Tired of worrying about your electronics and valuables on each surf and dive trip? No matter how safe you think you’re belongings are–tucked away on some hard-to-reach crevice of a boat–all it takes is one splash or overzealous boat entry to render your items useless.

In this guide, we’ll cover the perks of owning a dry bag and show you our top picks for the best dry bags on the market.

The benefits of owning a dry bag

A dry bag can be used to hold and shelter everyday items that range from electronics to food. Here are just a handful of benefits to owning a personal dry bag:

  • Keeps valuables and electronics dry on boats or in rainy weather
  • You can use a dry bag to store wet swimsuits/gear–keeping it from dripping water onto other valuables
  • Dry bags tend to look unassuming, making them less of a target for thieves than a standard backpack or purse
  • Easy to pack away and use only when needed

The best dry bags of 2020

The best dry bags of 2020 at a glance:

  1. Patagonia Dry Bag Stormfront
  2. Seattle Sports Explorer Dry Bag
  3. Mad Water Waterproof Dry Bag Duffel
  4. Aquapac Wet and Dry Backpack
  5. Watershed Big Creek Dry Backpack

Best dry bag for travelers: Patagonia Dry Bag Stormfront

When you purchase a product from Patagonia, you know that you’ll be paying a premium for the quality and for a solid lifetime manufacturer guarantee. The Patagonia Stormfront is a dry bag with backpack straps, making it a versatile option for those who want the convenience of being able to sling a bag over their shoulders paired with the peace of mind knowing that their belongings won’t get wet.

The Stormfront 45L comes in jet black and gray. It’s made of nylon with TPU and DWR coating. An external pocket on the front is convenient for storing wet items or goods you’ll want to easily access.

Patagonia also makes the Stormfront series in a sling-style dry bag and duffel

Best dry bag for families: Seattle Sports Explorer Dry Bag

The Seattle Sports Explorer Dry Bag is an excellent option for families due to the bag’s variance in size options and durability. You can purchase a set or as a single bag, using them as needed.

Sizes of Seattle Sports Explorer Dry Bags range from:

  • 5 liters
  • 10 liters
  • 20 liters
  • 40 liters
  • 55 liters

Even if you don’t have a family you’re traveling with, purchasing a smaller bag could help reduce the amount of space you have to rummage through to find certain valuables such as a cellphone. Purchasing a larger sized Seattle Sports Explorer Dry Bag could help you consolidate everything into one protected space.

Highly resistant due to a vinyl-coated nylon material in conjunction with RF (radio frequency) welded seams and an abrasion-resistant bottom, Seattle Sports Explorer Dry bags will serve to protect your valuables in a wide array of environments.

Best duffel dry bag: Mad Water Waterproof Classic Roll-Top Duffel

Consisting of a PVC interior, a nylon fabric exterior, and RF welded seams, the Mad Water Waterproof Classic Duffel dry bag is both durable and efficiently designed. The bag is designed to be longer rather than tall, which eases the process of owners searching through the bag for desired items.

A neat feature with this bag is its flotation capability. Just be sure to seal the bag by rolling the top down three to four times in addition to utilizing the squeeze style buckles.

Is flotation not impressive enough? If you’re looking to take things to the next level in testing the Mad Water Duffel’s durability, know that this design is confirmed as waterproof as a result of several water submission tests.

Mad Waterproof Duffel’s come in two sizes:

  • 30 liters
  • 60 liters

30 liters is perfect for snorkeling gear and day trip items. At 60 liters, you can likely pack at scuba gear like scuba fins, a mask, snorkel, weight belt, and BCD. 

Best hybrid dry bag: Aquapac Wet and Dry Backpack

Are you looking for a dry bag that protects your possessions, but doesn’t have the appearance of a typical tarpaulin dry bag?

Aquapac Wet and Dry Backpacks are roll-top drybags that feature external side mesh pockets and a sleek dark fabric color design. With these atypical design features, Aquapacs are still waterproof with a firehose proof rating.

Lash tabs on Aquapacs make attachment of necessities such as water bottles or carabiner clips a straightforward process. Straps on Aquapacs are thick and cushy for optimal comfort. Sternum and waist straps add extra support. The shoulder straps are adjustable, and the waist strap is removable is preferred.

Internal volume sizes in Aquapac models range from:

  • 15 liters
  • 25 liters
  • 35 liters

Best overall dry bag: Watershed Big Creek Dry Backpack

While the Watershed Big Creek Dry Backpack is linked to a steeper price tag than most dry bags, if you’re looking for the best overall option, the higher price is worth it.

Protection is emphasized to the highest degree with the Watershed Big Creek Dry Backpack. With laminated 420-denier nylon construction, zip closure, and RF-welded seams, and an airtight seal is created within the bag to ensure a waterproof design.

With a depth rating of 90 meters, you’ll have peace of mind that your valuables are in good shape, both near and in water.

Removable padded backpack straps, an adjustable sternum strap, and waist belt, plus two compression straps make this bag adaptable and applicable to a variety of outdoor activities.

Internal volume levels of Watershed Big Creek Dry Backpacks are measured at 24 liters while the overall measurement comes out to 24 x 10 x 6 in.

What dry bag is right for you?

With hundreds of dry bag options on the market, you’ll need to think about what plans you have for outdoor water activities to match the correct bag to your plans.

Dry bags serve an essential purpose in keeping a person’s possessions dry, accessible, and mobile. Convenience, when carrying and sorting through the bag, is necessary as you’re looking to maximize the efficiency of your planned outdoor activities. One of the dry bags on the list is sure to help you out with that!


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that we may make a commission on each booking at no extra cost to you.

About The Author

The Salt Sirens is a community devoted to ocean sports and conservation where we share articles about freediving, scuba diving, surfing, kitesurfing, paddling, conservation, and much more. We're proud to be salty.

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