Dry bags can literally save your gear from accidental spills, splashes and even full submersion. A good dry bag is worth its weight in gold when transporting sensitive gear and supplies. You never truly know what type of weather you will encounter so you need to be as prepared as you can be.
Most travelers consider dry bags to be an essential part of their outdoor gear, especially if you’re close to or on the water. Dry bags are perfect for kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, motorcycle riding, boating and camping because you likely carry gear that needs protection from the elements. Plus, you never know when you’ll get caught in a downpour and get drenched. At least your expensive gear can stay dry as a bone with the best dry bags on the market.
High quality dry bags will keep your essential gear safe from flipped canoes, capsized kayaks and intentional submersions when the going gets tough. We reviewed the best dry bags on the market to narrow down your choices so you can make an educated purchase decision for your next trip.
Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag with Phone Case
The Earth Pak dry bag is one of the best dry bags you will find due to its functionality and price. It’s made from 500D PVC that’s tough and will last. The seams won’t leak and are thermowelded shut to give your bag a tight seal that keeps out water and protects your gear at all costs.
This is a dry bag that floats which can come in handy for kayaking, boating and camping. It has a front pocket that’s zippered and splash-proof for items you want quick access to such as car keys, cutting tools or a wallet. This waterproof dry bag comes in 4 sizes: 40L, 30L, 20L and 10L so you have plenty to choose from depending on your needs.
It’s important to note that the larger sizes (30L and 40L) come with backpack shoulder straps that include a sternum strap for even more comfort, while the 10L and 20L versions have a single shoulder strap included. You also get a handy waterproof phone case for added protection.
We like this roll-top dry bag because it floats, protects your gear from water and comes with a waterproof phone case.
Pelican ExoDry 30L Large Dry Bag
The Pelican ExoDry is a 30L drybag that’s designed to keep your gear dry no matter what. It features backpack straps that allow you to carry your gear on your back to free your hands or you can carry it by the top handle. This dry bag can hold plenty of gear and daily essentials and is made from 500D PVC that’s tough and waterproof. This is a great dry bag to have while boating, fishing, hiking, kayaking and other outdoor activities that may involve rain or water. Keep in mind that while this dry bag is waterproof, it’s not made to be submerged.
The water-resistant zippered outer pocket is perfect for items that you want quick access to and need to be able to grab without fully opening the bag. The main section is designed to keep your items safe from water damage. We like the Pelican ExoDry dry bag because it’s large enough for day trips and does an amazing job at protecting your items from water. We also like the fact that you can wear it like a backpack and free up your arms for other activities.
3V Gear Nautilus Waterproof Dry Bag
The 3V Gear Nautilus is a waterproof dry bag that will keep your gear safe and dry. It’s made from durable PVC tarpaulin material that’s waterproof and will last for a long time. The Nautilus dry bag features a water-tight seal that keeps out water and other harmful liquids. You can choose from a 15L or 30L bag depending on the size you need.
This dry bag by 3V Gear is perfect for hiking, camping, rafting, boating or any other outdoor activity. The removable nylon strap gives you alternate ways to carry your bag. You can also use this dry bag as a stuff sack to protect items in your backpack. The roll-top design of this bag makes it super easy to secure your gear and it makes an easy-to-use grab handle. Overall, the 3V Gear Nautilus dry bag is a great way to protect your items while on the trail, water or traveling.
The Yeti Panga is a 100% dry bag that creates an airtight seal that keeps your gear safe and dry. It features a Hydrolok zipper that keeps water out even during a downpour. The last thing you want to happen is for rain or a splash of water to ruin your expensive gear. The Yeti Panga will not only protect your supplies from water, but it’s also abrasion and puncture resistant thanks to a thick layer of nylon. This is a great dry for kayaking, boating or riding a motorcycle due to its design and durable straps.
The Marchway dry bag is one of the best selling marine dry bags currently on the market. It has tons of positive reviews by real users that depend on this dry bag to protect their gear. You can’t mess around with cheaply made bags when your expensive outdoor gear is at stake. This dry bag is perfect for all water sports such as boating, kayaking, rafting and tubing.
Dry bags are good to take on fishing trips to keep your essentials dry as a bone. You can even accidentally drop your bag in the water and the interior will remain dry. The roll-top closure does an amazing job at creating a watertight seal. Keep in mind that you don’t want to fully submerge this bag because even a waterproof bag has limits. However, it makes a great boating dry bag due to the fact that it floats and you can easily grab it when dropped overboard.
