Best Dry Bags

Dry bag reviews for kayaking, hiking, camping and more!

Dry Bag Reviews

Dry bags are bags that are often used during canoeing, rafting, fishing, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. They are also used in extreme sports to protect individual items from getting wet and spoiled. A dry bag seals in a watertight manner and is often made of plastic film, other plastic coated fabrics, or waterproof material which forms an impermeable, water protected bag. To create a watertight seal, it is advised that users roll the top closure at least three times to get maximum protection against water. Sturdy and abrasion resistant dry bags are essential utilities on any outdoor excursion where there is a possibility of things getting wet, so it’s important that you choose the one that offers the best protection.

Best Dry Bags

ModelOur RankingDurabilityWeightWater Resistance
Montem Dry Bag19.59.59.5
Outdoor Products Dry Sack28.08.59.0
Earth Pak Dry Bag38.08.09.0
The Friendly Swede Dry Bag48.08.58.5
Mountaintop Dry Bag58.08.08.5
Leader Accessories Dry Bag67.58.08.5
SealLine Baja Dry Bag77.57.58.5
Ultra Dry Waterproof Bag87.57.58.0
Odyssey Dry Bag97.57.08.0
Såk Gear DrySak Dry Bag107.57.08.0
SAFEBET Quest Dry Bag117.07.08.0
NativeWest Dry Bag127.07.08.0
Freegrace Dry Bag137.07.08.0
KastKing Dry Bag147.07.08.0
Surfun Dry Bag157.07.08.0
Note: Durability, Weight and Water Resistance are based on a score between 1 and 10, with 10 being the highest.
History of Dry Bags

Keeping gear dry has been a very common concern among thrill seekers and backcountry travelers, who would often have to live with the problem of having wet items with no solution in sight. Not very long ago, usage of wax led to the birth of sturdy canvas bags although the best option for dry storage came with the usage of metal tins as they were considered to be the most efficient. However, the birth of the stylish dry bag started when the use of plastic became a norm. Even though the plastic made bags proved to be a plausible step forward in dry storage solution, their ability to provide water resistance was outweighed by a lack of durability and no proper method for waterproof sealing.

Companies started experimenting with the possibility of expanding the utility of dry bags to suit more extreme conditions. There was a dire need for a waterproof sack, and as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of all invention, the experimenters found the right fabric in the form of a tightly woven 70-denier nylon with an interior coating made of polyurethane. This allowed the manufacturers to present customers a diverse variety of bags, in different shapes and colors. This light fabric sparked a trend of moving towards even lighter materials that would provide greater mobility and perfect waterproof resistance that would be hard to beat.

Following this discovery, bags were started to be made from crude rubberized material or welded PVC. These were heavy duty bags and was certainly an upgrade from plastic bags as their ability to be completely sealed off was much better. However, this generation of bags fell flat on its face as PVC’s tendency to become stiff in cold conditions combined with its adverse reaction with environmental causes kept the revolution from proceeding ahead. The first real revelation came with the arrival of polyurethane coated fabrics as this technology led to the creation of lighter and superior quality dry bags because the sewn seams could then be taped to create a waterproof seal.

Why Should I Use a Dry Bag?

In simple terms, a dry bag is something that can keep your precious things from getting wet. Fishermen, canoeists, kayakers, and others can keep their food, electronic items, and other essential gear from getting wet. Most dry bags come with the same kind of watertight closing system that you must be familiar with if you want to make it work correctly. Most bags are made of either waterproof or waterproof cover material and have taped seams with a roll top closure. The type of dry bag you’ll need mainly depends on your purpose. They are often used in hiking, camping, snowboarding, skiing, and other snow and water sports. If you love adventure and would like to experience the best of it without water acting as a spoilsport, then a solid dry bag is something that must be there in your arsenal.

Lightweight dry bags provide greater protection from water and serve as a perfect storage for all sorts of hiking and camping needs. They are made from coated material that can be folded into a smaller form and stored in a rucksack pocket, perfectly ready to be pulled out when required. These bags are especially useful to store equipment and clothing that is already wet, and there is no provision for drying. Once you’ve put your stuff inside, it is possible to store this dry bag inside of your rucksack without worrying about rest of the items getting damp.

Other Uses For Dry Bags

Believe it or not, you can use your dry bag for more reasons than just keeping your items dry in wet situations. Of course, like other travel gear, a dry bag can be used for more than one purpose.

