Water sports have always been a hugely popular pastime – not just for when you’re traveling to tropical beach destinations.
From scuba diving to white water rafting, paddle boarding to cannonballing; humans have always been drawn to water and we always will be – we can’t get enough of the stuff!
The problem is, as much as we’re “waterproof” almost all our belongings aren’t.
That’s where you need to invest in the best dry bag you can find, suited to your chosen pursuit, to ensure all your gear stays 100% water free.
So, I’ve compiled a list of the best dry bags for 2020, including their pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision before embarking on your next aqua adventure.
And for those needing even more info, I’ve added a buying guide below so you know what you need to look for.
- TOP 17 Best Dry Bags & Dry Sacks for 2020
- Unigear Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
- Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack
- Accent on Adventure Waterproof Dry Bag
- Ultra Dry Premium Waterproof Bag
- Aquafree Waterproof Dry Backpack
- Acrodo Transparent Dry Bag
- BFULL Waterproof Dry Bag
- Osprey UltraLight Dry Sack
- Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack
- Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack
- Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
- Earth Pak Roll Top Dry Compression Sack
- Voli Dry Bag Backpack
- KastKing Dry Bag
- KastKing Waterproof Roll Top Type Duffel Bag
- Såk Gear BackSak Waterproof Backpack
- Såk Gear DuffelSak Waterproof Duffel Bag
- How to Choose the Best Dry Bag
- Features to Look For
- The Choice is Yours!
TOP 17 Best Dry Bags & Dry Sacks for 2020
Unigear Floating Waterproof Dry Bag
This pack looks as solid as rock with a 600D polyurethane-coated nylon and a welded seam construction.
There are loads of size options too, going up to 40 liters, so you can pick the bag most suited to carrying all your gear.
Has a nice bonus of including a waterproof phone case which is touchscreen friendly.
- It’s a great bag for the price – even up to 40 liters.
- Larger bags come with shoulder straps.
- Really well made.
- Needs to be rolled down quite far for it to guarantee to waterproof, so you might lose a bit of space.
Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack
Sea to Summit is known for their quality outdoor gear that’s built to survive all weather and all terrain.
While their products can usually be a little on the pricey side, this lightweight dry sack is an exception to the rule, with even the 35-liter pack being easy on the pocket.
As you might expect, it’s well made, durable, with a white interior that reflects light so you can locate your stuff easily.
There’s nothing worse than trying to poke around a dark bag for your gear when you’re in a hurry.
I particularly like the ability to fix the buckle in the field if it just happens to ever break. It’s a nice touch.
- Super lightweight.
- The white interior is a big bonus.
- It’s a really great price, especially for the make.
- Doesn’t appear to come with a strap.
Accent on Adventure Waterproof Dry Bag
The Accent on Adventure entry is a practical looking number that comes in a 15 and 30-liter option.
There are adjustable straps so you can carry it as a backpack if required. It’s another one of the best dry bags for a kayak and once again the added waterproof phone case is a handy inclusion.
The draw-string webbing at the back is really useful for items you don’t mind getting wet – like a damp towel after you’ve been for a swim.
- A great all-round option.
- Mesh on the back is really useful – you don’t see it often on dry bags.
- Really easy to use.
- Shoulder straps might be a little on the uncomfortable side – not the best dry bag for hiking.
Ultra Dry Premium Waterproof Bag
A similar bag to the Accent on Adventure offering, I’ve included this because it’s a slightly cheaper option and it’s available in different sizes. There’s a 10 or a 20-liter bag to choose from this time.
The solid carrying handle on the 20 liter looks like it could stand up to a beating and make heavier loads much easier to carry.
The super thick 500D polymer will keep everything out.
- A great all-rounder for the price.
- Waterproof phone case included.
- Extra-long shoulder strap.
- No external compartment or webbing.
Aquafree Waterproof Dry Backpack
Aquafree have apparently upgraded this product and it now comes with a load of new features that might persuade you to part with your cash.
There’s an air release valve to shrink down the size of the pack if need be – and that’s a nice option to have if you’re overloaded.
Multiple D-rings and fastenings are useful for clipping your bag to anything you like.
- I really like the multi-purpose strap system – loads of carrying options.
- Comfortable shoulder straps.
- Available in 3 sizes.
- No phone cover included.
Acrodo Transparent Dry Bag
Whereas the Sea to Summit bag incorporates a blindingly white interior to help find your stuff, the Acrodo version goes one better and makes the whole pack transparent.
