Best Waterproof Bags & Dry Bags

Why do you need a waterproof bag? Well, the more time you spend on the water the more you will tire of getting your gear wet. After a nice day of canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing or boating the last thing you want is to get out of your wet clothes and get into, yes you guessed it, more wet clothes. You don't want to get to your camping destination and find that your sleeping bag is wet. That is where a drybag comes in.

The truth of the matter is that it will depend on which activity you are doing, where you are doing it and for how long you are doing it, as to whether you need a waterproof bag or whether you can get by without one. It isn’t just about keeping your belongings from getting wet from the river, sea or lake. It’s also about keeping them dry when you have that unlucky moment and it starts to rain – water above you and water below you, we have all been there.

But hey, I can’t make that decision for you. Only you can decide whether you need waterproof bags and whether you will get the benefit of using one when you go out onto the water, when you go camping or when you go hiking. Let’s take a look at why they are so popular, why so many people do use them and which is the best drybag on the market today.


Waterproof Dry Bags

The purpose of waterproof bags is self-explanatory but I am going to explain it anyway because I like writing about anything to do with water sports, whether it’s the main equipment or additional gear which will make your water activity more enjoyable.

One of the reasons I love using a drybag is that it gives me peace of mind. I know that all my gear is safe, from my phone and camera to my clothes & food. This means I can get on with enjoying my time on the water, never having to worry about my gear and whether it stays dry.

Whether it’s an overnight trip, a weekend of kayaking & camping or a week or two of paddling, my waterproof bags are used every time. I have a few different size bags as it gives me the flexibility I need. However, your needs may be different to mine but finding the right bag for you will just involve an understanding of what you will mainly use it for. Let’s take a look at the different types of waterproof bags available for you to choose from.

What are the Different Types of Waterproof  Bag?

There are waterproof bags for every occasion and situation so you will have no problem finding one that is suitable for what you need. They will all have some method for attaching them to your boat etc. D rings are most common but you will also find clasps, hooks, carabiners and loops on some bags.

TIP: Don’t attach the drybag to your clothes or life vest. Always secure them to your canoe etc. as it can make it difficult for you to get back on board in the event that you fall into the water or you could get snagged as you fall into the water and be left hanging.

Barrel Dry Bags

These are the most popular type of drybag and the ones you will see most often. No prizes for guessing why they are called barrel dry bags as it’s obviously due to the fact that they are shaped like a barrel.

One end is sealed and the seams are welded together to make it water tight. At the other end is the opening and, once you place all your gear in the bag, you create a water tight seal by pressing the material together and then rolling it down about 4 – 5 times. You then use the built in clips to keep it in place (How to Close a Dry Bag).

They will have a D ring on the outside so you can attached the bag to you vessel if you wish and a shoulder strap for carrying it when you are not on the water. Some barrel drybags have a pocket on the outside for storing things like cell phone but these are sometimes only water resistant rather than water proof so be careful what you store in them.

The key to using one successfully is to pack the things you are more likely to need more often or sooner on the top so you can locate them quickly and easily when you want to.


Barrel Dry Bag

Barrel Dry Bag

Waterproof Duffel Bags

Well you all know what a duffel bag is right. So a waterproof duffel bag is just the same as an ordinary duffel bag except they are waterproof. The good thing about these types of dry bags is that they have a wider opening through which to pack your gear and that makes it easier to find everything in there.

A Waterproof Duffel Bag can be harder to close properly as the opening is wider and you still have to roll the material over several times to achieve the water tight seal you want.

Waterproof Duffel Bags will have a shoulder strap and handles by which to carry it. Some may also come with backpack straps so you can carry it in the same way you do a traditional backpack which can be particularly useful if you have a large waterproof duffel bag as it makes it easier to carry. Either way, it ultimately gives you greater versatility on how you can carry them.

Some waterproof duffel bags are made to do the job they were intended for and do it well without much thought abouit design. Now, that is actually fine for me but I do know, and appreciate, that some people are concerned about the design of the bag as well as how it performs. For those of you who fall into this category I would're covered.

