CAMPING & HIKING

Best Dry Bag: Top Multipurpose Options for Your Next Adventure

dry bag featured
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

Oh no! You just dropped your bag that had your clothing in it and now your items are wet! If only you had a dry bag to keep your items from moisture while camping or enjoying a hike. Now you have to wait for your clothes to dry, which takes hours! Not fun, right?

If you spend a lot of time camping or being outdoors, you know how important it is to carry a dry bag with you. You should also know how important it is to choose one that is the best quality. Consider it as an investment – you want something that will provide you with the functionality you need, but also stand the tests of time.

There are a lot of brands out there, each with their own specs and features that sound great. But which ones actually deliver on what they say they do? Let’s take a look at some features that might help you decide what exactly you’re looking for.

Product Name Weight DimensionsRip Proof Specific Features Price
Outdoor Ultimate0.24 lb1.97 x 4.41 x 8.03 inYes3 sizes, 8 liter bagsCheck price on Amazon
Geckobrands Waterproof 0.6 lb12 x 10 x 7 inNoInterior and exterior pocketsCheck price on Amazon
DryCase Masonboro 2 lb24 x 18 x 18 inNoPlenty of storage, mesh pocketCheck price on Amazon
Odyssey Waterproof 2 lb22 x 19 x 19 inNoWaterproof, durableCheck price on Amazon
Friendly Swede Water Resistant1.2 lb2 x 4.5 x 8 inYesMade of PVC tarp, lightweightCheck price on Amazon
SealLine Baja 1.3 lb18 x 5 x 3 inNoDurable, DWR treatedCheck price on Amazon
Exped Fold 0.68 lb9.44 x 5.5 in; 11.8 x 6.29 in; 13.77 x 7.08 in; 16.53 x 8.66 inNoLightweight, waterproof, 10,000mm water column, taped seamsCheck price on Amazon
Karrimore Orange0.24 lb19 x 6 x 3 inNoTaped seams, fold over topCheck price on Amazon
FreeGrace Waterproof0.18 lb4.73 x 11.81 inNoLight, waterproofCheck price on Amazon

Features to Consider Before Buying

Regardless of what type of outdoor trip you’re going on, you are going to need the best waterproof bag you can get your hands on. However, it’s still important to keep in mind you’ll make the best choice if you shop for waterproof bags with your activities in mind.

Will you be sailing? Sticking to dry land? Rock climbing? Here are some key features you should keep an eye out for when comparison shopping:

Material

When it comes to material, you want something that is not only guaranteed to keep your belongings dry, but it should be able to withstand a lot of punishment. Camping is rough work, and you aren’t going to get very far with a bag that falls apart after the first use. Dry bags are typically made from one of two materials: vinyl and nylon. The first one is used in smaller dry bags.

dry bag on girls back

On the other hand, Nylon is used in much larger dry bags, and is selected for its durability. It is coated with what is called siliconized CORDURA, which waterproofs the material and protects it against abrasions. Bags that use nylon typically have a number followed by “D,” which stands for how dense the nylon fibers are; the higher the number, the more waterproof and tough the bag will prove to be.

Closure Type

Dry bags usually come with one or two kinds of closure types. Which you choose is a matter of personal preference, as all seams of the openings are taped to be waterproof. The two kinds of closures are:

  • Hypalon roll top – This type is used on roll-top dry bags because they keep out water effectively. The top is rolled and snapped into place with a buckle to make it both air-tight and waterproof. This also serves as the handle, making for easy carry.
  • Zipper seal – Think of a freezer bag when you hear zipper seal. You press the ends of the openings together to create an airtight seal that prevents moisture from getting in. However, this kind of seal does require a little more maintenance, as proper lubrication is required to keep them working effectively.

