When you’re heading into the great outdoors, having the best dry bag by your side can be a game-changer. Whether you’re embarking on a kayaking expedition, hiking through a rain-soaked forest, or simply want to protect your gear at the beach, the right dry bag ensures your belongings stay safe and dry. In this guide, we’ve scoured the market to bring you the top contenders for the title of “best dry bags.” From rugged, submersible models to lightweight options for the minimalist traveler, we’ve got you covered with the ultimate recommendations to make your outdoor adventures worry-free.
Our Top Picks
- Best Backpack: YETI Panga
- Best Kayak: Earth Pak
- Best Duffel: YETI Panga
- Best Phone: Pelican
- Best Fanny Pack: AiRunTech
- Best Camping: Wise Owl Outfitters
- Best Floating: Heeta
- Best Canoe: Pelican
- Best Motorcycle: Iron Jia’s
The YETI Panga 28L Waterproof Backpack is the epitome of rugged and reliable outdoor gear. This backpack dry bag combines the convenience of a backpack with the waterproof protection of a dry bag, making it an excellent choice for adventurers of all kinds. It's constructed with high-density nylon and a patented Hydrolok Zipper that provides an airtight and waterproof seal. Whether you're kayaking, hiking, or exploring in heavy rain, the YETI Panga 28L ensures your gear stays dry, and its comfortable ergonomic shoulder straps make it a joy to carry.
- Waterproof and submersible
- Durable high-density nylon
- Comfortable ergonomic straps
- Premium pricing
- Airtight Hydrolok Zipper
- Ample 28L storage capacity
- Suitable for various outdoor activities
The Earth Pak Roll Top Waterproof Backpack Dry Bag is the ultimate companion for kayakers and water enthusiasts. This dry bag stands out for its rugged construction and reliable waterproofing, making it an excellent choice for keeping your gear safe and dry during kayaking adventures. The roll-top closure, reinforced seams, and heavy-duty materials ensure that water stays out, while comfortable shoulder straps make it easy to carry. With a range of sizes available, Earth Pak's dry bag is versatile and dependable, making it a top pick for kayaking adventures.
- Waterproof, reliable protection
- Rugged and durable materials
- Comfortable and adjustable shoulder straps
- Not fully submersible
- Multiple size options available
- Versatile and suitable for various activities
- Competitive pricing
The YETI Panga Waterproof Submersible Duffel Bag is the epitome of heavy-duty duffel dry bags, designed to conquer the most challenging conditions. This bag combines the spaciousness of a duffel with the unbeatable waterproof protection of a dry bag, making it the ultimate choice for travelers and adventurers. Crafted from high-density nylon and equipped with a Hydrolok Zipper, this duffel ensures your gear remains dry even when fully submerged. The ergonomic shoulder straps make carrying a breeze, while its versatility and durability make it a top contender for all your outdoor needs.
- Fully submersible and waterproof
- High-density, ultra-durable nylon construction
- Comfortable ergonomic shoulder straps
- Premium price tag
- Airtight Hydrolok Zipper closure
- Available in multiple sizes
- Built for extreme conditions
The Pelican Waterproof Phone Pouch stands out as the best choice for those seeking a reliable floating waterproof phone case. This IP68 certified waterproof pouch is a versatile companion for water-related adventures, such as swimming, kayaking, fishing, and more. Designed for phones with screen sizes up to 6.1 inches, it ensures full functionality and protection from water damage. The innovative design allows easy access to side buttons, while the high-quality soft TPU material and clear window enable precise touch and quick responses. With a detachable cell phone lanyard, you can conveniently wear it around your neck or wrist for quick access. The secure lock mechanism keeps the pouch sealed underwater, and the transparent material allows for underwater photography, making it a must-have accessory for your aquatic explorations.