Fortunately there are brands which focus on the style without compromising the overall performance. You will probably want to look at the North Face waterproof duffel bag as opposed to the Dry Pak waterproof duffel bag (I love the Kwik Tek Dry Pak by the way as I know they are great bag which perform well and offer great value for money). Either way, the easiest way to get the right one for you is to read the best waterproof duffel bag reviews which you can find further down the page.

Waterproof Duffel Bag

Waterproof Duffel Bag

Dry Bag Backpack

Dryb Bag Backpacks, or rucksack dry bags, are available in some slightly different shapes. Some are pretty much the same as barrel dry bags but with 2 shoulder straps so you can carry them over longer distances easier.

Some waterproof backpack designs are exactly like standard backpacks so you get the look of a traditional backpack with the waterproof ability to keep your equipment dry. They will also have similar features such as mesh pockets on the outside and elasticated cord. You can even get some which support hydration bladders.

Dry Bag Backpacks are not just popular with people taking part in water based activities, they are also popular with people involved in other outdoor activities, such as hiking, as they like the security of knowing their gear is dry even when it is pouring down with rain.

When you are reading dry bag backpack reviews please bear in mind that you can't always make a direct comparison between different bags as, although they can be very similar, they do not always have excat same features. Establish what you need, why you need it and where you will use it as this will go a long way in finding the best dry bag backpack for you and your activity.

In summary, a drybag backpack is a ideal for you if you are going to be walking for a period of time. If you are not then this type of bag may not be best suited to you. For example, if you are stand up paddle boarding and you drive to your location then you will be better off getting a different type of waterproof bag.


Dry Bag Backpack

Dry Bag Backpack

Dry Bags for Kayaking

A Kayak drybag is specifically designed to be used in kayaks as they are tapered to fit into the nose of the kayak. Some kayaks also have designated spaces for waterproof deck bags which are great for additional storage.

Many kayaks have hatches in which to store gear but, as these are not always effective at keeping the gear dry, I recommend using a standard drybag to store your gear and place this in the hatch.

Bulkhead Tapered Drybag

Bulkhead Tapered Drybag

Waterproof Fanny Pack

A Waterproof Fanny Pack is great for carrying your important items such as keys, passports, cell phones and cameras. As these are important and expensive it is good to know they are not going to get wet when you are taking part in activities on, in or around water.

They simply strap around your waist and sit comfortably at the base of your back or on your hip. Most waterproof fanny packs will have just 1 compartment but there are a few available with 2 or more compartments if you need them.

If you are buying a waterproof fanny pack for swimming or buying a waterproof fanny pack for snorkeling then I would recommend that, as with any waterproof bag, you test it before you use it. You can do this quite simply at home by placing paper inside and submerging it in water, then just check that the paper is dry once you remove it from the water.

My first purchase was for a waterproof fanny pack for swimming as I didn't feel comfortable leaving my valuables in a place where they weren't secure. I've never looked back since as I went onto buy more   main reason for buying a waterproof fanny pack will be because you are taking part in

A word of caution, the intended use for these are for some of the waterproof fanny packs are for keeping your items dry from waves & splashes or if you find yourself falling into the water. They may not be designed for you to wear for long periods of time in the water. As they use the standard rolled closure method you can find that prolonged submergence in water can result in some water getting through.

Make sure you read the specifications and, if possible, read some of the customer reviews as these will be written by people who have used them and they will give you honest feedback on how they performed.

Waterproof Fanny Pack

Waterproof Fanny Pack

Cell Phone Dry Bags

If you are like me then you don’t go anywhere without your cell phone. Of course it’s also a good idea to take your cell phone with you anyway so you can contact emergency services and make contact with home should the need arise.

Waterproof bags for phones are designed specifically for your cell phone as they have a clear window at the front which means they will work with touch screen phones.

As with fanny pack bags, these are not always intended for prolonged submergence in water but are great at keeping your cell phone safe and dry. Check out the specifications first.

Cell Phone Dry Bags

Cell Phone Dry Bags

First Aid Dry Bags

First Aid dry bags are specifically to carry your first aid kit and keep it dry. The upside of having a waterproof bag for your first aid kit is that it is small and you therefore have the flexibility to store it where you want. As the vast majority of them are red and contain the first aid logo/text it also means that it is easily identifiable.