Size

Bags of any kind are measured in liters, the larger the number, the bigger the bag will be. Knowing this number will prepare you for what size you should get to carry all of your gear.

dry bag

Of course, the choosing of the size mostly depends on the amount and size of your gear. But, it is always adviseable to pick a bag that is a bit bigger than you need it to be, just in case you need some extra room during your trip.

Tips for Usage

Of course the main reason for buying a waterproof dry bag is to store your gear while out and about. But do you know how to pack and store your things best, using one of the bags reviewed here?

Using bags that come in a multi pack with different sizes is probably a top choice for most people who enjoy being outdoors. Particularly if you’re going to be out a while.

Use the smaller bags such as 2 or 5 liters for storing your phone, camera or other gadgets. Even batteries. Use the larger ones for clothes. The larger ones can also be used for separating your dirty and clean clothes if you’re out camping. When carrying multiple bags, you can also store them one inside the other (assuming you have left enough room to do so for convenience.

waterproof bag

Going back to keeping your type of activity in mind, here’s some more examples of what adventure requires what type of bag. For hiking, a lightweight coated bag made of nylon or polyester is a common choice. If you’re going paddling or kayaking, heavy duty bags made of vinyl provide the necessary durability that withstands being stored in tight boat hatches.

Removing Air

When it comes to packing your things, a common challenge is making sure excess air is out of the bag. To work around that annoyance, look for a waterproof dry bag that features a purge valve.

A purge valve is a handy feature that enables you to force excess air out, all while keeping outside air from getting in the bag. You’ll find that bags with a purge valve, are one of the best choices out there. If the bag you choose doesn’t have a purge valve, don’t worry. Depending on the material, try rolling the bag to get excess air out. Here’s how you do it:

Pack your bag half full or no more than ¾ full, then purge excess air from the bag. If you’re using a vinyl bag, pinch the top together. Next, you want to fold the bag down to the folding band. Assuming there is one on your bag.

Best Dry Bag: Top Multipurpose Options for Your Next Adventure

Repeat the fold at least three times to make sure the air is out. Remember to fold, don’t roll. Then snap the buckles in place and you’re all set. That won’t be the way to squeeze air out of your bag every time you need to pack up and head out.

The technique will vary depending on what material your bag is made from and how much you need to pack. But generally, that method can be used. So now with some usage tips, packing tips and specs in mind, let’s get into a few waterproof dry bag favorites that have proven to work well.

Top Products On Today’s Market

Are you ready to shop for a dry sack? We have you covered below! Look at the dry sacks that we have reviewed and see how their features stack up to what you are looking for!

Outdoor Ultimate Dry Sack Outdoor Ultimate Dry Sack

Price: Approx. $12

Weight: 0.24 lb

Dimensions: 1.97 x 4.41 x 8.03 in

Specific features: Soft fabric, flexible, 2/4/8 liter bags, rip proof

Best use: Kayaking, water sports

Description: If you think you’ll need a variety of sizes for your next adventure, the Outdoor Ultimate Dry Sack might be what you need. Similar to others, these bags have a roll top closure and double stitched taped seams.

They’re made from a polyutherane coated fabric. Also, similar to other bags, they have a disclaimer that they aren’t intended for submersion. They come in an assortment of colors and seem to be primarily used for kayaking and other water sports.

The biggest bag holds 8 liters, while the middle bag holds 4 liters and the smallest holds 2 liters. Watertight, you will love the roll top enclosure that keeps moisture out. Keep in mind, however, this cannot be fully submerged.

These sacks are merely for being out in rainy weather or on a boat, for example. They work great and we think they are durable.

PROS:

  • Comes in a 3 pack, in various colors
  • Tape sealed seams
  • Rip stop fabric is flexible

CONS:

  • Feel cheap and flimsy
  • Water can still get inside
  • The strap can come off

Related: The A2S Survival Paracord Bracelets come in a 2 pack for under $12. They have an embedded compass along with a fire started and an emergency knife. A whistle is also included.

