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Best Dry Bags

Best Dry Bags

Best dry bags: Dry bags are waterproof bags meant to keep all your valuables dry. Often, they are used during kayaking, canoeing, rafting, fishing, snorkeling, camping and extreme sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Although all dry bags have a similar watertight closing system, it is essential to pick the best for that camping trip.

I love being outdoors and over the years, I have had my share of dry bags. Some were great and some just didn’t cut it. Here are five of the best dry bags I have come across as well some more useful information about dry bags.

Best Dry Bags

Heavy Duty Vinyl Waterproof Dry Bag

Heavy Duty Vinyl Waterproof Dry Bag

Waterproof Dry Bags Set of three

Waterproof Dry Bags Set of three

Premium Waterproof Dry Bags for Kayaking, Camping, Boating

Adventure Lion Premium Waterproof Dry Bag

Dry Bag Waterproof Roll Top Sack

Dry Bag Waterproof Roll Top Sack

Waterproof Floating Dry Gear Bags for Boating, Kayaking, Fishing, Rafting, Swimming and Camping

Waterproof Floating Sport Dry Gear Bags

Rating: 4.5/5Rating: 4.7/5Rating: 4.7/5Rating: 4.6/5Rating: 4.7/5
Color Options: 7Color Options: 6Color Options: 8Color Options: 4Color Options: 9
Material: Heavy Duty Vinyl PolyesterMaterial: 500D TarpaulinMaterial: 500D PVCMaterial: 500D PVCMaterial: Tough Nylon
Bonus: Optional Phone CaseBonus: Double Seal, Set of 3Bonus: Floats, Lifetime WarrantyBonus: See Threw WindowBonus: Waterproof Phone Case
Sizes Available: 5L, 10L, 15L, 20L, 30L, 40L, 55LSizes Available: 5L, 10L, 20L, 35LSizes Available: 5L, 10L, 20L, 40LSizes Available: 10L, 20L, 30LSizes Available: 2L, 5L, 10L, 20L, 30L, 40L
Cost: $Cost: $Cost: $Cost: $Cost: $

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Heavy Duty Vinyl Waterproof Dry Bag

Heavy Duty Vinyl Waterproof Dry Bag

This waterproof bag is made of heavy-duty vinyl polyester and is suitable for quick submersion. However, it is not intended for full submersion, and your valuables may not remain dry should the bag stay in the water for long.

Should you decide to go camping with this, you can be sure that accidental thrusts and sticks and sharp rocks will not get any punctures into the bag. For those who are using a dry bag for the first time, it comes with using instructions printed on the top. When getting the white one, you will want to be mindful of how you use it as mine stained pretty quickly.

Pros

  • It is durable, wipe clean and easy to store away
  • It is very sturdy
  • The buckle and strap are of good quality and work as intended
  • It has a return and money back guarantee should you be dissatisfied

Cons

  • The vinyl comes off after some time in the water
  • The shoulder strap is very stiff and rough

Waterproof Dry Bags Set of three

Waterproof Dry Bags Set of three

 

I especially loved this product as it comes in three; a dry bag, a waist pouch and a phone case which can all be submerged in the water for swimming, kayaking, and boating.

Unlike the traditional roll-top dry bag, this one comes with a seal to protect your valuables when wholly submerged or continuously splashed. The waist pouch is amazingly versatile, and you can wear it as a waist- pack, cross-body pack or even a shoulder bag. It is ideal for small valuable items such as your car keys, credit cards or wallets. The phone case has a transparent window which allows you to take pictures and videos, text and even talk on the phone while still inside the case!

Pros

  • It has double closure seals making it twice as safe as other dry bags
  • It is sturdy, lightweight and tear resistant
  • It comes in a 3 in 1 set
  • The adjustable, detachable shoulder strap allows you to carry it effortlessly

Cons

  • The ziplock makes it difficult to close the bag
  • The bags have an overpowering latex smell
  • The phone case gets a cloudy film making pictures look distorted

Premium Waterproof Dry Bags for Kayaking, Camping, Boating

Premium Waterproof Dry Bags for Kayaking, Camping, Boating

These dry bags from Adventure Lions offer toughness plus comfort. Unlike other dry bags, they stay soft and flexible even in the coldest weather. The best thing about these bags is that they come with a Hassle Free Lifetime warranty. The dry bags come in four convenient sizes which have different features. The 5L and 10L have adjustable straps, the 20L has an added handle while the 40L has an added strap making it a backpack. They all have hardened anchor points which allow you to float the bag behind your water raft or hang it off your hiking pack. Thus making this one of the best dry bags on the market.

