For everyday adventuring, a dry bag is essential for your kit list. You can’t control the weather or avoid the lure of the water, but if you really want to safeguard your gear, then any one of our best dry bags is the only way to go.
A dry bag gives you the confidence to squeeze every drop out of each adventure, knowing that no matter what the environment throws at you, your clothes and gear are safe and water-free. There’s nothing worse than that sinking feeling when you shake out your soggy sleeping bag or can’t bag an awesome wildlife photo as your lovely new camera is waterlogged. But a dry pack can help turn the tide on these wilderness disasters.
Whether it’s a sleek and simple dry sack for stowing aboard your fishing kayak or a heavy-duty waterproof duffel bag for a mountain camping trip, there’s a dry bag out there for you. To help, we’ve put together our best dry bag favorites.
The Best Dry Bag
For a quality waterproof backpack that’s robust enough for most outdoor activities but won’t weigh you down on price, the DrySåk is easily our best choice. In two usable sizes – 10 and 20 liters – and with a removable carry strap, this smart dry pack takes you from canoe to music festival weekender without breaking into a sweat.
Made from 500-denier PVC, with welded seals and a roll-down top with secure clip, the main compartment will keep your clothes and gear dry while the easy-access side pocket is perfect for your smaller essentials. The outer pocket is only splash proof rather than watertight, so we recommend putting valuable items in their own waterproof cover, but it is handy for quick access to your daily essentials. We like the bright colors as your bag will be visible in the water should it go overboard. Leave a little air in the bag when you seal it and it floats easily too. To create a watertight seal, you do need to roll the top down several times, which means you may lose a little of the internal capacity but there should be enough space for overnight essentials. And at this price, you can always buy two!
Made from heavy-duty 500-denier PVC
Watertight welded seals for extra protection
Splash-proof outer zip pocket for smaller day essentials
Reflective trim for visibility at night and in the water
Detachable nylon shoulder strap
- BrandSåk Gear
For a truly amphibious dry bag, check out the Premium dry pack from Adventure Lion, which is as happy in the water as it is on dry land! These are some of the best dry bags for kayakers and sailors and as they range from 5-40 liters, there’s a size to cover most water/land trips.
Made from super-tough PVC that stays flexible even in the coldest temperatures and with a snug roll-top closure, this dry bag carries its waterproof credentials with pride. So confident are Adventure Lion in the durability of their Premium dry sacks, they offer a lifetime guarantee. Sealed tight, with a little air left in the main compartment, and the bag will also stay easily afloat, making the Adventure Lion a great dry bag for snorkelers too.
Made from soft and flexible PVC
Tight-fitting roll top to keep your gear dry
The range of sizes for all your adventures
40L has two straps to convert into a backpack
Includes a lifetime guarantee
- BrandAdventure Lion
Compression dry bags are great if you need to reduce down the size of your clothing and soft gear, for easy carrying or storing inside a larger backpack. With the Sea to Summit Event compression dry sack, there’s no need for bulky purge valve to make it water and airtight. Made from tough 70D nylon which has a soft and pliable feel, it uses its ‘eVent’ air-permeable base to enable you to push down and out all the air inside the sack, leaving it compressed and watertight. Clip down the compression straps to keep it in shape and off you go. The sack, whether compressed or full size, remains waterproof, thanks to its 10,000mm hydrostatic head rating, which is enough to protect your gear when out on the water, but the makers recommend that you avoid prolonged full submersion. This compression sack is ideal as a camping dry bag. It can easily take a lightweight sleeping bag or your dry clothes although we feel the material is perhaps not quite tough enough for repeated dragging or storing on rough and rocky ground. If you love activities on the water, make sure you also check our guide to the best fishing backpacks.
Made from waterproof 70-denier nylon
10,000mm hydrostatic head waterproof rating
eVent compression pushes air out of the bottom
Double-stitched and tape sealed seams
Roll-top closure lid with four compression straps
- BrandSea to Summit
- Weight6.4 ounces
Keep your gear organized with this sturdy ZBRO Waterproof Dry Bag. No matter how hard you try, you’re going to get wet on any kayak, hiking or fishing trip and the last thing you want to do is mix up your dry gear with your soggy stuff. Zbro has taken the worry out of dampening your trip by providing wet and dry sections, all in one sack.
Made from waterproof PVC, the central compartment is kept watertight thanks to a click lockable roll-down top, perfect for your clothes and gear. But when you need to change out of wet clothes, gloves or towels, you can stash them in the side mesh panel and separate from your precious dry kit – happy days. There’s also a waterproof internal pocket for your smaller items. Add padded, adjustable and removable straps and you can convert your dry sack into a dry backpack in an instant. The straps are a tad stiff to start with and the internal pocket is not the largest, but these are just minor niggles for what is a good all-round dry bag. For more reliable backpacks check out our guide to the best Columbia backpacks.
