L) or (10L alone). The set is the best option because not only the price is more advantageous but it also enables you to organize and keep your wet clothes separate from other important content in a larger bag.
The Friendly is made of 500D PVC Tarp, a stiff material offering a high level of tear resistance, and waterproofness. Additionally, the bottom of the bag is made of scrim-reinforced vinyl, providing excellent protection against punctures and water. The thick bottom also helps to hold the shape of the bag in place, this allows you to pack more comfortably.
The D ring is attached to a secure scrim-reinforced vinyl piece of material that is sewn solidly onto the bag so that the strap remains secure while carrying it. The Friendly Swede comes with an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap to hold it easily over your shoulder or secure it to your boat or canoe.
It features a roll-top closure system providing a fantastic watertight seal. If you follow the directions – meaning, you close it properly, leave air inside, and do not submerge it. Then the Friendly will keep all your belonging dry during your watersport activity as well as float on the surface of the water if it falls overboard. Plus the Friendly Swede company offers a lifetime warranty!
Average Rank: 4.7 out of 5
- Thick and durable material
- Great price
- Keep everything dry
- Lack of color choices
- Don’t come with backpack straps
6. Kastking Dry Bag Waterproof Roll-Top Sack
The Kastking has a feature no other dry bags on this list have, a transparent window on the front allowing you to see all your content through it. No need to unpack or search for things in your bag anymore. Isn’t that great? But that’s not all! It also features an additional PVC lining around the closure system that provides an exceptional level of waterproofness.
This fantastic bag is made of 500D PVC material and coated with Polyurethane fabric for more protection and safety against water. Created with high-quality welded seams and a double overlap roll-down closure system, the Kastking is built to last.
Some of Amazon’s users stated that they submerged the bag for a few minutes and everything inside remained dry. Like the Friendly Swede, the Kastking’s D ring is sewed on a piece of scrim-reinforced vinyl material and firmly secured on the bag. Additionally, it comes with an adjustable shoulder strap to carry the bag during your trip or to attach it to your boat.
The strap is not padded, and it can become uncomfortable on the shoulder if walking long distances. This is something that could be ameliorated in the Kasting. All in all, it is definitely a great bag for any outdoor activity!
Average Rank: 4.6 out of 5
- Extremely durable
- Tear resistance
- Features a transparent window
- Big sizes don’t feature backpack straps
- The shoulder strap is not padded.
7. Sea To Summit Big River Dry Bag
The Sea to Summit is made of 420 D nylon material making this bag flexible, tear-resistant, and long-lasting. It features two handgrips placed on each side allowing you to grab the bag or attach it to a boat, motorcycle, kayak, to name a few.
Another great feature is the two D rings near the buckles on the roll-top closure system. These are extremely useful when it comes to hanging the bag on a cord while on a camping trip or attaching it to your canoe. The Sea to Summit is a bit heavier than many other similar nylon bags, yet lighter than PVC bags, thus withstand more heavy uses as well as provide greater longevity.
The Sea To Summit is a remarkable bag, and its only downside is that it doesn’t have any shoulder strap for carrying it. Yes, nothing is perfect:) But does this should stop you from getting the best out of it? Not at all! Many people use it to separate wet clothes from other gear as well for boating or kayaking trips.
This Brand is well known for making an outstanding line of dry bags and other stuff for watersports uses. So you can be sure that the Sea To Submit will protect all your belonging while you enjoy your adventure on the waters.
Average Rank: 4.6 out of 5
- Excellent quality
- Straps on the sides to attach it
- High level of waterproofness
- Don’t feature any shoulder strap
- A bit heavier than other Nylon’s dry bags
8. Kwik Tek Dry Pak
The Kwik Tek Pak dry bag is designed to withstand extensive water exposure, UV, snow, sand, dirt, and all sorts of hard uses. This bag is the winner in all categories, it is made of stiff vinyl material, and the seams are electronically welded- meaning the fabric is solidly constructed using heating method thus will neither leak nor tear or fail even if you throw it on rough surfaces or leave it in the rain for days.
Most dry bags’ shapes are vertical, and they are usually required to pull gear out of the bag to reach the bottom. The Kwik Tek solves this issue thanks to its wide mouth opening, allowing you to access your content with ease. It’s is a big plus when packing or searching for things. It has an impressive molded bottom made of heavy-duty material adding more protection to your content and also supports its shape.
