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The outdoors is unpredictable at the best of times, and if one thing does not mix with electronics – it’s water. This is why it is so important to protect your possessions, and a dry bag does exactly this.
Dry bags are lightweight and inexpensive. Purchasing a dry bag is not a huge financial investment – but it could definitely save you from a lot of hassle. Electronics are expensive and annoying to replace. Of course, electronics are not the only thing dry bags protect – they can be used to keep clothes and other things dry and safe from water.
Most dry bags are marketed as being appropriate for camping, canoeing and water sports but they are also useful for travel. Because many are lightweight, they can be used comfortably as a day pack which saves you the hassle of lugging around a backpack. There are also several dry bags that include 2 straps and can be worn as a backpack.
In my opinion top dry bags are essential for travel in unpredictable weather, and some of the best dry bag options and advice can be found below.
Use the comparison chart below to see the range of top rated dry bags available. Most dry bags come in a variety of sizes which will be discussed in the dry bag reviews below.
|Name||Image||Material||Size (lt.)||Straps*||Price||Our Rating (/5)|
|SealLine Baja Dry Bag||Vinyl||5-55||N/A||See It||4.5|
|Outdoor Research Ultralight Dry Sack||Silnylon||2.5-55||N/A||See It||4.5|
|Earth Pak -Waterproof Dry Bag||PVC||10-40||1-2||See It||5.0|
|Adventure Lion Premium Dry Bag||Polymer||5-40||1-2||See It||4.5|
|Gecko Equipment Dry Bag||Polymer||10-20||1-2||See It||5.0|
|Såk Gear Premium Waterproof Dry Bag||Coated Polyester||10-20||1||See It||4.5|
|ZBRO Dry Bag Waterproof Bag||PVC||20||2||See It||5.0|
|Unigear Dry Bag Sack||Coated nylon||5-40||1-2||See It||4.5|
|Osprey UltraLight 3 Dry Sack||Nylon||3||N/A||See It||5.0|
|The Friendly Swede Compact and Lightweight Dry Bag||PVC||5 + 10||1 each||See It||4.5|
*The number of straps usually differs based on the size of the dry bag.
Basically a dry bag is a watertight bag that can be used to keep items protected from the water. This makes them ideal for keeping your possessions safe during activities such as kayaking, and they are also a great option for travel.
The best dry bag backpack will include two straps so that it can be worn on your back, but there are also options with a single strap or no straps at all. Dry bag backpacks are useful as day packs and also for useful for those who spend time outdoors, such as motorcycle riders.
All dry bags share some common features – they are all waterproof and closed by rolling the top several times and pushing out the air. However, they can differ greatly in their weight, material and size. This means that a dry bag for travel may not be the best dry bag for kayaking.
If you simply want to keep certain things protected from water, such as electronics, you can use a small dry bag to put inside your normal backpack.
Of course, you could use a dry bag for other reasons. They make a great laundry bag and many that are suitable for kayaking can also be used as a flotation device.
It is important to remember that although dry bags are used to protect your belongings from water, it is never recommended to submerge the bag into water.
The majority of dry bags are lightweight and strong which is owed to their material and construction. The best waterproof dry bag can be found in a thick nylon or vinyl type material.
Many dry bags have no seams to make them extra protective – but some do feature a thicker bottom and seams. This does not necessarily affect the quality of the bag so long as they are strong and reinforced. It also provides superior padding for your possessions.
Dry bags allow for plenty of air to be removed, as air is an opportunity for the watertight feature to fail. All dry bags on our list have a roll top, so once you learn how to use a dry bag, you’ll know how to use all of them. You need to ensure all air is sucked out of the bag, roll the top 3 to 4 times and secure the top with a strap – that’s it.
The majority of dry bags include a side strap, and some have dual straps so that the dry bag can be worn as a backpack.
Wearing a dry bag as a backpack is ideal for day trips and can be used in addition to normal luggage – but you may need to buy an additional strap to use a dry bag in this way.
Dry bag backpack reviews usually focus on the waterproofing of dry bags, but it is important to be able to use the bag in a way that is convenient for you.
There is a huge range of sizes for dry bags, so what size should you buy?
The capacity of a dry bag is rated in liters and can range from 1 to 55 liters. 55 liters is huge and the standard size for a day pack is about 20 liters. This is also the standard size for fitting a dry bag to a raft.
Here is a basic dry bag size guide to help you determine what size dry bag you need.
Small – A small dry bag is useful for electronics and other loose items. The smallest dry bags can be found from 1 liter up to about 10 liters in size. Small bags may not include their own straps and are more suitable for placing inside a larger bag.
Medium – Medium sized dry bags range from 10 liters to 20 liters. They can be used for larger electronics and for other items such as clothes. They are great as a day pack and most include a single strap.
Large – A large dry bag ranges from 30 to 40 liters. These are great for storing a range of items and the best motorcycle dry bag can be found in this range.
Extra Large – Dry bags over 40 liters are considered extra large. They can be used to store a huge amount of items are are suitable for camping and other activities.
Most dry bags can be attached to a raft of backpack with the use of a D-ring. Most dry bags offer one of two D-ring attachments. The best dry bags for travel will be able to be attached to your luggage in some way.
The Adventure Lion dry bag is one of the toughest in our list. Available in 4 sizes from 10 to 40 liters, they are a great option for storing medium to large items.