Dry central compartment and external mesh pouch
Internal dry pocket for smaller items
Padded, adjustable and removable shoulder straps
External reflective stripe
Comes with a lifetime warranty
For a straightforward dry sack, you are always in good hands when it comes to outdoor specialists, Osprey. And coming in at just 1.44 ounces, this quality sack is also ultralight. On initial inspection, the material looks on the thin side, but it comes with the Osprey build quality you expect as well as being made from durable ripstop nylon. This dry bag isn’t necessarily going to be used as your main carry dry bag but it’s perfect for storing the gear and clothes you need to keep dry. Pack and then pop inside a larger rucksack or store in the hold of your kayak and you can relax, knowing you have the dry gear to change into. The roll top closure is waterproof and helps you to compress items within the bag for sleeker storage.
With the range offering 3-30 liter bags, there is an Osprey Ultralight for all of your dry bag needs and by choosing a different color for each you can code pack your gear. Plus, we really like the unusual rectangle shape of the Ultralight, which means it can stand on the ground, with no rolling around. Be sure to also check our guide to the best day packs for more great packs like this.
Made from durable 40D ripstop nylon
Waterproof roll-top closure for easy compression
Rectangular shape assists with efficient packing
Comes in a range of sizes up to 30 liters
Variety of color so you can code your items
- Weight1.44 ounces
When is a dry bag not just a dry bag? When it is a multi-attachment dry rucksack, as this tough beauty from Acrodo shows. With all its dry bag credentials, this sack has been cleverly designed as a rucksack, adding a whole layer of versatility and use. And with its side buckles, you can add even more capacity by clipping on smaller dry sacks for that longer trip into the wild. Double up the bags for a large capacity backpack or link three or more bags together for a secure daisy chain, which is an added bonus when it comes to kayaking or other waterborne activities where you may need to float your gear with you. When used as a single bag, use the side buckles to clip on extra gear such as a water bottle or torch and you are always good to go.
The durable waterproof plastic material means the Acrodo dry bag backpack can take all manner of knocks and bumps and its tight roll-down closure keeps everything watertight. Plus, the bag will stay flexible and usable, even in the coldest conditions, making it a great ski backpack for your next off-piste ski trip too.
Patented backpack style for storage and flexibility
Use as a single drybag or rucksack, or clip on extra bags
Watertight, roll-top closure to keep gear dry
Floats in water so good for waterborne sports
Made from tough, weatherproof/rip proof plastic
- Weight1.3 pounds
For activities where you cannot guarantee keeping your gear out of the water, the OUTXE dry bag takes full submersion in its stride. Thanks to a double-layered closure – a zip lock seal inside the more traditional roll-top, this bag has awesome waterproof capabilities, making it a real asset on any canoe or river trip. With its mesh front panel, it has the look of a more traditional backpack but the non-toxic and extremely heavy duty TPU material gives its dry bag game away.
OUTXE claim their dry bag is 100% air and water tight and we have no reason to argue. This bag is good to sit in the hull of your kayak, happily looking after your gear but can then step up should things get capsize-wet or if you need to float your bag behind you. Once off the water, pop on the shoulder straps and the OUTEX is comfortable to carry. Plus, the front mesh pocket is perfect for stashing any soggy stuff. If you like going to adventures, check out our guide to the best travel backpacks as well.
Made from durable TPU – PVC free and non-toxic
100% waterproof, suitable for full submersion
Double top seal system for extra security
Front mesh pocket for easy access to essentials
Comes with detachable and adjustable straps
- Weight1.39 pounds
We now go to the top end of our best dry bag review budget with the awesome Yeti Panga, which offers premium performance and quality. At just under $300, it’s not a cheap ‘go to’ drybag but a dry bag duffel that is perfect for the serious adventurer who can’t avoid getting wet. Think long fishing trips, remote camping or extended wild river adventures and you get the gist. Totally submersible, airtight and waterproof, this is the heavyweight of our review, without actually packing on the extra pounds.
For its size, it is pleasantly lightweight and can hold a serious amount of stuff. The ‘Thickskin’ shell outer is made from high-density, laminated nylon which is puncture and abrasion-resistant while its clips and fittings are totally hardcore. Sealed with a waterproof zipper, its hydro lock system creates a watertight seal at the zip’s end dock, ensuring your gear remains secure. With its comfortable dry haul straps, you can carry, drag, lift or stash your Yeti Panga without worrying about offending it. This is a tough, waterproof dude that’s happy to take the wet and the rough. If you love duffel bags, check out our selection of the best rolling duffel bags.
Comes with a super-sized 50-liter capacity
Puncture and abrasion-resistant laminated nylon
Waterproof zipper seals with a hydro lock system
100% waterproof, airtight and submersible
Tough dryhaul straps for easy transport
- Weight5.18 pounds
As a back-up on longer adventures, or an effective dry sack for a day trip, the Baja dry bag is great value for money. For less than $20, you get a no-fuss dry pack that does what it says on the tin and can easily be used for a wide range of wild adventure occasions. It does all the dry bag essentials well: made from reinforced vinyl, it has a standard roll-down top to create an effective watertight seal and it can float well in the water. Plus, it has a handy external D-ring to secure your gear to your kayak or boat for extra security. Ok, there are no external straps for carrying and the size is not the largest but at this price, you can afford to buy several to cover all your dry bag bases. Reliable, straight-forward and at a good price, we like.