I think these packs are great options for swimming with the family – kids will love these.
It’s simple design and carrying strap make it the perfect grab-and-go dry bag.
- Funky, transparent colors mean an ease of locating your gear easily.
- Terrific option for children.
- Affordable price.
- Not everyone will enjoy others being able to see their stuff.
BFULL Waterproof Dry Bag
A newer product on the market that comes in a variety of sizes, the Bfull dry bag claims to have improved the seal construction on dry bags.
Their composite material design looks like it won’t crack or wear like some PVC versions often do. Time will tell if they can back up this bold claim.
- Really great price through the range.
- Mesh and outer pockets – a really useful addition.
- Can fold down to wear on your wrist – if you’re that way inclined!
- Until proved otherwise, I don’t believe it to be the sturdiest options on my list.
Osprey UltraLight Dry Sack
Once again Osprey find their way into one of my reviews – and why not?
They make some seriously decent kit. This time it’s an ultra-lightweight dry bag with a super simple design.
This bag is a rectangular shape to assist with ease of packing. Many dry bags are more cylindrical, so this is a nice change.
Osprey is known for practical, simple designs with no messing about.
- Really easy to use.
- Compact size.
- While I’d trust Osprey for the most part – this doesn’t look as tough as other bags on the market.
Chaos Ready Waterproof Backpack
Alright, so I might be cheating here a little bit since I already included this piece of kit in my best waterproof backpacks guide since I think it’s a serious contender for the best dry bag for backpacking available.
It looks and feels like a compact dry bag – coming in at 22 liters – but its construction ensures its head and shoulders above most of the competition.
It will stand up to a quick water submersion – but don’t hold it under there for very long.
- Quality construction.
- Mesh and exterior pockets.
- More comfortable to wear than other options.
- Only one size and one color.
- A little on the expensive side.
Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack
Another entry for Sea to Summit brings this award-winning dry sack that can compress your gear down if you’re short on space.
But while it can let air out, it won’t let water in due to… some kind of science I won’t go into.
It’s perfect for packing clothing or a sleeping bag – things you know you’ll need to keep dry when you make it to home base for the night.
- Nice range of sizes.
- Great space saver.
- A little on the expensive side.
- Not practical for anything else.
Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag
This is a single strapped sack style dry bag with a front pocket for convenient storage.
It comes in different colors and different sizes, so you’ll be able to get a bag that fits everything you need to bring with you.
Since these bags completely seal shut, it’s safe to let them float with you when you’re swimming in the water or paddling your kayak.
- This bag has a zippered front pocket, making it easy to access things you know you’ll need to use a lot without having to open the whole bag.
- This bag comes with a universal fit waterproof phone case that will work with any phone up to 6.5 inches. It’s a great bonus, and you won’t have to purchase one separately.
- Thermo-welded seams offer extra protection from invasive water.
- This is a single strap back. If you prefer backpack style dry bags, this one may not be what you’re looking for.
Earth Pak Roll Top Dry Compression Sack
This is a very simple, very affordable bag. It’s the best waterproof bag for people who want something basic and are buying on a budget.
Like Earth Pak’s other dry bag, this one comes with a universal fit waterproof phone case that will work with most smartphones.
- This comes in sizes as small as 10 liters and as large as 30 liters. This means you can carry supplies for multiple people in a single bag with room to spare.
- The price is perfect for budget shoppers. This bag is great quality, and it’s very cheap.
- Since it comes in different colors, you can coordinate and organize multiple bags without getting them mixed up.
- The bag doesn’t have any easy access pockets. You’ll need to open and close the whole bag to grab what you need.
Voli Dry Bag Backpack
This is the best dry pack with two straps, and it won’t break the bank.
It comes in three different colors, and the 20-liter capacity is perfect for most outings.
You can fit a lot of stuff in here if you pack it tightly, and you can place the things you’ll want to access frequently in the convenient front compartment.
- You can wear this easily since it’s in a traditional backpack design. If you’d rather make sure your gear stays on you at all times, this will give you peace of mind.
- While this features the typical cylindrical design that all of the best dry bags share, it also lays flat against your back for comfort.
- Compartments and pockets make it easy to organize this dry backpack.
- This doesn’t come in a 30-liter size. If you need to carry a lot with you, you might need two bags.
KastKing Dry Bag
This bag is easy to use. It comes in four colors and different sizes, ranging from 10 liters to 30 liters.
This is a single strap design, and it can safely float in the water without damaging the contents.