- IP68 certified waterproof protection
- Sensitive touch and clear window design
- Detachable cell phone lanyard for convenience
- Potential touchscreen sensitivity issues underwater
- May not accommodate phone with accessories
- Secure lock mechanism for complete sealing
- Ideal for underwater photography
- Compatible with a wide range of phone models
The AiRunTech Waterproof Pouch is the ultimate fanny pack dry bag for those who seek practicality, convenience, and waterproof protection. This sleek and compact pouch is designed for on-the-go activities, ensuring your essentials remain dry and secure. Made from high-quality PVC material, it boasts an airtight and waterproof seal, guarding your belongings against rain, splashes, and even submersion. With an adjustable waist belt and a transparent touch-screen window, you can enjoy hands-free convenience and even use your smartphone inside the pouch. The AiRunTech Waterproof Pouch is an excellent choice for hikers, beachgoers, and outdoor enthusiasts who value a blend of function and style.
- Sleek, compact, and convenient design
- High-quality PVC material
- Airtight, waterproof seal
- Limited storage capacity for larger items
- Adjustable waist belt for a customized fit
- Transparent touch-screen window for smartphone use
- Versatile for various outdoor activities
The Wise Owl Outfitters Waterproof Dry Bag is the ultimate choice for camping enthusiasts looking to keep their gear and essentials dry during outdoor adventures. Crafted from durable and waterproof materials, this dry bag is designed to withstand the elements while providing ample storage space for your camping gear. The roll-top closure ensures an airtight and watertight seal, making it an ideal solution for protecting your clothing, food, and equipment from rain and moisture. Its lightweight and versatile design, along with an adjustable shoulder strap, adds to the convenience, ensuring you can carry it easily during camping trips.
- Durable, waterproof materials
- Ample storage space for camping gear
- Airtight roll-top closure
- Minimal internal organization pockets
- Lightweight and versatile design
- Adjustable shoulder strap for easy carrying
- Multipack options available
The Heeta Floating Backpack Dry Bag is the best solution for adventurers who need a reliable way to keep their gear and devices dry and secure during water-based activities. This lightweight yet durable dry bag boasts a large 10-liter capacity and transparent touch-friendly phone case to ensure your essentials are protected while remaining fully functional. The waterproof design and roll-top closure create a secure seal that keeps water out, making it perfect for a variety of activities, from kayaking and snorkeling to hiking in wet conditions. With adjustable shoulder straps and a comfortable back support system, it offers ease of carrying. This dry bag is a must-have for those seeking a versatile and waterproof storage solution for their outdoor adventures.
- Large 10-liter capacity
- Transparent phone case for usability
- Waterproof roll-top closure
- Bulkier than smaller phone cases
- Comfortable back support and straps
- Lightweight and durable construction
- Floats in the water for security
The Pelican Marine Waterproof Roll Top Dry Bag is the ultimate choice for canoeing enthusiasts seeking superior protection for their gear. Crafted by the trusted brand Pelican, this dry bag is designed to meet the high standards of waterproof performance. With an IP68 rating, it can withstand full submersion, ensuring your belongings remain completely dry during canoeing adventures. The roll-top closure forms an airtight and waterproof seal, while the durable materials offer resistance against abrasion and punctures. The Pelican Marine Dry Bag features comfortable and adjustable shoulder straps for easy carrying, making it a reliable companion for your canoeing escapades.
- IP68-rated full submersion protection
- Airtight roll-top closure
- Durable materials resist abrasion and punctures
- Premium pricing for quality and features
- Comfortable and adjustable shoulder straps
- Premium quality from trusted brand Pelican
- Versatile for various water activities
The Iron Jia's Motorcycle Duffle Dry Bag is the ideal companion for motorcycle enthusiasts who demand top-notch waterproof protection for their gear while on the road. Crafted with durability in mind, this dry bag can withstand the rigors of the open road and unpredictable weather conditions. The roll-top closure forms a reliable waterproof seal, keeping your belongings dry and secure, no matter the journey. Featuring high-visibility reflective strips and adjustable straps for easy mounting, this dry bag not only offers waterproof protection but also enhances your safety on the road. With multiple size options and a focus on motorcycle-specific design, Iron Jia's Motorcycle Duffle Dry Bag stands out as the top choice for riders.
