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When you’re looking for kayak deck bags there can be a number of things to think about, like the size and whether or not it will keep your gear dry.
There are many products out there that are designed to increase your kayak storage and make your life easier but are they any good? We’ve compiled this short guide to help you out.
Top Choices: At A Glance
7 Best Deck Bags For Kayaking
1: Taj M’Haul Deck Bag (best overall)
- Dimensions: 17 x 5 x 11-13 inches
- Weight: 1.7 pounds
This Taj M’Haul Deck Bag is made from durable 400 denier nylon to give you a tough exterior shell in which to store your gear. The double zipper closure is designed to make the bag easy to access.
Inside the bag there is an internal dry bag made from waterproof Infinity urethane. This bag features a waterproof HydroLock zip seal closure to help keep your belongings safe and dry.
On the exterior of the bag there are plenty of attachment points, including clips and bungee rigging. There are also additional pockets, including a mesh zippered pocket for storing smaller items and there are reflective strips for added visibility.
This bag can be a good size for day adventures. The width also tapers from 13 to 11 inches to fit the shape of your kayak.
- Internal dry bag
- Zipper closure
- Tapered width
- Lots of attachment points
2: Gearlab Deck Pod (best quality)
- Dimensions: 17 x 4 x 10 inches
- Weight: 12.8 ounces
The Gearlab Deck Pod is designed to maximize your deck storage while minimizing bulk. It has a streamlined design that can allow you to carry all your essentials and keep them within easy reach of your cockpit. The streamline design also means that it shouldn’t get in the way of your paddle.
The deck pod is made from 450 denier nylon that has a durable water repellent coating, but the bag is not waterproof so it may not keep your gear dry.
It’s crafted to hold up to a 3 liter hydration bladder so you can sip and paddle. It’s also built to hold a paddle float and a bilge pump while keeping them easily accessible.
- Low profile
- Ideal for essentials
- Hydration bladder compatible
3: Overboard Gear Waterproof Kayak Deck Bag (best color)
- Dimensions: 16.9 x 5.5 x 10.2-11.8 inches
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
This Overboard Waterproof Kayak Deck Bag is made from tough 600 denier PVC tarpaulin for increased durability. It’s also waterproof to keep your gear dry and is crafted to be easy to clean.
This bright yellow bag is designed to be highly visible and it can float, meaning if it does take a dive in the water, you can easily see it to grab it. It features a roll top closure and welded seams for improved waterproof protection.
It also benefits from having six buckle connectors to attach it securely to your kayak, as well as a weather-proof zippered front pocket and bungee rigging for added storage.
- Bright color for visibility
4: TCYC Deluxe Yakcatch Cooler
- Dimensions: 32 x 12 x 7.5 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds
The TCYC Deluxe Yakcatch Cooler is designed primarily for kayak anglers, so it could be a good choice if you’re looking to increase your storage capacity on your fishing kayak. It can also be ideal if you’re looking to add extra storage to a non-angler kayak.
The bag is made from durable 600 denier water resistant polyester and has a mesh tarpaulin lining. It is also padded with closed cell foam to help with insulation. This is what can help to keep your ice from melting, if you pack it with ice to keep your fish fresh.
It features six clips to attach the bag to your kayak and there are several other clips and buckles that can let you attach other gear or further secure the bag. The closure is a combination of zip and velcro for ease of access.
- Ideal for storing fish
- Holds ice
5: North Water Sea Kayak Under-Deck Bag
- Dimensions: 15 x 3 x 5-7 inches
- Weight: 6.4 ounces
This North Water Sea Kayak Under-Deck Bag is a little bit different. It’s designed to perform like a glove compartment for your kayak. So instead of providing additional storage on the top of your deck, this one can be attached underneath your deck, inside your cockpit.
It comes with vinyl pads that can be attached to your kayak using a suitable adhesive. You can also attach it using an optional bolt kit (purchased separately). The bag can then be attached and reattached to the mounts as required using a buckle system.
The bag features a mesh drainage panel and a zipper closure. It also benefits from having a pelican scoop opening, which is designed to help prevent your gear falling out when you open it.
- Cockpit storage solution
- Drainage panel
- Easy to detach from mounts
6: Seals Skirts Contoured Deck Bag
- Dimensions: 17 x 5.5 x 14 inches
- Weight: 14 ounces
The Seals Skirts Contoured Deck Bag is made from water resistant nylon packcloth to help keep your gear dry. However, it’s not completely waterproof but it could be ideal for storing a small dry bag to carry your valuables.
It has a contoured design that is made to minimize paddle interference and maintain a low profile on deck for improved aerodynamics.
The bag has a zipper closure and a storm flap to help keep water out. It also benefits from having four adjustable straps with clips so that you can secure the bag to attachment points on your deck.
