When you’re traveling, you never quite know what kinds of weather situation you’ll end up experiencing, which is why a dry bag backpack can help because it’s designed to keep your gear nice and dry .
These devices are perfect for safely storing smartphones, laptops, and clothes, so even if you’re kayaking, you’ll find that they are a lifesaver. These bags are typically fully submersible, and they can make for a great piece of gear to have during a survival situation as well.
In this guide, we’re going to present you with some of the best dry bag options on the market so that you can keep your gear nice and toasty.
Into each life, some rain must fall, and when it does, you’ll want to be prepared for it. Water is one of the most destructive factors for electronics, so a nice waterproof dry bag can be an optimal investment if you’re going to be getting a little wet. These bags are perfect for people that love to explore the great outdoors, especially since they are an excellent readiness product.
For example, if you’re hiking cross country, you’re guaranteed to come into situations where you’ll have to ford rivers, and when you do, you’ll not want to be worrying about your gear getting wet. A good dry bag is perfect for this circumstance because you can traverse even deeper rivers without any consideration or worry about damaging your equipment.
These items aren’t just for electronics either; items like camp stoves, fire starting kits, and winter gear all need to be kept dry for optimal performance, which is why people purchase these types of bags . These days, there is something of a cottage industry growing up around these types of products, which is why we created this guide so that you can know precisely what to look for.
Some Features to Consider in the Best Dry Bag
Before you lock in a purchase, you’ll want to see what features each dry bag has that sets it apart from the competition. There are a lot of options out there, so it’s a good idea to seek out the products with the features that best fit your needs. Are you buying these for prep against a survival situation? Then, you should consider specific features. Are you using this to help protect your belongings during an outdoor excursion? Then, there are features that work well for this as well. In this section, let’s take a look at some general characteristics that will serve you well:
Some purchase these bags to carry their gear and consider the waterproofing a significant extra advantage . In any situation, it’s a good idea to err on a more substantial capacity when you’re on the market for one of these bags since a higher capacity will increase the versatility of the product.
Usually, unlike other bag types, dry bags won’t have a whole lot of extra external pockets, but there are products out there that do have a few that are secured with waterproof zipper systems.
The External Material
These dry bags can come in a relatively wide variety of materials, and as a result, it can be a bit confusing when deciding which one works best for your needs.
In addition to the waterproofing, another aspect of the external material is the outer treatment, which can add a layer of protection against abrasion and ripping.
Here are a few of the more popular materials that you’ll find:
One of the best features of a suitable polyester waterproof bag is that this material is often beautiful and can withstand a decent level of physical abuse.
In fact, of the materials, nylon and polyester are often considered the go-to materials for survivalists and outdoorsy types.
Many of the five products in our review section are made of this material. Nylon is a real sturdy material, especially with higher denier numbers. The higher the denier, the more robust the bag. Nylon is also easy to coat to heighten the durability of the material.
Nylon is a plastic material, but unlike heavy-duty plastic, this material is very flexible.
Of all the potential dry bag materials, vinyl is probably the least durable. For this reason, most polyester dry bags are really for just storing personal items that you don’t want to get wet.
There are examples of vinyl bags that are treated to withstand a little more, but this typically ups the price significantly.
Believe it or not, there’s a tougher material than high-denier nylon. PVC dry bags are truly tough, but they are also much heavier than just about every other type of material, so you may feel bogged down.
How Securely it Closes
Different manufacturers tend to utilize different closure styles across their product lines, and as a rule, it’s a good idea to determine the style before you make a purchasing decision. For example, roll-top bags have become very common; these bags effectively roll up and then buckle to create an airtight seal.
This method is very efficient and provides an excellent watertight seal. The second method of securing that you’ll encounter is the zipper seal, which works similarly to the Ziploc freezer bags; you’ll just need some lubrication to ensure that the bag maintains it seal over time.
Also, always be sure that all seams on the bag are sealed so that water can’t make its way into the bag from the outside.
The first thing that you’ll notice about the Yeti Panga dry bag is that it’s not quite the same as many of the other products in our guide, which are mostly dry bag backpack selections. Instead, the Panga is actually more of a duffel bag that you can sling over a single shoulder. This in no way means that this isn’t a capable bag; it stores materials easy, is spacious, and is very watertight.