- Rugged and durable build quality
- Secure roll-top waterproof closure
- High-visibility reflective strips enhance safety
- Less internal organization for small items.
- Convenient and adjustable mounting straps.
- Multiple size options for various needs.
- Motorcycle-specific design for added convenience.
Choosing the Perfect Dry Bag: Key Factors to Consider
When it comes to selecting the ideal dry bag, it’s essential to understand the factors that can make or break your outdoor experience. Whether you’re a water enthusiast, a camping aficionado, or an adventure seeker, your choice of a dry bag will determine the fate of your gear when exposed to the elements. In this guide, we’ll delve into the vital factors you should consider when purchasing a dry bag. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision and keep your equipment safe and dry on your next outdoor escapade.
- Size, Capacity, and Purpose: The first factor to evaluate is the size of the dry bag. Different adventures require different capacities, so think about your specific needs. Are you embarking on a day of kayaking, a multi-day camping trip, or something in between? The right size ensures you have ample room for your gear without the burden of extra bulk.
- Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant: It’s crucial to determine the level of water protection your activities demand. While some dry bags are entirely waterproof, others offer varying degrees of water resistance. Consider the nature of your outdoor pursuits – whether it involves torrential downpours, water submersion, or merely splashes – and select a bag that matches your intended use.
- Closure Mechanism: Dry bags come with a variety of closure mechanisms, including roll-top, zip-lock, and fold-over designs. Each has its advantages. Roll-top closures are known for their reliability, while zip-lock closures offer convenience. Choose the closure mechanism that aligns with your preferences and usage scenarios.
- Material and Durability: A dry bag’s material and durability are paramount. Look for bags made from tough, tear-resistant materials such as PVC, TPU, or nylon. Reinforced seams and sturdy construction ensure your bag can endure the rigors of the great outdoors.
- Carrying Convenience: Consider the carrying options provided by the dry bag. For long hikes and water-based adventures, comfortable and adjustable shoulder straps are a blessing. Some dry bags also feature handles or D-rings for attachment to kayaks or backpacks. The right carrying options can enhance your overall experience.
- Visibility and Organization: If quick identification of your gear is a priority, opt for a dry bag with a transparent or semi-transparent window. This feature facilitates organized packing and makes finding items a breeze during your outdoor activities.
- Brand Reputation and Reviews: Before making your purchase, do your research. Investigate the reputation of the brand and read customer reviews. Established and respected brands with positive feedback are more likely to deliver dependable and durable dry bags.
- Budget Alignment: Set a budget that matches your needs and preferences, but be prepared to invest a bit more in a high-quality dry bag. A reliable choice may cost a little extra but is well worth the investment for a dependable outdoor companion.
Selecting the right dry bag is pivotal to your outdoor endeavors. By considering these factors, you’ll not only safeguard your gear but also elevate your outdoor experiences to new heights. So, before your next adventure, take a moment to reflect on these crucial elements, and may your gear stay dry, no matter where your explorations lead you.
