When you think of gear to invest into, are bags on your mind? If not, maybe they should. Dry bags are a perfect item for carrying your things safely around your trips, and your activities, so finding the best dry bag for the specific function is a very helpful thing to improve the quality of your outdoor experience.
But, what are they?
Have you ever gone to the beach and ended up damaging your cell phone with water? Or, have your camera ruined because your luggage got wet? Dry bags are specially designed to avoid these kinds of situations.
The main difference between a dry bag and another kind, is that these bags are intended to keep your items safe and as you might guess, dry on the inside, so they are usually waterproof, durable and very resistant.
You can use them for trips or activities where you might get wet, like when you go the beach or when practicing a sport like rafting, helping you keep dry items that can get damaged, like cell phones and cameras, or to keep your gear dry.
Are all dry bags the same?
Most dry bags are created with certain conditions in mind, where they can face water, or snow, or go through difficult sceneries like mountains and wilderness.
There are several characteristics to keep in mind when choosing. Ones might be more important than the others depending on what the bag you come across.
For example, choosing the best waterproof bag might be key for people who will use it during rainy conditions or when practicing water sports. However, people who will use it on dry conditions might not think of it as important.
What characteristics to look into
One of the first thing you should investigate when deciding the right dry bag for you is the waterproofing method used on the fabric as well as the level of water resistance they have. While some bags may repel water significantly, most of them are not completely waterproof but just water resistant that can endure splashes and moist.
The most commonly used material for dry bags is the nylon, due to its resistance. It is also coated with a waterproofing technique to provide with water resistance, and you can find many options, from the most durable, to the most flexible type of nylon.
Another commonly used material is vinyl, which is often used on smaller bags made to store important documents or electronic devices.
According to your need, you should choose among the most flexible bags, if you need to fit them or save them on specific locations, or the most durable, to withstand tough conditions.
As you might have guessed, keeping the items inside safe and dry is vital, so the closure system on the bags plays a big role and can determine if it is worth it or not.
There are different closures, from ones that are fully seamed and provide complete protection from water, but might not be that accessible while there are others that can be accessed easily but offers little to no protection from moisture.
The zipper closure is the one that offers great sealing and protection against water so it is a very popular option, as well as the hypalon roll top, which comes with a snap buckle and a roll on top.
Size does matter when it comes to your bags, and bigger is not always better. You need to think of its use when investing money on it. Buying a bag that is too big for the things you will carry might cause you to over pack and end up with useless items that will only slow your pace.
On the other hand, if you buy one too small, you will probably end up using more than one and carrying more weight or making your journey more uncomfortable. The best way to avoid this is investing in several bags with different sizes. That way you can choose according to the trip you will take.
Depending on the use you intent on giving them, you can look into other details before deciding on your buy. Things such as the carrying straps, the weight or the versatility on pockets are other features that can influence on the quality of your decision.
Now that we have learned about these topics, we can review some popular options, highlight its pros and cons, and help you choose the right dry bag for your need.
Bago Dry Bags
Dimensions: 5 – 55 liters
Specific Features: Adjustable and detachable shoulder strap, see through windows on one side,watertight roll-up closure, DrySeal waterproof, dust and snow resistance
Best use: Kayaking, rafting, snowboarding and other snow and water activities. Hiking
The Bago Dry Bags are a great option to keep your things safe and dry. They are very resistance, as they are made with a 19oz vinyl scrim reinforced sides and 30oz bottom. This makes the bags perfect for conditions where they might need endurance, like hiking or kayaking.
They come with a watertight roll up closure that does not allow the water to enter, and help with the protection of the items. Is even so that you can fill it with air and close it, and it will float on water. Great thing if you accidentally loose grip of it.
However, these bags are not designed for submersing into water for long periods of time, so you should consider this before buying. The bags have a very useful see-through window that helps you with selecting the one that contains what you are looking without having to open them all.
Other than saving time, this also helps you in keeping your items protected from all sorts of elements and conditons. It also comes with an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap to help you with the carrying, and it is water and dust resistant.
Sea to Summit Dry Sack
Dimensions: 1 – 35 liters
Specific Features: Hypalon roll top, nylon material (70D), waterproof
Best use: Backpacking, hiking, water sports.
This dry bag is a great and affordable option to keep your stuff dry on several kinds of situations. You can use the Sea to Summit Dry Bag when going backpacking, when practicing water sports like kayaking and as carrying bag when traveling.
It is flexible yet very durable, so you can use it without having to worry too much about its safety, and as it is waterproof, you can even use it as floating device once it is full of air and fully sealed.
The bag comes with a hypalon waterproof roll top that facilitates keeping your items dry inside, you just have to make sure to secure it rightly. It is easy to use and to access and close after using.
Please consider that, although waterproof, it is not meant to be submerged into water for periods of time. In addition, even if its nylon is high resistant, harder conditions like rock climbing or exposure to elements might require you to use a case to help stay protected.