It’s great for camping or even rafting expeditions.
- Clear window on the front allows you to see exactly what is inside the bag. This is great to keep bags from getting mixed up if you have several with you.
- Bag overlaps twice when the top rolls down to create a reinforced seal against the water.
- This bag can be carried either by the fully adjustable strap or by the handle. It all depends on what feels most comfortable for you.
- Since this is made of the same vinyl as an above ground pool, it has a distinct vinyl smell that intensifies in hot weather.
KastKing Waterproof Roll Top Type Duffel Bag
This is a massive 30-liter bag and it comes in two colors. There’s enough room to pack for an entire camping trip.
The duffle bag design allows it to be carried horizontally by the strap, the same way a regular duffel bag or messenger bag might be carried.
It’s almost like a waterproof gym bag.
- This bag is strong enough to be considered “everything proof”. This means not only water but even snow. This is great for a winter camping trip or a cold weather hike.
- Small clear window on the front allows you to see inside of the bag, making it easier to find things when it’s tightly packed.
- Lots of storage options help you keep your gear organized while you’re out on a trip.
- The outer zippered compartment is not waterproof. You shouldn’t place things like smartphones inside of it.
Såk Gear BackSak Waterproof Backpack
The BackSak comes in different colors and is designed to be worn just like a regular backpack.
You can drop one of the straps if you prefer to carry it on one shoulder. It’s designed to maximize the interior space while still being comfortable to wear.
This isn’t a cylindrical shaped dry bag – this one will actually conform to your body.
- This comes in a massive 35-liter size. This can carry enough dry gear for several people going on a multi-day trip. Most of the competitors feature 30 liters as their largest size, but this one pushes the envelope.
- The BackSak features zippered compartments to help you keep your gear organized, You can place the things you’ll need constant access to in the front of the bag, so there’s no need to dig around inside.
- This bag features a versatile closure. It can either be rolled down from the top and clicked together to create a handle or buckled around with side clips. You can shape the bag however you want, depending on what you have inside.
- Because of the innovative technology used to create this bag, it’s one of the most expensive options.
Såk Gear DuffelSak Waterproof Duffel Bag
This is one of the few duffel style waterproof bags. It comes in different colors and is designed for hauling large equipment.
This is perfect for occasions where a regular folding top dry bag or a waterproof backpack won’t be enough for the trip you have planned.
- This has a 60-liter capacity. It can fit three times as much inside as the normal dry bag. You can transport an entire campsite when you’re kayak camping. Stuff it, throw it in your kayak or canoe, and take it out when you get to your destination. You might only need one bag for everything.
- Versatile strap system allows you to carry this bag by the handles or over your shoulder. It also comes with metal d-rings that can be used to latch it to a boat, preventing it from sliding around or falling overboard.
- Comes with individual zippered compartments for improved organization. You don’t have to dump everything inside and dig around for it later.
- Some people may consider the price to be a con, but when you think about how much you would spend on 3 bags to reach this capacity, the price is virtually the same.
How to Choose the Best Dry Bag
Not every bag made of waterproof material is a dry bag.
Some bags are simply water-resistant, and shouldn’t be intentionally submerged for long lengths of time.
This is mostly because of the way the seams are forged together. Dry bags have special seams and closures designed to prevent water from entering as pressure rises.
It’s important to know the difference so you won’t wind up with the wrong bag.
What’s the Activity?
To start with, your choice of dry bag will depend on what you’re going to be using it for. Some dry bags are better suited to certain pastimes or pursuits than others.
How likely is it that it’s going to get wet?
Having a bag in a canoe or kayak is more likely to get soaked than say, sitting next to you on a beach. Having said that – these bags are sand-proof too!
Also, consider who is using the pack. A large, heavy duty, pro-bag might not be the best option for the kids at the pool.
How you get into a dry pack is very important, as the opening has the most potential to leak in water.
Most dry bags on the market have a roll down feature, where you tightly roll down the waterproof opening 4-5 times and then clip it into place.
Some dry bags have been known to let in water if you don’t roll down far or tight enough – so pay attention to that.
Another thing to note is that outer zipped pockets won’t always be 100% waterproof – unless you’re buying an expensive, fully submersible model.
Level of Water Resistance
Some dry bags are secure enough to take into the water when you’re scuba diving.
Others are designed to float, preventing water from entering the top and protecting the contents with the center of the bag.
