The 8 Best Dry Bags of 2021

Best Dry Bags
Image by Mosay May / Shutterstock

Dry bags are a vital piece of outdoor equipment, whether you’re looking at a simple day on the water or a two-week hike on the Appalachian Trail. For those new to the outdoorsman game, dry bags do exactly what they say on the tin: they’re extra-durable, waterproof bags designed to keep your belongings dry. With so many dry bag options out there, it can be hard to figure out which one is best for you. But we’ve done the research and came up with a list of the best dry bags available.

Our Top Picks: Best Dry Bags

If you’re short on time, here’s the low-down:

  • Best Overall: Sea to Summit Big River. With 420D nylon material, double stitching, tape-sealed seams, two D-rings, and an anti-tip oval base, what’s not to love about this gold-standard dry bag?
  • Best Eco-Friendly: SealLine Baja. Made of 1000D polyester, this bag will have a durable and waterproof life and is completely recyclable at the end of it.
  • Best Budget: Earth Pak Waterproof. The best option on a budget, this dry bag doesn’t sacrifice all the features you need in the name of a good deal.
  • Best Backpack-Style: iDrybag Functional. This backpack-style dry bag features adjustable, padded straps, honeycomb cushions for your back, and a top-layer buckle for added water resistance.
  • Best Duffel-Style: SW-MOTECH 350. If a duffle bag is more your style, look no further than the roomy tarpaulin PVC SW-MOTECH 350.
  • Best Submersible: Skog Å Kust DrySåk. With all the features you need in your dry bag, this strangely-named powerhouse is as waterproof as waterproof gets.
  • Best Durable: ZBRO Waterproof. Durability is no joke to ZBRO, with IPX6-rated, 500D PVC material that is all but impenetrable.
  • Best When Money is No Object: YETI Panga. The Panga is the king of dry bags, with a puncture-resistant “thickskin” shell, fully submersible “hydrolock” zipper technology, and multiple ways to carry.

1. Sea to Summit Big River Dry Bag

The best dry bag overall

Sea to Summit Big River Bag

Manufacturer: Sea to Summit | Material: TPU & 420D Nylon | Reinforcement: Double Stitching & Tape-Sealed Seams | Sizes: 7 | Price: 💰

Sea to Summit’s Big River Dry Bag is everything a dry bag should be: waterproof, comfortable, extra-durable, and available in lots of sizes. The TPU-laminated, 420D nylon material is abrasion-resistant for rough-and-tough adventures off the beaten path. Reinforced double stitching and tape-sealed seams keep everything inside dry in the face of unexpected rain or a rough set of rapids. The roll-and-clip top features two D-rings so you can attach other supplies to your dry bag, or your dry bag to a larger backpack. Plus, each side has an integrated strap for carrying, lashing to a kayak or bike, or tying multiple bags together.

To keep the bag from tipping over, the base is oval-shaped, so your stuff will always be right where you left it. Choose from 7 different capacities to suit simple day trips or long-haul hikes, as well as 5 different colors to suit your personal preference.

  • Reasonably priced without sacrificing quality
  • Super easy to use with large opening for arranging and re-arranging contents
  • D-rings and side straps are great for everything from attaching accessories to securing to a kayak

  • To actually get the water-tight seal, the top has to roll down at least twice, which reduces the overall capacity
  • While extra-durable from the outside, things like keys or uncovered blades on the inside may puncture and let water in

2. SealLine Baja Dry Bag

The best eco-friendly dry bag

SealLine Baja Bag

Manufacturer: SealLine | Material: 1000D Polyester | Reinforcement: Scrim-Reinforced Vinyl & Welded Seams | Sizes: 6 | Price: 💰

For the more environmentally-conscious outdoorsman, consider the SealLine Baja. This “green” bag actually comes in four different colors and six different sizes to suit whatever your venture. But what makes this bag eco-friendly is the polyester material. It’s incredibly lightweight, but also completely recyclable and made entirely in the US of A. Scrim-reinforced vinyl offers an additional layer of protection and makes this bag genuinely waterproof and air-tight. An integrated D-ring makes it easy to hook on any accessories or attach the bag itself to another backpack.

