Sea kayaks, in spite of their seemingly small size, can carry enough food and camping gear for a multi-week trip. In fact, being able to travel far away and camp is one of the main draws of sea kayaks. However, packing a sea kayak is the tricky part, as you need to balance ease-of-access, performance, and accessibility. In addition, you need your gear, particularly your clothes and sleeping bags to stay dry. This is where dry bags come in. After all, there’s nothing worse than wet gear, except maybe wet clothes. The best waterproof, dry bags for kayaking can basically be dropped into the sea, and still, the things on the inside will stay dry.
Most dry bags are cylindrical in shape, with a band running around the mouth. The two halves of side-release buckles are attached to opposite sides of this band. So, after filling the bag with your gear, you collapse the top opening before folding it over many times and then clipping the side release buckle. It’s this folding that creates a 99.99 percent waterproof closure. These top-of-the-line dry bags will keep your gear arid, protected, and safe, all at a great price. With so many products in the market, we’re sure your head must be spinning. So, we’ve listed the 13 best dry bags for kayaking for you right here.
How To Choose The Best Dry Bags for Kayaking?
Gear for outdoor adventures always needs to be chosen carefully, whether it’s an overland or water adventure. Just like the Best Waterproof Hiking Backpacks or the Best Kayaking Shoes, choosing the best dry bags for kayaking involves looking at a few fair numbers of aspects. So, what are they? Read on.
Dry bags can be made of many different materials, of which the most durable are made from vinyl. Vinyl bags can take a beating and can be used to pack hardcore heavy gear such as stoves and what-not. Waterproof nylon is another material, which is more flexible and lighter, but less durable. Nylon dry bags work best for soft, flexible items such as clothing and sleeping bags. The least durable and lightest is sil-nylon, which is perfect for less critical and sharp items such as extra food or sleeping bags
Wearability and closure
The style or wearability of the dry bag is most likely a personal preference. Some bags have a single strap that can be worn crossbody or on a single shoulder. Yet, there are others that come with double shoulder straps allowing you to wear it like a backpack. So, if you’re going to be hiking or going to be walking for a longer distance, then double-shouldered bags might be better.
When it comes to closure, dry bags can be of three kinds. While most kayakers will be okay with drawstring closures, it doesn’t help if you want to keep things perfectly dry. One of the options used is waterproof zippers, which are simple to use but can be expensive. Ziplock seals are next, which are cheap and 100 percent waterproof, but can be used only for smaller bags. Finally, we have roll-down tops, which are the most popular of them all. They need no maintenance, and easy to use, and even creates a handle that can be used to carry the bag itself. However, it’s not entirely waterproof – maybe about 99.99 percent.
Usually, the size of the dry bag you’ll need will depend on what you plan to use it for. Just like traditional backpacks, dry bags’ volumes are measured in liters. So, the higher the volume, the more gear it can hold. If you’re looking for a dry bag to keep your essentials dry for just a few hours, then a 10-liter bag should suffice. For longer trips, we’d recommend a 30-40-liter bag. In fact, the volumes of these bags go up to as much as 90 liters! Since bigger bags might be clumsy to haul when they’re full, and if need be, maybe it’ll be more prudent to carry two smaller bags.
You need to look for a few extras when you buy dry bags. First, look for the number of internal and external pockets for essentials such as phone, wallet, keys, etc. If you want a specific space for water bottles, then look for bags with mesh pockets. Handles, external straps, D rings, d external loops make carrying and attaching extra things to the bag very easy. Finally, if you want your bag to be visible in the dead of the night, then look for reflective strips on the bag. Even colors are important, as bright colors are more visible in the dark and in the water.
What size dry bag do I need for kayaking?
Since they’re so versatile, dry bags come in many sizes that range from small daypacks to huge bags going up to as high a volume as 90 liters! The best sizes of dry bags for kayaking range from 10 to 35 liters. This is something of a sweet range, as anything smaller isn’t really effective. What’s more, anything larger is hard to fit into smaller spaces within the kayaks.
