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In today’s article, we show you some of our best dry bag favorites and take you through the process of choosing the best dry bag for you, as well as other valuable tidbits you’ll like.
Dry bags are pretty important to carry with you if you’re an outdoor enthusiast.
You can’t control the weather when you’re out there in Mother Nature’s domain, and so you’ll want to take precautions to safeguard your gear and anything else you might want to keep as far away from water as possible.
While you’re at it, you want to get the best dry bag you can.
A dry bag, as you might have guessed from the name, is designed to keep things dry.
That said, there is a lot more to them than meets the eye and, just like any other product, you should know a bit more before you go about the business of choosing the best dry bag for you.
Dry bags come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of waterproofing, so it’s best to have a handle on these basic details. Let us help you choose the right one.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Best PickOur best dry bag pick is no other than the Yeti Panga Series. It is a premium-quality, high-end product from the company that knows how to build rock-solid gear.
The Panga bag will be perfect for outdoorsy people looking for an accessible, completely airtight sealed, and 100% waterproof duffel for their next adventure.
Best Dry Bags – Comparison Table
Dry Bags Reviews
Yeti Panga Series
As you might expect when it comes to products for outdoor enthusiasts, YETI dominates this list as easily as it does others.
This dry duffel bag is an excellent choice for any adventurer who expects wetness to be a part of their adventures.
Whether you’re going camping in a remote location or on a fishing trip, this totally waterproof and submersible airtight bag is going to be perfect for you.
Despite how large some of the options can get (it comes in 3 sizes), the bag is still surprisingly light. It can also pack quite a lot in its frame.
The outer shell is made of high-density nylon that’s been laminated to be abrasion and puncture resistant.
Its clips and fittings are also of superior quality while its waterproof zipper has a hydro lock system at the end that creates a watertight seal for the bag.
Its comfortable straps also ensure you can carry the bag however you want without worrying about its state.
- Fully waterproof and submersible
- Features watertight hydro lock zipper
- Dry haul straps make for comfortable carrying
- High-density Thick skin outer shell is resistant to abrasions and punctures
- Pretty expensive
- Only 2 color options
Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
The Earth Pak waterproof dry bag comes in 5 different sizes with the largest size (55 liters) coming with a waist belt for securing your load and stabilizing it.
With such a wide range of sizes, it’s easier for the buyer to choose whichever size works for best for them, depending on the amount of gear they need to transport.
It also has a wide range of color options, from black to bright yellow. You can easily get something that fits your personality.
The best feature in this bag has to be its IPX8 waterproof phone case with a clear front and back.
It has access design and snap lock. That allows you to take photos with your phone while it is safely in the phone case, letting you capture your best moments without having to worry about your phone getting wet.
All sizes are comfortable to carry with the largest one coming with shoulder straps and a waist belt for comfortable hauling.
All bags are constructed with 500D PVC for strength.
- Waterproof phone case with access design so you can take pictures with your phone protected
- Lots of sizes and colors to choose from
- Shoulder straps may not be the best quality. Some Amazon users have complained that they come off after a few months of usage. Customer support should be able to send a replacement, though.
ZBRO Waterproof Dry Bag
The bag is made from high-quality waterproof PVC and has 2 compartments: a wet compartment and a dry one.
The inner compartment is the dry one. It has a roll down top that you click into place to ensure a watertight seal for the contents.
On the outside is a side mesh panel for storing your wet clothes when you don’t want them mixing with the dry contents.
There is also a waterproof internal compartment for smaller items, such as your phone. On the outside, you get comfortable padded straps that you can easily adjust for easy transport.
The best part: this bag comes with a lifetime warranty!
- Has wet and dry compartments to easily separate different contents
- Has an internal pocket to store smaller items
- Has a lifetime warranty
- Has comfortable padded shoulder straps
- The shoulder straps can be a little stiff at first before they break-in
- The internal pocket is a little small
Earth Pak Summit Dry Bag Backpack
If you're looking for a dry bag that you could comfortably carry on your back, then the Earth Pak Summit Dry Bag may be your best bet. This thing is neatly designed and comfortable to wear as a backpack.
These bags were mainly made for those looking for more spacious dry bags. The smallest is 35 liters while the largest is 55 liters.
They are made from tough 500D PVC which is waterproof and protects your fragile gear from abrasions. There is an exterior splash proof pockets for grab ‘n go items that you don’t mind getting wet and 2 interior pockets for those you would like to keep completely dry.
The bag has a roll-top closure, an ergonomic back panel, a low profile sternum strap and a handy waist belt for maximum comfort while carrying.
