When you’re out on the lake, river, or even the ocean with your kayak, sometimes it can be challenging to find a way to keep all of your supplies and gear dry. Sure, you could try using Ziplock bags or other methods to keep moisture out, but having a dry bag is simple, easy, and requires less effort than anything else. Even those who aren’t big on boats will find uses for a dry bag. They can be useful when hiking, camping, or just a spot of swimming on the beach.
Fortunately, there are tons of types and sizes of dry bags on the market, so you can select one that best fits your preferred outdoor activities. The basic things you want to watch for in a great dry bag is water-resistant material and a three-part seal to keep all moisture out. We’ll share nine of the best options on the market right now and you can decide which fits your needs. We’ll also look at what features matter in more depth later on. For now, check out these bags!
Table of Contents
The Best Dry Bag of 2023
Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag
The Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag features a low profile to save space and comes in a roll-resistant oval shape. As far as capacity goes, there are tons of options with this dry bag. You can get one as small as three liters, but five, eight, 13, 20, 35, and 65 liters options are also available. This should be a sufficient selection for most outdoor lovers to find one that works for their favorite hobbies. With a three liter you can fit a cell phone, wallet, and keys, while a 20 liter can hold a medium-sized tent and the 65 liter can hold items for an entire group going camping or on a hike.
The bag itself is a non-PVC option so it is environmentally friendly compared to other bags. The actual fabric used is a 420D nylon for strength and resistance to abrasions. Beyond the material being strong, you also get a bag that is reinforced, double-stitched, and waterproof for all the security you need that your belongings won’t get wet or fall through the bottom of the bag. The bag comes in numerous colors including green, blue, yellow, black, and orange. That should be sufficient for anyone to choose a favorite or go with something more neutral.
This dry bag is recommended for use with bike packing, paddle sports, and motorcycle touring, although it can be used for numerous other purposes without an issue. The price for the bag is reasonable, but it varies based on the size you choose. What is great is how many options you get with this bag. You could buy one for a small child in a three- or five-liter option while you get yourself one that is much larger.
Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack
Another option from Sea to Summit is the Hydraulic Dry Pack. It comes in a cylinder shape and is recommended for use storing clothing, food, and kayaking gear. This bag comes in 35, 65, 90, and 120-liter capacities making it once of the larger dry bags we’ll look at today. It also is available in various colors of black, yellow, blue, and green. As with the first Sea to Summit bag, this one is non-PVC and instead comes in a durable nylon material. It’s a little more expensive than some other bags, but it’s also a beast of a dry bag that can be used on long treks or days out at sea in your kayak.
This heavy-duty bag is extremely durable due to the use of 600D TPU fabric, but it also offers resistance to UV rays and can withstand even the most frigid of temperatures. The 35-liter version comes with a waist strap while the larger bags have a hip belt to help you support even a huge load without straining your back. The bag is constructed with a welded construction to offer permanently sealed seams and offers durable lash patches to help with securing or carrying gear. The buckles are also high-quality and made of 7075-T6 anodized aluminum.
Quite honestly, this bag is rugged and likely to handle anything you throw at it. It was clearly made for a seasoned outdoorsperson who wants to get off the trail and have a good time without worrying about a fragile bag. While it might be almost too much for a beginner, anyone who is out there in the woods or on the water on a regular basis won’t find a bag much better than this one. Sure, that means it has a higher price tag, but the features make that a minor consideration in the end.
SealLine Black Canyon Boundary Pack
This dry bag is a versatile one that can be used for long-distance paddling, hiking, camping, and more. It has three different storage capacities, so you can select the one that meets your needs best. The shape of the bag is reminiscent of a traditional backpack, but thankfully, you can choose the color you like most from blue, green, orange, and yellow. All four colors are bright and fun, which will likely make them a hit with younger adventurers. The straps themselves are black in color.
Unlike many of the dry bag options out there, this one is made without using PVC as a material. This is something that makes it more environmentally friendly than the average dry bag. Instead of using PVC, this made is made with a body of 300D urethane double-coated nylon while the bottom is constructed of 400D HD urethane-coated nylon. It also features a roll-down dry seal, so you can be sure that your belongings and gear aren’t going to get wet, no matter what happens when on the trail or boat. The design is lightweight so even carrying a large load won’t be too rigorous over a longer distance.
The bag comes with ventilated shoulder straps, which are also waterproof. A waist belt also comes with it for more comfort. However, all straps can be removed for a sleeker profile, if desired. As far as the closures go, the smallest option has a top buckle while the other options have side cinch buckles, instead. All in all, the SeaLine Black Canyon Boundary Pack will work well for any sort of outdoor activity. It has a reasonable price and a nice aesthetic that will make it fun to use, too.
Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
Earth Pak makes the claim that their dry bag is better than any other on the market. That may be up for debate depending on your needs, but it does have high marks in terms of quality and durability. You can choose a bag with a 10, 20, 30, or 40-liter capacity and each comes in multiple colors. You can select from black, white, yellow, red, blue, orange, and aquamarine. The two smallest bags have a single shoulder strap while the others have two straps more like a traditional backpack.
One of the interesting features with this dry bag is that it comes with a waterproof phone case, as well. It’s IPX8 certified and measures 6.5 inches diagonally to fit nearly any phone out there. The case uses snap and lock technology and there are clear windows, so you can take photos with your phone without taking it out and risking dropping it into the water. The bag is recommended for use boating, rafting, kayaking, and other water activities.
Unlike some companies offering dry bags, all of the sizes from Earth Pak are a reasonable price. Even if you want the largest option, you won’t be watching your bank account be drained. That might make this ideal for someone on a budget who still wants to cart around enough gear to be comfortable in any situation. Plus it’s waterproof and has a simple roll down method for keeping your items safe and dry.
SealLine Baja Dry Bag
Another high-quality dry bag that comes in various sizes is the Baja by SealLine. It is available with five, 10, 20, 30, 40, or 55-liter capacities. Despite offering plenty of storage space, it is made of a lightweight material, so it won’t add to the weight already on your shoulders. It also comes in black, olive, red, or yellow colors so you can customize the bag to fit your style and aesthetic sense. As with other SealLine bags, you can expect this option to be waterproof and extremely durable. All bags are also made in the United States, if you prefer to choose American-made gear.
The material of this bag is scrim-reinforced vinyl. That means there are two layers of heavy-duty vinyl film which are laminated with another layer of vinyl for durability, waterproofing, and tear resistance. The closure is fairly standard with a roll top that you roll a few times and then finish off with closing a couple of buckles. This keeps all your belongings nice and dry, no matter what kind of adventures you end up on. One side of the bag also includes a D-ring which can be attached to a kayak or canoe to keep it secure and safe.
One thing that is lacking with this bag is a strap. That makes it likely not the best choice for hiking. Nobody wants to tote around a bag in their arms. However, any sort of water activities will be served well by the Baja. The price is reasonable for this bag, although that varies by size.
Adventure Lion Premium Waterproof Dry Bag
Heading out to enjoy the outdoors is something many of us crave and having a decent dry bag for camping, boating, and other activities is a must. That’s exactly why the people at Adventure Lion built their premium waterproof dry bag and why you’ll get so much use of it. The bag is made to stand up to the harshest conditions and is ideal for the avid outdoorsperson who enjoy mountain climbing, hiking, camping, or water sports. The material is waterproof and made to be durable enough to be useful for years.
This bag comes in 5, 10, 20, and 40-liter capacities. They also come in black, yellow, blue, red, olive green, and orange colors. It has a roll top closure, so you aren’t going to get your gear wet, even when you’re going on long adventures in all sorts of environments. The material in the Adventure Lion is also chosen as it leaves the bag flexible and soft no matter what type of weather you end up in. There are plenty of choices for you and all of them are serious quality.
All bags, no matter the size, have ergonomic features and can adjust to be carried as you like. The smallest two bags have adjustable straps, while the 20-liter options also have a handle, and the 40 liter adds on a second strap so you can wear it as a backpack. If you are considering buying more than one dry bag at once, there is also a bundle option where you save when you buy at least two. That makes it easy to kit the entire family out with bags or save when you buy with a hiking or boating buddy.
ZRBO Waterproof Dry Bag
The ZRBO is a super affordable dry bag that comes in 20, 30, or 40-liter capacities. The color choices include a matte black, stone gray, white, yellow, blue, and camo gray. With most bags coming only in bright colors, the variety here is a positive. The bag is made of a durable vinyl which is made to withstand abrasion. It also has welded seams and a roll top closure for the utmost in protecting your gear form moisture. Another cool plus is that this bag has a reflective strip, so you can be seen from a distance no matter where your bag takes you.
At the top of the bag you’ll find a sturdy nylon handle with a flexible grip. It’s attached to a PVC patch that is designed to stand up to massive stress. Having an extra handle is a nice touch and allows you to tie-off or attach the bag to any vehicle from boat to truck or SUV. This is uncommon with dry bags since the roll top closure gets in the way. There is also a large mesh pocket that can be found on the front of the bag. It isn’t tiny like other bags, it can hold a lot of gear. The reflective strip we mentioned earlier is found in the mesh pocket.
As if there weren’t enough features, the bag also has a removable zippered pouch on the interior which will make it a cinch to organize small items that might get lost in the larger bag. You can easily slip in your cell phone, wallet, or keys to easily find them when you need them next. Honestly, the quality and features of this bag would make you think it is expensive, but it’s one of the most inexpensive bags on our list. Definitely worth considering for anyone who loves the outdoors.