Odyssey Dry Bag
We begin our list with the Odyssey Dry Bag, which is one of the best dry bags for kayaking. Whether you’re going on a diving trip or kayaking on a pristine lake, this bag will protect your gear from sand, sun, salt, and water. It’s made from 500D PVC tarpaulin, which is the toughest waterproof material that’s known to man. It’s durable, rugged, 100 percent waterproof, and marine-grade, used by professional divers and sailing teams. So, you can rest assured that your things will stay dry. The durable, fully-adjustable shoulder strap makes it easy to carry the bag any way you feel comfortable.
On the outside and inside, you’ll find space for stashing everything from electronics and clothes to fishing gear. There’s even a free smartphone dry bag as an additional bonus, which is a great place to specifically keep your phone. Plus, it even comes in various sizes ranging from 10 to 30 liters.
- Very, very waterproof.
- Made from extremely tough, rugged PVC tarpaulin material.
- Available in multiple sizes.
- The black color of the bag can get extremely hot in sunny environments.
Adventure Lion Dry Bag
If color choices in waterproof kayaking dry bags are what you’re looking for, then consider the Adventure Lion Dry Bag. Besides being available in a variety of colors, and sizes might we add, there’s a lot more to love about this bag. To begin with, it’s made from pure-grade Y7 500D waterproof and thick polymer that’s guaranteed to keep your gear and other stuff dry, Moreover, the secure roll-top closure further keeps the moisture out, thanks to the layers of folds that secure the bag.
You’ll find a pair of high-quality adjustable straps that make even a full-to-the-brim bag easy to carry. It’s backed by a hassle-free lifetime warranty and is built to last. While the 20-liter size is the most popular, they also come in 5 and 40-liter sizes and are perfect for all your kayaking needs.
- Designed from reinforced 500D polymer.
- Easy-to-use roll-top closure.
- Ergonomic carrying straps.
- Users recommend testing the bag before using it.
Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
The Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag is one of the best waterproof dry bags for kayaking. It comes from the brand that’s extremely trusted when it comes to outdoor adventure gear. Available in 10, 20, 30, 40, and 55-liter sizes, this waterproof dry bag is the perfect pick for water adventures of any duration. So, whether it’s a single or overnight trip or a multi-day kayaking adventure, this bag is ideal. It’s also superb in terms of durability thanks to the 500D PVC material, along with the double padded shoulder straps. The heavy-duty waist belt and the sternum strap make it even more comfortable to carry.
A nice bonus feature is the IP68-rated waterproof phone case that comes with the bag and can fit phones that measure up to 6.5 inches (16.5 cm) diagonally in screen size. The bag lasts you longer, is perfect even in harsh environments, and features an easy-to-use roll-down closure, making it a value-for-money buy for $25.
- Durable and rugged.
- Comes in many sizes and colors.
- Cannot be submerged in the water.
Osprey Ultralight Drysack
Dry bag meets packing cube in the Osprey Ultralight Drysack, which is one of the cheapest waterproof kayaking dry bags costing less than $25! Providing additional protection against wet and rainy elements, the nifty dry sack is made from water-repelling 40D nylon ripstop fabric. Despite being fully submerged, your gear will only feel slightly damp, and that too in patches, which is excellent for such an inexpensive bag. Moreover, its roll-top with a stiff plastic lip, square bottom, and rectangular shape makes it very easy to neatly pack folded layers.
However, the bag’s most remarkable feature is the small webbing loop at the bottom, which doubles as a small, yet sturdy handle allowing this bag to be carried in different ways. Astonishingly lightweight, durable, and easy to use – this bag ticks all the right boxes to make for an excellent budget dry bag.
- Great packing shape.
- Keeps water out effectively.
- Slightly delicate.
Outdoor Research AirPurge
If smaller, versatile dry bags for kayaking are what you’re looking for, then look no further than the AirPurge from Outdoor Research. Available in capacities of 15, 20, and 35 liters, this roll-top compression dry bag is designed from tough and rugged 70D nylon. Not just that, but the bag also features fully-taped seams, a hydroseal coating as well as thermoplastic urethane lamination. All these features effectively keep the water from entering the bag. In fact, considering its lightweight, thin material, the bag will sail through all your spraying and dunking tests with flying colors.