Do you need a First Aid Dry Bag? Not really no, what you need is a first aid kit, no matter what you store it in, just make sure you take one. You do need to ensure that it is kept dry but you can achieve this by simply putting it in a normal dry bag.

If you do this then make sure it is on the top to make it easy to grab when you need. If you are travelling in a group then make sure everyone knows where the first aid kit is as it might not be you that is getting it out of the bag.

If you want to know more about dry bags then continue to read about the different sizes of bags and the materials used. If not then you can simply check out our Waterproof Dry Bag Reviews and recommendations below.

First Aid Dry Bag

First Aid Dry Bag

Different Size Dry Bags

No matter which dry bag manufacturer you look at, you will find they offer a few common sized bags. This is great for the flexibility you need to cover different types of trip. Short trips or long trips, there is a dry bag to cover you needs. I have found that having a small, medium and large bag gives great flexibility as you can use 1 bag for short trips and use 2 or 3 bags for longer trips.

That being said, the main factor should be how and where you are going to store them. Also consider how you are going to group the items you are going to pack. Two large dry bags might sound good and may fit in everything you need but you might find it difficult to fit them in your boat of strap them onto your paddle board. Having a mixture of sizes or several small bags might be better for your setup.

TIP: Don’t over pack your drybag. Taking time to stuff as much as you can in when you are in the comfort of your home is easy but repacking them after a night of camping isn’t so easy and will take more time than you think or have (particularly if it’s raining when you’re repacking).

The most common sizes are 5 liter, 10 Liter, 20 Litre and 30 Liter dry bags but you can also get 25 Liter, 40 Liter and 50 Liter drybags.


5 Liter Dry Bags

5L Dry bags are excellent for storing small items such as your camera, cell phone, iPad, small items of clothing and towels, toiletries, medicines and maybe a first aid kit (although you may want to buy a dedicated waterproof first aid dry bag - link).

10 Liter Dry Bags

10L dry bags are classed as medium dry bags and they are excellent for storing laptops, larger towels and larger items of clothing.

20 Liter Dry Bags

20L dry bags are classed as large dry bags and they are excellent for storing sleeping bags, tents, large towels and large/ thicker items of clothing.

30 Liter Dry Bags

30L dry bags are classed as extra large dry bags and they are big enough to store clothing for 2 people or maybe everything one person needs – my advice is to get 2 smaller bags if you are packing for one person as this is easier to store them on your craft and it is also easier when you need to access your items.

40 Liter Dry Bags

Someone has always got to one better, got to go bigger. 40L dry bags have their place. They are great for when you are on longer trips and you have a lot of large items. Some of them have a interior padded laptop sleeve so your laptop is not only kept dry but also kept safe. It really just depends on the size of your vessel, what you are taking and how long you are going.

50 Liter Dry Bags

See, someone’s already gone even bigger again with a 50L dry bag. I think we have said enough on the different sizes of waterproof dry bags. Have a think about your vessel and how long you are going for. There really is a lot of choice so all you have to do is make the right choice for you.

What Materials Are Used to Make a Drybag?

There are different types of materials used to make a drybag and just to try and confuse you, some of them have different names but are essentially the same material. There are typically 2 types of material used to make waterproof bags, Nylon & PVC (also described as Vinyl or Tarpaulin).

There are different thicknesses available and the thickness is measure in Denier or D rating. The smaller the number the thinner, and therefore lighter, the material is. D ratings usually range from 400D to 600D for waterproof bags with the vast majority being made with 500D material.

The thicker the dry bag the more robust it is and the more it will withstand abuse without ripping. They also are good for storing tents as tent pegs and poles can sometimes rip thinner bags. A thick drybag is used when you are taking part in more rigorous activities such as white water rafting and kayaking where you know they, and you, are in for a rough ride.

Why Are There So Many Color Dry Bags?

Because we are all individual and we like to pick a color that matches our life jacket or maybe match our kayak or paddle board. Ok so not really. There is a practical reason for having different color dry bags.