There are also D-rings and bungee rigging for attaching other items and there are reflective strips for increased visibility.
- Reflective trim
- Low profile design
- Water resistant
7: Seattle Sports Vinyl Coated Mesh Deck Bag (best budget option)
- Dimensions: 15.5 x 11.5 x 5 inches
- Weight: 7.2 ounces
This Seattle Sports Vinyl Coated Mesh Deck Bag is designed to be used on kayak decks and on SUPs, making it a versatile choice for a range of paddlers.
It is made from vinyl coated open weave mesh, which means it’s not waterproof but it can be ideal for storing a smaller dry bag or other items that you don’t mind getting wet. The fabric also means it can dry quickly.
It features a zipper closure that is designed to be corrosion resistant so can be great for paddling in the ocean. The bag could be a good choice for holding essentials, such as a water bottle or light rain jacket.
- Quick drying
- Zipper closure
Why Use A Deck Bag?
A deck bag can be pretty useful if you’re struggling for space on your kayak. Whether you have a sit-inside or a sit-on-top, sometimes you might find that there just isn’t enough room for all the gear you want to haul.
A deck bag can let you increase the storage capacity of your boat by letting you store gear on top of the deck. This means you can still use the existing storage space but you’re able to maximize the deck storage area.
Deck bags are designed to be secured to the deck so they tend to mold to the curves of your kayak, unlike a backpack which is designed to fit on your back. The straps are made to fit points on your kayak rather than your shoulders, so that they can be fitted securely to your boat.
Features To Look Out For When Choosing A Kayak Deck Bag
A waterproof deck bag can be a good idea as it can help to keep your belongings dry. However, not all deck bags will be completely waterproof. Some will be water resistant, which can be suitable if you don’t plan to store your phone or other valuables inside.
Waterproof deck bags can be better if you might have to roll your kayak or if you plan to paddle in heavy rain or in rapids.
Water resistant bags can still be useful in these conditions, as you can use them to store smaller dry bags or items that you don’t mind if they get wet.
The type of bag closure you opt for will usually be down to personal preference. Some bags will have zipper closures, which can sometimes be easier to use and quicker to open and close.
Others may have a roll top closure, which can be useful in keeping the inside of the bag dry but may not be as convenient when it comes to getting your gear in and out in a hurry.
How the bag secures to your kayak can be important as this could affect how easy it is to attach and detach. Many deck bags will usually have some type of strap or clip system that is designed to be secured to attachment points on the deck of your kayak.
This may require you to look at your own kayak and make sure there are points that can allow you to attach your bag.
Size will probably be an important feature because you’ll likely want the bag to be able to hold all your essential gear. Think about what you plan to put in your bag and this should help you determine what size of deck bag you might need.
You may not want the bag to be too large or it could affect your kayak’s performance on the water or even your ability to see over the top of it.
It may also cause your kayak to become too heavy at the front. But it could be used to balance out your load if you have a lot of gear in the stern.
You may want to think about how easy it will be to get your gear out of your bag while you’re sitting in your cockpit.
If there are items that you might need during your trip, you might want to consider a deck bag that has a zipper closure or top pocket that you can easily reach from your seat, without having to unload the whole bag.
Deck Bag FAQs
How Do Deck Bags Attach To A Kayak?
They can be attached to existing points on your deck, for example, D-rings or bungee rigging.
Video: How To Attach Any Deck Bag On Oru Kayak
Is There A Difference Between Deck Bags And Dry Bags Or Backpacks?
Deck bags are designed to be attached to the deck of your kayak and are not necessarily waterproof. Dry bags are designed to be waterproof and will usually keep your gear dry but they may not have suitable attachments to secure them directly to your deck.
Some backpacks can be waterproof but they have straps on them that are designed to be worn on your shoulders rather than secured to the curved deck of a kayak.
Can Deck Bags Be Used For Paddle Boarding?
Some can. If you have loops or suitable attachment points on your SUP then you could use a deck bag for paddle boarding.
Can You Make Your Own DIY Deck Bag?
You could, but it may take some time and work. You might find it’s easier just to buy one.
Video: DIY Best Kayak Deck Bag
If you’re looking for a durable kayak deck bag that has plenty of attachment points and plenty of room for all your essentials, the Taj M’Haul Deck Bag is the winner here. It has a waterproof dry bag inside and easy-to-reach exterior mesh pockets for smaller items.
Another great choice is the Overboard Waterproof Kayak Deck Bag coming in at a very close second. It is brightly colored, easy to wipe clean and it floats. It’s also built to keep your gear dry.
Remember, these deck bags won’t be suitable for everyone and may not fit every kayak, so it can be important to check dimensions of both the bag and your kayak before you dive into purchasing.
Think about what you want the deck bag to hold. This could help you narrow down your choices for size and whether or not you need it to be completely waterproof.