In fact, this product is also fully submersible thanks to their proprietary ThickSkin shell, which also makes the bag a very durable option for people that love the outdoors. The outer material is crafted of high denier nylon that is coated with a special TPU lamination. This lamination makes the material especially resilient and resistant against abrasions.
In addition, the straps are also very comfortable, and they are also designed to be completely reliable, even when you’re trekking through rough territory.
This is a very attractive bag
The material is almost PVC-level sturdy
This is a zippered dry bag that uses a U-dock securing system that’s completely watertight
When it comes to durability and a watertight design, PVC is kind of the king of the hill. This bag, which is manufactured by Såk Gear, is designed for rougher environments but still manages to look very attractive. The PVC used in this dry bag has a 500-level denier, so you can rely on its toughness.
This product uses a roll-top, so you can depend on its ability to keep water out of the main compartment. In addition to the primary compartment access, there’s also a zippered section on the front that you can use for smaller items.
If you’re a fan of options, you’ll love this bag because it comes in nine designs that encompass various colors as well as multiple graphics. The areas around the zippered pockets are also reflective, so other hikers will be able to see you, even in low-light situations. The backpack is designed with a single strap that goes across the chest, and carrying this bag is relatively convenient and easy .
The dry bag has a 10 & 20-liter capacity
The reflectors make you easy to see at night
The PVC material is very strong and will keep all moisture out, even around the seams
When it comes to construction, this Earth Pak product has a lot of similarities to the previous Såk Gear product. Not only is it also made of super-tough 500-denier PVC, but it also has a splash-proof outer pocket that you can use for smaller items. Having said that, this product also stands out on its own. For instance, it comes with an IPX8 phone case that you can use when you need your phone in saturated conditions. Also, the shoulder strap is very comfortable and can be used to quickly help keep the bag secure while canoeing or kayaking.
Thanks to the PVC, this product is also designed to be abrasion- and rip-resistant, and Earth Pak also provides six unique color options for those looking to accessorize. When in the water, this dry bag is also designed to float, which will ensure that you can easily retrieve it should it become dislodged. While it can’t be submerged for a long period without leaks, exposure to even high amounts of water shouldn’t be a problem.
It comes in six unique colors
It’s designed to float
Earth Pak included an IPX8 phone case
You can’t safely store electronics in the zippered area
Sea to Summit is one of the most famous lines of waterproof dry bags on the market, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that one of their products made it into our reviews. This product, which is a sea to summit dry bag that has a 13-liter capacity, is an excellent option for anyone that needs a moderate amount of space in their dry bag.
Externally, the bag is crafted from 70-denier nylon, which means that it’s reasonably tough enough for most wilderness excursions. This nylon outer shell is also reinforced with a polyurethane outer coating that increases the durability and waterproofing. In addition to the toughness of the outer shell, the bag also utilizes a very secure roll-top enclosure system that is very tight. The base of the bag is oval-shaped, which makes it reasonably easy to pack, even if things are tight in your trunk.
This Sea to Summit dry bag comes in five unique colors that include options like pacific blue, black, apple green, yellow, and red, and the sack is reasonably easy to carry. Sea to Summit also designed the interior of this bag to be fully reflective so that you can see into the bag without a lot of ambient light.
The outer material is reflective for easy location in the dark
Out of all of the products reviewed here, this BackSåk product is the most like a traditional backpack thanks to the inclusion of two shoulder straps. Like our second and third product, this is a dry bag that’s constructed of 500-denier PVC, so you can rely on it remaining tough and watertight for years. This material is also thick enough to resist any abrasion or ripping that could occur on the trail.
For the sake of your back, there’s also a sternum clip as well as padded back support, so carrying this bag on long hiking trips will be reasonably comfortable. The straps themselves are also cushioned, so you’ll feel less pressure on your shoulders as you carry the bag to and fro. This dry bag comes in both 25 and 35 liter sizes, so you can expect to fit a lot inside. Additionally, BackSåk provides seven color options as well.
One of these dry backpacks can really make a difference as you trek through the sometimes soaked wilderness. The best dry bag will differ for everyone, but each of the products featured in this guide can work well in a wide variety of situations.
Despite this, if we were to pick a winner product, it would be the Yeti Panga Airtight duffel; this product has an easy carry method, it can attach to the inside of watercraft, and it has a stylish design that looks great.
The only drawback to this fully-submersible product is its somewhat expensive price tag, but in this case, you get the quality you pay for.
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