I have no doubt you will end up with more than one drybag (I don’t know anyone who doesn’t by the way) and my advice is to buy different colors for different size and/or purpose of drybag. This helps you to quickly identify what is in each bag. Green for food, red for clothes, yellow for tent and sleeping bag etc. you get the idea. For me this is much easier than having 3 or 4 yellow waterproof bags and having sift through them to find what I want.

I always buy brighter colors as they will stand out if they do happen to fall into the water and I also buy colors that are different to the color of my kayak & SUP as this makes it easier for me to spot them when packed away.

The Last Word

The cost of waterproof bags is relatively low compared to other equipment and definitely when you consider the benefit you get. I have spent more on some things which I class as gadgets and maybe I didn’t need them but the money I have spent on my dry bags has been worth every penny.

I am a firm believer in the power of the customer and I place a lot of faith in customer reviews. Why? Because it’s one thing for a manufacturer to claim how great there product is but it can perform differently when I have it out in the real world.

When a lot of people provide positive feedback for an item I intend to use in the way I intend to use it then I know it’s up to the job and I am confident I am making the right decision and spending my hard earned money in the right way.

When I am out on the water I want my mind on enjoying myself and not thinking about whether my gear is staying dry and safe or not.

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Best Barrel Dry Bags

The Earth Pak Waterproof Barrel Dry Bag is one of the most popular dry bags on the market today.They are available in a variety of sizes from 10L to 40L so you will find one to suit your needs.

The 10 Liter  and 20 Liter bags come with and adjustable shoulder strap while the 30 Liter and 40 Liter come with 2 backpack style shoulder straps.

They have hardened D-Rings to allow you to connect bag to the side of a raft, boat, or backpack and a roll top & buckle closure that allows for air-tight protection against water.

Made from thick 500D PVC material, they also provide protection from abrasion for screens, glass, and other expensive gear

Supplied we have an IPX8 Certified 6.5 Inch waterproof phone case that will fit even the largest of phones.

This case features a very simple snap and lock access that has dual-sided clear windows that allow to take pictures while still inside the case.


The Unigear Waterproof Floating Dry Bag is made from polyurethane coated nylon with welded seams to keep your gear dry and safe.

One of the great features of the Unigear bag is that it has added burst resistance and is wrinkle free - we have to say the burst resistance works a treat but the wrinkle free aspect is not something that bothers us as a feature.

Fitted with a removable and adjustable shoulder strap which is also removable which is a handy feature as it allows you to get it into tight spaces a little bit easier.

Also comes with a waterproof phone bag which is touch friendly and fits phones up to 6 inches (diagonal dimensions).

Available in sizes from 5L to 40L and an assortment of colours.



The Sak Gear Premium Waterproof Dry Bag is made from 500D polyester with a vinyl coating which provides solid watertight protection.

The Sak Gear bag also has an outer zip pocket to give you the ability to store small items and a removable shoulder strap for carrying.

The outer pocket is splash proof but not waterproof which is standard on most bags. It is still a useful feature which you don't find on all barrel dry bags.

We have found that you can make better use of this by simply placing you small items in a small waterproof bag and then placing it in the pocket.

Available in 10L & 20L and an assortment of colours.

The  Ultra Dry Premium Waterproof Bag is as tough as any dry bag on the market as it is made from Pure Grade Y7.5mm 500D polymer.

This makes it extremely strong and flexible. All the stress points are reinforced and thermo welding ensures it is 100% waterproof.

It comes with a removable and adjustable shoulder strap which we found to be a bit longer than other shoulder straps.

The waterproof phone case is currently being included as part of the package - this is usually sold separately.

Available in 10L & 20L and an assortment of colours.

The Leader Accessories PVC Waterproof Dry Bag is made from heavy duty vinyl polyester trilaminate material with high frequency welded seams.

As you would expect from most dry bags, the Leader Accessories bag will float if it is dropped in the water.

It comes with and adjustable shoulder strap to make it easy to carry when not stored away.

The strap is also detachable in case you don't need to use it.

Available in sizes from 5L to 55L and an assortment of colours.

The SealLine Baja Dry Bag is on of the most popular all-purpose dry bag from SealLine. Proven on both water and land-based adventures around the world, Baja Dry Bags provide versatile and durable protection.

The Baja Barrel Dry Bag offers proven protection for everything from river running to motorcycle touring.