  • Eco-friendly polyester material is completely recyclable
  • Incredibly durable material stands up to rough-and-tough use
  • 100% water-tight for things like kayaking, boating, and other water activities

  • Only four color options
  • Though the clip at the top of the bag can work, there are no actual carry straps

3. Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag

The best dry bag on a budget

Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag

Manufacturer: Earth Pak | Material: 500D PVC| Reinforcement: Reinforced Seams | Sizes: 5 | Price: 💰

A good dry bag doesn’t have to break the bank, and no one proves that better than the original Earth Pak. This single-strap bag uses a fold-down top with a clip to seal against light water exposure, and comes with a free water-tight phone case for taking pictures from the kayak or in the rain. The 500D PVC material is incredibly durable and built to stand up to long-term abuse. Choose from five different sizes and eight different color options to suit any adventure.

  • Free waterproof phone case
  • The 55L bag has an additional waist strap for easier carrying
  • Adjustable shoulder strap can go over one shoulder or cross-body

  • Not 100% water-tight, and can’t be submerged
  • Durable material, but the stitching won’t last a lifetime

4. iDrybag Functional Dry Bag

The best dry bag backpack

iDryBag Bag

Manufacturer: iDrybag | Material: 500D Nylon| Reinforcement: Triple IP68 Layers | Sizes: 1 | Price: 💰💰

If you prefer to carry your things in a backpack that rests on both shoulders, check out the iDrybag Functional Dry Bag.

Both padded shoulder straps are adjustable and feature D-rings and reflective stripes. The waist buckle and chest strap are similarly adjustable and help distribute the bag’s weight to save your back evenly. Three integrated honeycomb cushions keep your back cool and dry while also preventing your belongings from jabbing you. Both the inside and outside have pockets, the latter of which is splash-proof. Rather than the closing clips folding inward, both fold outward and attach to dual adjustable side straps for a duffel-style carry. A top buckle offers a third layer of protection that ensures the roll-top stays sealed. There’s also a top carry strap like you’d expect on most backpacks.

  • Incredibly durable material stands up to years of use
  • Multiple carry options with comfortable padding for backpack use
  • Splash-proof outer pocket has water-tight zipper and is perfect for quick-access accessories, like keys

  • The top carry strap is really too small to use with on the larger bag
  • The waist and chest strap are a little unnecessary on the smaller sizes

5. SW-MOTECH Day Bag 350

The best dry duffel bag

SW-MOTECH Day Bag 350

Manufacturer: MOTECH | Material: Tarpaulin PVC | Reinforcement: Welded Seams | Sizes: 1 | Price: 💰💰💰

For those who prefer a duffle-style dry bag, the SW-MOTECH 350 has you covered. Made from waterproof, tear- and puncture-resistant, UV-tested tarpaulin PVC, there’s nothing this bag can’t handle. The dual adjustable straps can be attached via a hook-and-loop strap at the top for single-handed carry. Roomy enough to carry the essentials, this bag is still compact enough to store on a bike rack or under a bed, making it easy to bring with you on any adventure. Multiple D-ring attachment points allow you to hook on accessories or even attach the duffel to another bag. There’s also a clear pocket on the outside of the bag for travel ID information.

  • Low profile design is attractive
  • Super resilient material for rough-and-tumble abuse
  • Compatible with other SW-MOTECH products for modular luggage options

  • May be too bulky for use on a motorcycle
  • One reviewer had issues with the straps staying tight over use

6. Skog Å Kust DrySåk

The best submersible dry bag

Skog Å Kust DrySåk

Manufacturer: Skog Å Kust | Material: 500D PVC | Reinforcement: High-Frequency Welded Seams | Sizes: 2 | Price: 💰

When you’re looking for the best dry bag, the first thing you probably think to search for is the best waterproof dry bag. Which makes sense, especially if you want the best dry bag for kayaking or some other water activity. But technically, all dry bags are waterproof, though not all of them do it well. If you want to make sure your dry bag is 100% waterproof, you’ll want to search for the best submersible dry bag. And the best submersible dry bag we could find is the Skog Å Kust DrySåk.

Yeah, we’re not sure how to say it, either, but based on tests from multiple reputable sports equipment reviewers and reports from satisfied customers, this bag is as watertight as watertight can be. It also has the other features you need from your dry bag, like an adjustable and completely detachable shoulder strap for easier carrying, multiple D-rings for attaching accessories or securing to another backpack, and even a splash-proof exterior zippered pocket for easy access to necessities like your keys.

