Keep it Dry – The 4 Best Dry Bags for Kayaks, Boating, Surfing and More

kayak dry bagDry bags have always been an important piece of kit for those of us who take part in any sort of water sport. If there is any chance of coming into contact with water, then you need one of the best dry bags to ensure that the contents don’t get wet, or worse, damaged. Our devices have become an integral part of everyday life. The chances are, you’ll want to take something electronic, whether that is a specific water sports device such as a fishfinder to take out on the sea, or is just something as simple (but important) as a cell phone. Whether you need a dry bag for fishing, kayaking, boating or scuba diving, we have some options included within this article.

Choosing a Dry Bag

The process certainly isn’t as simple as just grabbing the first dry bag you see. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to buying a dry bag. Your own individual needs are vital, too. Giving a little thought to the circumstances in which the bag will be used can help you make the right call. There are certain criteria by which we judge the best models of backpack or waterproof bag.

Material. The material that a dry bag is made of is key to its effectiveness. The two most common types of material we see are vinyl and nylon. Vinyl tends to be used for smaller items and holders for devices such as phones and tablets, though some of the bigger models are vinyl. Nylon is the most popular, as well as being lighter weight and very durable. The density of the nylon can be measured so if you need a tougher bag you can judge by the “D” value in the description of the bag.

Size. Naturally, as with any bag, you need to think about the size you need before buying. You may just need to take a few items out and can get a five liter bag or smaller, or you may need to think about the best option for sleeping bags, changes of clothing and more. Dry bags come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, with 20 liter, 30 liter, or even 40 liter models not uncommon.

Durability. Most of us expect these items to get beat up a little when we take them out with us. Nobody goes on a kayaking trip without expecting to take a few bumps. The bags all need to be pretty durable in order to make sure they don’t rip and expose whats inside or not give enough protection to the contents.

Straps: Dry bags vary a great deal in which type of straps they have. You can have a duffel type which goes over the shoulder, or backpack straps, and some even have replaceable or changeable straps. As more companies innovate, more types of strap become available and the one to suit your needs is easier to find.

D-Rings: This is one of the more unique features we see over and over again in dry bags. D-rings are of course a D shape and are attached to the bag, they then make it easy to string the boats up either to the side of a boat or elsewhere. This makes it a lot easier if a boat or kayak should capsize, and will be easy to grab the bags rather than looking around in the water for them.

So, the criteria have been set out. Time for a dry bag review or three!

Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag

The first review is a dry bag that has truly taken the market by storm, and received endorsements from some really big names. The Earth Pak brand has a lot to offer, and seem to have thought of everything in designing their waterproof dry bag.

Features of the Dry Bag Include:

  • Durability and protection. These are designed to be waterproof even in the most testing conditions, and are built to last for a long time.
  • A single shoulder strap design, adjustable from 24-42 inches. They also come with backpack style straps and a sternum strap.
  • Comes with a certified waterproof phone case designed to fit pretty much any phone you can imagine. They work with phones up to 6.5 inches in size.
  • Available in sizes including 10L, 20L, 30L and even a massive 40L, one of the biggest dry bags you can imagine.
  • Comes with sturdy D-rings for strapping to the side of boats or elsewhere.
  • A roll top and buckle closure system means this is totally air tight and water tight.
  • Padded shoulder straps for your comfort.
  • Can even be used as a camping pillow and are designed to be comfortable when used as such.

The Earth Pak team have really thought of everything when it comes to these dry bags, and in our opinion they are definitely worth considering. The fact that they come in different sizes means they fit a variety of needs including fishing, kayaking and more. Convenient, durable, flexible and easy to use, it is easy to see why these have become one of the most popular models.

You don’t just have to take our word for it, either. The vast majority of reviews on amazon and elsewhere on the internet are not just positive, but glowing. Not only are these such high quality, they are good value too. The price is far from extortionate, especially when you consider the fact they are built to last years rather than months.

Odyssey Waterproof Dry Bag

Another good option for fishing, camping or other outdoor or watersport activities. The Odyssey waterproof dry bag also comes with a phone container to keep your smartphone from damage, and has some similar features to the Earth Pak.