Made with 19 oz. vinyl sides and a heavy-duty 30 oz. bottom, they can withstand just about any abuse Mother Nature, or you, can thorw at it.

They have a Dry Seal roll-top closure and have an attached D-ring for securing inside a raft or on top of a luggage rack.  Made in the USA of US and imported materials.

Available in sizes from 5L to 55L and an assortment of colours.

Best Waterproof Duffel Bags

The Kwik Tek Dry Pak Waterproof Duffel Bag takes waterproof to a whole new level. The water is shut out water by rolling down the top a few times and snapping the side release buckles together in the same way as other dry bags.

The difference with this duffel style bag is that it has a large tapered access opening on top. This makes it easy to pack you gear and easy to retrieve it when you need it.

There is an additional water resistant zippered pocket with storm flap on each side, one clear, one opaque.

The shoulder strap is removable, adjustable, and padded for comfort and convenience. The waterproof duffel bag is great for boating, paddlesports and camping.

It is also provides scent proof storage for hunting.

Made from extra heavy duty vinyl/polyester laminate with electronically welded seams which means there are no leaky sewn seams to seal.

The Aqua Quest White Water Duffel applies technical waterproof features to the well-loved form and function of the classic duffel bag.

Constructed of resilient, abrasion-resistant Oxford 420D RipStop fabric. Double bar-tacked stress points and welded seams ensures the White Water Duffel will keep you gear safe and dry for years to come.

This 75 liter duffel dry bag can hold a substantial amount of gear. It has a large main compartment which allows for the most flexible packing options and the big mouth opening enables full unobstructed access to the bag’s interior.

The roll-top closure provides waterproof protection that outperforms zippers, so any contact with water save for complete and extended submersion will not penetrate the duffel.

It has 6 outer D rings, 4 extra strong webbing loops and a well padded shoulder strap & carry handles.

Color Options: Black, Charcoal & Red

Available in other sizes

The Sak Gear DuffelSak Waterproof Duffel Bag is made from 500D PVC with high tech welded seams to provide a waterproof bag which will keep out water, snow, mud and sand.

It has an interior pocket which is great for keeping small items in a place where you can quickly locate them rather than having to rummage through the whole bag.

The 2 outer pockets are handy for when you are travelling - these are splash proof not waterproof.

Comes with padded double handles, a padded shoulder strap and 4 attached D rings.

Available in various sizes.



The 60 Liter COR Waterproof Duffel Bag is one of the best all round bags on the market. it is flexible enough to be used for a day, a weekend or a week (and more).

It shouldn't be surprising for it to be this good as COR is a family business who love Surfing, Paddle Boarding & Kayaking.

It has 2 compression straps on each end to help secure the bag as wellas a removable padded shoulder strap and 2 reinforced carry handles.

The exterior has a pocket which is larger than most exterior pockets on these types of bags but, as with all waterproof bags, it is water resistant not waterproof.

Interior zipped pocket is good for storing small important items.

Available Colors: Green & Black or Grey & Black

Best Dry Bag Backpacks

The Chaos Ready Waterproof Dry Bag Backpacks are premium quality waterproof backpacks which are purpose built for the real outdoors.

It has a 100% waterproof main compartment with a water resistant front pocket and 2 side mesh pockets.

Made from 500D PVC Tarpaulin with HF welded seams to make it not only rugged but also flexible.

The adjustable padded shoulder straps make it comfortable to wear and use. The main compartment provides a generous 22 liters of storage.

The 35L Sak Gear Backsak Drybag Backpack is made from 500D PVC with tough welded seams.

It has a sternum clip, padded back support to help relieve pressure on muscles, adjustable padded shoulder straps which gives you all day comfort.

Each side has conveniently located D-rings so you can attach water bottles and other gear to allow you to carry more.

It is one of the few bags in this class which comes with a reflective trim and patch which is great for night time use, especially if it should fall into the water.

A splash proof outer pocket and 2 internal zippered pockets round off the features of this great bag.

We found the internal pockets are great to store small electronics, such as your phone, separate from any wet clothing which may be in your bag.