Reinforced vinyl with heavy-duty reinforced bottom
Easy roll-top closure for a watertight seal
Comes in a choice of four smart colorways
Floats in water but not for prolonged submersion
External D-ring for securing
- Weight1 pounds
We like a well-priced product which comes with handy extras, which is why this sturdy Piscifun Waterproof Dry Backpack has made the grade in our best dry bag review. Coming in a range of sizes, the Piscifun ticks all the boxes when it comes to the core dry bag features you would need. Plus, it then goes and surprises you by throwing in a waterproof phone case for free.
As a dry bag it performs well, thanks to its waterproof 500 denier PVC shell, roll top closure and fully welded seams and the bright yellow color makes it easy to spot or retrieve. As a value-priced bag, it’s impressively robust too and could easily step up to an extended wild river adventure, fishing or hiking trip. The internal compartment can take all your essential dry stuff while the outer pocket is there to stash anything wet, and the bungee can be used for clipping on extra gear. One to have in your garage or car, just in case.
Made of rugged and waterproof 500D PVC
Comes with a free 6.6-inch waterproof phone case
Sturdy roll-top closure and welded seams
Front mesh pocket and bungee rope for extra storage
Adjustable padded straps for carrying
If you’re looking for a solid travel bag that steps up like a dry bag, then check out the tough-looking SW-MOTECH dry bag for some dry duffle bag awesomeness. With a 35-liter capacity, this is very much a storage bag, with extra credentials to keep your gear dry and happy, and is a good option for sport touring, outdoor events or that next bike trip on your Hog. It’s roomy enough to take all your essentials but compact in shape and size to fit on the back of a bike or tucked away in your truck. And what we really like is its outdoor cool look that you would be happy to stand within the hotel foyer as you wait to check in.
Made from water, tear, puncture, UV and impact resistant welded tarpaulin, with comfort carry straps and a four-point attachment system if you need to secure together more than one bag, this dry bag has awesome road trip written all over it.
Made from super-tough and water-resistant welded tarpaulin
Designed for adventure riders and road trips
Smart, low key design and colorway
Durable, comfort straps for transporting
Attachment system to secure multi-bags
- BrandSW-MOTECH Bags-Connection
- Weight2.47 pounds
Dry Bag Buying Guide
How We Reviewed The Best Dry Bags
When it comes to keeping your gear water-protected, you need a dry pack that’s going to repel everything nature can throw at it. We took the plunge and used the following criteria to determine which best dry bags made our final list:
- Quality –choice of materials and level of waterproofing where it matters
- Brand reputation - we’ve selected names that are known for their products’ performance
- Reviews - firsthand accounts from users as well as online reviews
- Price – when it comes to a new dry bag it’s all about a watertight performance at a good price rather than praising the cheap and cheerful
Features To Look For In The Best Dry Bag
You’ll be wanting to consider the following before buying your new dry bag:
Size –dry bags come in a range of sizes and are usually measured in liters, referring to the internal capacity. One size may be all you need to pack your essential gear, for a kayaking trip for example. Or you may choose to buy several sizes, from small for items such as your smartphone or cash to large for your sleeping bag. You may also consider several of the same size and split your essential gear across them so if one bag should fail, you at least know you have another change of clothes.
Material – dry sacks come in a range of materials, for different reasons. For example, you may be needing a durable waterproof bag that can resist abrasions or lightweight and flexible may be your priority. Vinyl, PVC, nylon and TPU are the most common materials used.
Level of waterproofness – Ah, now can a bag really be totally waterproof? While most dry bags can claim to be waterproof, many are not intended to be submerged for extended periods of time. Their function is to keep the contents protected again splashes, poor weather and short times in the water, and this waterproofing will inevitably diminish somewhat if underwater for some time.
Check the product’s waterproof credentials before you buy, as well as the manufacturer’s specific instructions for use, so you know you are getting the dry bag you need.
Closure method –there are several methods of closing a dry bag – some have a roll-top closure, while others may rely on a tough zipper to seal. A roll top closure, done properly, offers the better seal while a zip is quick and easy to access. Choose the closure method that suits your activity.
Construction– lightweight, double-seamed, carry straps…the construction and design of your dry bag needs to match the intended use. Tough and robust bags are best for sailing as they need to be able to withstand some serious weather, movement, and environments, whereas you need a lightweight and flexible design for stowing your gear inside a kayak. And if you’re looking for a multi-sport dry bag, make sure it is up to the various demands you will be placing on it.
Extras - and finally, do you need any extra features to make the dry pack really work for you? We’re thinking external bungee straps, internal padding for cameras, pockets for maps or documents or perhaps a couple of attachment points or backpack style straps.