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When you’re on the water all day, it can be difficult to keep things dry all the time.
But that’s where a good dry bag could come in handy, particularly if you’re in a kayak, canoe or SUP.
However, with so many products on the market offering to keep your kayaking gear dry, we thought it might be a good idea to help you narrow down your search for the best dry bags.
We can give you advice on what to look for, as well as suggest some of our favorites.
At A Glance: Dry Bags
- Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
- Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bags
- CC-JJ- 25L Waterproof Bag
- Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
- Unigear 600D Dry Bag Sack
- OUTXE 100% Waterproof Dry Bag
- Relentless Recreation Dry Bag Backpack
- Benkii Dry Bag Sack
How To Choose A Dry Bag For Kayaking
You might discover that there are different materials that can be used to manufacture dry bags, or indeed different variations of similar materials.
Nylon and vinyl can be common fabrics when it comes to water resistant or waterproof material but you may often find bags that are made with combination fabrics, such as polyurethane (TPU), PVC or tarpaulin.
The thicker the denier of these materials, the more durable it’s likely to be, which means it’ll generally be more abrasion resistant.
Style Of Bag
The style of dry bag you opt for will likely depend on personal preference and convenience. Some bags may only have a single strap to be worn either on your shoulder or across your body on your back.
Others that have double shoulder straps can be worn like a backpack. This can be preferable if you’re traveling a longer distance on foot or if you have a larger or heavier bag.
If you’re camping or fishing, for example, you may find a backpack is easier to carry, as it frees up your hands to carry other gear.
While you might want to opt for a bag in your favorite color, it might be worth considering how visible it might be in an emergency. Obviously, brighter colors should be more noticeable on the water and could help attract attention if you get into difficulty.
A brightly colored bag can also be easier to locate if it does happen to fall overboard. This means it can be less likely to get lost, as you and other water users should be able to see it and hopefully grab it.
The size of bag you’ll need will often depend on what you plan to use it for. Just like traditional backpacks, dry bags are usually measured by volume in liters. The higher the volume of the dry sack the more gear it should be able to hold but you may need to get rid of the extra air before you seal it.
If you’re looking for a bag just to keep your essentials dry for a few hours, such as your phone, wallet and a change of clothes, you should be fine with a 10 liter bag. For longer trips and multi-day kayaking trips, a larger back of around 30 or 40 liters might be more suitable.
If you’re planning an extended trip, particularly if you’re on a kayak or canoe, it might be worth considering taking more than one dry bag. This could allow you to keep camping equipment dry, plus store dry clothes, food and other essentials.
Video: How To Seal A Dry Bag
Are Dry Bags Waterproof?
Yes, they are generally designed to be waterproof. This means you should be able to keep your valuables and gear safe and dry even if your bag ends up in the water. They can be perfect for paddling trips, as well as fishing or simply a day at the beach.
However, you might find that some bag manufacturers recommend that the bags are not submerged for long periods of time. But most of them are designed to withstand brief submersion.
As long as the bags are sealed correctly they shouldn’t be able to let any water inside. Many will have roll top closures with buckles to secure the folds but others may have additional seals for extra protection or instead of the roll top closure.
Top 8 Best Kayaking Dry Bags Reviewed
1: Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
- Length: 17 inches (20L)
- Width: 9.5 inches (20L)
- Capacity: 10, 20, 30 or 40 liters
The Earth Pak Dry Bag is a waterproof dry bag that comes in a range of gear capacity sizes, from 10 up to 40 liters, meaning you can choose the size that’s best suited to your outdoor activities.
The cylindrical dry sack is crafted with extremely durably 500 denier PVC, giving it its waterproof exterior, unmatched durability, and it closes at the top by folding it over before being secured with buckle straps. It’s designed to keep your belongings inside dry, even if the bag falls overboard. It’s also built to float.
The smaller bags each come with a single strap, while the larger bag features backpack style straps to make it easier to carry heavier loads on a big river adventure. The 20L one could be an ideal choice for a day on the water, with room for a towel, spare clothes and shoes plus your valuables.
The Earth Pak bag also comes with a waterproof phone pouch that can give additional protection to your cellphone whether it’s inside your bag or loose on the deck, for hassle free storage.
- Waterproof phone pocket included
- Various sizes
- Durable fabric
- Single strap on smaller bags
2: Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bags (Set Of 3)
- Length: 24 inches (20L, including handle)
- Width: 9.5 inches (20L)
- Capacity: 5, 10, 20 and 35 liters
The Freegrace quality dry bags come in a set of three, including a dry bag, a waterproof waist pouch and a waterproof phone case. You can choose from a range of sizes for these durable bags, from 5 liters up to 35 liters, which all come with the additional pouch and phone cover.
This dry bag features double strip closure seals, similar to a Ziploc bag. These seals mean the bag doesn’t have a roll top closure but is designed to keep your belongings dry, even if the bag gets submerged. But this function may not be as durable as other dry bags.
The waist pouch features a similar closure but with a triple seal and, as long as the seals are completely closed, it’s built to be submerged under water. It can be ideal for keeping your phone or wallet safe while kayaking, paddle boarding or other outdoor adventures.
The dry bag is made from 500 denier tarpaulin for added durability and each size features a single adjustable shoulder strap, except the largest size which benefits from backpack straps.
- Set of 3 bags
- Handy waist pouch for small valuables
- Durable material
- Ziploc-style seals not always durable
- Not very spacious
3: CC-JJ- 25L Waterproof Bag Drifting Dry Bag
- Length: 22.5 inches
- Width: 9.5 inches
- Capacity: 25 liters
The CC-JJ dry bag is a 25 liter waterproof bag that can be ideal for a range of watersports and big river kayaking.