The waterproof polymer is similar to rubber and it is easy to see why the bag is so protective. It is closed by rolling the top and secured with a buckle. The bag can also be used as a flotation device making it a great option for use on a boat.
The reinforced buckle keeps everything in place and the bag is quite sturdy. There is a single strap included, and the largest bags includ 2 straps. The bag can also be attached with the D-ring.
I would feel confident using their bag in tough conditions – another Adventure Lion dry bag review said they swam with the bag! I probably wouldn’t go that far, but it is definitely one of the most protective dry bags you can buy.
SealLine offer some of the most popular and trusted dry bags, and SeaLine dry bag reviews are very positive and it is easy to see why. The range of bags from 5 to 55 liters and multiple colors means there is a bag for everyone.
The bags are made of a heavy duty vinyl material with a thick bottom. They are closed the normal way – by rolling them shut. It is important to push as much air out of the bag as possible to make sure the bags contents are protected, and this bag allows for that.
The bag is not intended for complete submergence into water – as most dry bags aren’t. There is one D-ring included for attaching the bag and a single shoulder strap included. It would have been great to see an extra D-ring.
Still, in normal use this dry bag offers great protection from the best dry bag brand.
Those looking for the best ultralight dry bags will want to look at the Outdoor Research Ultralight dry bag. This dry bag is made of a lightweight blend of silicone and nylon, making it waterproof, strong and lightweight.
The bag rolls shut and a small buckle is used to keep it closed, and there is one D-ring included to attach the bag to a backpack. This is essential for smaller models as they have no straps of their own.
The standard 15 liter bag weights about 2 oz and is large enough to be used as a day pack. The bags are not only ultralight but also ultra small – this is one of the few dry bag brands to offer a 2.5 liter dry bag which is a great option for accessories. The capacity goes all the way from 2.5 liters to 55 liters, and they are available in 3 colors.
The lighter material can be a worry for some, but it does appear to be tough and a good option for standard use. I would be hesitant to push the bag beyond normal limits, but it is a great option for attaching to a backpack.
The Earth Pak dry bag is pretty fantastic. It comes in 6 different colors and is known to be one of the best available. They offer bags that are long lasting and secure. In addition to the dry bag, Earth Pak also provide a waterproof phone cover which offers some of the best protection possible.
The bags come in 4 sizes from 10 to 40 liters and are made of a thick PVC material. The larger bags include padded shoulders straps making them great as a comfortable day pack. Smaller bags include a side strap which makes them an appropriate bag for outdoor use.
The D-rings can be used to attach the bag to another bag or otherwise, and this is definitely the best dry bag for cell phone storage. The included waterproof cover is highly rated and offers some of the best cell phone protection.
The bag has no divider so it can be difficult to stay organized – but this is often the case with dry bags, and it is still a great product for the outdoors.
The best feature of the Sea to Summit dry bag is the eVent feature. This means that the bag allows air to pass through the base whilst still offering protection from water. This allows you to remove as much air as possible and offers superior waterproofing.
This bag is closed as most dry bags are – by rolling the top. However it has even more protection as it uses four straps to compress the bag as much as possible.
These bags are not appropriate for everyone. They are smaller and a great option for traveling with electronics and placing them inside a larger bag, such as a backpack.
No carry strap is included, however the compression straps are long and do mean that the bag can be mounted. It is easy to see why these bags are popular in the best dry bags reviews among travelers.
The Leader Accessories dry bag is available from 5 to 55 liters, which is a huge range making it easy to find one that fits everything. In addition to a range of sizes there is also a great range of colors to choose from.
The larger bags are the better of the bunch – they come complete with a hard base and strap. The shoulder strap that is included is comfortable and adjustable so that you can hold the bag tight.
The heavier size and ability to be quickly submerged makes this one of the best dry bags for boating. It also has the ability to float on water and can therefore be used as a flotation device which increases the appeal for use on the water. The D-ring is also well placed for attaching to other things.
The PVC material is definitely strong, but it does smell quite heavily of plastic. This makes it better for outdoor use and less ideal for storing inside another backpack.
The Gecko Equipment dry bag is both lightweight and strong and this is actually one of the strongest bags you can find at this weight. The bag is available in both 10 and 20 liters.
The bag uses a polymer material which is both resistant to tears and scratches. It is not one piece and there are seams – but these are welded and do not impact the protective strength of the dry bag.
The smaller sized bag makes a great option to be thrown into another bag, and the larger bag is perfect as a day pack. Both have a strap, and there is only one strap and D-ring as standard. You can purchase an additional strap to wear it as a backpack which I would recommend to give you the flexibility to wear it as a backpack.
This is also another dry bag which includes a waterproof phone cover – which is definitely a great extra to have and frees up space in the dry bag.
Osprey is a luggage brand that I have grown to love and I was excited to see the quality of their dry bags. This particular dry bag is only small. It is around 3 liters in capacity which is just enough space to fit small electronics and other things but there are other sizes available.
The bag uses a nylon material which is actually quite thick but ultralight. The material is strong, rip proof and of course waterproof. Closing the bag is the same as all dry bags – you simply roll the top after squeezing out the air. I did notice that the buckle is slightly smaller on this model.
The rectangular shape of the bag makes it easy to pack, but with no extra padding you may want to be careful when placing vulnerable items inside. It is also not intended for serious submerging in water but will protect from splashes and rain.
This is a great option to keep items safe from water damage when traveling, and perfect to for throwing in a backpack.
What’s your pick of the best dry bags?
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