If you’re in a rush, the best dry bag is the Sea to Summit Event Compression Dry Sack.
Most backpacks advertise themselves as being “water-resistant.” Does that mean you can dunk your bag in the river without damaging your phone? Probably not!
Fortunately, you can upgrade your backpack to a dry bag to keep your gear totally dry, no matter the circumstance. These bags are designed with premium materials, zippers, and flaps to keep the inside free of water.
Dry bags are a great choice for hiking, camping, kayaking, or even spending a day on the beach with your family. Read on to learn which dry bag is the best.
- Sea to Summit Event Compression Dry Sack (Best Overall Dry Bag)
- Såk Gear The Original DrySak Waterproof Dry Bag (A Great 2nd Choice)
- YETI Panga Bag (Most Durable Dry Bag)
- Adventure Lion Premium Waterproof Dry Bag (Best Dry Bag For Water Sports)
- Unigear Dry Bag (Most Comfortable Dry Bag)
Best Dry Bags for Hiking: Our Top Recommendations
Sea to Summit – eVent Compression Dry Sack
Sizes: 10L,14L, 20L, 30L | Weight: 4.5 to 7.4 oz | Material: PU-coated 70D nylon
The Sea to Summit Event Compression Dry Sack provides a great way to keep your belongings dry while decreasing bulk in the items you are carrying. The compression design of this dry bag allows you to reduce the size of soft objects, such as your sleeping bag or clothes, down to ⅓ its original size.
The waterproof material will keep your belongings dry, even in an unexpected downpour. Maybe you take a tumble while paddle-boarding or kayaking. Either way, this bag will protect your gear from getting soaked.
- The compression feature on this dry sack allows you to compress soft items inside, like your sleeping bag or clothes, down to ⅓ of its original size.
- The flip-top lid design keeps the straps from tangling and also makes compressing the bag much more straightforward.
- This bag’s nylon material keeps your belongings dry during heavy rainstorms or splashy kayaking.
- This dry bag is available in a variety of sizes so everyone can find a bag to meet their needs.
- The large-sized bag has enough room for a bulky sleeping bag as well as some other items.
- Some people said that the instructions that come with this dry bag could be a little clearer.
Best for: overnighters who want their sleeping bags, pillows, and clothes to shrink down.
Såk Gear – The Original DrySak Waterproof Dry Bag
Sizes: 5L, 10L, 20L | Weight: .67 to 1.07 lbs | Material: heavy duty 500-D PVC
The Original DrySak Waterproof Dry Bag by Såk Gear is a great dry bag to add to your arsenal of camping equipment. This dry bag comes in two sizes, 10 L and 20 L. The 10 L bag is plenty of room for one person’s belongings and the 20 L is a great size for families.
No matter what you need it for, this dry bag holds your phone, charger, towels, sunscreen, food, camera, books, and much more. With a small zippered pocket on the front for small items, you will have plenty of room for all your essentials when camping.
- The 20 L bag is more than enough space to hold items for the entire family.
- The small pocket on the front is excellent for carrying small items you might need to reach in a rush.
- Available in a variety of bright colors, this bag is easy to spot if lost. There is also a reflective trim around the pocket.
- This bag can keep all of your essentials (phones, cameras) safe in a rain shower or even if you drop it in the water.
- The shoulder strap is adjustable so you can easily carry it on your back or attach it to a paddleboard or kayak
- The roll-top design means you have to close it properly to prevent water from coming in.
- It’s not entirely sealed, so your items might get wet if it’s submerged underwater.
Best for: when you need a lot of storage room.
Adventure Lion – Premium Waterproof Dry Bag
Sizes: 5L, 10L, 20L, 40L | Weight: 7 oz to 1.5 lbs | Material: 500D WATERPROOF Polymer.
The Adventure Lion Premium Waterproof Dry Bag is a great bag that keeps your essential items dry. If you want to ensure no water will damage your electronics while camping or kayaking, or kayak camping, then this bag could come in handing.
It is easy to pack and has plenty of room for all your necessities. It can also survive heavy downpours and getting dropped in the water. This will give you peace of mind during all your outdoor excursions.
- Adjustable straps make it easy to carry this bag on your back or attach it to a backpack or boat.
- This bag comes in four sizes, so everyone can find a size that meets their needs.
- Lots of bright color options make this bag easy to spot and keep track of.
- The roll down top closure does a great job of keeping water out.
