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Best Dry Bag – Expert Reviews (2020)

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Looking for a dry bag to keep your gear dry and dirt-free on your next outdoor adventure? This guide shares some tips on how to choose the Best Dry Bag to suit your needs.

Whether you are looking for the Best Overall, Best Lightweight, Best Personal, Most Innovative or a Good General Use Dry Bag, we have put together a few pointers and key features on some of our favourites to help you make an informed choice.

Best Dry Bag (Top Picks)

Duc-Kit Pro Waterproof Dry Bag + Smart Phone IPX8 Case, 2 Adjustable Shoulder Straps as Standard. Ideal for Kayaking, Canoeing, Diving, Fishing, Boating, Swimming, Camping, Skiing. (Blue, 10 L)…

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Most Innovative

KastKing Dry Bag

KastKing Floating Waterproof Dry Bag, Blue, 10L

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Best Lightweight

Unigear Dry Bag

Unigear Dry Bag Sack, Waterproof Floating Dry Gear Bags for Boating, Kayaking, Fishing, Rafting, Swimming, Camping and Snowboarding (Blue, 5L)

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Top Dry Bags (Detailed Reviews)

We reviewed over 14 dry bags for this article. Below are the best dry bags that made our short list.

  1. Duck-It Pro Premium Dry Bag - Best Overall
  2. Unigear Dry Bag - Best Lightweight
  3. Zacro Universal Waterproof Pouch
  4. Lomo Dry Bag
  5. KastKing Dry Bag - Most Innovative


Read our complete buyers guide for dry bags.

1. Best Overall Dry Bag

Duck-It Pro Premium Dry Bag

5/5 Overall Rating

This durable, heavy-duty, Premium Dry Bag is the winner of our Best Overall – Editor’s Choice award.  Not only does the Duc-Kit Pro Premium score highly in all of the key features to consider when choosing a dry bag, it also comes with a lifetime guarantee and is built to last which gives it our seal of approval.

It is made from a heavy-duty PVC tarpaulin, sports high frequency welded seams, and carries an IP66 rating which means that the Duc-Kit Pro Premium dry bag has been rigorously tested and will keep your gear dry and dust free during all sorts of outdoor activities.

Main Features
  • Made from heavy-duty 500D nylon-coated PVC tarpaulin
  • High frequency welded seams
  • Waterproof dry bag IP66
  • 2 fully adjustable and removable shoulder straps
What We Like
  • Choice of 3 different sizes and 4 different colours
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Top carry handle for extra portability
  • Durable and easy to wipe clean
What We Dislike
  • One of the more expensive dry bags
Key Takeaway

If you are looking for a durable, functional and practical dry bag to take on your next outdoor adventure then the Duc-Kit Pro Premium Dry Bag should be your pick.  It is suited to a myriad of outdoor activities and will protect your gear from water, dust and dirt. 

2. Best Lightweight Dry Bag

Unigear Dry Bag

4/5 Overall Rating

Coming in a considerable amount lighter than the competition means that the Unigear Dry Bag scores our Best Lightweight award.

It is made from durable industrial grade PVC and is completely waterproof, scratch, tear, and puncture resistant. The smaller dry bag comes with an adjustable sling shoulder strap, whilst the larger ones have removable padded shoulder straps and the 40L bag also features a top handle for extra portability. 

Main Features
  • Lightweight waterproof dry bag
  • Fabricated from polyurethane coated nylon
  • Welded seam construction
  • Sling shoulder strap or padded shoulder straps – depending on bag size
What We Like
  • Comes with a separate phone case
  • Roll down top makes for a great waterproof seal
What We Dislike
  • Fine to submerge quickly, but if submerged for too long it will leak
Key Takeaway

The Unigear Dry Bag is best used as a lightweight all-rounder when you do not expect it to be submerged in water for too long.  Stick your phone, camera, dry clothes and map in it for a day hike and do not be afraid to splash through that stream with your lightweight dry bag.