Pros

  • It has a reinforced quick release polymer buckle
  • It has a reliable roll-top closure
  • It is made of sturdy enough material to resist all forms of abuse
  • It features quick-detach adjustable shoulder straps

Cons

  • The handle is loosely attached and comes out quickly
  • It is not entirely waterproof as some water seeps into the bag

Dry Bag Waterproof Roll Top Sack

Dry Bag Waterproof Roll Top Sack

Not only is this dry bag waterproof, but also snow proof, dust proof and sand proof.  With the unique watertight double lock, you do not have to worry about water getting into the bag. What’s more, it has a transparent see-through window panel that allows you to see what’s inside the bag without unpacking. The KastKing dry bag can float when sealed with air trapped inside and while it will not replace a personal flotation device, it will act as a supplemental emergency flotation device. Personally, this is my pick for the best dry bag.

The KastKing dry bag waterproof roll-top sack is excellent for all purposes and is suitable for quick submersion.

Pros

  • Light and more pliable for easy packing
  • Fully seam-sealed for ultimate waterproofness
  • Alternative handle and fully adjustable shoulder straps
  • Double overlap roll top

Cons

  • Some water seeps into the dry bag

Dry Bag Sack, Waterproof Floating Dry Gear Bags

Dry Bag Sack, Waterproof Floating Dry Gear Bags

Of all the dry bags on here, this is the only one that comes in a size smaller than the five-liter one. The two-liter dry bag would come in handy especially if you do not have a lot of items you need to carry about. Just like the heavy duty vinyl dry bag, this one is also suitable for quick submersion and protects your valuables from dirt, dust, water, and sand.

The dry bag sack from Unigear comes with a universal size, touch-friendly phone bag. Its shoulder sling is not only extra-long but also removable and adjustable for comfortable carry and support.

Made of tough nylon, this bag is highly resistant to abrasion and puncture.

Pros

  • The shoulder straps are padded for comfortability
  • With some air trapped in, the bag can float

Cons

  • It starts to leak after a few uses
  • The cell phone case is poorly made and not waterproof

What to look for in the Best Dry Bags

While buying a dry bag may seem like such an easy task, there are a lot of factors to consider before you decide to spend those dollars. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Size

Dry bags come in a range of sizes to suit smaller items such as phones and money and larger items such as clothing and sleeping bags. Most bags fall into one of three basic size categories: small, medium and large. Small bags are ideal for things like your cell phone and wallet; medium bags are good for things like camping stoves, hiking boots, and larger tools while large bags are ideal for sleeping bags and clothing. However, you can use the large bag to stuff in the smaller and medium bags too for further insulation. There when one layer fails, there’s still another layer to protect your things.

Material

Dry bags come in a variety of materials. Some favor durability, while others favor light weight and flexibility. Most modern dry bags are made of one of two different materials: nylon and vinyl. Nylon usually has a water-repelling coating, such as silicon, when making dry bags. It sacrifices some durability for weight-saving benefits and flexibility, making it handy for packing in tight spaces. Vinyl provides good durability and suits gear that is heavy or has the potential to cause abrasions. It’s also easy to repair.

Intended purpose

Dry bags should suit their intended use. Whether your adventures involve whitewater, helmets and a white-knuckled grip on your paddle, dry bags are made to keep your gear organized, protected and dry. The type of activity that you’re partaking in will go a long way in your decision for a dry bag. The type of water exposure will decide how durable you want your dry bag to be while the type of gear will decide how large your dry bag will be. It’s important to remember that the majority of dry bags are not intended to withstand extended submersion. Dry bags vary from simple and pared down, to offering a range of different features to suit different needs. Some offer extra features that you might prefer.

Type of closure

Dry bags don’t all close the same way. They offer different types of closure for waterproofing. Many of the best bags actually feature more than one type of closure, for increased protection.

Zippers- While zippers provide a great way to close up a dry bag, they frequently seem to break at the worst possible time.

Drawstrings-Drawstring closures are typically used in conjunction with a roll-down or Velcro closure. They’re fairly easy to use and are quickly repairable if they break. Roll down the top to help squeeze out the air and compress your gear a bit.

