How To Choose The Best Dry Bag – Your Complete Guide!

What material? What size? What closure type? These are probably the questions you ask yourself when you look for a high-quality dry bag, which is understandable. After all, you want to keep all your content dry and safe during your expedition. However, there are many different types of dry bags on the market, and with so many choices, it can become overwhelming! So it is essential that you know how to choose the best dry bag; that way, you’ll be able to enjoy your adventure thoroughly!

What Is A Dry Bag?

Dry bags are flexible and durable bags that keep all contents dry when doing outdoor activities. They are also used to protect electronic items such as Cellphone, cameras, and GPS devices from water as well as prevent your clothing from getting wet. It is essential to use a dry bag on any water excursion since it preserves all your gear from water, dirt, and sand!

What Material To Choose?

The first thing you should consider when choosing a dry bag is material since this is what will protect your gear. Dry bags are made either from nylon or vinyl. These materials were selected because of their high level of waterproofness and durability.

Vinyl: Vinyl is a material that is mostly used in dry bag construction. These are of high quality but are less flexible and heavier than bags made of nylon. Also, Vinyl bags are durable and resistant to all types of abuse. So if you are looking for a robust dry bag that can hold heavy equipment, then the vinyl will be a perfect choice.

Nylon: Many dry bags are made from nylon material and coated with PVC film or with a silicone coating agent, making them waterproof. These are slightly lighter and more flexible than vinyl bags. Unlike vinyl bags, these are more subject to mildew, tears, and punctures.

What Size Should You Choose?

Dry bags come in different sizes, and the most common size on the market are S, M. L, XL.

Let’s see what each of these can hold.

Small: Obviously, small bags are ideal to store small things like your wallet, camera, and iPod, to name a few. Usually, small bags range from 1L to 10L; some possess a single non-padded strap, while others don’t feature any. The small bags are great for separating dirty and clean laundry and also for storing in bigger bags.

Medium: The medium bags usually range from 10L to 20L and are suitable for storing bigger gear such as clothes, towels, etc.. These are great for a day or a weekend out!

Large: Large dry bags are for longer trips as these can hold a wider amount of gear. These range from 30L to 40L; some of them feature two straps and can be carried as a backpack. These are hugely appreciated by motorcycles because they are not too big or too small and are easy to attach.

Extra Large: These dry bag sizes are from 40L, and most of them feature two straps for more comfort. Of course, these volumes can hold a lot of gear and are perfect for trips that last a minimum a week.

Attachment Points

Usually, dry bags feature a D-ring to attach the bag to a vehicle such as a kayak, a boat or a motorcycle. But most of them can be attached with the help of the straps and end handle.

What Closure System?

Dry bags feature several different closure systems to prevent water from getting inside. All of them are excellent, but each closure type has its own pluses and minuses.

Zipper: Some dry bags feature a metal zipper, which allows getting to your content quickly. But the problem with the zipper closure is that stuff often gets stuck in it and doesn’t always work smoothly, which can become annoying after a while. Also, not all zippers are waterproof, and this could be a problem if the bag gets wet.

Drawstring: Drawstring closure is different than the roll top and is extremely easy to use. These are great for stowing away personal stuff but will not protect your content entirely from the water.

Velcro: Today, many manufacturers make dry bags with velcro on the top edge for better water protection. The velcro closure is very easy to use and comfortable. It secures the bag remarkably well!

Roll Down: Roll-down bags are fantastic for keeping the water out by rolling the top a few times and then securing it with the help of two buckles, which create a great seal.

How To Properly Seal A Roll Top Dry Bag?

1. Fill out the bag 3/4 with gear
2. Close the two edges together.
3. Roll the top three to four times
4. Join the two buckles and secure them.

What Is The Difference Between A Dry Bag & A Dry Sack?

Dry bags are made from stiff materials that have a high level of waterproofness and are durable. These are mainly used for watersports as well as for outdoor activities.

Dry Sacks are made from ultra-lightweight materials and are usually meant to be stored in larger bags. These are mostly used for camping or outdoor activities.

What To Consider When Looking For A Dry Bag?

As mentioned above, there are many types of dry bags, and choosing the one that suits you best might not be easy if you don’t know what characteristics to look for. There are six important details you should consider when you pick the bag.

1) Of course, the best dry bags are the ones that have a high level of waterproofness. With these, you can be sure all your content will remain dry. So you should always check if the bag is waterproof.

2) It won’t be fun if your bag tears in the middle of your excursion. So it is essential to choose a bag that is made of a thick material such as vinyl, which is exceptionally durable. Although nylon material is thinner and lighter, it can suit fantastically for outdoor activities as well.

3) Color is a feature not to overlook when choosing a dry bag because it can make your life easier when it comes to spotting your bag in the dark or from afar. So remember, the brighter, the better!