Since the bottom is also waterproof, you can drop your bag on wet surfaces without worrying about your stuff getting wet. Everything will remain completely dry! It has a roll-down top closure system with side clips and four snap buckles that allow you to seal the bag and keep content safe.
For extra storage, it has two outer zippered water-resistant pockets plus storm flaps placed on each side for small items. There are two convenient handle straps that allow you to carry it by hand and a detachable padded shoulder strap to hold it comfortably on your shoulder during your excursion.
Average Rank: 4.5 out of 5
- High level of waterproofness
- Great price for what you get
- Wide mouth opening for easy access
- The outer pockets on the side are not waterproof.
- The hard bottom makes it harder to fold it.
What Are Dry Bags?
Dry bags are bags that feature different closure systems and are made of heavy-duty material offering a high level of waterproofness. They are designed to protect gear against water, dirt, sand, UV, and snow, making them excellent to use for all kinds of watersports.
They come in various sizes, colors, types, and materials. Dry bags are extremely appreciated by watersport lovers such as fishermen, kayakers, sailors, canoeists as well as travelers, campers, and backpackers.
What makes the dry bags so attractive is their ability to protect all content from the water. Most dry bags are made of two different materials, Vinyl or Nylon.
Nylon: Dry bags made of nylon are usually either coated with a coating agent called silicon Cordura or laminated with plastic, making them waterproof. Nylon comes in different types of qualities. The D “Dernier” that is indicated on the label determines the thickness of the material. The higher the number, the stronger the fabric. Nylon is lighter and more flexible than vinyl material, making the nylon dry bags easier to manipulate and carry.
Vinyl: Dry bags made of vinyl material are usually stiffer, less expensive, and easier to clean since they are a non-woven structure. The great thing about the Vinyl material is that they are easy to repair if they tear. Many vinyl bags have a transparent window, which comes in handy for searching content inside the bag.
Dry bags feature various different closure systems to protect important items against water, snow, dirt, and sand. Although all the closure systems provide good protection, yet they all have pluses and minuses.
Roll Top: Roll top closures provide the best protection. Once the bag is secured, there is no chance water will get inside unless there is a defect in the bag or it was submerged for too long. Most of the roll-down bags feature D rings to attach the bag to a boat, a kayak, or something else. Or a Velcro band for more protection.
Zipper: Zipper closure systems allow to access the bag easily which can save time. But the downside is that some zippers are not waterproof, therefore can cause a leaking issue if the bag is exposed to water. Besides this, when bags are fully packed, clothes often get stuck in the zipper or the zipper break. The replacement of a zipper sometimes can cost almost the same price as the bag itself.
Drawstring: Drawstring closure systems usually come along with a Velcro or a roll-down closure. These are extremely easy to open and close and are also repairable, which can be a big plus for outdoor lovers.
Velcro: A velcro closure is convenient, secure, and provides an excellent seal. Dry bags that feature velcro are strong and can be used in any weather condition.
Dry Bags comes in a wide variety of sizes ranging from 5L to 55L depending on the Brand. Some of the dry bags are categorized by US Letters – meaning XS, S, M, L, and XL. So how to know you pick the right size when buying a dry bag?
XS – S: Extra small and small range from 1L up to 10L. Small sizes come rarely with a shoulder strap, they usually don’t have any. These are awesome to carry small items such as iPhone, key, personal stuff, etc. But they are also great to separate content or simply to store in a larger bag.
M: Medium range from 10L to 20L in sizes. In these, you can carry things like clothes, towels, camping gear, food, bottles, and other stuff. The Medium bags feature an adjustable shoulder strap, making them comfortable to carry during the trip. These are great for one or two day trip.
L: The large dry bags range from 30L to 40L in sizes. These are ideal for storing sleeping bags, clothes, and other gear. Some Brands will add backpack straps, but most of them feature a padded shoulder strap. However, you can also fill them with smaller dry bags. This adds an extra layer of protection to your equipment, and it’s more practical. Great to use for a week trip!
XL: Dry bags ranging from 40L to 55L refer to Extra Large size. These are huge and can be used for long trips or to store a lot of gear. These usually are equipped with padded backpack straps and loops for more comfort.