Before you assume whether or not you can actually take the bag underwater, make sure you’ve read the instructions that the manufacturer provides.
If it hasn’t been tested for scuba diving, it may not be a good idea to try that out – especially not with valuables in the bag.
The interior space of a dry bag is measured in liters, as in how many liters of water would be able to fit inside the bag.
It can sometimes be hard to envision how many liters of clothing you have, but it’s easy to put things into simple terms.
A 10-liter bag is small, a 20-liter bag is medium, and a 30-liter bag is large.
A 10-liter bag is perfect for one change of clothes, a smartphone or a tablet, and a camera. You’d also be able to fit your wallet inside.
If you’re going to be camping for a night or two, a 20-liter bag would work out best. A 30-liter bag could work for several nights of camping, or perhaps two nights of camping if the bag is being shared with someone else.
Dry bags are rarely larger than 30 liters, but there are a few massive bags on the market.
If you have a lot to carry or you plan on being gone for a long time, you’ll want one of these. They’re perfect for families who love boating or camping during the rainy seasons.
If you’re looking for something a little bigger than your standard shaped dry bag, you might want to consider a waterproof duffel instead.
Take yourself over to my full guide to waterproof duffels for the bigger boys on the block.
If you’re going to be using your dry bag at night, choose a neon color that will stand out. Black bags can sometimes get lost in the darkness.
High-quality dry bags are often equipped with reflectors to make them easy to see. If you’re carrying the bag on your back, other people will be able to see you in the dark.
Features to Look For
Every dry bag comes equipped with different features, and a few of them have bonuses. It all depends on the style and design of the bag.
You’ll want to choose the bag that will be the easiest for you to use, and the perfect bag will usually offer you the best value of features for your money.
Most budget dry bags only come with one strap, but there are backpack style dry bags that come with two and can be worn exactly like a regular camping bag.
If you’d rather haul your dry bag like luggage, there are a few dry bags that are equipped with duffel bag straps for longer, heavier hauls.
Some dry bags are just big, open sacks that you can toss all of your stuff into. Others come with compartments and zippered organizers.
This is perfect when you don’t want to spend a lot of time rummaging through your bag, risking the contents getting wet when you’re in a boat.
If you’re going to be using your dry bag for an overnight trip, you’re probably going to want something that offers an organization.
You’ll be able to access things like your smartphone or your toothbrush much easier.
Some dry bags come with complementary smaller dry bags designed to protect your smartphone.
You can always purchase one of them separately, but many companies are kind enough to throw one in for free.
You’ll get a whole matching set without having to pay extra for the rest of the waterproof accessories you need.
It can still be tough to make an important decision, so here are some answers to a few questions I might get asked.
Remember though – it’s just my humble opinion.
Ultimately, you should make the right choice for whatever activity you need a dry bag for.
What’s the Best Dry Bag for Backpacking/Hiking?
Your priority when it comes to a backpacking or hiking dry bag is the comfort. Unfortunately, most dry bags leave a lot to be desired on this score. They’re not meant to be carried for any great distance.
However, there are those that cater for such a need, and in this list, I would definitely choose the Chaos Ready option.
Alternatively, you can check out more choices in my waterproof backpack guide.
What’s the Best Dry Bag for Kayaking?
The class of the river or how choppy the waves are will be a deciding factor in how wet you’re going to get spending a day in a kayak or canoe.
Sometimes you can’t account for this, so you’ll need a waterproof bag that will withstand more than a brief downpour.
Added to this, how you attach your gear to your chosen transport is also important – you don’t want it floating off.
What’s the Best Dry Bag for Swimming/Snorkelling/Scuba?
Here’s where you need to remember that these bags will keep your stuff dry, they will even float on the water, but if you submerge them for any length of time – they’ll eventually take on water like the Titanic.
And you’ll need something a lot heavier duty if you plan on diving with it.
But if it’s a day at the beach or down the baths you’re interested in, then I really like the Acrodo dry bag. I don’t know – I just think it seems a lot less serious than the others, great for kids and a casual use.
The Choice is Yours!
There you have it folks, a full run-down of the best dry bags on the market. Hopefully, you’ve also got a better understanding of what to look for than when you first clicked on the page.
It’s a minefield out there though, so I wish you the very best in choosing the bag that’s right for you.
In the meantime, don’t forget to check out our solo travel safety ebook. It’s packed with loads of information to help keep you comfortable when you’re on the road.
Buying gear that keeps your stuff safe is no good if you don’t keep yourself safe too!
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