If you like water activities like traveling via a kayak or canoe or even like hiking, trekking, and camping, you’ll know how dire a dry bag is.
While you can buy waterproof, protective covers for your belongings, this can be a hassle, and you might end up spending way too much and still not having everything secured from water and splashes. And that’s where dry bags serve a critical purpose.
If you’re not sure which one to pick or how to make a choice in the first place, check out this list of the best dry bags that I’ve tailored just for you daring adventurers out there.
|Dry Bag||Material||Size (In liters)|
|MARCHWAY||Ripstop tarpaulin||10, 20, 30, or 40|
|Earth Pak||Heavy-duty 500D PVC||10|
|Skog Å Kust BackSåk||Heavy-duty 500-denier PVC||2 or 35|
|HEETA||100% waterproof heavy gauge non-rip material||5, 10, 20, or 30|
The 4 Best Dry Bags in 2020
1. MARCHWAY – Best Overall
If you’re looking for a dry bag that’s adequately capacious yet compact and lightweight, the MARCHWAY would be an excellent choice for you.
This bag is made from ripstop tarpaulin with robust welded seams that give it protection against ripping, tearing, and puncturing. So, no matter what kind of adventure you’re going on, this bag will suit the purpose. This includes kayaking, paddling, sailing, canoeing, surfing, kayaking, or simply spending a day at the beach.
It uses a roll-top closure system that guarantees that it’s watertight sealed and will keep your things dry. And though it protects from sand, mud, snow, and water, you shouldn’t submerge the MARCHWAY, especially not for extended periods.
In terms of convenience, the bag is effortless to seal as well as to clean by wiping the smooth surface. It’s available in sizes of 10L, 20L, 30L, and 40L – though some people say that the 40L one feels smaller. It’s also available in only one color: light blue, which is why we’re thankful it’s easy to clean.
- High ability to protect your belongings from water
- Puncture, rip, and tear-resistant
- Might not be a true 40L bag
2. Earth Pak – Best for Floating
Made from heavy-duty 500D PVC, you can rely on the Earth Pak to protect your belongings with top-notch performance. The seams of the bag are welded with heat to completely seal it against water and other elements that could cause wear and tear.
There’s a front pocket that you can access easily, where you can keep your keys, some cash, lighters, wallet, sunglasses, or anything that you may need on-the-go.
The bag is available in black only, but it comes in sizes 10, 20, 30, and 40 liters. The smaller two come with a single shoulder strap, while the larger two can conveniently be transformed into a backpack with a sternum strap to provide you with the maximum portability and stability.
Like the MACHWAY, the Earth Pak comes with a roll-top closure system where you can just throw your items inside, fold down a few times, buckle it up and get going. And the best part is that you don’t even have to have it on board; you can let it float beside your kayak or while you snorkel.
- Available in four sizes
- Easy-access front pocket
- Very durable construction
- Ability to float beside you during your water activity
- Larger models can be turned into backpacks for more portability.
- Available in only one color
- Durability is in terms of waterproofing only.
3. Skog Å Kust BackSåk – Best Backpack Style
To provide you with enough protection against not only water but all kinds of environments, the Skog Å Kust is made from heavy-duty 500-denier PVC, which is sealed to be watertight. Not only that, but it has welded seams and a protective roll-down closure mechanism. In other words, it doesn’t leave out any trick in the book.
There’s no need to worry about carrying mechanisms as this bag is only carried as a backpack, and it has a sternum clip with a padded back and padded straps to provide you with the comfort you’ll need while traveling around with it. Not only that, but there are D-rings on the sides where you can keep a water bottle or other equipment.
The closure system of this bag relies on rolling down 3 times and clicking the top clip to make a handle out of it. Alternatively, you can use the side clips to create a compressed sac out of it. But whatever style you choose, you’ll be getting protection thanks to the IPX6 waterproof rating.
On the inside, you’ll find pockets to keep your electronics away from wet clothes or towels, while the outer pocket is splash-proof and allows you to get easy access to a key, IDs, or cash.
