Investing in the best dry bags for water sports is important because while swimming, fishing, kayaking, or indulging in whatever water sports you fancy, you shouldn’t be worried about how to keep your stuff dry. Dry bags, which are waterproof, will do that for you. And just in case you’re asking, are dry bags really waterproof?
Yes, dry bags are waterproof. They are made of impermeable, waterproof materials with seals that are seam-taped or welded to seal out moisture completely. A quality dry bag will protect the items stored inside from external moisture, even if submerged in water.
In this article, we review the best dry bags for different water sports… while highlighting what makes them the best choice for the given water sport. Our choices are based on reviews shared by excited customers. We also educate you on factors to consider when investing in a dry bag. By reading till the end, you’ll discover that we have answered some of your frequently asked questions about dry bags for water sports.
Let’s start with the reviews.
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Best Dry Bags for Scuba Diving
Earth Pak’s Summit Dry Bag
When investing in a dry for scuba diving, compartments, size, padding, straps, and handles are important features you should consider. We searched, and the Earth Pak’s Summit Dry Bag meets these requirements and more.
This bag features an ergonomic padded back panel, low-profile sternum strap, and reinforced contoured shoulder strap. These features distribute the weight of your backpack evenly, making it comfortable to carry.
To help you arrange your scuba diving gear efficiently, Earth Pak has equipped this bag with pockets (both inside and outside). You’ll also discover that there’s a key ring and a mesh compartment- where you can keep your phone, inside the bag.
Most people like this bag because it has proven to be durable and comfortable.
Size options: 35L and 55L.
Earth Pak has an exceptional customer service that will address your complaint, if you have any.
– Mesh compartments
– Ergonomic padded back panel
– Extra storage: there are pockets inside and outside the bag
– Reinforced contoured shoulder straps
– Low-profile sternum strap
Best Dry Bag for Kayaking
IDRYBAG Waterproof Floating Dry Bag
Hands down, the IDRYBAG backpack is the best dry bag for kayak camping. You can bank on its waterproof protection, courtesy of its 500D vinyl-coated woven polyester and heavy-duty water-tight seals.
For your kayaking adventure, it is advisable to invest in a dry bag with a strap(s) you can sling across your back… just in case there’s no room for it on your kayak. This bag meets this ‘in-case-of-eventuality’ need with its detachable shoulder straps.
It’s easy to tell that IDRYBAG is extra concerned about your safety when you see the reflective strip on the bag. Reflective strips promote visibility, especially at night.
There are even more thoughtful features you’ll find in this bag, such as the 3 pockets within it and the extra storage compartments outside it, that make organizing your kayaking gears easier.
This waterproof dry bag for kayaking comes with a free 2L dry bag, where you can put your moisture-sensitive items before putting them inside the big bag. (Talk about a dry bag 2-Factor Authentication for your valuable moisture-sensitive items)
Available in 2 sizes (20L and 30L), and 4 colors.
– Reflective strip
– Detachable shoulder straps
– Extra storage compartments at the front and by the sides of the bag
– 500D vinyl-coated polyester
– Multiple inner compartments
Best Dry Bag for Paddle Boarding
FE Active Cloudbreak Dry Bag Backpack
On most paddleboards, rings are enforced to make it easy for you to latch your gear to the board. Therefore, when scouting for a dry bag for paddle boarding, a bag with D-rings on its exterior will be a smart choice to make. A rope can be passed through the D-rings to secure your dry bag well to the paddleboard.
The Cloudbreak made by FE Active with eco-friendly vinyl tarpaulin is a high-quality, USA military tested and trusted dry bag that is equipped with D-rings, making it an ideal choice for paddle boarding.
You can rest assured that the padded back support and padded shoulder straps of this dry bag will keep your back at ease when it needs to be carried around.
And oh, before we forget, this bag has a corded exterior that gives you the opportunity to carry even more things than can be accommodated within. So you don’t need to carry an extra bag, if your extra gears can fit into the corded exterior.
The Cloudbreak also features a built-in interior pocket where you can keep your phone and other small-sized, moisture-sensitive devices or items. We like that this bag has side mesh pockets where you can store your water bottle for a quick grab, drink and replace experience.
– Thick marine grade 5mm eco-friendly Vinyl Tarpaulin with high frequency welded stitching
– Padded shoulder straps and back support
– Built-in interior pocket
– Side mesh net pockets
Recommended read: 8 Best Inflatable Paddle Boards for Rivers.
Best Dry Bag for Fishing
Piscifun Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
Our best dry bag for fishing is the Piscifun waterproof dry bag because of its outer mesh pocket supported by an elastic bungee.
Your fishing equipment aren’t water-sensitive. Packing them in the outer mesh pocket will give room for you to pack other items you wouldn’t want water to touch inside the dry bag. The elastic bungee of the bag will keep things put in the mesh pocket safely strapped.
The Piscifun waterproof dry bag is made of top-quality 500D PVC, has updated fully welded seams, ultra-reinforced vinyl at stress points and solid top-roll closure. These features ensure the bag lives true to its name as a waterproof storage bag.