Check the price on Amazon

Geckobrands Waterproof Backpack Geckobrands Waterproof Backpack

Price: Approx. $30

Weight: 0.06 lb

Dimensions: 12 x 10 x 7 in

Specific features: Exterior pocket 9 x 8 in, interior pocket, 2 D-rings, durable

Best use: Camping, hiking, kayaking

Description: Geckobrands Waterproof Backpack is great for a number of activities such as boating, hunting, kayaking and more. Even if you just plan on spending a day by the pool or on the beach, these bags have proven to do quite well. Similar to The Friendly Swede, Geckobrands also believes being outdoors should be a worry-free time.

So they created large dry bags with a 30 liter capacity. They don’t recommend extended periods on top of water, submersions or the bags being used as flotation devices. You’ll find that those are typically the general rules for waterproof bags of all brands.

So, not only does this dry bag protect your items from water, but it keeps out sand, dirt and even snow from getting inside as well, which is what a good dry bag is meant to do. Overall, this is a durable and touch bag that you can tote anywhere.

PROS:

  • Inside and outside pockets
  • Light but sturdy
  • Can be taken anywhere above the water

CONS:

  • Bag design is too bright
  • No other color options
  • States waterproof on the bag, but not to be submerged

Related: The EMDMAK Survival Kit is great for any type of outing. It includes many items you need for an emergency, such as a compass, knife, whistle and more.

Check the price on Amazon

DryCase Masonboro Bags DryCase Masonboro Bags

Price: Approx. $90

Weight: 2 lb

Dimensions: 24 x 18 x 18 in

Specific features: Backpack style waterproof bag features a main compartment that can hold up to 30 liters, shoulder padding, inside zipper

Best use: Hiking, boating, kayak, outdoor adventures

Description: The DryCase Masonboro Bags definitely set a standard in waterproof bags. Whatever the outdoor adventure you have in mind, these 100% waterproof bags are guaranteed to keep your belongings dry and secure. That sounds like a lofty guarantee, considering most other brands provide a disclaimer stating the exact opposite.

But they follow through on their word. Additionally, another feature that makes DryCase’s bags such a great choice is the purge valve. This unique feature allows you to inflate or compress the bag or enables you to drain the bag, if you’re using it for cooling or even showering. That’s a lot of versatility from a backpack.

We love the padded shoulders, which help us with support on our back and they don’t hurt the shoulders. It is comfortable to wear, has a lot of storage capacity, and we love the style, too.

PROS:

  • Stylish, looks good
  • High quality materials
  • Shoulder pads help with support

CONS:

  • Pricey
  • Buckles can come apart
  • Side seams can burst

Related: The Pike Trail Pocket Blanket is completely waterproof and sand proof. You can take it literally anywhere from camping to a picnic at the beach. It measures 60 x 56 inches and costs under $20.

Check the price on Amazon

Odyssey Waterproof Dry Bags Odyssey Waterproof Dry Bags 

Price: Approx. $20

Weight: 2 lb

Dimensions: 22 x 19 x 19 in

Specific features: Made of 500D PVC tarpaulin, the strongest waterproof material available, stain-resistant, UV-protected, resistant to temperature, anti-static and even anti-bacterial

Best use: Rafting, beach use, fishing

Description: The Odyssey Waterproof Dry Bags has an added bonus – a smart phone dry bag. So if you’re a modern outdoorsy type that doesn’t like to travel without your phone, this is probably your bag. Odyssey dry bags are guaranteed to keep your belongings dry and secure whether you’re kayaking in tough waters, deep diving or just enjoying a day on the lake.

And remember earlier when it was suggested you treat purchasing a dry bag as an investment? Well Odyssey’s bags happen to be guaranteed to last a lifetime. So you definitely get a high quality, durable bag that is also very reasonably priced.

You get your choices of orange or black colors. The dry bag is Marine Grade waterproof and has been tested by professionals. Great for rugged use, it has a thick welded PVC material so it can take a beating.