  1. Managing Laundry: Keeping dirty clothes separated from clean clothes might prove to be annoying when you’re living without a suitcase, especially if clothes are soiled or wet. Having a dry bag in this scenario can prove to be helpful as you can simply roll up your dirty clothes and stuff it inside the corner of the bag. If you’re worried about bad odor, there is always the option of keeping the top clipped and take the bag along with you until you manage to find a place to wash these clothes.
  2. Emergency Pillow: Imagine that your travel arrangements are delayed and you are stuck in a railway station or an airport indefinitely. Since checking into a hotel room is no longer an option due to time constraints, you can catch a nap wherever you are by creating a makeshift pillow out of your dry bag. It doesn’t need much air, and all you have to do is just fold the top a couple of times and clip it together to make it somewhat inflatable. The pressure of you resting your head will create enough compression for the bag to serve as a decent pillow to catch some shut eye.
  3. Storage of Cables and Wires: Whenever you’re on the road, managing the clutter of phone chargers, camera chargers, power banks, and other wire-based gadgets can turn out to be frustrating, to say the least. They take up a lot of space and they get snagged onto everything else inside of your bag. If you want a quick solution, then you can use your dry bag to store these wires and cables as it will prevent stray prongs and plugs from poking out of it. These bags are made of sturdy material and offer complete protection against wetness, so you don’t have to worry about the electronic items getting wet by any chance.
  4. Compression Sack: When you’re shopping spree has left you struggling to fit all the new items in your backpack, a dry bag can come to the rescue. You can just squish the dry bag to fit comfortably inside of your suitcase but it also provides equally good resistance against water. Wet weather travel is not easy, but making good use of every item you have at your disposal will make your journey a bit more comfortable.
  5. Water Bucket: Did you know you can turn your dry bag into a bucket? Well, when you are camping in the wild, take the empty bag to a river or stream and fill it to the brim with water to return to camp. This way, you’ll have liters of water at your disposal without having to make return trips time and again. Bags that come with roll-fold closure also provide a handle to help you carry the back better. A word of caution – boil or treat the water if you plan on drinking it.
  6. Washing Machine: One of the unique alternate uses for dry bags has to be using it as a makeshift washing machine. Similar to how you would use a bucket, just fill the bag with water, add eco-friendly detergent soap, and then put the dirty clothes inside and proceed to scrub the clothes by hand. After you’re done, close the bag’s roll fold while the clothes are still inside and give it an extreme shake. Then, drain the dirty water and repeat the same process using just plain water to rinse the clothes thoroughly clean.
  7. Camp Mat: Dry bags can be used as multipurpose mats out in the wilderness when you don’t want to get your sleeping mat outside. This mind-blowing alternative can be utilized when you just want to sit for a short while, kneel to light up firewood, hammer the tent pegs, or some other activity around the campsite. Using this bag as a seat, you can avoid getting yourself wet and dirty.
  8. Collecting Firewood: How do you bring firewood to the campsite after chopping them? By all chances, you have to empty a bag with valuable belongings and use it for storing the cut wood. You don’t have to anymore because you can use a dry bag like a sack to store the collected firewood rather than carry it in your arms or storing it in a sophisticated travel bag. When you have your hands free, you are less likely to injure yourself because firewood has branches and sticks protruding out. This is a very useful alternative for dry bags.
  9. Flotation Device: Out in the wilderness, you may have to cross dangerous rivers with a high water current that may make getting across even harder. Dry bags can help you in this situation by acting as a flotation device because they can be filled with air that should provide excellent buoyancy. You can also use a floating dry bag to the float your backpacks and other essential items across the river.
  10. Kettlebell: This may sound kind of cheesy, but if you are in the mood for a workout while camping then filling up a dry bag with water should make it work as a temporary kettle bell. You can use this to do some lifting, heavy enough for a light workout. The best part of this is that you will know exactly how much weight you are lifting because 1 L of water would roughly weigh 1 kg (2.2 lbs), and you can use this standard of measurement to fill it up to the point it is heavy enough for you.
Considerations For Buying a Dry Bag

As there are so many different types of dry bags available in the market manufactured by various brands, making the right choice might not be as easy as you may think. There are various aspects that you must consider before buying a dry bag to ensure you get your money’s worth and the equipment serves its purpose of protecting your items. Some of the big considerations are the following:

Materials: The two types of materials that dry bags are made of are usually vinyl or nylon. The unique advantages of these materials are as follows:

  • Vinyl: This fabric is mostly used to make smaller size dry bags which are made to store smaller personal items. Vinyl is sturdy in nature and provides sufficient protection against water.
  • Nylon: This is the most commonly used material for making dry bags because of its added durability. The nylon is usually coated by a substance known as silicon CORDURA that provides excellent waterproof coating and resistance against abrasion. Dry bags made from nylon will have a number followed by the letter “D” which is the nylon’s denier used to denote the density of the nylon. The higher the number the tougher the nylon quality.