It also comes with an IPX8 certified waterproof phone case that is touch-friendly. To keep water out of the bag, remember to seal the bag after putting your things inside.
For comfort, we have to be grateful for the adjustable, padded strap of this bag that eases the weight of the bag off our back.
Piscifun manufactures this bag in 11 exciting colors and 5 sizes.
Sizes: 5L, 10L, 20L, 30L and 40L.
– Adjustable padded strap
– Tough, extra-wide Thermo welded seam
– Sealed seam and scrim-reinforced vinyl bottom
– Outer mesh pocket
– Made of 500D PVC
Best Dry Bags for River Rafting
Earth Pak’s Roll Top dry bag
Earth Pak’s Original Waterproof dry bag is probably the most loved and talked about dry bag on the internet in 2021… and it’s not hard to tell why.
Your preferred choice of dry bag for river rafting should have a strap that makes it possible for you to sling the bag across your back as you paddle your raft across the river. Earth Pak comes through again for us with such bag.
This bag has different sizes, with different modifications for your comfort.
– The 10L and 20L dry bags are equipped with a 24-42 inch single shoulder strap
– The 30L, 40L and 55L bags have back-pack shoulder and chest straps, with a durable belt that reduces extra pressure to promote stability.
From our observations, people seem to be most excited about the free transparent phone bag, because it allows them record all their amazing water adventures without missing a moment.
The dry bag can be used as a camping pillow at night. So save yourself the stress of packing a pillow if you’ll be camping after river rafting.
Sizes: 10L, 20L, 30L, 40L, and 55L.
– Roll-top closure
– Made with top-quality 500D PVC
– Adjustable single shoulder strap with swivel hooks
Best Dry Bag for Swimming
UNIGEAR Lightweight waterproof dry bag
Swimming. “The sport or activity of propelling oneself through water using the limbs.”
Unlike most other water sports, you are all you’ve got when swimming. No raft, no kayak, no board, no tube. Nothing. This means there’s no other place for you to latch your bag when swimming.
Therefore, what you want to invest in is a lightweight bag. A bag that lets you swim without trying to sink you with its weight… and the UNIGEAR waterproof dry bag is the bag for you.
This lightweight, abrasion-resistant, dry bag for swimming is designed with waterproof PVC material to keep water out of your bag, thus, ensuring your stuff within stay dry. Its seams are welded to keep water from going into the bag through it, and to keep the seams from ripping off.
Comes in sizes: 2L, 5L, 10L, 20L, 30L and 40L.
The 2L, 5L, 10L and 20L bags are equipped with a single strap, while the 30L and 40L bags have double straps.
– Welded seams
– Touch-friendly waterproof phone case
– Rugged, lightweight and 500D waterproof PVC material
Best Dry Bag for Tubing
IDRYBAG Waterproof Dry Sack
Tubing is an exhilarating water sport.
When choosing your gears for tubing, you have to select a strapped, lightweight dry bag.
Your safety while water tubing is often guaranteed by your ability to hold on to the tube as the boat speeds. Would you compromise your safety by struggling to keep your dry bag in check too? No? We thought as much.
The IDRYBAG waterproof lightweight dry bag is an exceptional storage bag for water tubing.
This bag is our preferred choice for 3 main reasons
- Security: It has an adjustable waist buckle. This waist buckle keeps your bag secured to your waist, so you don’t lose it to the speed of the boat.
- Comfort: Its shoulder straps are wide and padded. With this, you probably won’t even feel like you have anything strapped to your back.
- Quality waterproofing made possible by its applied 500D PVC fabric.
It available in 3 different sizes- 20L, 30L and 40L, and yes, you get a free 2L dry bag from IDRYBAG when you invest in any of these sizes. It’s their way of encouraging you to enjoy your water sports adventure!
– 500D PVC fabric
– IP68 certified waterproof level
– Padded, wide shoulder strap
– Adjustable waist buckle
– Reflective trim
Next, let’s discuss…
Factors to Consider When Investing in a Dry Bag for Water Sports
When shopping for a dry bag for water sports, the goal is not to buy a dry bag. The goal is to invest in the best dry bags for water sports.
To ensure you enjoy the ROI on your dry bags for a long time, below are things to consider while shopping.
- Adventure gear/ Size:
How much will you be taking along with you on you water sports adventure? This will determine the size of dry bag you should purchase.
A one-day water sports adventure will not require much. So a small or medium sized dry bag can accommodate your essentials. However, a weeklong adventure will need a large or extra-large sized dry bag.
Dry bags are measured in liters and they range from 1L to 55L.
The main materials used in making dry bags are vinyl or nylon because they are waterproof. These materials can further be waterproofed with a fabric coating.
Apart from the material, the construction and seal roll mechanism of the dry bag will promote its waterproofing abilities.
The material of a dry bag will influence its quality and durability.
Dry bags made of heavy-duty materials and put together using welded seams have longer life span than their counterparts.
- Extra storage space/ compartments
Extra storage space such as pockets and water bottle holders make organizing your gear better.
These pockets can be located inside or outside the bag, or both inside and outside the bag.
Pockets outside the bag, unlike those within the bag, aren’t always waterproof. They are just a good place to keep the non-moisture-sensitive items that you want to access easily.