Roll-top dry bags have an advantage over other bags – they are far more waterproof. The Sea to Summit Big River dry bag comes in multiple sizes and is made from TPU-coated 420D nylon that’s waterproof and boasts a 10,000mm waterhead. This simply means that the fabric has a high level of waterproof properties.
If you’re looking for a tough, dry storage bag for water sports, motorcycle riding, biking and travel; this is the bag you’re looking for. The design saves on space which makes it perfect for gear storage when spots are limited. The 20 liter dry bag is a good size and can handle camping gear, water sports accessories that you want to keep dry and more.
The Chaos Ready dry bag backpack puts a nice spin on traditional dry bags. The backpack design makes it easy to carry your essentials on your back while paddling or boating. This dry bag floats on top of the water in the event you accidentally drop it. It can survive a quick submersion, but the front pocket is not 100% waterproof so you should be careful as to what you put there.
The main storage area of this dry bag is 22L and can hold a lot of gear and supplies. It’s Class 3 Waterproof and will protect your items from water splashes, rain, snow and more. It’s foldable, which creates a watertight seal and gives you even more protection. The dry bag itself is constructed of 500 PVC tarpaulin and is tough enough to last. You also get 2 mesh pockets on the side of the bag for quick access to essential items.
We like this dry bag backpack due to its functionality and ease of use.
This Sea to Summit dry bag is an ultralight option that comes in multiple sizes. It’s made from 30D Cordura nylon fabric that’s both tough and lightweight. You can easily compress this bag down to about 1/3rd of the original size. It has 4 straps that help you secure your gear and features waterproof seams and double stitching that help keep water out. The stress points are reinforced and the straps help keep everything together.
The Hypalon roll-top closure helps you maximize the amount of gear you can stuff into this bag. We like this Sea to Summit dry bag because it has everything you need and is made from high quality materials.
This is one of the best fully submersible roll-top dry bags you will find. It comes in 5L, 10L and 20L depending on how big a bag you need and you can choose between gray or blue to match your other gear. We all know that wet gear can turn your outing into a horrible experience. No one wants to wear wet clothes, especially when you have places to go. This dry bag features a roll-top opening that cinches and keeps your stuff bone dry.
This dry bag is fully submersible and will float on top of the water. The fun part is you can float with it downstream to keep your gear dry. This makes it the perfect choice for paddleboarding, boating, kayaking and swimming. It even comes equipped with a D-ring so you can clip to your main backpack or duffel.
What is the Best Dry Bag for Hiking?
Choosing the best dry bag for your next hiking trip is important if you want to keep your gear dry. Hiking dry bags are simply waterproof packs that keep your important gear such as electronics, socks, food or other items that don’t fare well in wet climates.
You may think that you need the toughest dry bag you can find, but you only need one that will protect your essentials. In fact, you may prefer a lightweight bag that gives your essential gear a little extra protection inside your main hiking backpack. We recommend purchasing multiple colors so you can organize your hiking backpack and easily find what you’re looking for.
Every dry bag on this list is perfect for hiking in climates where you may get wet from rain or splashes.
What’s the Difference Between Dry Bags and Dry Sacks?
You may have heard these terms used interchangeably, but they’re actually two slightly different products. A dry bag is usually made from tougher material and can survive harsh conditions. You can use a dry bag as your main bag on its own to carry your gear.
Dry sacks are a little different in that they’re the ultralight option and usually go inside your main hiking backpack. You can use different colors to organize your gear inside a main backpack.
Are Dry Bags Good for Backpacking?
Absolutely! Dry bags are one of the best pieces of outdoor gear you can purchase because they protect expensive gear from an unpredictable downpour or splashes from crossing creeks.
What Size Dry Bag is Best?
The dry bag size you choose completely depends on the type of activity you plan to use it for. Most people opt for 20 liters, but they go all the way up to 55 liters. You can use smaller sizes for day hikes where you don’t need much gear, or grab a larger size for a weekend hike.
Can Dry Bags Be Submerged?
Dry bags provide great protection against the elements, but we don’t recommend submerging your bag. The heavyweight fabric will protect your gear from rain, splashes and maybe dropping it in the water, but you don’t want to push it all the way underwater.
Do Dry Bags Float?
Yes, dry bags float on top of the water. This allows you to easily retrieve your bag if your boat capsizes or you accidentally drop it in the water. You may want to secure your dry bag to your boat or canoe just in case.
Jerome is an avid outdoorsman who moonlights as an attorney when he’s not creating the world’s greatest online content.