This bag is available in only two sizes: 25 and 35 liters, but it comes in plenty of colors, including black, grey, pink, yellow, mint, palm, blue camo, and a cool DigiCamo.
- Plenty of waterproofing mechanisms
- Padded straps and back for comfort
- D-rings for extra storage
- Available in many colors
- Comes in only two sizes
4. HEETA – Best for Versatility
This bag’s colors are as versatile as its performance, and it’s available in 11 colors, including blue, white, grey, pink, green, and black.
It’s made from 0.02-inch thick materials that are waterproof and keep your belongings safe as you enjoy riding your kayak, canoe, or boat. However, this one isn’t suitable for underwater sports as it’s not meant to be submerged.
It comes with adjustable straps and handles, so it can be carried as a shoulder backpack or a backpack.
The colors are just tints, and you can actually see inside, which means that you won’t spend too long before finding and accessing the item you need.
Moreover, the bag is available in four sizes, including 5, 10, 20, and 30 liters, and comes with a free waterproof cell phone case for added convenience.
- Available in four sizes
- Comes with a waterproof case for cell phones
- Can be worn as a shoulder bag or backpack
- Not very durable
- Only splash-proof
How To Choose a Dry Bag
When you’re shopping for a dry bag, you want to get something that’ll provide you with guaranteed protection from water and moisture, enough space for all your necessities, as well as resistance to weather conditions. Here are the most important factors to consider when shopping for a dry bag to make sure those are available.
Dry bags are available in many materials, each designed to suit a particular need. The common materials include vinyl, polyester, PVC, TPU, and nylon.
Nylon bags would provide you with durability and versatility as their waterproofing coat is a siliconized CORDURA one. The amount of fiber found in the bag is an excellent indicator of just how rugged the bag is. Make sure to opt for those followed by a “D,” as higher numbers mean more durability.
If you’re not going to pack plenty of big items, you can opt for vinyl bags as they’re also pretty strong and durable. However, PVC bags are the ones to go for if you’re looking for the most robust and strongest material. But keep in mind that they’re a little heavier than nylon, so they don’t suit activities like trekking or hiking.
Though all dry bags have the purpose of keeping your belongings dry, not all of them come with the same waterproofing levels, and that’s why you should be extra careful when picking out your bag.
All bags would handle splashes and light rain, but not many of them would be safe for submerging, and even the ones that are safe won’t keep their waterproofing capabilities for long once they’re underwater.
That’s why you should always check the instructions by the manufacturer for just how you can use the dry bag and how long you can submerge it. You can test this by turning the dry bag inside out and then filling it with water. How long it takes to leak -if it does leak- is your best indicator for just how waterproof the bag is.
Size is another important aspect to consider when shopping for a dry bag. Usually, you’ll find small bags ranging between 1 to 10 liters, while medium ones range from 10 to 20 liters, and large ones can go as big as 55 liters.
The balance you’re looking for is between just how many items you want to take with you and how much portability you’ll be giving up for the size of the dry bag. Generally speaking, a 20-liter bag is good for most purposes.
Bags differ from one another in terms of how lightweight they are, whether they’re double-seamed or not, and what their carrying straps are like.
Firstly, you shouldn’t settle for a bag that doesn’t have straps as those are super handy when it comes to hands-free navigation, which you’ll need quite often if you’re on an adventure. Some bags even come with straps that allow you to wear them like backpacks, doubling their convenience. Padded straps also provide you with more comfort, so be on the lookout for those.
Other things to look for would be extra pockets and compartments as well as padded pockets for valuable items and electronics, though these aren’t so necessary.
Method of Closure
Your dry bag can be a roll-top where you close the buckles and openings to keep belongings on the inside safe. This method is the safest, but it creates some unnecessary bumps on the top.
Ones with zippered tops are easier to access and more practical but might not be as safe as air/watertight roll-tops.
Now that we’re done with the reviews, I hope you’re a step closer to finding the best dry bag for your needs. The MACHWAY is suitable for general purposes as it’s versatile and comes at an affordable price. If you’re looking for a convenient option that’s completely waterproof, you should opt for the Earth Pak.