It’s always important to have a budget before purchasing anything. The quality of dry bags differs, and this difference is reflected in the price of the bag.
If you frequently engage in water sports, you should be willing to spend considerable amount of money investing in a dry bag that will weather the storm with you for years.
If water sport is a once in a blue moon event for you, then you can make do with investing in low-priced dry bags. Meanwhile, low-priced doesn’t always mean low-quality. But you cannot expect a low-priced dry bag to serve you for as long as a high-priced dry bag would.
- Back padding
This is especially important for big dry bags. An ergonomic padded dry bag like the IDRYBAG backpack will distribute the heavyweight of the bag evenly across your back for your comfort.
Carrying straps can be detachable or non-detachable. We suggest you invest in bags with straps that make it possible for you to sling the bag across your bag. It will make carrying your bag easier, especially when its heavy or you have to carry it over a long distance.
Other not-so-important factors to consider include reflective strips for night-time safety and keyholders.
We earlier reviewed the best dry bag to use for each water sports. Most of the bags we reviewed can be used for more than one water sports. You can let your choice of dry bag be influenced by the water sports you’ll be engaging in as well as the factors we discussed above.
One bag may not meet all these needs. So, it’s OK to invest in more than one dry bag.
How to Take Care of Your Dry Bag
After investing in one or more of the best dry bags for water sports, you don’t want to watch your dry bag become useless simply because of what you did wrong or what you failed to do.
To make your dry bags last for as long as possible,
- Squeeze, throw, drag or do anything that will scratch them. Scratches can lead to patches and tears, which compromise on the waterproofing ability on the bag.
- Expose them to solvents. It could cause it to peel
- Leave them in the sun for long
Do the following:
- Wash after every use to get rid of (fine particles of) sand that you bag contacts while water sporting. This will reduce the chances of the waterproof coating of the bag wearing out.
- Occasionally check your bag for leaks and repair immediately following the steps we discussed on how to fix dry bags in the ‘Related Questions’ section of this post. (Scroll down to read it.)
- Store in a cool, dry place and washing and drying
Can you use a dry bag as a cooler?
Yes, you can use a dry bag as a cooler because it is made of insulating materials.
Coolers are used to keep drinks cool/ cold.
An average cooler is made of plastic and foam as these materials are wonderful insulators. Dry bags are made of vinyl or nylon (which are also plastics).
However, you should not expect the same cooling abilities you will get in a cooler in a dry bag.
What size dry bag do I need?
As a general rule, if your items are small like your gadgets or wallets use a dry bag ranging from 1 – 10L. For shoes and clothing, 10L – 20L dry bags will serve. Anything more than change of clothes for two or three days will require a dry bag of 30L and above.
The size of dry bags can be classified thus:
– Small: 1 – 10 litres.
– Medium: 10- 20 litres
– Large: 30 – 40 litres
– Extra-large: above 40 litres
Small dry bags are ideal for housing your phone, binoculars, water bottle, keys, and other small-sized loose items like a pen or hair clip. You can also put a change of cloth for 1 or 2 days inside a small-sized dry bag.
With a medium-sized dry bag, you can take more change of clothes, and keep your bigger electronic devices (such as your laptop) dry.
Large and extra-large dry bags are the real deals when you are packing for a long trip or for more than one person. Your sleeping bag, clothes, camera, and other electronic devices will find adequate shelter in them.
What will a 20 liter dry bag hold?
20 litre dry bags can carry your small-sized electronic devices, change of clothes for a day or two, water bottle, food, and snacks for one day, at once.
Arrangement/ organization is vital if you want to optimize the space in your dry bags. If you pack your 20L dry bags properly, you may discover some space for even more things than we have stated above.
What will a 10 liter dry bag hold?
A 10L dry bag can conveniently accommodate a pair of sandals, a change of clothes, a small towel your small-sized electronic device and possibly a small water bottle.
This makes it suitable for hanging out with your friends by the beach, fishing, hiking, or any other outdoor adventure.
Speaking of hiking, you should check out our insightful article on Best Hiking Pants to avoid Ticks.
What are dry bags made of?
Dry bags are typically made of vinyl or nylon because they are waterproof.
Most manufacturers also coat these materials with waterproof coating such as GORETEX or siliconized CORDURA to help the bag fight abrasion and keep out water better.
How do you seal a dry bag?
To seal a dry bag, follow the steps below:
- Close and align the seal of the bag
- Fold the seal over 3 times carefully. Be sure to use the aligned seal as your guide, so you can get a nice, tight fold
- Bring the two heads of the buckle together, then clip. Voila!
How do you fix a dry bag?
To fix a dry bag, first, access the size of tear on the dry bag.
For clustered small holes,
– Clean the area to be fixed
– Mix a repair adhesive (such as Stormsure) with a solvent to create a solution
– Rub the solution over the holes with a clean, soft-bristled brush
– Leave to dry (make sure the bag doesn’t fold over each other, else they will stick together).
For bigger holes or tear, use waterproof patch adhesive tape. They are made in different sizes. Compare the size of the tear with the available tape options before buying.
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