What’s a Dry Bag? The Secret to Making the Most of Your Outdoor Activities

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Written By Robert

Robert is passionate about traveling, technology, and reading books on his phone.

Dry bags are an adventurer’s best friend. Whether you’re kayaking down a rushing river, hiking through the rainforest, or spending the day at the beach, a dry bag is a must-have item for keeping your gear safe and dry.

But with so many different types on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your needs.

That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand everything there is to know about dry bags, from their benefits to how to choose and use them effectively.

What’s a dry bag good for?

When it comes to water sports, beach activities, and outdoor adventures, keeping your gear dry is a top priority. This is where a dry bag comes in handy, offering various benefits that make it an essential item for any outdoor enthusiast.

Protection against Water Damage

A dry bag is designed to keep your belongings safe and dry, even in the most extreme conditions. Whether you’re caught in a rainstorm, navigating rough waters, or splashing around on the beach, a high-quality dry bag will protect your gear from water damage, ensuring that you can enjoy your activities without worrying about your belongings getting ruined.

Convenience and Versatility

One of the most significant benefits of using a dry bag is its versatility. Whether you’re carrying a camera, clothes, food, or electronics, one of these bags can accommodate all your gear and keep it dry. Furthermore, it’s lightweight and easy to carry, making it an ideal option for travelers who are always on the go.

Earth Pak Waterproof Dry Bag 1
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Increased Durability and Longevity

These bags are typically made of high-quality, durable materials that can withstand wear and tear. They’re also designed to last for a long time, ensuring that you get your money’s worth out of your investment. Moreover, it’s easy to clean and maintain, making it a practical and long-lasting option for all your outdoor activities.

Overall, a dry bag is a reliable and practical accessory for anyone who loves outdoor activities, water sports, or beach adventures. Whether you’re an experienced adventurer or a beginner, having a high-quality bag is a must-have item that can help you enjoy your activities to the fullest.

How to Choose the Right Dry Bag

When it comes to choosing the right dry bag, there are a few factors to consider to ensure that you get the best one for your needs. Here are some essential things to keep in mind:


The material of a dry bag determines its durability, waterproofing, and weight. PVC, vinyl, and nylon are popular materials for dry bags. PVC is the most durable but also the heaviest, while vinyl is a bit less durable but lighter. Nylon is the lightest but less durable and less waterproof than the other two options.

Size and Capacity

Dry bags come in different sizes, ranging from small ones that can hold a phone and wallet to large ones that can hold camping gear. Consider what you plan to carry in it and choose a size that accommodates your needs. Keep in mind that a larger bag will be heavier and more cumbersome to carry.

Closure Mechanism

The closure mechanism of a dry bag determines how tightly it seals and how easy it is to access your gear. The three most common closure mechanisms are roll-top, zipper, and buckle. Roll-top is the most secure but may be harder to access. Zippers are easy to use but may not be completely waterproof. Buckles are easy to open and close but may not be as secure as roll-top closures.

Additional Features

Some dry bags come with additional features that can be helpful, such as straps for carrying the bag like a backpack or hooks for attaching the bag to your kayak or boat. Consider what features you need and choose one that has those features.

Choosing the right one may seem overwhelming, but with these essential factors in mind, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs and budget.

dry bag while camping 2 Large

How to Pack a Dry Bag

Packing a dry bag may seem like a simple task, but there are a few tricks to ensure that you maximize space and keep your gear organized. Here are some essential tips:

Organizing Your Gear

Start by organizing your gear by weight and size. Heavier items should be at the bottom of the bag, while lighter items should be on top. This helps to keep the bag balanced and easy to carry.

Maximizing Space

Pack your dry bag tightly to ensure that you maximize the available space. Roll clothing and other soft items tightly, and use compression sacks for bulkier items. This helps to reduce the amount of air in the bag, making it easier to pack and carry.

Securing Your Dry Bag

Once you’ve packed your dry bag, ensure that it’s properly closed and secured. If you’re using a roll-top closure, roll the top of the bag several times and clip the buckle to ensure that it’s tightly sealed. If you’re using a zipper or buckle closure, ensure that it’s fully closed and secured.

By following these simple tips, you can pack yours like a pro and ensure that your gear stays organized and dry throughout your adventure.

kayaking through river with friend

Care and Maintenance

Taking care of your dry bag is essential to ensure that it lasts for a long time and remains waterproof. Here are some essential care and maintenance tips:

Cleaning and Storing Your Dry Bag

After each use, rinse your dry bag with fresh water and mild soap. Avoid harsh detergents, as they can damage the waterproofing. Hang the bag upside down to dry thoroughly.

Store your dry bag in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing it in hot or humid areas, as this can cause mold and mildew to grow on the bag.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid overloading your dry bag, as this can cause it to lose its waterproofing. Also, avoid dragging the bag on rough surfaces, as this can cause damage to the material. Finally, don’t store your dry bag when it’s wet or damp, as this can cause the growth of mold and mildew.

By following these care and maintenance tips, you can ensure that your dry bag remains in excellent condition and ready for your next adventure.

dry bag while camping Large

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about dry bags, along with their answers:

How waterproof are dry bags?

Dry bags are designed to be waterproof, but their level of waterproofing can vary depending on the material and construction of the bag. Some can withstand full submersion, while others are only suitable for light rain or splashes.

Can I submerge my dry bag underwater?

It depends on the type of dry bag you have. Some dry bags are designed for full submersion, while others are only suitable for light splashes. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the waterproofing level.

What size dry bag do I need?

The size of the dry bag you need depends on the amount of gear you plan to carry. A small version may be suitable for a phone and wallet, while a large one may be needed for camping gear. Consider the size and weight of your gear and choose a dry bag that accommodates your needs.

Can dry bags float?

Yes, dry bags are designed to float on the water. This makes them an ideal option for water sports and activities, as they can keep your gear safe and dry even if it accidentally falls into the water.

How do I repair a hole in my dry bag?

To repair a hole in your bag, you can use a repair patch or tape that is specifically designed for the material of your bag. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

How can I make sure my dry bag stays dry?

To ensure that your bag stays dry, make sure that it’s properly closed and secured before use. Avoid overloading it, as this can cause it to lose its waterproofing. Also, avoid dragging the bag on rough surfaces, as this can cause damage to the material.

Can I wash my dry bag in the washing machine?

No, dry bags should not be washed in a washing machine, as the agitator can damage the waterproofing. Instead, rinse the bag with fresh water and mild soap, and hang it upside down to dry thoroughly.

What types of activities are dry bags best suited for?

Dry bags are suitable for a wide range of activities, including water sports, beach activities, hiking, camping, and more. They’re especially useful for any activity where you need to keep your gear dry and safe from water damage.

Are dry bags eco-friendly?

It depends on the material and production process of the dry bag. Some are made from eco-friendly materials, such as recycled plastic or biodegradable materials, while others may not be as environmentally friendly. Always check the manufacturer’s website or product information to determine the eco-friendliness.