PROS:

  • Durable, strong
  • Shoulder straps, hands free use
  • Comes with bonus dry bag for your phone

CONS:

  • Water can leak in
  • Cannot be on the water
  • Does not seal properly

Related: The LE Headlamp LED is great when you are camping and need to get around in the dark. It comes with 3 AAA batteries and has 4 modes of light to choose from.

Check the price on Amazon

Friendly Swede Water Resistant Dry Bags Friendly Swede Water Resistant Dry Bags

Price: Approx. $30

Weight: 1.2 lb

Dimensions: 2 x 4.5 x 8 in

Specific features: Made with industrial grade 500D PVC Tarp, highly recognized for the level of protection they provide against waters of IPX5

Best use: Fishing, camping, boating

Description: The Friendly Swede Water Resistant Dry Bags comes with a message, and that is – Being outdoors should be a worry-free experience. To help ensure that, they created several different sizes and colors of dry bags that provide the right functionality, to fit your needs.

The only con is that they aren’t guaranteed to be 100% waterproof. However, most bags probably aren’t 100% waterproof (even if they say they are) so don’t let that deter you from giving this one a try anyway. It has plenty of great features that just might be what you are looking for.

It is made with a non-rip material, with sealed seams and are double stitched. Those are the features that make the bags extremely water resistant, and feature a roll top tab for closure, for extra security and a tight seal.

These come in a two-pack and are available in the following colors: black, yellow, white and blue, and there are several sizes are available such as 5 liters and 10 liters.

PROS:

  • Tough and durable
  • Non-rip material
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS:

  • Bulky
  • Not for rafting
  • Not fully waterproof

Related: The Venture Pal Backpack is affordable and lightweight and comes in various bright colors that stand out. With many compartments, you will love this backpack.

Check the price on Amazon

SealLine Baja Dry Bag SealLine Baja Dry Bag

Price: Approx. $20

Weight: 1.4 lb

Dimensions: 18 x 5 x 3 in

Specific features: Scrim reinforced, multi-purpose, many color choices

Best use: Day trips, hiking, camping

Description: SealLine Baja Dry Bag is the SealLine’s most popular choice. The versatility and durability of these bags have been proven for both land and water activities. The vinyl bags are 19 ounces deep, with a heavy duty 30 ounce bottom.

They also feature the typical, strong roll top closure and D-rings and come in six sizes. The dimensions are 18 x 5 x 3 inches and is a light weight dry bag with just 1.2 pounds of weight.

You can find this dry bag in assorted colors from red to black to orange, and it is highly reliable, with a water tight seal once rolled over. It is great for day trips, motorcycle rides, and hiking in the rain.

Built with scrim reinforcement, you will be surprised at how tough this dry bag is. With great protection, you won’t be disappointed. We love this bag because of how well its built and the fact that we get a great seal when using it.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Built tough, reinforced
  • Great seal

CONS:

  • Thick
  • Water can get inside still
  • Can get punctured

Related: The ArcherOG Biodegradable Wipes are wipes that you can use outdoors. They can be flushed if you are near a restroom. They also include aloe and vitamins to keep your skin soft.

Check the price on Amazon

Exped Fold Dry 4 Pack Drybag Exped Fold Dry 4 Pack Drybag

Price: Approx. $22

Weight: 0.68 lb

Dimensions: 9.44 x 5.5 in; 11.8 x 6.29 in; 13.77 x 7.08 in; 16.53 x 8.66 in

Specific features: Water repellent, 10,000 mm water column, 5 year guarantee

Best use: Beach, day trips, camping

Description: These nylon dry bags manufactured by GadgetCenter are ultralight. Exped Fold Drybag are made of a 15D nylon with a silicone coating on the outside. The inside coating is PU and guaranteed to do well for outdoor activities.