3. Best Personal Dry Bag

Earth Pak Roll Top Dry Compression Sack

Earth Pak -Waterproof Dry Bag - Roll Top Dry Compression Sack Keeps Gear Dry for Kayaking, Beach, Rafting, Boating, Hiking, Camping and Fishing with Waterproof Phone Case

4.5/5 Overall Rating

If you are seeking reliability, durability and versatility, then we recommend the Earth Pak Roll Top Dry Compression Sack, featured by acclaimed New York Times Bestseller and entrepreneur Tim Ferris.

It comes in a variety of sizes, suitable for any outdoor adventure. 

With the added feature of an IPX8 certified waterproof phone case that fits almost any size phone, and equipped with comfortable shoulder straps and sternum straps, this dry bag is an excellent choice for beginners or enthusiasts.

Main Features
  • Equipped with backpack style shoulder straps that also come with a sternum strap for added stability
  • Variety of sizes 10L to 55L
  • IPX8 certified 6.5'' waterproof phone case. Simple snap and lock access with dual-sided clear windows that allow you to take pictures while still inside the case
What We Like
  • Can be used for a variety of outdoor activities
  • Simple to use and easy to clean
  • Excellent quality material (highly durable)
What We Dislike
  • Sometimes has problems staying rolled down
Key Takeaway

Earth Pak Roll Top Dry Compression Sack is recommended if you are looking for a small and portable waterproof bag to protect your phone, camera, car keys and trail map on a short bike trail or afternoon canoe trip where there is no need to carry an entire bag with you.

4. Good Affordable General Use Dry Bag

MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Roll Top Sack

MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Dry Bag 5L/10L/20L/30L, Roll Top Sack Keeps Gear Dry for Boat, Beach, Kayaking, Rafting, Boating, Swimming, Camping, Hiking, Canoeing, Fishing (Pink, 10L)

4.5/5 Overall Rating

The MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Roll Top Sack is an affordable and versatile dry bag and can be used for a variety of outdoor activities. It's lightweight, compact and durable and very simple to use. Perfect for almost any extreme adventure you imagine.

Being easy to clean and easy to use makes this perfect for beginner outdoor adventurers, and its versatility makes it perfect for enthusiasts. It also comes in a 10L and 20L sizes which meet your demands for different occasions.

Main Features
  • Adjustable shoulder straps, chest strap and waist strap
  • Solid roll-top closure system provides secure watertight seal
  • Made from rip-stop tarpaulin with sturdy welded seam which is designed for years usage, tear, rip and puncture proof
What We Like
  • Backpack styling makes it comfortable to carry
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Versatile
What We Dislike
  • Roll top bags need careful planning for packing so you can seal properly
  • Not reliable underwater (do not submerge)
Key Takeaway

MARCHWAY Floating Waterproof Roll Top Sack is great for keeping your gear dry in general use applications such as exploring a city or cycling to work, and it is perfect for kayaking and water sports. It will also work well in a hiking environment but does not have all the compartments and pockets that some hikers prefer.

5. Most Innovative Dry Bag Design

KastKing Dry Bag

3.5/5 Overall Rating

The KastKing Dry Bag is the winner of our Most Innovative award as it sports a plastic see-through panel which makes it slightly different from the other dry bags in this review. 

We found the opaque panel handy when trying to locate the one elusive item that inevitably ends up lost in the bottom as it means you can see what you are sifting through in the bag.  We also like that the plastic panel is BPA free!

Main Features
  • Opaque BPA free plastic panel
  • Made from durable 500D PVC material
  • Roll top closure
What We Like
  • You can check to see if your gear is staying dry inside the bag
  • Removable adjustable shoulder strap and Handle on top
What We Dislike
  • Only has a single shoulder strap so the larger sized bags can be slightly awkward to carry
Key Takeaway

The KastKing Dry Bag is a good all-rounder with a nifty see-through panel that helps you to locate specific items in your gear.  It is best suited to the campsite or for a quick walk to the beach where you do not have to carry it for a long period of time.