- The waterproof material wicks water away, so you can rest assured that your electronics will stay dry.
- When you keep enough air in this bag before rolling it down, this bag is buoyant and could even be used as a flotation device if need be.
- Roll-top design is not as waterproof as its zippered counterparts.
- Storage space is less than expected because you need to roll the top down several times to create the waterproof seal.
Best for: campers who want a bag that can float beside your kayak or canoe.
YETI – Panga Airtight, Waterproof and Submersible Bag
Sizes: 50L, 75L, 100L | Weight: 5.2 lbs | Material: high-density nylon and thick tpu lamination
The YETI Panga Airtight, Waterproof, and Submersible Bag is a rugged, durable bag that keeps all your belongings nice and dry. This bag is superb for any outdoor excursion when your bag takes a beating. Its fabric, zipper, and hardware are all designed to be extremely tough.
Not to mention, the YETI brand is well known (and well-loved) for their quality coolers. This bag is no exception, as it does what it is intended to do and makes your camping trips more and worry-free.
- The YETI brand is highly trusted by people all over the world and is known for making quality products.
- The duffle bag shape and size of this dry bag makes it easy to carry and has plenty of room for packing all your essentials.
- Durable nylon material wicks water away like a champ.
- The Hyrdolock zipper closures keep your bag closed off from water no matter what.
- YETI made this with high-density nylon material and metal-lock hardware. That means this bag is resistant to punctures and abrasions. It can take a beating!
- Multiple adjustable straps make it easy to tote whichever way you find most comfortable.
- YETI is a premium brand and therefore comes with a premium price tag.
- After years of use, some people report having zipper issues.
Best for: rugged uses when you need a bag that can take a beating and double as luggage.
Unigear – Waterproof, Floating and Lightweight Dry Bag
Sizes: 2L, 5L, 10L, 20L, 30L, 40L | Weight: 5 oz to 1.8 lbs | Material: stiff 500D PVC
The Unigear Waterproof, Floating and Lightweight Dry Bag is a great dry bag for any wet outdoor excursion. Whether you might get caught in the rain or are heading out on a kayak trip, this bag can take varying levels of water, even a little submersion.
This dry bag is also very versatile as you can carry it in several different ways. As an added bonus, it even comes with a small, clear waterproof bag for your phone! You can also take pictures with your phone through the bag.
- This bag comes with a complimentary waterproof phone bag. The bag is clear so you can take pictures while your phone is still protected.
- Small zippered pocket on the front allows you to store little things you might frequently use, so you don’t have to open the whole bag.
- This bag comes with an extra adjustable strap with padding so you can carry it in your hand or strap it comfortably on your back crossbody or as a backpack.
- This dry bag has a roll-top closure that buckles to keep all of your belongings dry, even if it is floating in the water.
- This bag comes in a variety of 9 different colors and several different sizes, from 5 L to 40 L.
- The seams on the bag might start to show wear after only a couple of uses.
- The waterproof phone bag doesn’t fit larger phones as securely as smaller phones.
Best for: campers who want a prioritize comfort in their outdoor gear.
Choosing The Best Dry Bag: A Comprehensive Guide
Any outdoor enthusiast needs to invest in a good dry bag.
The more time you spend outdoors, the more likely you are to encounter a wet environment. Also, you’re more likely to get a few things wet that were meant to stay dry.
We can all name a few things that we love to take camping or kayaking that we would not enjoy getting damp. That includes our phones and cameras, but also food, clothes, towels, books, and much more. To prevent costly damage, throw all those things in a handy dry bag!
Here’s everything you need to consider when it comes to purchasing a dry bag:
Budget – How much should I spend on a dry bag?
As simple as it may appear, you should decide on your budget before you even start shopping.
Why? Well, because both overpaying and buying a not-good-enough dry bag is a possibility, if you don’t plan in advance.
Of course, you should keep in mind the average prices of dry bags before you set a specific budget range you’re comfortable with. Then, you can take other factors into consideration, all the while keeping the price in mind.
Size – What size dry bag should I buy?
Size is also a very important factor.
Dealing with a dry bag that’s slightly too large can be annoying, but not as inconvenient as having a dry bag that’s way too small for your needs.
Here are the dry bags we recommend for each corresponding trip:
- A 2L dry bag is only enough for your necessities such as a phone, flashlight, and wallet.
- A 5L bag can fit additional gadgets, toiletries, and small personal items.