  • Detachable strap for convenient carry when needed
  • Truly submersible bag keeps everything inside completely dry
  • Eighe different color options and two size options to suit personal preference

  • The adjustable shoulder strap doesn’t have any padding and can be uncomfortable
  • The outer zippered pocket is not 100% watertight, and should not be used for phones or electronics

7. ZBRO Waterproof Dry Bag

The best durable dry bag

ZBRO Bag

Manufacturer: ZBRO | Material: IPX6 500D PVC & Flexible-Grip Nylon | Reinforcement: Welded Seams | Sizes: 2 | Price: 💰

Durability is usually a major feature of any dry bag, but some outdoor activities need more than the standard level of strength. That’s where the ZBRO comes in.

This ultra-durable bag uses IPX6-rated, 500D PVC designed to stand up to even the roughest of rough-and-tumble use. Flexible grip nylon makes up the main carry handle, making it both comfortable and durable enough for a full pack. Dual padded, adjustable shoulder straps allow you to carry the entire thing like a backpack as well. There are nearly a dozen different D-rings in different locations for accessories and securing to another bag. Inner mesh pockets help you stay organized on the trails, while the outer mesh pocket gives you a place to store wet gear or apparel away from the things you need to keep dry. And, of course, the bag is fully waterproof.

  • Incredible durability built to stand up to most all abuse
  • Outer mesh pocket for storing wet accessories and/or apparel away from dry
  • Padded, adjustable shoulder straps and flexible grip nylon handle for multiple comfortable carry options

  • The material of the padded straps is a little scratchy
  • Where most dry bags run small, this one runs big, which can be an issue on longer treks

8. YETI Panga Dry Bag

The best dry bag when money is no object

YETI Panga Dry Bag

Manufacturer: Yeti | Material: High-Density Laminated Nylon | Reinforcement: Thickskin Shell/Hydro-Lock System | Sizes: 4 | Price: 💰💰💰💰💰

If you’re a serious adventurer with some cash to burn, then you’ll definitely want to own the YETI Panga. This powerhouse of a dry bag is 100% air-tight and waterproof. Rather than a roll-top, the duffel-style bag has a sealed zip closure and uses hydro-lock technology at the end dock to keep all water out. The impenetrable “thickskin” shell is abrasion- and puncture-resistant to keep your belongings safe from any and all abuse. Metal lock hardware is also incredibly durable against impact. There are four different carry handles for single-handed use. Simultaneously, the dual adjustable “dryhaul” straps allow for both duffle-style and backpack-style carry.

  • Multiple ways to carry for ultimate comfort
  • Fully submersible, waterproof seal to keep everything dry
  • Abrasion- and puncture-resistant “thickskin” shell to protect belongings

  • Very, very expensive in comparison to other dry bags, but reportedly worth the price
  • The bag itself weighs about 5.2 pounds when empty, which may be an issue for longer trips

What to Look for in the Best Dry Bags

The Best Dry Bag on Beach
Image by Lamaip / Canva Photos

Dry bags are great for a range of outdoor activities, from water-based ventures like kayaking and paddleboarding to land-based outings like hiking or biking. To help you figure out what features are most vital for you, consider the following:

  • Seal. All dry bags are, to some degree, waterproof. But while some can be fully submerged in water and maintain their seal, some are only suitable for splashes and moderate rainfall.
  • Material. Some dry bags are more puncture-resistant than others, which might be necessary for you, depending on what you want to use the bag for. Typically, the higher density (a number followed by ‘D’), the stronger the material.
  • Outer Storage. Outer mesh pockets are great for keeping wet gear away from dry. In contrast, splash-resistant zippered pockets are useful for keeping accessories like money or keys close at hand.
  • Inner Storage. Some bags come with interior pockets to help you stay organized. Others are just one large bag with no compartments.
  • Style. Some bags can be carried in one hand, while others are more like a backpack.
  • D-Rings. If you need to attach your bag to a bike, or another bag, or even want to secure some accessories to your bag, D-rings are a must. Every bag has a different number at different locations.

Our Process

For this guide on dry bags, our team spent 2.5 hours researching the most popular options from over 15 brands and manufacturers big and small. 30 specific models were considered. We then read about 100 user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each bag. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 8 dry bags on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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