4) Today many dry bags feature a transparent window that allows you to see your content through. It’s a great option, and it will help you search for things quickly, but it doesn’t make the bag of higher quality. It is just a plus!

5) If the bag features a zipper, make sure it is waterproof so water won’t get through it. The same for the ring; check if it is made of good plastic quality.

6) Straps are crucial when choosing a dry bag. It’s always useful to have a bag that you can carry from one place to another. If it’s a small or medium bag, then one strap will be more than enough. But if the bag is large, it should feature two straps so you can wear it as a backpack.

What Else Can You Do With A Dry Bag?

There are many things you can do with your dry bag other than outdoor activities. It might surprise you, but Yes, you can get the most out of your bag during your trip! Here are several things you can do with it.

1. You can use it as a cooler or as a Water Bucket
2. Since dry bags float on the water, you can use them as a flotation device.
3. It’s always useful to have something where you can lay your head, and that’s when the dry bag comes into play; you can use it as a pillow!

Who Is The Dry Bag For?

Without a doubt, for everyone! Dry bags can be used for any purpose. Whether it is to go on a sailing trip, rafting excursion, or hiking adventure, one thing is for sure; they will make your expedition more pleasant than ever. With dry bags, you can go wherever you wish in any weather condition without worrying your stuff will get wet.

How To Maintain Your Dry Bag?

Cleaning your dry bag will increase its lifespan. So how do you care for your dry bag? It’s easy! You just need to clean it with a non-detergent soap and rinse it with fresh water. Also, it is essential to air out the bag after each use. If you clean the interior as well, make sure to reverse it so it can dry thoroughly.

What Are The Best Dry Bags?

The dry bags that are listed below are the most popular that you can find on the market today!

In Conclusion

A good dry bag will protect all your gear from water and will make your adventure more pleasant since you don’t have to worry about your stuff getting wet! With the help of this guide, you should manage to choose the best dry bag for your next outdoor excursion! So go ahead and have fun!

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6 thoughts on “How To Choose The Best Dry Bag – Your Complete Guide!”

  1. I never realized how many uses there are for a dry bag. I live on an island in the Florida Keys and I am always on the water!
    I never thought of using the dry bag as a cooler, or a flotation device. brilliant!
    Of the dry bags that you have listed, which is your preferred bag? In your experience which of these is the most durable?

    • Hi Brendon,

      Yes, dry bags are exceptional, you can do many things with them:) Florida Key is a trendy place for boating and fishing, no wonder you spend a lot of time on the water, beautiful place:)
      I use my dry bag as a cooler. For example, I often leave my dry bag floating on the cold water with some fruits and foods in it when I am going out camping along the river. It really keeps everything fresh! I only do this in the river, not in the sea because of the salt water. It can damage the material if the bag stays a long time in the water. However, My favorite dry bag is definitely the Kik Tek Pak because it is made of vinyl, which is an extremely durable material. Inexpensive dry bags such as the Earth Pak or the Friendly Sweed are usually made of PVC film coated polyester, which is also strong but not as much as the vinyl. Also vinyl is more expensive. This is something you should consider, too! 

      I hope it helped:) Please let me know if you need to know more info, I am always happy to help!

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a lovely day!

  2. l live close to the beach and so this interests me. I just recently bought a personal kayak. I want to be able to take my beach stuff with me in the kayak, as opposed to leaving it all on shore for someone to take. I am sure a small bag would be plenty for me, and something flexible. Can you offer you best choice to me? Of course, I would like a summery color too.

    • Hi Matt,

      If you plan to go on a kayak trip, then a dry bag is what you need. It will keep all your stuff dry while you are on the water. All the bags listed in the article are the best rated.So it is hard to tell which of them is the best:). When I go sailing I use the Kwik Tek Dry Pak because it is spacious and also feature outer zippered pockets for storing small items. As for a day trip on land or even offshore, I use the Earth Pak because it is more compact and it does a good job as well. I still didn’t try the Adventure Lion though, but I am on the way to do it:) I am pretty sure this one won’t disappoint me because its material is the same as the Earth Pak.
      However, I would suggest you try the Sak Premium or the Friendly Sweed; these are great as well! If you buy one of them, readers and I will be pleased to hear about your experiences with it:)

      Thank you very much for the comment and wish you a fantastic day!

  3. This honestly is an article that comes in the “nick” of time for me as I soon will be actually going on a cruise in the next few months. I didn’t know that there was a way to really help prepare your bag to stay dry. I literally read step-by-step “How To Properly Seal A Roll Top Dry Bag”. I think that it’s amazing that you’ve helped me with this article, thank you!

    • Hi Akeem,

      I am glad this article helped you know the benefits of using a dry bag for outdoor adventures!

      I wish you to have a good time on your cruise holiday:)

      Thank you for the comment and wish you a fantastic day!


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