Velcro-Many dry bags feature a Velcro closure to provide an additional layer of water protection. Velcro is a great material for this application, as it is strong, secure and functional in both wet and dry conditions.

Robust hardware

Check the hardware on a dry bag before purchasing it. Cheap dry bags often use poor quality zippers that come out in no time. Any zippers and clips on your dry bag should be well-built for the task.

D- rings

These are just as the name suggests, rings in the shape of a “D.”  They can either come with the purchase or be sold separately. These rings are an essential part of a dry bag and are used to string multiple bags together. They also release the stress exerted on the buckle once numerous bags are tied together.

Brand

Buying a dry bag from a reputable brand could save you a lot of time and money. Research thoroughly on the different brands in the market and ensure a brand’s reputation, as well as their image, is top-notch before investing your money in it.

How to properly use a Dry Bag on the Water

Although some dry bags are not well-made, most times, a dry bag will let in water if it is not closed correctly. Ensuring your dry bag is securely closed goes a long way to saving you some money. (Imagine spending all those bucks replacing your electronics.)

So how exactly should you handle your dry bag while on the water?

Fill your bag to ½ full or ¾ full.

This is to allow for some space at the top to roll down the bag. Yo need to roll the top a minimum of three times so filling your dry bag to the top may not allow you to do so.

Make sure to trap some air inside.

Rather than dispel all the air, make sure you leave some air inside the bag. Why? To enable the bag to float. In case you lose your dry bag in the water, the buoyancy created by the trapped air inside will make your bag float. This will make it easier to spot.

Consider folding the top rather than rolling.

Although they are called roll-top closure, I would advise you to fold the tops. Folding creates more sharp bends to block water entry as compared to rolling. Fold the top a minimum of three times and then snap the buckle shut. Here’s a short video tutorial on how to do it. (The guy in the tutorial rolls his top, but remember to fold yours.)

Check the manufacturer’s guide on what your dry bag is intended for.

Just like the ones above, dry bags can either be intended for quick submersion or longer submersion. Check this specific quality first before going out with your dry bag. Dry bags that are only intended for quick submersion may not do a good job of keeping your items dry should they be immersed in water for a longer period.

Some Useful Tips

Just like any other thing, you could do with some useful tips for handling dry bags.

Roll the top a minimum of three times.

Like I mentioned above, dry bags have different ways to close them. For those with roll top closure, consider rolling the top a minimum of three times. Sure, it reduces the available space you could have used, but it does improve on the bag’s waterproof ability.

Use a dry bag inside a dry bag.

When you are traveling with your laptop, iPad, phone- any electronic for that matter, you will certainly want to be extra careful. Put your electronics in one small dry bag which you can then insert inside another one. Some dry bags let in a little water, and by doing this, you will reduce the amount of direct impact your electronics will have should anything happen.

Ideally, you should get a bright colored dry bag.

Brightly colored dry bags are a much safer bet as compared to dull colors. This is because, in case you lose your dry bag while you are out in the jungle, it will be easier to spot it if it is of bright color, say red, as opposed to black.

Consider dry bags with a transparent window first.

I would strongly recommend getting a dry bag that has a clear window panel. When you are out camping or kayaking, you really do not want to rummage through all your stuff just to get to that one thing at the bottom. A transparent window panel will allow you to see where everything in the dry bag is and save you the trouble of unpacking them all.

Always have a dry bag- albeit a small one- around.

As you have seen above, dry bags can be useful in so many situations. Having one or two around could be a lifesaver. It doesn’t matter where you are going, and you could improvise a dry bag to just about anything, should the need arise. Ensure you keep one small one in your daily carrier bag for emergency situations.

Check to ensure your dry bag is waterproof.

You will want to be sure your dry bag is completely waterproof before getting your electronics all ruined. It is important to carry out a waterproof test at home. Simply put some tissue paper or just plain paper into the bag and close it. Immerse the bag in a tub full of water and leave it there for a few minutes. If the paper comes out wet, even if just a little, you may want to take extra caution before using that dry bag on your next snorkelling trip.

Unlike in the past, where dry bags were popular with those who love canoeing and kayaking, dry bags are quickly gaining popularity among other outdoor enthusiasts too. The great thing about them is that they are relatively affordable. There are various types of dry bags; you just have to look for one that suits your needs. Consider investing in a great dry bag, or two, for whatever reason you may have- an afternoon at the beach, camping or maybe even just for those rainy days.

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