Dry Bag Buyer's Guide (Key Features)

There are different features on a dry bag that make it more suited to certain types of activities than to others.  Take a moment to consider what purpose you would like your dry bag to fulfil before making a purchase. 

Are you camping, hiking, canoeing, boating, trail running, trail riding, going to the beach, exploring a city on foot, or looking for a good all-rounder that will protect your gear from water and dust as well as act as a pillow or cold drinks holder? 

What size does it need to be?  Do you need to be able to carry it on your back, over your shoulder, or hold a top handle as you would a shopping bag?

All of these are questions that you should ask yourself before making your purchase.  Take a look at our buyer's guide below for some of the main features to consider when making your selection.  

Material Type

The material that your dry bag is made from will have an effect on its durability, flexibility and weight. Dry bags are generally made from one of two types of material, either vinyl or nylon, and are sometimes coated with a specific solution which adds to their waterproof or durability qualities. 

Vinyl is heavy duty, highly durable, tear resistant and offers better long-term water submersion protection for your gear. Nylon offers better flexibility and is more lightweight.  It is not quite as durable as vinyl and can only withstand shorter water submersion.

Except for the Unigear dry bag, all the dry bags in this review are made from vinyl based materials. This stands testament to their durability and longer-term submersion capabilities.

The Unigear dry bag true to its nylon fabrication is lightweight, has a good resistance to water spray but can only withstand shorter submersion times.  The Duc-Kit Pro Premium dry bag is made from vinyl (PVC tarpaulin) and is coated in nylon, thereby combining the best of both.

How Waterproof Is It

By definition dry bags are waterproof but exactly how waterproof they generally depend on the material they are made from or the coating on the material. 

For example, some dry bags are geared to withstand periods of submersion whilst others are designed to withstand degrees of water spray.  As a general rule vinyl bags are better with submersion whilst nylon bags are spray resistant.

If a dry bag carries an IP rating this means that it has undergone testing to measure its waterproof and dust resistance capabilities and is accepted to be of a benchmarked standard.

Carry Type

The type of outdoor activity that you do will determine how you carry your dry bag.  Most of the smaller bags come with a single shoulder sling strap, whilst the medium sized dry bags come with two detachable shoulder straps, and sometimes the larger dry bags even have padded shoulder straps and a chest and waist strap, as well as an extra top carry handle. 

A single shoulder strap might be adequate to carry your camera, towel and some water down to the beach but if you are going on an overnight hike and are carrying a sleeping bag and some food supplies then two adjustable shoulder straps would be much more practical. 

Dry bags often sport D-rings which are handy if you need to fasten them onto something else, for example, to secure your dry bag to your canoe with rope and carabiner so that it does not float away if your boat tips.

Size

The size of dry bag you require is determined by your specific activity goals.  Most manufacturers offer a 10L, 20L and 30L dry bag for standards, and smaller and larger sizes are offered on either side of those. 

As a general guideline:

  • 5L will fit your cell phone, sun cream, lip balm and a towel
  • 10L is suitable for a simple weekend trip including a change of clothing, a few snacks and the odd toiletry
  • 20L will accommodate a sleeping bag, your camera and some clothing
  • 30L is ample for a week-long trip
  • 40L has enough space to carry the gear you require for a long trip

Roll Top vs Zip Top

Roll top dry bags are generally considered to be more watertight and synonymous with the heavy duty bags.  As the name suggests the dry bag is sealed by pressing together and then folding or rolling the fabric down at least three times to ensure that it is watertight.  The ends then clip in together to form a handle of sorts.

Zip tops are less common than roll tops but are sometimes used on the lighter-weight dry bags as they allow quick access to the contents of the bag.  The top seals together in a similar fashion to that of a ziplock bag.

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