The IPX8 waterproof phone case is a nice addition – very handy if you're about to swim to the other shore of a river or a lake.
- Tough and durable build
- Great color variety
- Quite comfortable
- The bags are pretty large and so won’t be economical for those looking for smaller options
Osprey UltraLight Dry Sack
The Osprey UltraLight is a dry sack that’s pretty much straightforward. True to its name, it’s pretty lightweight at only 1.44 ounces.
While the material looks a little thin, the build quality is still good as it is made of ripstop nylon.
Now, you shouldn’t use this as your main dry bag, though it’s great for protecting the clothes and gear you want to stay dry.
After that, you can place the Osprey UltraLight inside a larger rucksack or your kayak’s hold. It gives peace of mind knowing that you have some gear you can quickly change into.
The top is a roll-top and the mechanism ensures airtightness and an easy time compressing the contents of the bag for easy storage.
Another great thing about this product is that it comes with plenty of size and color options, meaning there’s something for everyone.
Available sizes: 1.5l, 3l, 6l, 12l, 20l, 30l
- Durable material
- Waterproof roll-top closure
- Easy to pack
- Has plenty of size and color variety
- The largest size is pretty small (30 liters) making this bag unideal as a main dry bag
Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag
This awesome bag has some of the best variety I have ever seen when it comes to sizes.
There are 7 size options to choose from, ranging from 3 liters to 65 liters, meaning there’s a capacity for anyone. The material is also pretty tough.
It’s a TPU laminated non-PVC fabric with a 10,000 mm waterhead. The fabric is specifically 420D nylon, which is very strong and resistant to abrasions.
The bag includes Hypalon lash loops for a secure attachment when carrying while the seams are all double stitched, reinforced, and tape sealed.
- The low profile saves lots of space
- High-quality tough build
- Hypalon lash loops make for secure attachment
- Can be a little uncomfortable to carry
Adventure Lion Premium Waterproof Dry Bags
Adventure lion makes some great premium dry bags that redefine “amphibious”. These bags will perform excellently in water and on land.
They are great for sailors and kayakers and range in size from 5 liters to 40 liters. That means there is something for everyone.
They are made from very tough PVC which will stay flexible at the lowest temperatures. The closure is a roll-top waterproof closure, making this bag completely watertight.
When sealed tight, there is always a little air left in the main compartment to enable the bag to float on water.
What’s more, these bags come with a lifetime guarantee!
- Made from tough but flexible PVC
- Right fitting
- Great size range
- Lifetime guarantee
- Not much color variety
What to Look for in a Dry Bag – Buyer's Guide
All the Best Dry Bag Types
There are many types of dry bags, depending on their specific design and what they are used for:
Barrel Roll Top Dry Bags
These are the most common type of dry bag. They have the shape of a cylinder and are open at one end.
The seams are typically RF-welded to make them watertight and the open end is closed by rolling down the material and fastening the clips.
Dry Bag Holdalls
These bags typically have a wider opening than roll tops, which gives easier access to the contents of the dry bag.
The closure isn’t very watertight, however, as compared to roll tops. It’s still pretty good, though, and only a full immersion would result in water getting in.
Rucksack Dry Bags
These bags come in all sorts of sizes and are used in different ways. They are great for hiking and will easily keep the contents dry against the rain.
Kayak Dry Bags
Kayaking is the kind of activity where dry bags are not a luxury but a necessity. Kayak dry bags ensure your gear remains dry until you reach your destination.
These particular dry bags are designed to fit well into the hatches in sea kayaks for maximum portability.
Motorcycle Dry Bags
Motorcycling can be just as wet as any other activity and that’s why motorcycle dry bags are there.
They are designed to be easy to strap to the back of the bike with some of the wider ones sitting comfortably on top of the panniers.
Mobile Phone Dry Bags
These are designed for your mobile phone and allow you to use your phone while it’s still in the bag without having to worry about it getting wet.
Dry bags are made of a variety of materials. Some of them are built for durability while others are built to be light and flexible.
Vinyl is great to protect gear against abrasions and is highly durable. Silnylon is more about being lightweight and flexible, making it great for smaller bags that are meant to fit in tight spaces.
Dry bags come in all kinds of sizes, from the small ones in which you store your phone and money to the large ones in which you store your clothes and sleeping bags.
You may be okay using one bag for everything or you might need a few different ones of varying sizes, depending on your needs.
It’s particularly a good idea to split your stuff among many different dry bags or at least carry backup dry bags in case one fails.
Not all dry bags have the same type of closure. There are those with a roll top closure while others have a zipper-type seal.