Freegrace Dry Bag
Dimensions: 2 – 80 liters
Specific Features: Lightweight, 250D two sided paintcoat net (2L to 10L) and Premium 210T Diamond Lattic (35-50L and 60-80L), Roll top closure
Best use: Kayaking, rafting, boating and other water activities. Hiking, traveling
This Freegrace Dry Bag can really take up some water. Its waterproof system is great, due to its material and the roll top closure it has. This means that you can use it for really water- related activities like fishing, kayaking, and many more without a worry.
Its roll top closure helps the water sating out and not getting into the bag, and it is a great and easy option to open and close, so you won’t waste time and can deal with in a hurry.
However, as many other dry bags, its use it is not intended to be a submersible one, so although it can even float with no problem when filled with water, you should not immerse completely into water, and especially not the roll top.
It is really lightweight, so you can use it for camping, traveling and hiking without the worry of having to carry a heavy load.
Exped Fold Dry 4 Pack Drybag
Dimensions: XS, S, M, L
Specific Features: Ultra Light, fold roll closure, 15D Nylon and silicon coating on outside, grab handle, PU coating on inside.
Best use: Water sports, mountaineering, traveling
The Exped Fold Dry 4 Pack Drybag is a great accessible option to keep your items dry as well as protected during your trips and different activities. The bags are ultra light, which makes them a great option for activities where you need to carry your bag with you for long periods of time, like hiking and mountaineering activities.
They have a fold roll closure and a 15D Nylon and silicon coating on the outside. These means that they are great at keeping your objects dry and they are very water resistance. You can use them to store your electronic devices and important things, and as they come on a 4 pack with different sizes, you get more options to use on.
The fold pack also prevents the water to leak in, but you have to keep in mind that the bags are not for diving or water submersing activities, so you should not maintain them on the water for long periods of time. The grab handle is another plus, helping you carry your bag easily, and making it perfect for hiking or traveling around.
Unigear Dry Bag
Dimensions: 5 – 40 liters
Specific Features: Waterproof, snowproof, dustproof, removable shoulder straps to help carrying, roll down top, see thought phone bag
Best use: Water activities such as kayaking, canyoning, and more. Hiking, traveling.
The Unigear Dry Bag might be one of the best waterproof bags there are. It is designed to maintain the water out, and not only does it stand moist and light water, but it can even stand quick submersions. Its roll down top and its material help it with maintaining the water out.
It is also snowproof, being able to use it on low temperatures as well, and dustproof, so you can keep your electronic devices safe and out of touch of the weather.
The bags are also very durable, and lightweight, which can be helpful when carrying through long distances, like when hiking and rock climbing. Also, it brings removable shoulder straps that you can use to carry easily, and are perfect for traveling.
It also comes in a variety of sizes for you to choose from, giving you a lot of diversity when it comes to the size you might need. You can find them from a size 5L to a 40L, and comes with a see through phone bag that will give you the same features as the other bags.
SealLine Baja Dry Bag
Dimensions: 5 – 55 liters
Specific Features: Highly resistance. 19 oz vinyl on sides and 30oz vinyl on bottom, Dry Seal roll top closure, D-ring for securing on raft of luggage rack
Best use: Hinking, rock climbing, motorcycle touring, Water- related activities
The SealLine Baja Dry Bag is a great bag for traveling and doing sports that demand a highly resistant item. The bag is made out of a highly resistance vinil on top (19 oz) and 30oz on bottom. These make these bags great for mountaineering and kayaking, or other harder experiences.
The Dry Seal roll top closure helps your items not get wet even on hard conditions, but if you are planning to use for long periods of time on water or rain, its waterproofing system might fail. This way you should still keep important objects double bagged.
Lastly, its D-ring is one of the extra features you might find useful when deciding on which one to invest. This is great when carrying around your items in an outdoor setting.
Odyssey Dry Bag
Dimensions: 10 liters
Specific Features: 500D PVC tarpaulin, waterproof, stain resistant, anti static, UV protected, anti-bacterial and temperature resistant, high tear strength, shoulder strap to carry
Best use: Hiking, rock climbing, snow and water sports, etc.
This might be your dream dry bag, because it has pretty much everything. Odyssey Dry Bag is highly waterproof due to its material and also the sealing. This was even Marine Graded, proved by professional dive companies and sailing teams.
Other than that, its material is highly resistant, so you can use it for hard outdoor activities such as rock climbing, biking and water and snow sports. The bag is waterproof, it is stain resistant, anti-static so you won’t electrocute with it easily, also has an UV protection that can help you a lot if you consider you spent so much time outside.
It is also temperature resistance which allows you to use these bags during many different types of trips where you might face climate change, and still manage to keep your stuff dry and safe.
As you should know, choosing the right dry bag can help you either save a trip, or it can even ruin your equipment. Among the things you should keep in mind are the level of water resistance, the size of the bags, the closing it comes with and the material is made of.
For your kind of need, there are many options out there, so we hope this review will help you pick the right one, and help you keep your things safe and dry. If you think we missed something, or would like to add your opinion, please feel free to share with us on the comments below.
And help us with some questions: which do you think is the best dry bag? Has a wrong bag ruined a trip for you?