Leader Accessories Heavy Duty Dry Bag
Leader Accessories is a company known for their fantastic dry bags, most of which comes in a large assortment of sizes. This bag is definitely no different as you can chose a 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, or 55-liter capacity. On top of that you can also get two bags of different sizes in either a five- and 10-liter configuration or a 15- and 55-liter configuration. That might be a good choice for a couple who want to head out on the water with a fresh new dry bag. These bags come in multiple colors of black, white, yellow, red, blue, green, and orange.
The bags are completely waterproof can be submersed for a short period of time without getting your belongings wet. That means that the dry bags will work well for boating, kayaking, rafting, camping, hiking, snowboarding, and much more. Water, sand, dirt, and dust have no chance to penetrating these bags. All of the bags come with an adjustable shoulder strap for comfortable carrying and you can choose the length to fit your height and preference.
This is one of the bags that has a money back guarantee so if you find that it isn’t exactly what you expected, you won’t have lost any money on it. The return period if 30 days so that should be sufficient time to give the bag a shot. These are also some of the most inexpensive bags available, so they would easily be a top choice for anyone with a strict budget. Anyone from a beginner to an expert who is always out on the trail will find that these bags fit their needs and probably go even further.
The Friendly Swede Waterproof Backpack Dry Bag
The final dry bag today is the Friendly Swede Waterproof Backpack Dry Bag. While some of the other options on the list have a backpack style, this one so closely resembles it that it’s eerie. The only real difference is the roll top closure that peeks out on the top of the bag. This bag comes in only a 33-liter capacity, but that’s reasonable for most hikers and kayakers who consider it. It also comes only in a black color that appears to look like leather.
As with other items from the Friendly Swede, this bag has something for everyone. It offers reflective details to ensure people see you. There is also a survival whistle included for your safety if you happen to be in danger. There are a total of two large mesh pockets that will accommodate large thermoses or water bottles. There is even an inside sleeve for a small laptop, which is only found in this dry bag. It also comes with ergonomic straps that can be adjusted to your size.
While the bag might look almost leather, it’s actually constructed of 500D PVC tarpaulin and made with other high-quality materials. The seams are all welded, as well. There is also a front pocket that is water resistant for you to keep things in that won’t be damaged is moist. All in all, this is a pretty solid bag for a great price and one that should be popular for outdoorspeople of all types.
Choosing the Right Dry Bag for You
As you know, a dry bag is made to do just what the name says: keep everything inside safe and dry when you take off on adventures into the woods or water. However, there are many things that set dry bags apart from each other including size, level of waterproofness, and material choice. When it comes time to pick up a dry bag, you want to think about the following things before you make a purchase.
The Right Size of Dry Bag
The bags we’ve looked at today range in size from three to 115-liters in capacity. That just goes to show how much of a range there is out there. The smallest bags might carry only a phone, GPS, and a couple of other small things while the largest can fit a tent, sleeping bag, and tons more. You may be happy with a certain size of bag or you may want a few different sizes to swap out depending on what you plan to do for the day or weekend. Some people appreciate taking along one larger and one smaller bag to separate items and keep them better organized.
Materials Used for the Bag
The materials used for dry bags can also vary, but not as much as the sizes do. Some materials are fantastic for durability while others favor flexibility or being super lightweight. Vinyl is great for durability and can resist abrasions, while other materials are lighter but not as strong. Keep in mind that if you get a flexible and light bag, that is going to be much easier to store away when you aren’t using it.
Level of Waterproofness
Most dry bags, while waterproof, are not made to be submerged. Some can handle a short amount of submersion but will not keep your gear dry if it is underwater for an extended period of time. Make sure to consider what the manufacturer notes as the intended use to determine whether the bag will be sufficient for your needs. If you plan to mostly hike with your bag, maybe the level of waterproofness isn’t too important, but for someone in a kayak, it’s likely crucial in case of an accident with the boat.
The Intended Use
Almost every dry bag from a professional company is going to come with an intended use. Someone on a boat trip with potential waves and splashes is going to need a heavy-duty bag that is rugged and constructed well. If you want a dry bag for cycling on your commute, you may just want a lighter bag with a large capacity to keep your documents out of harm’s way. If you plan to be in more extreme environments, you need something that can handle abrasion and pressure from all sorts of things. As such, you should always think about what you will be doing while using the bag before you select and purchase one.
When it comes to choosing the right dry bag, a lot of it boils down to what you plan to do with it and how often you plan to do it. Someone who is outdoors a lot will find that all the bags on this list are likely to fit your needs. They are waterproof, durable, and constructed of high-quality materials. Think about what you need and narrow down your options. We believe there is a great dry bag here for anyone, but even if not, it gives you a start to your search. So get a great bag and get out there doing what you do best, having fun in the great outdoors. Good luck!
Ryan is an extreme kite surfer. When Ryan isn’t shredding in on the waves he spends time with his riding his bike, canoeing, and surfing.