These are made of 500D PVC, in their words “the toughest waterproof material known to man”. There’s little denying that these bags are protective and they even have heat resistant, stain resistant and temperature resistant qualities. It is almost impossible to tear and easy to lead, with easy to use straps. A cheap option perhaps, these certainly don’t cost the earth, and though the only model we’ve seen is a 10l, this is a good option for those who don’t need massive capacity.

Såk Gear Premium Waterproof Dry Bag

Okay, so looks certainly aren’t the priority, and they’re not something we are judging the top dry bags on. However, if you do want something that stands out a bit in terms of aesthetics, the Såk gear waterproof dry bag could be for you. It has a reflective trim for high visibility, very cool branding, and is available in loads of different colors. This has a functional benefit too, if more than one of you are buying the bag, you can ensure you have different designs to not get them mixed up.

Besides the awesome look and feel of this dry bag, the features are good too.

  • Available in both 10l and 20l sizes
  • Protective in all sorts of weather and immensely strong material to ensure it is watertight to keep your equipment and clothing dry.
  • An outer pocket for quick access items such as identification or money.
  • Reflective to help with visibility, good for not only whoever is wearing it, but for finding it should it go overboard.
  • Removable shoulder strap. Choose whether you want to put it over your shoulder or just use the attached handle.

Best Small Dry Bag

Binmer Sports Waterproof Dry Bag

We wanted to include a smaller option within our list of top dry bags. The Binmer is available in multiple sizes, but they tend to be a little smaller, and perfect for day trips and those who don’t need to carry a lot of stuff.

This comes in 2 liter, 5 liter and 10 liter sizes. It may not have all the features of some of the models already mentioned above, however it is a decent option, especially if you want something small. The PVC material is pretty durable, and though this may not be the most professional, all singing, all dancing model some of us need, for a beginner or hobbyist who just wants to take a few items out with them then this might fit the bill. The Binmer dry bag reviews elsewhere online are pretty positive, and it is worth a look.

Conclusion

We all want our dry bags for different reasons. People from motorcyclists to fishermen, swimmers to surfers and kayakers all have some need for a dry bag. As such, there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution. This article is designed to be a guide, and assist in working out which is the best for you, and all of the models of waterproof dry bag mentioned are commendable. If we had to pick one ‘best’ option, the Earth Pak brand fits the bill in so many ways, and the brand have thought of everything.

Choosing a dry bag can be an important choice, and can save a lot of hassle and even expense in the long run by preventing damage to your treasured items.

 

Cover it Up! 5 of the Best Boat Covers

boat coversUsing a cover for your boat is one of the best ways you can delay the natural effects of wear and tear on your pride and joy; your boat. On a daily basis, your boat is likely affected by a cycle of temperature and condition changes as the weather and even time of day changes. This daily routine often leads to expansion and contraction which is not the best for wood and takes a toll on the gel coating and wooden materials from which the majority of boats are made. Covers are useful for protection from the air, pollution, dirt, rodents, birds, adverse weather, and just about any of the situations that could risk the condition of a boat that you have probably paid a lot of money for.

Of course, investing in a good boat cover isn’t likely to be a bad idea given the important role it plays in protecting your boat from fading or becoming damaged. However, there is another benefit often overlooked. A boat cover can also be useful for the covering of valuable equipment you may keep on board, and that may not be easy to remove.

There are many different types and designs of boat, and this is something to consider when you are taking the plunge and buying a cover for your boat. Fortunately, the covers are quite flexible. Some of the types of boat you can get specific covers for include:

  • V-Hull Boats
  • Runabout Boats
  • Tri-Hull Boats
  • Fishing Boats
  • Bass Boats
  • Ski Boats

In order for you to have a better understanding of why it is so wise to invest in the best boat covers you can for your boat, we share with you some of the benefits of boat covers, what makes a quality boat cover, and even a selection of individual reviews of the top covers you can currently find for all different sorts of boats.

The Many Benefits of Boat Covers

The following are some of the benefits you will get from investing in a boat cover.

  • Protects your boat: Cover boats provide good protection for your anchored boat, at the dock or when stored on a trailer. There are different types of cover for different scenarios (more on this later).
  • Makes your boat durable: Covering your boats helps to mimimize the risk of damage from natural conditions such as the weather, rodents and other animals.
  • It protects your equipment: Cover boats protect the equipment within from prying eyes. Out of site, they say, is out of mind.