The Vitchelo 30L Waterproof Dry Bag Backpack is a premium waterproof backpack and they are so confident in the quality they are offering a 60 day money back guarantee in addition to a lifetime warranty.

Made form puncture-proof thick thermo-welded PVC tarpaulin that can handle anything you throw at it.

This bag floats for easy retrieval when you do happen to drop it in the water.

Designed with 2 external mesh pockets for carrying water bottles etc.

In addition to the shoulder straps you also get a waist strap to provide added stability and comfort.

You also get a waterproof phone case for free.

Best Dry Bags for Kayaking

The SealLine Bulkhead Tapered Drybag is shaped specifically for kayaks as it fits perfectly into the bulkhead area.

You get waterproof protection for your gear while maximising the available storage space in your kayak.

Made from polyurethane coated ripstop nylon with welded seams.

The PurgAir valve allows you to release trapped air which enables you to fit the bag into smaller spaces.

The SealLine Bulkhead Compression Drybag lets you maximize the use of your limited hatch space as the PurgeAir Valve lets you compress the dry bag, making it ideal when you need to squeeze a into a tight or small space.

The 2 strap Continuous Strap Compression system makes it easy to squeeze all the air out of the bag.

Made of ultra durable PVC-free materials and featuring an oval bottom which not only helps the bag from rolling around but also makes packing it easier.

The updated DrySeal roll top closure is easier to use than ever before. Don't let your limited hatch space hold you back.

Available Sizes: 5L to 30L

Available Colors: Green, Orange and Purple


The SealLine Bulkhead View Dry Bag is part of the excellent PurgeAir Valve dry bags range which allows more compression of the bag once sealed.

This means you can ensure you are making the bag, and your gear, as small as possible which allows you to fit it into smaller spaces.

Made from Polyurethane coated Ripstop nylon with welded seams and an updated DrySeal closure to ensure it is 100% waterproof.

The clear view panel allows you to see what is in your bag.

Available Sizes: 5 Liter to 30 Liter

Available Colors: Green, Purple and Orange

Best Waterproof Fanny Pack

The Blue Sky Basics Waterproof Fanny Pack Pouch provides 100% waterproof protection for your small important documents and items.

It is designed to fit even the largest of mobile phones and the touch screen technology allows you to use your phone while it is sealed inside the bag.

Triple seal protections will ensure your items are kept safe while under water up to a depth of 10 meters (32 feet).

Made from an ultra durable, but lightweight, material polymer which has a lifespan of 140 years.

You have the flexibility to wear it around your waist, as a fanny pack, across your body or as a shoulder bag.

Available as a twin pack for even greater value.


Best Cell Phone Drybag

The JOTO Cell Phone Drybag Pouch is a waterproof case which will fit cell phones such as the iPhone 7 & 7 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy S8 & S8 Plus.

We have found that the large design will fit many more cell phones as it is 100mm x 170mm in size.

The waterproof case is ipx8 certified to 100 feet which allows you to submerge your device up to 100 feet deep without worrying about water damage.

The case features crystal clear window on both sides, allowing you to take pictures or videos, checking your emails and all other touch screen functions no matter what water activity you are taking part in.

The Mpow Universal Waterproof Cell Phone Dry Bag is designed for underwater use for swimmers, surfers and scuba divers etc.

This waterproof bag can protect your phone from water, snow and ice. It can also protect your cards or even cash.

Unlike non-transparent bags the Mpow waterproof bag features all-around transparent material, which does not block the camera (front and back).

It allows you to shoot underwater with your phone.

IPX8 Certified.

The YOSH Universal Cell Phone Dry Bag Pouch is a versatile bag which provides excellent protection for your phone or other small valuables.

It is IPX8 certified.

It will fit cell phones up to 6 inches in diameter with additional space for cards and cash.

Comes with a Lifetime Warranty for peace of mind.

Best First Aid Dry Bags

The Kuyou First Aid Dry Bag Waterproof Survival Pouch has a lock top to keep the contents dry, safe and sanitary no matter what mother nature throws at you.

A compact 2L survival bag made from environmentally safe PVC which has undergone rigorous field testing to ensure it is up to the job.

Size: 33.5 x 10.3 x 6.7 cm ( 13.19 x 4.06 x 2.64 inches)