If that wasn’t enough, the dry bag also boasts a ton of other features. To begin with, there are four compression straps and a daisy chain down one side with multiple loops for compressing the bag. Moreover, the bottom carry strap, the roll-top closure, the ease of use, and a colored bottom band that lets air out sans letting water in around the bottom make the bag an excellent buy.
- Easy to close thanks to compression straps and loops.
- Waterproof for short submersions.
- Skinny and tall shape is slightly inconvenient.
SealLine Boundary Sack
One of the most formidable waterproof kayaking dry bags is the SealLine Boundary Sack, which is ever-ready for any kind of adventure. Whether you’re canyoning, canoeing, or kayaking, this bag which comes in three sizes, 35, 65, and 110 liters is ideal for all adventures. This bag has a one-up on the classic roll-top cylindrical bag in more than one way. Firstly, it’s crafted from super-thick, 100D vinyl-coated polyester, complete with welded seams and a similar 100D vinyl-coated polyester bottom. Secondly, the proprietary DrySeal design and robust lip keep your gear safe, secure, and free of moisture.
Going further, the well-padded removable backpacking harness makes it easy to haul the bag from the car to the water and back. Despite being taller than it’s wide, the flat bottom helps the bag stand upright unsupported and makes it easy to pack. All this is available for a price of just $104, making it an excellent buy.
- Good packable shape.
- Welded seams.
- Easy to carry.
- Waterproof, durable material.
- Could be uncomfortable for longer distances.
NRS Bill’s Bag
The NRS Bill’s Bag is another excellent dry bag for kayaking if you’re headed out for a long adventure on big waters. With whopping capacities ranging from 65 to 140 liters, the simple yet elegant bag features a flexible storm flap that helps seal it. Rolling it down is easy thanks to the single velcro strip on the inside while cinching it is easy thanks to the four straps that close the top. What’s more, the backpack straps make it comfortable to haul it from the car to the kayak and back, as well as pack it into the craft. Moreover, the thick TobaTex build with welded and double sewn seams keep your gear dry through your water adventures.
Since it’s one huge bag, using a few organizers and some packing hacks, the additional space can fit in a lot of gear, including electronics such as cameras, sleeping bags, and more. If a long, multi-day kayaking trip is what you’re planning, then the NRS Bill’s Bag is your best bet.
- Large capacity.
- Easily removable backpack harness.
- Very durable.
- Slightly difficult to stay organized.
YETI Panga 50
One of the most expensive yet bombproof waterproof kayaking dry bags is the Yeti Panga 50. As it is, Yeti’s products are known for their ruggedness and durability, and this one doesn’t disappoint either. Constructed from high-density, laminated, and thick nylon, the bag shuts in an airtight manner thanks to the innovative and inventive HydroLok zipper. The bombproof build, as stated before, not only keeps water completely out but even traps air within. So, it practically guarantees bone-dryness of even the most sensitive and hydrophobic objects such as electronics.
Since it boasts a fairly rigid shape and comfy shoulder straps, the Panga 50 makes for an excellent travel dry pack. It might cost an arm and leg at $300, but the travel-ready design, exceptional durability, and superb waterproofness are hard to find in a single dry bag. Covering all your bases for your next water-based adventure, the Panga 50 makes for a great kayaking companion.
- Easy to carry.
- Watertight and airtight.
- Extremely durable.
- Slightly heavy.
Outdoor Products 3-Pack All Purpose
If you’re on a budget, the 3-Pack All-Purpose Dry Bag from Outdoor Products is one of the best dry bags for kayaking. The product is actually a set of three bags of varying sizes that keep smaller, softer items organized for your kayaking trip. For a low price of $10, you get three bags of sizes 2, 4, and 10 liters. The ripstop, lightweight bags are coated with polyurethane and are fairly water-resistant for protecting your gear from quick, brief water drops. Besides being ridiculously inexpensive, they’re also straightforward and simple to use.