What Makes a Good Boat Cover? Our Criteria

Boat covers come with different materials and in different shapes and sizes too. It is easy to think that a cover is a cover, but this is not the case, and there are other variations. So, to choose the best boat cover for your boat, you need to be armed with the right information as to what makes the right cover boat for your individual needs. The following are some of the factors you should look for when next you’re shopping for a boat cover.

Storage vs. Trailer: These are two main types of cover. Storage covers fit the boat with a bit of give and aren’t the most tight or ‘custom’ fitting covers. They’re often more like a tarp or canopy that can quickly cover a boat while it is moored or stored somewhere. A trailer cover, as the name suggests, has been made for protecting the boat whilst it is being transported so will be hard wearing and more tight-fitting to the boat.

Materials: The material with which a boat cover is made is truly vital to determining its usefulness. The fabrics of your boat cover must be of the right combination in order to ensure that there is some ventilation as well as water repellency to stop the rain getting in. You may think that boats can handle water, and though the exterior is designed to handle water, the materials in the inside (the area being covered) are often not waterproof. A top-quality synthetic fabric is often used, great for durability and functionality.

Colors: Dark color materials are most suitable for a boat cover due to the fact that they provide great UV resistance from the sun and in turn contribute to boat longevity.

Size: Buying the right size of boat cover is also important when shopping for one. An oversized boat cover will sag under the weight of rain water, which collects and can be very awkward. Oversized covers can also get damaged when under serious windy conditions. On the other hand, if the boat cover is too tight, the seams and fabric could be stretched and are prone to tearing.

Reviews

In order to help you make an informed decision when choosing your boat cover, we have selected some of the top boat covers for you. Read on to see our review of these products.

RockyMRanger Heavy Duty Boat Cover

The RockyMRanger is one in a large range of covers for all sorts of products from BBQs to boats. This is a trailer design cover so can be used when you’re transporting your boat from A to B. The brand is known for its durability and some very positive reviews elsewhere on the internet back this up. as it is between 17′ and 19′ it has been a popular choice for sports and fishing boats and can cover a motor too. 8 hard wearing straps and one extra long strap as well as an elasticated bottom for the cover mean that you can adjust it and wrap it closely to the boat and avoid any issues with it coming loose.

Budge 600 Denier Boat Cover

The Budge 600 boat cover is a larger sized boat cover suitable for the V-hull boat with a T-top or hard top and cabin. This boat cover comes in five different sizes so is suitable for a huge amount of boats all the way from 16′ up to 26′. It is UV protective and has a lot of straps and ties to closely attach it to your boat and avoid it coming loose. Great protection from all of life’s awkward enemies for boats!

Yescom 600D V-Hull Ski Boat Cover

The Yescom boat cover is a relatively affordable choice that is a good option if you’re on a budget. Easily attached to your boat with a lot of clips and of course it is UV protective. It is designed to be a sort of ‘middle ground’ which can be good for short term trailerable use (transporting) or longer term storage. It also comes in three different colors and has a convenient storage bag for when it isn’t in use.

Classic Accessories StormPro Boat Cover

The Classic Accessories StormPro is a heavy duty boat cover that has become a popular choice for bass boats and V boats. It comes with a pole, which stops the cover from sagging so water can build up. The StormPro has given a lot of thought to the weather (as the name suggests) so it doesn’t allow rain or snow to build up, good for trailer transport. Made with quality materials and this even has an amazing five year warranty so you can tell that the manufacturer has full faith in it.

Komo Heavy Duty Trailerable Boat Cover

The Komo model is another trailerable boat cover suitable for most mid-sized boats with a V Hull design. It comes with a carry bag. The Komo boat cover is double stitched with an elastic material making it fit your boat ideally. However, it also comes in a lot of different sizes so all boats from 12′ up to 24′ are likely to be compatible with some version of this cover. The low price is actually pretty surprising considering the quality and this is available in two colors as well as the aforementioned sizes. This has definitely earned its place on our list of the best boat covers.

Conclusion

No doubt, a boat cover provides both protective and maintenance functions for your boat. It also safeguards the rest of your boating equipment, thereby, helping you to save money in the long run. It isn’t the most glamorous aspect of boating, but it is an important one, and taking the time to pick a boat cover for your runabout, ski boat, fishing boat or other boat can be well worth it in the long run and make sure you don’t do any unnecessary damage.