Some closures are better for waterproofness but sacrifice ease of access and speed in the process. Pick the one that best suits your preferences and needs.
Dry bags should be bought such that they suit the use they are intended for. You will want a rugged and heavy-duty dry bag if you’re going out on a demanding boat or kayaking trip.
On the other hand, you’ll want something lighter, more flexible, and easier to pack for your commute. Think about your intended activity and choose based on that.
Dry bags may include all sorts of extra features, such as carry on options, extra padding to protect fear, quick access pockets, and so on. Again, choose based on your needs.
Waterproofness and Submersible
There are dry bags that can withstand being submerged for a long time. However, this isn’t most of them.
Most of them will protect your gear and clothes from water from rain splashes and a short period of submersion.
You don’t have to go for the most waterproof of them all unless you’ll be doing some really wet stuff like kayaking.
Choose whichever works for your needs.
How to Use a Dry Bag – Best Practices
Dry bags may be made of watertight material, but it is still important to seal them properly to prevent water from seeping in.
If you don’t seal the roll-top or other closure properly, water might find its way into the bag and invade the contents.
Here we will use the example of a roll-top closure to demonstrate how to use a dry bag.
To figure out how to seal the specific dry bag you bought, be sure to read the user’s manual.
- Start by placing the items you need inside the bag. Leave at least a quarter of space on the top of the bag.
- Remove any air remaining in the bag. Note that you can also leave air inside if you want your bag to float on the water if it falls overboard.
- Tweak the top of the bag and fold the edges like dog ears.
- Fold the fabric of the bag down thrice or at least all the way up to the folding band.
- Merge the clips or buckles together to make a seal.
Dry Bags Tips and Tricks
Use Dry Bags for your Laundry
You can use your dry bag to separate your dirty clothes from your clean ones. Just roll it up and put it in the dry bag. Seal the top and haul them around in there until you get a place to wash your clothes.
Use Dry Bag as a Cable Control
You can also use your dry bag to store your random electronic cables and accessories in one place. Not only do you protect them from water, but you also ensure they don’t get in the way of the other stuff you’re trying to pack.
Use Dry Bag as a Pillows
You can use your dry bag as a travel pillow. Just seal it with some air inside and voila!
Use Dry Bag to do some Workouts
If you fill your dry bag with water, you can use it like a kettlebell style workout aid. Since a liter of water weighs approximately one kilogram, you can use your dry bag as a weight. The bigger the bag the bigger the weight.
Use Dry Bag as a Compression Sack
You can use your dry bag as a compression sack. By putting clothes and other items inside and then pressing, you can reduce the size of the bag and make it fit with other things in a suitcase.
Dry Bags FAQ
What size dry bag do I need?
That depends on your particular needs. If you’re carrying a lot of stuff, then you’ll need a large bag.
For most hiking and simple kayaking trips, a 10 liter bag is enough. However, if you’re carrying a lot of heavy gear and lots of clothes, a 30 liter + bag is a better idea.
How to close a dry bag?
It depends on the type of closure. For a roll top, just roll the top down and fasten the clip.
To find out how to properly seal your dry bag, just read the instruction manual that comes with it.
Can you put ice in a dry bag?
There aren’t many instances where you might need to put ice cubes in a dry bag, and since ice melts into water, it might not be a good idea if you’ve got other things in the bag that you’d like to keep dry.
That said, depending on how waterproof the bag is, and how much ice you put in there, the bag should be able to hold ice without leaking for a few hours.
Are dry bags submersible?
Yes, they are.
However, most of them are only submersible for a short period of time. The very best can handle a few hours of being completely submerged without letting water in.
However, even the best dry bags will eventually let water in if they remain submerged long enough.
Where to Buy Dry Bags?
You can buy dry bags in lots of places both online and offline. Online, you can buy them on the manufacturer’s websites or on retail sites.
You can also buy them offline at retail and outdoor gear stores.
We, however, advise that you buy a dry bag at Amazon. It is is the largest online marketplace, and needless to say, it's trusted.
At Amazon, you will get real reviews on all products by real customers. You will get buyer protection, money-back guarantees, easy returns, and fast shipping. Prime members may even get same-day shipping in some cases.
Best Dry Bag – The Bottom Line
And with that, we end our best dry bag reviews. Dry bags are a great way to keep your most treasured items dry when you go out on particularly wet adventures.
They’re effective, durable, and affordable, just like the Yeti Panga Series bags are. With this guide, you should be able to pick your next dry bag or at least by any of the ones we recommend.
bestcooler.reviews wish you some favorably dry adventures ahead!
Last update on 2020-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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