Picture the scene.
It’s lashing down with rain but you’re already safely on board your connecting flight.
You’ve had a great trip so far, but the weather has taken a turn for the worse. No matter, you’re nice and warm, snug and dry.
Your eyes turn to see the ground crew loading the plane with luggage.
Poor souls you think, they must be soaked to the bone. Then you suddenly remember that your checked-in duffel bag isn’t even the slightest bit waterproof.
Don’t you just hate it when that happens?!
Not too long ago, this would have been a familiar scenario.
Thankfully, waterproofing technology has come a long way, and there are some amazing products out there to ensure all your gear – including those expensive electronics – is kept bone dry.
So, if you’re looking to make the step up from your mildly “water resistant” duffel, to something you could pretty much go swimming with, you’re in the right place.
Below I’ll be reviewing some of the best waterproof duffel bags money can buy – but first, as ever, let’s get to know what you should be looking out for, to begin with.
And you’re going to need all the help you can get because as it turns out, the waterproof duffel bag market is saturated.
(See what I did there?!)
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- What to Look For
- TOP 10 Best Waterproof Duffel Bag Reviews 2021
- Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
- Såk Gear DuffelSåk Waterproof Duffel Bag
- Bago Travel Duffel Backpack
- Aqua Quest White Water Duffel
- Newhay Oversized Travel Duffel Bag
- ArcEnCiel Outdoor Tactical Army Backpack
- The Friendly Swede Waterproof Duffel Bag
- Naturehike Waterproof Duffel Bag
- Såk Gear DuffelSåk Pro
- YETI Panga Submersible Duffel Bag
- Make your Choice!
What to Look For
Alright, now we’ve got my terrible humor out of the way, let’s explore the features, bells, and whistles that you should take into consideration before you part with your hard-earned cash.
As you can imagine, waterproof duffel bags come in all kinds of colors and styles.
You’ll spot bags that are simple, one-compartment offerings, and you’ll see bags that offer multiple compartments and pockets to keep your stuff organized. These will be the best option for those who use electronics when traveling in order to keep their travel cable organizers and different gadgets in a seperate place.
Some bags might be transparent so you can find what you’re looking for easily. Or, potentially show rest of the world the color of your underwear.
It all comes down to personal preference and what you need it for.
Always a vital consideration when buying anything in life – the product should fit the purpose.
Closely associated with style, it’s worth remembering that different duffel bags are carried in different ways, while some versatile designs offer a number of carrying options all in one pack.
The question is – how do you like to carry your gear? Slung over your shoulder? Carrying the hand straps like a shopping bag? On your back like a backpack? Giving it to someone else?!
Just some things to bear in mind when making your choice.
Size & Weight
Another no-brainer really – waterproof duffel bags come in all shapes and sizes.
You can choose from smaller versions that are great for protecting your gear on a day trip or as a carry-on when you’re taking a flight.
Or, you can get massive behemoth bags that’ll hold 100 liters plus, that could easily be used in a military operation.
And because of the nature of the bags, some of them already weigh a fair amount before you’ve even packed them up.
It’s your call – but the right size, fit and weight for your choice of bag will make all the difference to your overall carrying experience.
It goes without saying that good waterproof duffel bags will actually be waterproof, right?
Well, you’d be surprised how many products claim to have this feature only for the floodgates to open at the first sign of drizzle.
Once again let me take this opportunity to remind you that water resistant and waterproof are two different things!!!
Water resistant bags will be fine if you’re in a light shower for a few moments, but after a while, it will start to soak through.
And different “water resistant” materials will each have their own level of water resistance, so what keeps water out longer for one bag might be totally different for another.
So, the best way to make sure your stuff stays dry is to choose a waterproof material. Always read the fine print – but the best waterproof duffel bags you’ll be able to fully submerge and they would still keep the water out.
Again, different bags will have different waterproof capabilities. It’s a lot of information, but it’s vital to understand it so you make an informed choice and ultimately your stuff stays water-free during whatever activity you’re undertaking.
Yes, we can’t get away from it – our choices usually come down to what the item costs in the end.
With the best waterproof duffel bags (as with most things) you’ll find you might be parting with a pretty penny before you get the real quality gear.
Waterproofing clearly don’t come cheap!
TOP 10 Best Waterproof Duffel Bag Reviews 2021
Right, let’s get on with it, shall we?
Here’s a rundown of my top picks in these best waterproof duffel bag reviews.
Feel free to peruse this selection and with a bit of luck, you’ll find a cracking piece of kit to keep the rest of your kit dry!
Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
Let’s dip our toes in the water with this first choice from Earth Pak, a carry-on bag that comes in sizes from 10 to 55 liters.
There’s a number of bags on the market in this similar style, but I think that this is possibly the best roll-top waterproof duffel bag out there. I’m not alone either – a considerable number of consumers have given it perfect marks.
Comes with a handy waterproof phone case too.
- Hands down the best bag in its class for the price.
- Perfect for water sport use.
- Comes in a variety of colors.
- It’s a one compartment design – you might be rummaging for your keys for a while.