Portability and Transportation
As mentioned previously, small dry bags often don’t have any straps because they are usually used for storing in larger bags. However, you can expect the Medium and large to have an adjustable shoulder strap. As for the Large and Extra-large, they feature padded backpack straps. It’s always convenient to be able to carry a bag using straps. But not everyone will need it. For example, some kayakers or boaters will be satisfied with a drawstring bag whereas hikers will definitely need a shoulder strap.
Generally speaking, most dry bags come with a plastic/metal D-Ring, which is either placed near the closure or in the extremity of the bag. It’s important that the D-Ring or any other buckle is made of high quality so it won’t break in the middle of the trip. Loops and D-Rings are used for connecting bags together, or to attach them to a boat, canoe, kayak, or to any other vehicle.
One of the most fun things when buying a product is choosing the color. Dry bags offer many color options to choose from, and the brighter, the better. You never know, if your bag falls overboard, it will be easier for you to spot it, especially if it gets lost. Also, dark colors tend to absorb the sunlight, making the bag hot to the touch after being in the sun.
How to Seal a Dry Bag?
To seal the bag properly, fill it with gear up to three-quarters of the bag. Press the sealing strips together and while holding the strips, roll it three to four times until it is tight. Then connect the two buckles together. If you want your bag to float, then leave a bit of air inside. And that’s it, you are ready to go!
How to Fix Your Dry Bag?
Sometimes accidents occur, and if you rip your bag during your adventure, you should be ready to repair it. There are several types of adhesives that you can use to fix your kit which include Aquaseal, Seam Grip, Vinyl adhesive to name a few. The best places to find them are either online or at the local dive or sports shop. Before repairing any tear, always make sure the surface is clean, then put the adhesive and stick the patch on the hole. Wait until it is completely dry.
What do Welded Seams mean?
When it’s written on the bag “Welded Seams” it means that two pieces of fabrics were joined using pressure and heat. Thermoplastic coating materials such as (PU) polyurethane, (PVC) polyvinylchloride, (PE) polyethylene, and (PP) polypropylene are mainly used for the fabric welding process.
This procedure is only required for products that need to be made specialized water-resistant and tear-resistant. A welded seam bag can withstand stress up to 2 times greater than sewn and taped seams. So, if you see welded seams, you can rest assured that the bag is of higher quality.
Splashproof, Waterproof, Submersible, Water Resistant, or Water Repellent?
The terms used for dry bags such as waterproof, submersible, and splashproof can be confusing as they all seem similar. In fact, there is a big difference between them.
Splash-proof: This means your bag will withstand water splash, light rain, but it will leak if exposed to high water pressure or submerged underwater.
Water-resistant: This means you can expose the bag to water, but it cannot be submerged! It will withstand rain, water, and snow for a long time.
Water-repellent: Water-repellent has a higher level of waterproofness than water-resistant. If you see “Water-repellent” on the label, you know that your bag will repel water when exposed to it. Bear in mind though that if you submerge your bag, it might fail.
Waterproof: This means the bag will never leak or fail if you put it in contact with water, no matter the conditions. Waterproof dry bags can withstand being submerged underwater in 3 feet depth depending on their degree of waterproofness. Always check the manufacturer’s maximum depth rating, the higher, the better!
Submersible: This means your bag will withstand being submerged in 12 feet depth and more depending on its degree of waterproofness. Always check the manufacturer’s maximum depth rating, the higher, the better!
How to Maintain a Dry Bag?
It’s important to clean your bag, especially after your watersport activity. Saltwater can affect the quality of the bag as well as many other substances. So how do you care for it? After each use, wipe the surface using a wet rag and gentle soap. You can do the same inside the bag by reversing it and at the same time air it out.
You won’t realize how much a dry bag is practical until you bring it with you and use it during your trip. Knowing that your content will remain safe and dry no matter where you are or what you do. Would you take now the risk to go without it? I doubt it! The bags that are listed above and the guide will help you find the best dry bag for your adventure. To have a better idea of which one is right for you, the best is to know what activity you’ll be practicing and what you intend to take with you. Have a nice trip!
What are your favorite dry bags? You are welcome to share them in the comments below.
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Daniella has been passionate about travel, the sea, and nature for many years. As a child, she frequently traveled throughout the Mediterranean and continued with her journeys throughout her adult life.
Her experiences have created the desire within her to share her love for traveling with other passionate and adventurers who want to discover beautiful horizons and new cultures.