Dry 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.
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.