Despite not being airtight, the watertight roll-top closure does prevent water from entering the bag in gushes. It might not provide the best protection, but if a budget bag for stashing your belongings on the kayak is what you’re looking for, then this is it.
- Simple and easy to use.
- Highly weather-resistant.
- Comes with 3 handy bags.
- Durability concerns.
- The 10-liter bag is slightly skinny.
Watershed Colorado Duffel
No matter how rough the waters get, you can expect your gear to stay dry with the Watershed Colorado Duffel. Designed with performance in mind, the bag is available in a choice of sizes between 20 and 112 liters. If you’re headed on a multi-day kayaking trip, then the bag’s classic duffel design and innovative ZipDry seal closure and perfect. The comfy neoprene grip makes it easy to haul even when full, and unpacking is also a breeze as well. The heavy-duty material holds up to wear and tear, and the six rugged Duraflex D-rings offer lots of options to attach it to your kayak.
Despite the high price tag, the dry bag is perfect for serious and diehard water adventurers, as it keeps your gear dry even when dunked in the water. Overall, if you’re carrying expensive hydrophobic equipment, then this bag is worth the investment.
- Heavy-duty, waterproof build.
- Easy to pack.
- Keeps the gear bone dry.
- No internal stash pockets.
- A bit heavy for carrying long distances.
Sea to Summit Hydraulic With Harness
The Sea to Summit Hydraulic with Harness is one of the best dry bags for kayaking since it’s a combination of a backpack and a classic roll-top bag. The bag is crafted from 600D TPU laminated nylon, which is a thick, abrasion-resistant material and can take a serious beating. The backpacking harness is both adjustable and removable and features a nylon waist belt and padded shoulder straps that make it an easy carry. Moreover, the top carry handle makes it easy to carry in the hand as well. This is where the bag scores since the comfortable frame is easy and quick to slap on and remove and ensures a good, custom fit.
When you’re in the water, all you need to do is pop the harness off and fix the bag to your kayak using one of the four burly nylon lash points. When you’re back on land, the harness can be slipped back in place and you can throw your gear on your back in the form of a backpack. Ease of use, smart features, and a dependable construction make this dry bag a top choice.
- Easy carry.
- Not completely waterproof.
Sea to Summit Big River
If a classic roll-top-designed dry bag is what you’re looking for, then it doesn’t get any better than the Sea to Summit Big River. Designed from 420D nylon, the bag is durable, lightweight, and flexible making it easy to stuff the bag into any nook and corner of your craft. Two plastic D-rings and four welded TPU lash-patches make it easy to fasten the bag to any kayak of your choice. Not only does the dry bag come in a whole lot of convenient sizes, but it also comes in various colors like black, yellow, royal blue, orange, and apple green, which is pictured below. Moreover, the white interior allows you to easily find items inside rather than rummaging around.
Despite not being 100 percent waterproof, the Bog River does keep your gear completely dry, all for a reasonably low price of $55. Unless you’re going to be spending a lot of time inside water, this bag is perfect for storing your gear on-board your kayak. For casual days out on the water, the Big River is the perfect balance of price and quality.
- White interior makes it easy to find stuff inside.
- Durable material.
- Easy and simple to use.
- Watertight up to brief submersions.
- Taped seams rather than welded ones.
Sea to Summit eVent Compression
Topping the list of best dry bags for kayaking is the Sea to Summit eVent Compression. If you’re hiking, kayaking, canoeing, or on an adventure to a place where rainfall is perennially high, then this bag is your best friend. The stuff sack is stupendously waterproof and is perfect for stashing everything from your clothes to your sleeping bag. It even keeps your sleeping bag both lofty and water-free, which is essential for a good night’s sleep. The eVent allows air to escape, allowing it to be easily compressed. At the same time, it stops the water from entering, making it extremely lightweight and easy to carry.
While it doesn’t have external lash points or D-rings, the fact is that it’s a stuff sack. So, the eVent is best suited to be stuffed within a larger bag, rather than an independent dry bag. Nevertheless, it’s a backpacker’s dream and is an excellent waterproof stuff sack.
- Stuff sack construction.
- Not versatile, but that’s not really a con per se.