The PVC bag is super durable and features a roll top closure that requires 3-5 rolls before you can secure it with the buckle, which locks it in place. Its 25 liter capacity can be ideal for an overnight trip, with room for a change of clothes, spare shoes, and some food.
This durable dry bag’s waterproof and benefits from backpack style straps to make it more comfortable if you have to hike anywhere, and it also has a small grab handle for convenience.
There are also D-ring clips on the front of this quality dry bag that can let you attach additional items and tie it down on your kayak or paddleboard.
- Backpack straps
- D-ring attachment clips
- Roll-top locking closure
- Only available in one size
4: Marchway Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
- Length: 22 inches (20L)
- Width: 9.2 inches (20L)
- Capacity: 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 liters
The Marchway Floating Dry Bag is a lightweight dry sack made from 500 denier tarpaulin, designed to keep your gear dry whether you’re canoeing, kayaking or fishing on a big river. The bag comes in a choice of sizes depending on your needs, ranging from 5 liters up to 40 liters and also a variety of bright colors.
To close the bag, you simply roll the top a few times before securing in place with the buckle strap. Both the 20 and 30 liter bags come with detachable straps so you can choose to use backpack straps or a single cross-body strap. The smaller sizes only have a single strap and the 40 liter option has only backpack straps.
When the bag is sealed it’s designed to float, so it should be easily retrievable if it falls overboard. However, it may not keep your kayaking gear completely dry if submerged for a while.
- Durable material
- Bright colors for visibility
- Range of sizes available
- May not stay waterproof if submerged for long periods
5: Unigear 600D Dry Bag Sack
- Length: 22.8 inches (20L)
- Width: 14 inches (20L)
- Capacity: 2, 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 liters
This Unigear Dry Bag is crafted from durable polyurethane coated nylon, which is waterproof. It’s not designed to be fully submerged for a long period but it is designed to keep your kayaking gear dry if it falls overboard or if it’s underwater for a short time.
It comes in a range of sizes and colors to suit your needs and tastes, and comes with a clear vinyl touchscreen friendly waterproof case for your phone, so you can still use it while it’s in the case.
The dry bag has a roll top closure with a buckle lock and all the bags up to 20 L in size come with a detachable single shoulder strap. The two largest bags both come with padded straps so you can wear them like a backpack.
The bag is also designed to float, making it an excellent choice.
- Built to float
- Detachable shoulder strap
- Waterproof phone case included
- Not built to be submerged for long periods
6: OUTXE 100% Waterproof Dry Bag
- Length: 18.9 inches (20L)
- Width: 7.9 inches (20L)
- Capacity: 5, 10 and 20 liters
The Outxe Dry Bag is a waterproof dry bag backpack that comes in a choice of two colors and ranges in size from 5 liters to 20 liters. The 5 liter option has a single strap and not double backpack straps.
It’s made from lightweight, durable 420 denier TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) and features a patented Zipock seal, like a Ziploc freezer bag, that helps to prevent water from getting inside. This gives extra water protection in addition to the roll top closure but it can be difficult to close.
It also has welded seams for all over waterproofing. All sizes of the bag have detachable straps and the 10 and 20 L options feature a front mesh pocket, D-rings, and cord for additional storage so you can carry extra essential items if you need to, and can easily secure it to your vessel.
- Ziploc-syle seal plus roll top closure
- Welded seams
- Mesh front pocket on larger sizes
- Detachable straps
- Can be difficult to close
7: Relentless Recreation Dry Bag Backpack
- Length: 17 inches
- Width: 10 inches
- Capacity: 30 liters
This Relentless Recreation Dry Bag is a 30 liter waterproof backpack that could be a great option for holding clothing and food for a couple of nights away, with a significant amount of room.
Made from 500 denier Polyvinyl tarpaulin, this great dry bag built to be durable and keep all your belongings dry. It even features a small front pouch for your phone, although this is not billed as waterproof so you probably don’t want to have your phone in the pouch if your bag goes overboard; but it is splash proof.
There are also mesh side pockets that can let you store a couple of water bottles. The bag features a roll top buckle closure, a reinforced carry handle and padded straps to wear as a backpack.
- Splash-proof front phone pouch
- Padded shoulder straps
- Mesh storage pouches
- Phone pouch not waterproof
8: Benkii Dry Bag Sack
- Length: 23.3 inches (20L)
- Width: 14.2 inches (20L)
- Capacity: 10, 15, 20 and 30 liters
The Benkii Dry Bag is an affordable option that comes in a range of sizes to suit your activity so you can get one that fits in as much or as little as you want.
This waterproof bag has a roll top and buckle closure and benefits from a small front pouch for smaller items. It comes with a shoulder strap for carrying and also comes with a separate waterproof phone case for big river trips where you’re likely to get wet but want your gear to stay dry.
The D-rings that the strap attaches to can be equally ideal for using to secure the bag to the deck of your kayak or canoe with some bungee cords.
- Available in various sizes
- Waterproof phone case
- D-rings for attachments
- Front pouch
- Not built to float
- May not be as durable as others
The best dry bag will often depend on what you’re looking for. Think about what you need to keep dry and whether you can get by with a smaller bag or if you’ll need a couple of different sizes.
Remember to think about the style and what might suit you best. Let us know in the comments if you have a particular favorite style or size of dry bag and what you use it for? And don’t forget to share this with your fellow outdoors people.