Såk Gear DuffelSåk Waterproof Duffel Bag
Moving on to the holdall-style duffels and first up we have this offering from Såk Gear. It features a roll down top for extra protection – they claim that zipper tops will all let in water eventually – and they just might be right.
It’s solidly built with 500D PVC (which apparently stands for 500 denier – and refers to the thread used in the woven fabric). It sounds pretty tough to me anyway!
Can be carried a variety of ways.
- It’s a tough piece of kit that will stand up to a beating.
- Loads of room in both the 40 and 60-liter versions.
- Even with the choice of colors – it’s not the most attractive bag out there.
Bago Travel Duffel Backpack
Now I’ve included this bag because I think it’s a quality all-rounder. However – it doesn’t appear to be 100% waterproof although that is claimed in its product title.
I’ve decided to give it the benefit of the doubt because it really is versatile, with loads of room, and it can be converted from a duffel bag to a backpack with ease.
- Multipurpose design.
- In spite of the description – this is only water and splash resistant.
Aqua Quest White Water Duffel
Back to what you all came for and we have this option from Aqua Quest.
It’s 100% waterproof and they boast that it’ll stand up to any torrential downpour – unless it’s completely submerged.
It’s got some handy fixings for you to easily attach it to whatever vehicle you happen to be piloting.
- A lightweight, no-nonsense bag.
- External mesh pockets for wet gear.
- No interior pockets.
- Too large for a carry-on.
Newhay Oversized Travel Duffel Bag
Now let’s inject a bit of class into the proceedings – not that the other bags aren’t classy, it’s just this is a cut above.
Made from tough canvas with a really distinctive “weathered” look, this duffel is a quality piece of kit that looks the business.
And speaking of business, this bag is better suited for those meetings around the world than the other options in this review.
- A smart carry-all that is airline friendly.
- A great look that is sure to turn heads.
- Not 100% waterproof.
ArcEnCiel Outdoor Tactical Army Backpack
Alright, I’ll confess. I’ve wanted to include this pack for a while because it genuinely looks so badass!
It’s not 100% waterproof but it is built like a tank and could well be one of the best water-resistant duffel bags out there.
Either way, it comes with a rain cover and all the other bells and whistles you want in a carry-all.
It’s a backpack, duffel bag, shoulder bag and suitcase all rolled into one. And I love the internal dividers to keep your stuff organized.
Believe me – having the ability to open your backpack like a suitcase is a godsend!
- The military look is quality.
- Multi-purpose use is a huge advantage.
- Not suitable as a carry-on and can look a little bulky in general.
The Friendly Swede Waterproof Duffel Bag
The Swedes know a thing or two about design since blessing the world with IKEA, and the Friendly Swede’s bag selection is no exception.
This is super stylish, 100% waterproof duffel with plenty of functionality, a roll top and backpack straps for carrying preference.
- Looks really smart in the black or the white version.
- Can be used as carry-on luggage but looks great for general sports use.
- Single compartment only.
Naturehike Waterproof Duffel Bag
I’ve included Naturehike’s product here just in case you’re looking for a monster holdall.
This beast comes in a variety of sizes but can go up to a whopping 120 liters. While it might not be that practical lugging around, it’ll certainly keep loads of your stuff safe if packed for a sailing trip for example.
Can be carried in a variety of ways and it’s made from that all-important 500D PVC for 100% waterproofing.
- Easily the largest bag on offer – it’s nice to have that size option.
- Not the best for ease of travel.
Såk Gear DuffelSåk Pro
Another entry for Såk Gear and we’re getting into the upper echelons of waterproof duffel bags.
These last two can be fully submerged, which you would hopefully expect considering the price!
But you’re getting a top-quality bag here in a smart, compact design that is totally airtight and waterproof. It comes in three sizes with organizational pockets and a variety of carrying options.
- There isn’t so much as a drop of water getting in here unless you’ve left it open!
- Sleek, stylish design.
- Take it anywhere, use it for anything.
- The price might put many people off.
YETI Panga Submersible Duffel Bag
Finally, we reach the bag that should only be for those that have either won the lottery, or whatever they do needs some seriously professional kit.
The Yeti Panga is top of the food chain and is available as a duffel or a backpack.
It’s made from the finest of materials, totally airtight while being puncture and abrasion-proof.
Top quality metal fastenings are included so you know it’ll take a pounding before it ever gives out.
- One of the most well-made bags on the market.
- Will stand up to some serious punishment whatever the weather or conditions.
- You’ll be the envy of all your mates on the fishing or hunting trip.
- Take a wild guess! Definitely not an option if you’re on a budget!
- It’s so solid and durable, but this makes it unsuitable as a carry-on option.
Make your Choice!
There are options aplenty to keep you scratching your heads for a while, but I’m sure by now you’ve come away with a clearer understanding of waterproof duffel bags and you’re able to choose the best one for your needs.
Let me know in the comments below which product you’re thinking of going for – or if you decide to look in another direction entirely.
All feedback is much appreciated and as always, you might influence my decision too!
Best of luck!