Closure Type: The type of closure plays a great role in determining how waterproof your dry bag will be as there are both varieties of bags that come with fully taped seams and partially taped seams. Fully taped seams provide extra protection against water and are capable of keeping your bag protected even while it is fully submerged. The two commonly used to seal types are:

  • Zipper Seal: Zipper seal variety is perhaps the manufacturers favorite as it is easy to incorporate and use. By using press and seal type of zipper, typically found in plastic or polyethene bags, you are capable of providing a water tight seal necessary to keep your valuables dry.
  • Hypalon Roll Top: This mechanism is more efficient in keeping water out as it comes with a snap buckle and roll top that combine to provide the perfect sealing device. You also get a handle of sorts once the bag is fully inflated, so carrying it around becomes much easier.

Carrying Straps: To an extreme sports enthusiast, having a dry bag with robust carrying straps is a must since it equates to better mobility. Using the straps, they can either throw the bag over their shoulder or use them to strap it on perfectly. Straps are highly useful when it comes to transporting multiple items from one place to another. You can also buy multiple bags together or secure them to a boat by using a carabiner.

D-Rings: D-rings are a dry bag essential, and they either come with the purchase or can be separately purchased from outdoor retailers. As the name implies, these rings are in the shape of “D” and can be found attached to the bag when rolled and properly buckled the purpose of these rings is to help the user string multiple bags together all at once so that there is one common source to control all the bags. These rings also help minimize the stress exerted on the buckle and keep them from breaking once multiple bags are tied together.

Size: Size is another important consideration that plays a significant role in determining how big of a dry bag you’ll need for your purposes. A 5 L bag is ideally suited for storing small personal belongings such as medicines, toiletries, electronics, first aid kits, or light foodstuff. These small dry bags are perfect to be kept under the kayak bungees due to their size. A 10 L bag can be useful for storing a change of clothes. Bags of 20 L are big enough to hold a few days worth of clothing, a weekend worth of dry food, a small sleeping bag, or electronic items of an entire group. 30 L bags, which are usually the maximum capacity you can buy, are perfect for storing clothes for two people and an entire week of supply for one person.

Brand: The importance of going for a reputable brand cannot be stressed enough. Whenever you’re buying an essential item such as a dry bag, it is important that you don’t try to cut costs by compromising quality. There are couple dozens of brands operating in the market, and not all of them are equally good, and this is why you must do a thorough research about a brand’s image and reputation before selecting a product from their lineup. The last thing you’d want to happen is for the bag to fail its purpose and leave you disappointed. Do a quick online search about the most favorite brands, and read customer reviews of products to get the complete picture of a particular product.

Keeping the above considerations in mind, you can proceed with confidence and make an informed choice when purchasing a dry bag. Always remember to buy products made by reputed brands as this is one item that has to be reliable enough to be used extensively.

Useful Tips

Before you use your dry bag it is important that you do a close inspection of the dry bag to get a whole idea about its waterproof capacity. Since you’re going to be crossing rivers, walking in the rain, or doing adventure water sports, it is important to make sure you have the best quality waterproof dry bag at your disposal. Simply follow these two techniques to determine how good your choice of dry bag is:

  1. Just switch the bag inside out, partly fill it with water, and keep an eye out for leaks. Turn the bag right back as it was if you want to use it straight away. Since we rarely remember to check our bags until we are packing, this trick will ensure that you don’t mistakenly stuff your items inside of a wet bag. Do not entirely fill the bag with water as it will put a lot of unnecessary stress.
  2. Fill the dry bag with air, seal it off, and use all the strength you have to squeeze the bag. If you don’t feel any air coming out nor hear the sound of air rustling, then run your mouth back-and-forth of the back surface, and you might feel the air escaping through your tongue and lips. As weird as this method might sound, it is a tried and tested way to check for leaks.

Regardless of the quality of your dry bag, you should try as much as possible to keep the dry bags away from water because these bags can only be submerged to a certain depth and can remain that way for short periods of time. If for any reason you have to keep it submerged longer and deeper, use some sort of extra protection or else it may cause the fabric to absorb water. It is always a good idea to store away these bags in a safe place whenever you’re not using them. Before taking your dry bag out on a trip, try its effectiveness under a control environment such as in a bath tub or shower to make sure that there are no leaks or other flaws.