Try it out for hiking, rafting, or even rock climbing. They’re even made of a translucent fabric so you can get to exactly what you need quickly. The set of four includes 3 liter, 5 liter, 8 liter and 13 liter bags. According to Exped, nothing is more annoying than a waterproof drybag that does the opposite of what it claims.

Specifically, letting moisture in instead of keeping it out. That’s a sentiment all adventurers probably find agreeable. So Exped has a very good attention to detail to make sure they deliver on what the guarantee. Quality and durability are their top concerns when it comes to their bags.

PROS:

  • Comes in a 4 pack
  • DWR treated
  • Hot air taped seams

CONS:

  • One color choice
  • Feel flimsy
  • Not to be submerged

Related: The BAFX Hiking Poles are some great hiking poles. They are affordable and come in a 2 pack. They are also anti-shock.

Check the price on Amazon

Karrimor Orange Dry Bag Karrimor Orange Dry Bag 

Price: Approx. $20

Weight: 0.24 lb

Dimensions: 19 x 6 x 3 in

Specific features: Fold over closure, taped seams, light

Best use: Beach, camping

Description: Karrimor Orange Dry Bag is another great option for holding your belongings. They are available in a number of sizes like the smaller 5 liter, or even 40 and liters. They also come in a number of colors.

The 5 liter bags are great for storing smaller items such as cameras, phones, batteries and more. Additionally, when it’s packed down it’ll fit into most ruck sack pockets.

This bag has a great fold over closure that has a side release buckle to keep it together. The seams are taped, to keep out any water or moisture and they have a 10000 mm hydrostatic head. This bag is made of nylon taffeta construction and is light in weight.

Overall, this is a great dry bag that holds basically everything we need it to. It’s easy to carry, affordable and does a good job at what it’s supposed to do.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Made of durable construction
  • Taped seams

CONS:

  • Water can leak inside
  • Can be punctured
  • Pretty basic looking

Related: The Legit Camping – Double Hammock is a great hammock that you can take to the beach, the backyard or camping. It comes in a nice blue color and has a carrying bag to store everything.

Check the price on Amazon

Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bag Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bag

Price: Approx. $10

Weight: 0.18 lb

Dimensions: 4.73 x 11.81 in

Specific features: Light, durable, various sizes, roll top closure

Best use: Kayaking, boating, beach

Description: According to Freegrace (and a lot of positive feedback from buyers) if you’re looking for the most durable and lightweight bag you can find, they are who want to go with. They’re also pretty cost efficient.

The Freegrace Waterproof Dry Bags even go the extra mile and offer a 90 day, money back guarantee if your bag doesn’t deliver. The bags are available in sizes small enough for you to just carry your phone, tablet, wallet or other smaller, lightweight items. Additionally, they are available in sizes large enough to store your clothing and more.

Made with 250D, double sided paint coat net clamping cloth, these come in various sizes: 2 liter, 5 liter, 10 liter, 35-50 liter and even 65-80 liter. They also come in a number of colors to choose from such as blue, pink, red, black, green and more. The bags’ closure system is a roll top seal for extra security and keeping your gear dry.

PROS:

  • Affordable
  • Comes with a phone case
  • Light in weight

CONS:

  • Case does not keep water out
  • The bag can rip
  • The seal may not be fully water tight

Related: The Victorinox Farmer Multitool is a great item to have while camping or backpacking. It is compact, durable and has many little tools that come in handy while outdoors.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

By now you know whether your adventures include white water rafting, hiking, mountaineering or something simpler like a day on the lake with friends, a waterproof bag is your greatest asset for keeping your things secure and of course, dry. The 9 waterproof bags above are all great options in their own ways, but it’s ultimately up to you to decide which is the best option.

dry bags

There are also plenty more types of bags within the brands mentioned here, for you to try. Pay close attention to the durability, size and whether or not the bag is actually waterproof. Then get your bag and get outside.

What kind of dry bag do you have? How has it served you well? Please leave your comments below!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Foster

Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.