- A 10L dry bag is going to allow you to bring clothing, bigger gadgets, food, and other personal belongings.
- A 20L dry bag is going to allow you to fit a sleeping bag, clothes, and even more additional gear.
- And finally, if you’re out for a weekend trip, a 30L bag can include all that and more.
- For a lengthier weeklong trip, you may want a 40L dry bag.
Nowadays, you can find dry bags made of all kinds of materials, ranging from some types of plastic to rubber.
Nylon is a material that’s commonly used for making dry bags for its toughness and versatility. Polyester is another popular choice. While it’s slightly less durable than nylon, it’s resistant to abrasion.
If you look at the label, you’ll notice that fabrics have a specific number followed by a D. These numbers indicate a denier rating, which is the density of fibers. The higher the number, the better the material is for these purposes.
You might think that dry bags are supposed to be 100% dry. But interestingly enough, that’s not always the case.
In fact, some products are designed to be merely splashproof and will get your stuff soaked if you submerge the bag underwater.
To remain dry regardless of the amount of water it gets in contact with, the dry bag needs to be 100% waterproof.
Avoid water-resistant and water-repellent products, as they only work in light rain and splashing accidents.
What to Put in a Dry Bag
Dry bags are super handy for keeping essential items (surprise, surprise), dry! So, if you deem something important enough not to want to get it wet, throw it in a dry bag.
The great thing about dry bags is that they can hold anything you want them to.
Obviously, your electronics need to stay dry. So, if you find yourself bringing phones, cameras, headphones, or other electronics on kayaking trips or camping, throw them in a dry bag just to be safe.
Bringing extra (dry) clothes can help prevent you from getting sick. Sitting in wet clothes is no fun!
Instead, put your change of clothes in a dry bag. This’ll ensure that you won’t be sitting in your wet clothes for longer than necessary.
On the same note as packing dry clothes, having a dry towel around is always handy. If you keep them in a dry bag, you can rest easy knowing that they will stay dry even if nothing else does.
If you find the right dry bag, it can also work as a compression bag where you can compress the size of your soft items, like your sleeping bag or pillow. This can drastically reduce the size and bulkiness of your load when packing.
Soggy food can be a real bummer, especially if it’s that tasty sandwich you were looking forward to eating when you got where you were going. To prevent a disaster like this, throw your food and snacks into a dry bag to keep them fresh and crisp and definitely NOT soggy.
What is the difference between a dry bag and a dry sack?
Dry bags are specially designed to keep your stuff dry while enjoying activities in snow or water. Even if your dry bag was to get completely soaked, it’s supposed to remain dry inside.
Dry sacks, on the other hand, are designed for protecting your stuff during rain.
What can I use instead of a dry bag?
If you need to protect your things from water but don’t have a dry bag, a plastic bag can do the job.
Just make sure to seal it properly, so that no water can seep inside.
Are dry bags fully waterproof?
They can be fully waterproof, but that’s not always the case. Pay attention to the wording on the label, whether they say it’s waterproof, water-resistant or even water-repellent. The last two are suitable for splashing, but won’t completely protect your stuff from water.
How many dry bags do I need?
Ideally, you want to bring a smaller and a larger one.
The smaller one is for your necessities, while the larger one is for specific situations, when you’re hiking, going on a day trip, or overnight kayaking for instance.
How many times should I fold a dry bag?
The more, the merrier. All jokes aside, you should fold a dry bag at least three times, but if possible, you could roll it even more than that.
Which dry bag is the best?
In our opinion, Såk Gear – The Original DrySak Waterproof Dry Bag is the best option on the market nowadays.
It comes in two sizes, features pockets for small items as well as a shoulder strap for easier carrying.
As you can tell, dry bags are a game-changer. Dry bags give you the confidence that your valuables will stay safe in any weather. This makes your outdoor excursions more fun and less stressful, a win-win for everybody.
In fact, the best dry bag you could get is the Sea to Summit Event Compression Dry Sack. It is very efficient in keeping water out and your essentials dry. It also doubles as a compression bag, so you can fit more into your dry bag in the first place. Not to mention, you can float this dry bag in the water alongside your boat.
Since it is available in a variety of sizes and colors, everyone can find the perfect dry bag with the Sea to Summit Event Compression Dry Sack.
For your next camping trip or outdoor excursion, consider buying a dry bag. If you do, you’ll easily save yourself a lot of stress.