Hiking Tips

Hiking is always a wonderful way to unwind and take a break from our hectic lives. Going out into the wilderness and taking a deep breath of that fresh, natural air can make anyone forget about their troubles for a while. No wonder it has emerged as one of the most popular forms of recreation. Today there are several well-maintained hiking routes through hills and forests where one can go with their friends and families to have fun.

Hiking is definitely a great way to spend quality time with your kids and families and have loads of fun. Although these “routes” are very well maintained and provide all kinds of facilities, one should still be aware of the basic rules and safety guidelines to follow while out on that hiking trip. One should always be prepared for every kind of situation while out in the wilderness as we all know how unpredictable Mother Nature can be.

We will provide you with some of the general tips and methods of hiking and will show you how you can be safe and well prepared in case of emergencies.

Planning

Planning out your hiking trip thoroughly is crucial. Just like you make preparations for your vacations, you should also prepare well for a hiking trip, especially if you’re going hiking with your family and have kids. Here are a few ways you should plan your hiking trips beforehand.

Be ready to modify your goals: Hiking can be very unpredictable. You may sometimes not reach the end of a trail or not even make a mile. So be well prepared to adjust with the comfort level of your family and do not force or pressure them to keep on going when they are tired as that can sometimes be dangerous. Hiking is all about having fun and enjoying. So have a good time along the way and turn back whenever you think it is getting a tad too had for your loved ones.

Combine patience and flexibility: Whenever you see something interesting on the way such as a frog darting across the trail, wait for it to dart across again. These little interesting teachable moments are the things that make for a great and enjoyable family hike.

Study the route: Before you venture on a hiking trip, be sure to consider all kinds of relevant information about the route. You should know what you’re about to face and all the features of a trail. Beginners should always start off with short trails which do not have too much elevation gain along the way. While on a family hike, you should choose a trail that has features like lakes, ponds, and waterfalls along the way as the kids are fascinated by these things.

Make sure to carry proper hiking gear: One of the most important things while planning your hiking trip is to make sure that you all your family members are carrying proper hiking gear. Make sure the shoes fit well and dress up for success. Bring extra clothes in case the original ones get wet and make sure to check on weather conditions beforehand.

Hiking Etiquette

There are certain rules and regulations one should follow to ensure the safety of themselves and their family while out on a hiking trip. Here are a bunch of rules and tips which should be followed while on a hiking trail.

  1. It is very important to stay on the trail and not take short cuts or cut switchbacks. Hiking trails have been prepared for you to make it safely to the finishing point and venturing off the trail can often result in getting lost or getting stranded in some unsafe place.
  2. Stay to the right side of a trail while on wider paths and pass on the left.
  3. When you stop for a view or to take rest, be sure to move away from the trail so that you do not block the way for other hikers. In case you are selecting a particular spot to take rest, make sure the place is a used area or a durable surface such as a rock. Do not trample off the trail into a nice soft field of grass or flowers.
  4. When you are hiking in a group, stick to single or pair hikers. When a bunch of people hike side by side on the trail, hikers coming from the other side of the path get blocked which is not nice.
  5. Always report vandalism. Report any kind of destruction done by other hikers to the manager of a hiking trail as these damages may endanger the safety of other hikers on the trail.
Hiking Tips and Tricks

Here is a list of some useful hiking tips and tricks which will make your hiking trip with your family much easier and safer.

  1. Make a list of essentials: There are a few important items that you should always carry while out into the wilderness. These things can be live saving in case of some unfortunate event. Make sure you carry a first-aid kit, bug sprays, insect replant, snacks, sunscreen, extra clothes and special hiking sticks.
  2. Make little pauses in between the hike: Walking for long distances can be very tiring especially for kids. So make sure you make energy stops while on the trail. You should have some snacks and water during these stops to regain your stamina to continue on the trail.
  3. Keep a look out: There are so many little fascinating things to look out for when in the midst of nature. You can expect to find some interesting looking ferns, bugs, birds and many other things on your hiking trip. Observe these things carefully and try to soak in as much of the beauty of Mother Nature as you can as that is the true spirit of hiking.
  4. First-aid kit: Some essential things that you should be carrying in your first aid kit include lots of adhesive bandages, Children’s Tylenol and ibuprofen, a calamine lotion for bug bites, antihistamines, anti-bacterial wipes, and sunscreen.