Types of Dry Bags
Dry bags come in various types, each designed to suit specific needs and activities. Here are some common types of dry bags:
|Type of Dry Bag||Description and Use||Out Top Pick|
|Roll-Top Dry Bags||Versatile and popular; made from waterproof materials with a roll-down closure; ideal for kayaking, hiking, and camping.||Heeta Floating Backpack Dry Bag|
|Zipper Seal Dry Bags||Feature a waterproof zipper closure for easy access; suitable for activities requiring frequent gear access like boating or fishing.||AiRunTech Waterproof Pouch|
|Compression Dry Bags||Designed to reduce volume using an air expulsion valve; great for compactly storing clothing and sleeping bags for backpackers.||Sea to Summit Event Compression Dry Bag|
|Duffel Bag Dry Bags||Shaped like duffel bags with top-loading compartments and roll-top closures; excellent for carrying a lot of gear or clothing on extended trips.||YETI Panga Waterproof Submersible Duffel Bag|
|Backpack Dry Bags||Dry bags with built-in shoulder straps, suitable for hiking and outdoor activities requiring comfortable gear transportation.||YETI Panga 28L Waterproof Backpack|
|Dry Sacks||Cylindrical bags with a roll-top closure; versatile for protecting smaller items within a larger backpack or duffel bag.||Wise Owl Outfitters Waterproof Dry Bag|
|Electronics Dry Bags||Designed to protect sensitive electronics with clear windows for usage; suitable for smartphones, cameras, and tablets.||Pelican Waterproof Phone Pouch|
|Liner Dry Bags||Used inside other bags to add an extra layer of protection; useful when you want to keep the contents of your primary bag dry.||Wise Owl Outfitters Waterproof Dry Bag|
|Deck Bags||Attached to the deck of watercraft like kayaks and canoes; provides easy access to items during water activities.||Heeta Floating Backpack Dry Bag|
|Submersible Dry Bags||Fully submersible and used for diving, snorkeling, and water sports where complete waterproofing is necessary.||YETI Panga Waterproof Submersible Duffel Bag|
|Ultralight Dry Bags||Designed for minimalist backpackers and travelers; lightweight materials for keeping clothing and essential items dry.||Wise Owl Outfitters Waterproof Dry Bag|
The type of dry bag you choose should depend on your specific outdoor activities and how you plan to use it. It’s essential to consider the features, materials, and closures when selecting the right dry bag for your needs.
Here are some top outdoor gear brands known for producing quality dry bags and related equipment:
|Brand||Why Choose This Brand||Our Top Pick|
|Sea to Summit||Renowned for innovative and durable outdoor gear, including dry bags, backpacks, and camping equipment.||Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Bag|
|Osprey||Known for backpacks but also offers dry bags designed for outdoor and water-related activities.||Osprey UltraLight Dry Bag|
|YETI||Trusted for premium quality and rugged outdoor products, including submersible and waterproof dry bags.||YETI Panga Waterproof Submersible Duffel Bag|
|Pelican||Known for reliability and IP68-rated waterproof dry bags, designed to withstand the most challenging conditions.||Pelican Marine Waterproof Roll Top Dry Bag|
|Earth-Pak||Offers a range of durable and reliable dry bags suitable for various outdoor and water-based activities.||Earth Pak Roll Top Waterproof Backpack Dry Bag|
|NRS (Northwest River Supplies)||A go-to brand for water sports enthusiasts, providing a diverse range of dry bags and accessories, especially for rafting and kayaking.||NRS Tuff Sack Dry Bag|
When choosing a brand for your dry bag, consider your specific needs, budget, and the type of outdoor activities you’ll be engaging in. Additionally, check for the latest reviews and customer feedback to ensure that the brand’s products meet your expectations.
Benefits of Dry Bags
Dry bags offer several benefits that make them essential for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. These benefits are especially valuable in environments where keeping your gear dry is crucial. Here are some of the key advantages of using dry bags:
- Waterproof Protection: The primary benefit of dry bags is their ability to keep your belongings completely dry, even in wet and waterlogged conditions. They are designed to be waterproof and provide an airtight seal when properly closed, preventing moisture and water from entering.
- Versatility: Dry bags are versatile and can be used for a wide range of outdoor activities, including kayaking, canoeing, boating, camping, hiking, fishing, and beach outings. They are also great for protecting your gear during unexpected rain showers.
- Organization: Dry bags help you keep your gear organized and separate from wet or dirty items. They come in various sizes and can be used to categorize and protect different belongings, such as clothing, electronics, food, and first aid supplies.
- Durability: High-quality dry bags are built to withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures. They are typically made from durable, tear-resistant materials and feature strong, reinforced seams that resist wear and tear.
- Ease of Transportation: Many dry bags are equipped with comfortable straps or handles, making it easy to carry or attach them to a backpack, kayak, or boat. Some even come in backpack-style designs for convenient transport.
- Visibility: Some dry bags are designed with transparent or semi-transparent windows that allow you to identify your gear without having to open the bag. This is particularly useful for quickly locating items without exposing them to the elements.
- Protection from Sand and Dust: In addition to water, dry bags also protect your gear from sand and dust. This is especially useful for beach trips and desert adventures where fine particles can damage your belongings.
- Floating Capability: Many dry bags are designed to float on water when properly sealed. This feature can be a lifesaver if your bag ends up in the water, as it will help prevent your gear from sinking or getting lost.
- Security: Dry bags can also provide added security for your belongings. Their waterproof and airtight seal can deter theft and protect your gear from being tampered with.
- Extended Gear Life: By keeping your gear dry and protected from moisture and the elements, dry bags can help prolong the life of your outdoor equipment, electronics, and clothing.
- Peace of Mind: Using dry bags can provide peace of mind, knowing that your gear and essential items are safe from water damage, especially during outdoor activities where exposure to water is common.
Whether you’re on a kayaking adventure, a wilderness hike, or a beach vacation, the benefits of dry bags can make your outdoor experience more enjoyable and stress-free by ensuring that your gear stays dry and intact.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Welcome to our FAQs section on dry bags. Whether you’re new to these versatile waterproof wonders or a seasoned adventurer, here, we provide concise answers to common questions about dry bags and their uses.
- What is a dry bag, and how does it work? A dry bag is a waterproof bag designed to keep your belongings dry in wet conditions. It works by creating an airtight seal, typically through a roll-top or zipper closure, preventing water and moisture from entering the bag.
- What are the common uses for dry bags? Dry bags are commonly used for various outdoor activities, including kayaking, canoeing, boating, hiking, camping, fishing, and beach trips. They are ideal for protecting gear and clothing in wet or waterlogged environments.
- How do I properly close and seal a dry bag? To close a roll-top dry bag, place your items inside, roll the top down at least three times, and then secure the buckle or clip. For zipper-seal dry bags, ensure the zipper is fully engaged, and any protective flaps are properly sealed.
- Are all dry bags truly waterproof? Most quality dry bags are waterproof and can effectively protect your gear from water and moisture. However, the level of waterproofing can vary among different brands and models. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper closure.
- Can I submerge a dry bag in water? Many dry bags are designed to be submersible when correctly sealed. However, the level of submersion capability may vary depending on the specific dry bag. Always check the manufacturer’s specifications for details on submersion depth and duration.
- Are there different sizes of dry bags available? Yes, dry bags come in various sizes, from small pouches for personal items to large duffel-sized bags. The size you choose should depend on the quantity and size of the items you need to protect.
- How can I clean and maintain my dry bag? To clean your dry bag, rinse it with freshwater after use and let it air dry. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or detergents. Check for any damage, such as punctures or tears, and repair them with appropriate repair kits provided by the manufacturer.
- Can I use dry bags for electronics like smartphones or cameras? Yes, many dry bags are designed with clear windows and are suitable for protecting electronics. These bags allow you to use your devices while keeping them dry.
- What’s the difference between roll-top and zipper-seal dry bags? Roll-top dry bags are sealed by rolling the top and securing it with a buckle or clip. They are known for their reliability. Zipper-seal dry bags have a waterproof zipper and are convenient for quick access but may require extra care to ensure a proper seal.
- Do dry bags float? Many dry bags are designed to float when sealed correctly. This feature is useful in water activities like kayaking or boating, as it helps prevent the loss of your gear if it goes overboard.
- Can I use a dry bag as a primary backpack for hiking or travel? Some dry bags are designed as backpacks and can be used as your primary bag for hiking or travel. They provide waterproof protection for your gear and clothing.
- Are there any budget-friendly dry bag options available? Yes, there are budget-friendly dry bags available that offer reliable waterproofing. It’s essential to consider your needs and the quality of the bag when choosing a budget option.
We hope these FAQs have clarified any doubts you had about dry bags and how to make the most of them during your outdoor adventures. If you have more questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Meet Eric McGough, a seasoned adventurer and military veteran who traded his tech career for a life of outdoor exploration and freedom. He plans to travel the world, discover new adventures, and share information about great destinations, gear, and more on the Shaman Mountain Sports and Outdoors Blog.